Crossing a street where there is no crosswalk, most commonly known as jaywalking, can lead to significant hardship for individuals, particularly if they cross in front of a reckless driver. Additionally, individuals who jaywalk in Colorado could face a traffic citation that results in a fine upon conviction. Here, we want to discuss Colorado’s jaywalking laws, touch on the penalties, and examine areas where individuals need to focus on crossing the roadway.
Understanding Jaywalking Laws in Colorado
When we examine the information available from the Colorado Department of Transportation, we can see that around 5,000 individuals lose their lives and 70,000 individuals are injured each year as a result of pedestrian traffic crashes. The Colorado DOT says that children and the elderly are much more likely to sustain injuries or lose their lives as a result of pedestrian accidents.
Jaywalking occurs when a pedestrian crosses the street without utilizing designated crosswalk areas. In many areas around the country, there are no actual jaywalking laws. However, the state of Colorado considers jaywalking a traffic offense that is punishable by a fine of up to $100. This is a Class B infraction under Colorado law.
A person will be considered to be jaywalking if they cross a road at any location other than a crosswalk, a marked intersection, or an unmarked intersection.
The Dangers of Jaywalking in Colorado
Pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable on or around the roadways. Vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds can inflict significant trauma on the human body, regardless of how fast they are going when a collision occurs. Even though drivers are supposed to remain alert and aware of pedestrians at all times, they often are not paying much attention, and they typically will not see a person who jaywalks in an area where they are not supposed to be.
Pedestrian collisions often result in severe injuries, including spinal cord trauma, traumatic brain injuries, broken or dislocated bones, amputation or crush injuries, severe lacerations, massive blood loss, and more.
If a person sustains injuries in a pedestrian accident as a result of their jaywalking, this could impact any claim they file against the other driver. Depending on the factors surrounding the incident, even if the driver was operating negligently, a person may see their overall compensation reduced if they were jaywalking when the incident occurred.
Colorado operates under a modified comparative negligence system, which means that an individual could be found partially responsible for causing their own injuries. This means that their compensation will be reduced based on their percentage of fault for the incident. In fact, individuals who are found to be 50% or more responsible for causing their injuries will not be able to receive compensation at all.
Working With a Lawyer
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by the negligent actions of another driver, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney immediately. Even if you were crossing the roadway illegally, you need to work with an attorney to help ensure that you recover as much compensation as you can. Even if the insurance carrier and the at-fault driver try to place all of the blame for the incident on you, you may still be entitled to some amount of compensation for your injuries and other losses.