Being a pedestrian involved in an accident can be life changing, and it’s often hard to know what to do afterwards and who is at fault. Florida can be a dangerous place for pedestrians, especially in the cities, so you should always be as road-aware as you can. Sometimes however, accidents are unavoidable. This leads to the question, when is the driver (or indeed the pedestrian) at fault?
A common misconception is that the driver is always liable if a pedestrian is injured, when actually that’s not always the case. If a pedestrian is not being careful or exercising the correct amount of care and attention, they can be held fully or partially responsible for the accident (for example if they choose to cross without paying attention to the signal). Laws state that pedestrians must comply with traffic signals, exercise caution, and walk on sidewalks if available. That being said if a driver is not complying with Florida traffic laws, they will of course be liable for any injuries caused to a pedestrian. A motorist has a strong duty of care to ensure they do not cause accidents to pedestrians or other drivers, and if they do not comply they can likely be seen as at fault.
Both drivers and pedestrians have certain duties required of them under Florida law. These are in place to protect both parties, but traffic accidents are rarely black and white and it can be difficult to prove who is at fault. If a pedestrian manages to prove they were complying with the law (correctly using a crosswalk for example) then the driver may be found to be negligent and is therefore liable – at least in part – for the damages they’ve caused. It’s important, if you as a pedestrian are injured, to take photographic evidence of not just your injuries but also the car and the accident scene to help your case. Comparative fault may reduce the amount of damages you receive, so discuss this issue with your legal representation.
Traffic accident cases can be extremely complicated, so it’s integral to ensure you find representation that specializes in this area to ensure your claim is successful. Contact the expert team at Franco Firm for advice on how to proceed.