Pedestrian Accidents in Florida
Common types of motor vehicle accidents in Florida are accidents involving pedestrians. Florida is consistently shown to be one of the most dangerous states in the nation for pedestrians. This is particularly true in the urban areas including South Florida with its high population of senior citizens, snowbirds and tourists. Under Florida law, motorists are required to take particular care when pedestrians are present to avoid colliding with a pedestrian. However, pedestrians also have a corresponding duty under Florida law to maintain care when crossing the road or walking on Florida’s roadways. A common myth is that the driver is always considered at fault legally when an accident with a pedestrian occurs. If the pedestrian is not exercising caution in crossing the street or crosses an intersection against a signal, the pedestrian can be held completely or at least partially at fault for causing an accident under Florida law. On the other hand, a motorist who injures a pedestrian in an accident can be held liable for any injuries, which the pedestrian suffers in an accident if the motorist does not follow Florida law.
Florida Law Regarding a Motorist’s Duty Where Pedestrians Are Present
As a general rule, motor vehicles in Florida have a heightened duty to avoid collisions with pedestrians. According to Florida Statutes Section 316.130(15), “Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and give warning when necessary and exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person.” Pursuant to this law, when encountering a traffic light that is red, drivers are required to stop before reaching the crosswalk. In the absence of a crosswalk at an intersection, drivers must stop before reaching the intersection. If there is a crosswalk, drivers must allow the pedestrian, who has the signal to walk, to cross the street. While drivers of motor vehicles have a duty to employ extra caution when encountering pedestrians, that duty is not absolute.
Florida Law Regarding a Pedestrian’s Duty When Interacting with Motor Vehicles
Pedestrians, just like operators of motor vehicles, have certain duties under Florida law. For instance, pedestrians have a general duty under Florida law to exercise reasonable caution when crossing roads or interacting with motor vehicles. In addition, under Florida Statutes Section 316.130, pedestrians have a specified list of laws they must obey. First, pedestrians must obey all laws applicable to non-vehicles. For example, a pedestrian is required to obey any traffic device, which is specifically applicable to the pedestrian unless otherwise directed by a police officer. Pedestrians are also required to obey any traffic control signals at all intersections. Where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian is permitted walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic. In addition, Florida law also provides that “No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.” Therefore, pedestrians are not without their own duties under Florida law when it comes to their interactions with motor vehicles in the state.
Regardless of Fault, a Pedestrian Accident Rarely Has a Great Outcome
As can be shown from the discussion of Florida law relating to pedestrians, pedestrian accidents can often present complicated factual and legal scenarios. While a driver is not always at fault in situations involving pedestrian accidents, the outcome is rarely a good one for the pedestrian. Both the driver and the pedestrian should be cautious when entering a high traffic urban area.
Contact Schwed, Adams, Sobol & McGinley if You Have Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident Involving a Motor Vehicle
Pedestrians in Florida are often injured by motor vehicles whose drivers are acting carelessly or negligently. If you are a pedestrian who has been injured in an accident with a motor vehicle in Florida, contact the experienced lawyers of Schwed, Adams, Sobel & McGinley today at (877) 694-6079 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our firm has extensive experience in representing personal injury victims, including victims of pedestrian accidents who were injured by a motorist who was not paying attention while driving or refused to lawfully yield to a pedestrian who was attempting to cross the road in a designated crosswalk or otherwise obeying the law. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your rights under Florida law and your particular situation if you were involved in a pedestrian accident in Florida.
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