Pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles typically suffer severe injuries, and tragically, many of these accidents result in death. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation that surrounds these accidents, particularly as to whether the pedestrian was at fault. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the best thing you can do is speak with a Crestview personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can review your case and help you understand your rights.
Understanding Florida’s Pedestrian Laws
Many people are surprised to learn that there are laws on the books that govern what pedestrians can and can’t do. For example:
- Pedestrians are required to use the sidewalk when a sidewalk is available. If not, you must walk on the left side shoulder, facing traffic.
- Pedestrians must cross at the crosswalk when there are lighted traffic signals. When there are no traffic signals, the pedestrian may cross.
- Pedestrians must use crosswalks with lighted “walk/don’t walk” signals and must obey the signal unless directed by a police officer.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no law against “jaywalking.” Florida law gives pedestrians the right of way when legally crossing at a crosswalk or intersection, and even when walking on the shoulder when no sidewalks are available. On the other hand, motor vehicles have the right of way when already passing through an intersection or crosswalk or when driving in the travel lanes of the roadway.
This is just an overview - Florida’s pedestrian laws can be more complex than they appear. Drivers also have a duty to use due care to avoid an accident, even when a pedestrian is crossing the road illegally. As a result, you should discuss your case with a Crestview personal injury lawyer before deciding whether or not to pursue a claim.
You May Have a Claim Even if You Were Crossing the Road Illegally
As mentioned above, Florida drivers have a duty to make a reasonable effort to avoid accidents with other people on the road including pedestrians. If a reasonably prudent person could have avoided the accident, then the driver may be liable for your injuries and other losses.
Florida follows the pure comparative negligence rule which allows injured people to recover compensation even if their own negligence contributed to the accident. This can be critical for people who may have been crossing the road illegally or in violation of some other pedestrian law.
Under the pure comparative negligence rule, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault that your negligence contributed to the accident. If this may be an issue in your case, it is vital that you work with a Crestview personal injury lawyer. If it is proven that your negligence contributed to the accident, they can make sure that it is given the appropriate consideration so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Talk to a Crestview Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, we can help you rebuild your life. Contact us today at 850-682-2757 to schedule a free consultation with a Crestview personal injury lawyer or with someone at our Fort Walton, Defuniak Springs, Destin, or Niceville offices.