When is a Pedestrian at Fault in Florida?

Florida is the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians.  More pedestrian deaths and injuries occur in Florida than just about any other state in the country.  In addition, many, if not the majority, of the most dangerous cities in the country for pedestrians also are in Florida.  It is therefore no surprise that the Sunshine State is so dangerous for pedestrians.  The danger for Florida pedestrians is often magnified if the pedestrian is not observing the state laws that were enacted in the first place to ensure their own safety.

Sometimes pedestrians can make things more dangerous for themselves by not following Florida law when interacting with motor vehicles. Pedestrian safety laws only work when pedestrians obey the law. Therefore, it is important to know the laws in Florida relating to pedestrian interactions with motor vehicles if you plan to be on the road as a pedestrian in Florida.  It will help you to ensure your own safety on Florida’s dangerous roads and understand when a pedestrian is at fault in Florida.

Florida Law for Pedestrians 

Florida has a comprehensive scheme of pedestrian safety laws meant to ensure the safety of anyone who walks along a Florida road.  According to Florida law, pedestrians must yield to vehicles that are on the road where the pedestrian does not have the right of way. This would mean that, contrary to popular belief, pedestrians do not always have the right of way to attempt to walk in or on or cross a road as they may please.  For example, Florida law mandates that pedestrians must obey all traffic signals and may cross a road only when a pedestrian light is green.  A pedestrian therefore would be at fault if he or she ignores a Don’t Walk signal and crosses a road when oncoming traffic has a green light.  In addition, Florida law also provides that every pedestrian who is crossing a roadway at any point other than within a crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the road.  Florida law also provides that, if there is a sidewalk along the road, then the pedestrian is required to walk on the sidewalk.

However, despite all these rules that create obligations on the part of pedestrians on Florida roads, state law also provides that “every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.”  This means that, even if a pedestrian may be violating Florida law in not following the law in some manner as mandated above, motorists are still required to do everything they can to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.  This catch-all provision requiring that drivers do everything they can to avoid a collision is important given that drivers rather than pedestrians are in a better place to prevent a collision even if the pedestrian may be in the wrong.

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A.

Pedestrian accidents in Florida occur with dangerous regularity; the state has consistently been rated the most dangerous in the country for pedestrians. Often a pedestrian may be doing nothing wrong and is obeying the law, following all applicable traffic signals and walking in designated crosswalks, when a motorist operating his or her vehicle negligently hits the pedestrian.  In other instances, the situation may not be so clear-cut; perhaps both the pedestrian and the motorist may both be at fault.  At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal practice representing victims of pedestrian accidents and other types of motor vehicle accidents in Florida. If you are a pedestrian who has been injured due to the negligence of a Florida motorist, you have the right under Florida law to receive compensation for your injuries, including the payment for any medical treatment you need to undergo as a result of those injuries, compensation for your pain and suffering as a result of those injuries, and other damages. Therefore, if you, a family member, or a loved one have been injured or killed by a motor vehicle while walking on a Florida road, regardless of whether you may be at fault in connection with the situation or not, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.