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If you’ve been harmed in an accident due to another’s negligence, then Florida law entitles you to sue the defendant and obtain compensation for your losses.
Unmarked and Marked Crosswalks
In Florida, as in many other jurisdictions, the fact that a crosswalk is “unmarked” (i.e., lacks paint, signage, lights, or other markings indicating the presence of a crosswalk) is irrelevant for the purpose of right-of-way. Pedestrians at unmarked crosswalks have the same rights as pedestrians moving through marked crosswalks.
An unmarked crosswalk occurs at any intersection in which there are two sidewalks on opposite sides of the street. If you cross in the middle of the street, for example, and not at the intersection, then you would not be going along the unmarked crosswalk, and as such would not be subject to normal “right-of-way” protections.
Right of Way
Pedestrians have the right-of-way when legally moving along a crosswalk (marked or unmarked) — of course, if a traffic signal indicates that the pedestrian must wait to cross, then they do not have right-of-way until the signal changes.
Injuries sustained while the pedestrian has right-of-way may give rise to liability. For example, if a car doesn’t stop before an intersection (even though they have a red light) and hits you while you're passing through the crosswalk, then you would arguably have an actionable lawsuit against the driver for damages.
But what happens when you do not have the right-of-way?
Suppose that you are injured while passing through a crosswalk, but the traffic signal actually is green for drivers, and you have a “no walk” signal. In other words, you do not have the right-of-way. Under those circumstances, you might still be able to secure damages depending on how the accident played out.
Though you were clearly contributorily negligent (you should not have been walking through the crosswalk without right-of-way), one could argue that the driver should have noticed that you were passing through. Just because they have the right-of-way does not mean they can be distracted and does not mean that they can simply drive through the crosswalk without concern as to your safety. They still have to take reasonable steps to avoid hitting you, even if you are acting negligently.
So, the driver may still be found partially negligent if they collide with you when you do not have the right-of-way.
Florida imposes pure comparative fault rules — this means that injured persons may recover damages even if they are 99 percent at fault for their own injuries. If you are found 60 percent at fault, and the driver is found 40 percent at fault, for example, and you suffer $100,000 in injuries, then you could still recover $40,000 in a crosswalk injury lawsuit. As such, it’s critical that you consult an attorney after being injured in a crosswalk, even if you did not have the right of way.
Contact a Crestview Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Powell Law Firm is a Florida-based personal injury firm that was founded nearly seven decades ago. Our team is — and has been — deeply committed to our clients, helping them to navigate the challenges of litigation and recover the damages they deserve. We have in-depth experience in a variety of personal injury areas, from premises liability issues to motorcycle accidents and more.
In our decades of practice, we have gained a reputation as detail-oriented, relentless advocates. This approach gives our clients a significant advantage. In many cases, we find that we have the leverage to push for an early settlement, resolving the matter favorably before it develops into a long and arduous dispute.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced Crestview personal injury lawyer at our firm, then call us at 850-682-2757 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.