What Are Pedestrian Responsibilities in an Accident?

A pedestrian was recently killed in Cocoa Beach on Florida’s East Coast when he stepped in front of a truck and the truck’s driver was unable to stop in time. According to a report from Florida Today on the accident, the victim was 34 years old and stepped off the curb and directly into the path of a 2004 GMC pickup truck driven by 21-year-old motorist. The street that the pedestrian was attempting to cross, Clearlake Road, is a major thoroughfare in Cocoa Beach and the pedestrian appears to have been attempting to cross the road outside of a marked crosswalk. The pedestrian suffered critical injuries and was taken to Wuesthoff Hospital in Rockledge, an adjoining town to Cocoa Beach, where he died from his injuries The truck’s driver was unharmed. The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident to determine who was at fault and exactly how it occurred.

Pedestrian Responsibilities When Motor Vehicles Are Present under Florida Law

This situation is different than many Florida pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents because, based on the preliminary media reports, the pedestrian himself appears to have been at least partially at fault for not waiting until traffic had cleared to cross Clearlake Road. Pedestrians, just like motorists, have duties under Florida law to ensure their own safety when interacting with motor vehicles. For instance, pedestrians have a general duty under Florida law to exercise reasonable caution when crossing roads or interacting with cars and other motor vehicles. In addition, under Florida Statutes Section 316.130, pedestrians must obey all traffic laws applicable to non-vehicles. Although it is not always illegal in Florida for a pedestrian to cross a street outside of a crosswalk like in some other states, Section 316.130(10), “every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.” That statute 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” and that “Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.” Therefore, the pedestrian in the Cocoa Beach incident may have violated the law by not yielding the right of way to the truck that hit him.   Finally, however, the same statute that sets forth the duties of a pedestrian when motor vehicles are present also provides that “every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.” This means that a motor vehicle driver still has a duty to take all reasonable steps to avoid a collision involving a pedestrian even if the pedestrian is crossing the road unlawfully. Therefore, both a driver and a pedestrian could be at fault in an accident if the driver is not operating his or her vehicle with due care and the pedestrian steps in front of the vehicle without giving the driver adequate time to stop.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys of Schwed Adams & McGinley if You or a Loved One Have Been a Pedestrian Who Is Injured or Killed in a Motor Vehicle Accident in Florida

Although the pedestrian in the recent Cocoa Beach accident may have been at least partially at fault by stepping in front of the truck that hit him, it is currently unclear whether the truck driver who hit him was not also negligent in connection with the pedestrian’s death. At Schwed Adams & McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal experience and many of our firm’s cases stem from motor vehicle accidents in which our clients have suffered catastrophic injuries or have been the victim of a wrongful death. Over the many decades of experience, our attorneys have learned how to carefully sift through the facts to understand what truly happened in what is often a complicated situation, including scenarios in which our client may have been injured or killed in accidents in which one or both parties may have some fault. Therefore if you or a loved one were a pedestrian and have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, contact our experienced attorneys today at contact@schwedlaw.com or (877) 694-6079 today.

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