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In a car-pedestrian accident, can the pedestrian be blamed?

In a slow-speed collision between two cars, the damage may be minor. There might be some scraped paint or a bent fender, and personal injuries would be unlikely. However, when a car collides with a pedestrian—even at slow speeds—the consequences for the pedestrian can be disastrous.

In such cases, it can be tempting to view the injured pedestrian as the victim—and the driver as the at-fault party. However, this is not necessarily the case. It’s worth understanding the traffic laws in Florida that help to determine fault in such accidents.

Driver traffic rules

At any marked or unmarked crosswalk—at an intersection or otherwise—a driver must stop for a pedestrian if the pedestrian has a walk signal and:

  • Is in the crosswalk on the same half of the road as the driver or
  • Enters the crosswalk from the opposite side of the road and approaches the driver closely enough that driving through the crosswalk would endanger the pedestrian.

In addition, it is unlawful for a driver to pass another vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian.

Pedestrian traffic rules

Under Florida law, pedestrians must follow all traffic signals. They must yield to motor vehicles if crossing a road where there is no crosswalk—marked or unmarked.

A pedestrian may not:

  • Jaywalk or cross against a traffic light,
  • Walk in the road where there is a usable sidewalk,
  • Walk on a bridge, railroad or limited access facility,
  • Stand in the road for the purpose of hitchhiking, advertising or soliciting any business,
  • Suddenly enter the road in front of a moving vehicle where the driver would not have sufficient time to yield or
  • Cross the street outside of a marked crosswalk when the pedestrian is between two adjacent intersections that each have functioning traffic controls.

If a pedestrian is guilty of any of the above infractions, they could be deemed partially or completely at fault in causing the accident.

Determining fault in a car-pedestrian accident can be complicated. It’s important to enlist the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can build a strong case on your behalf.

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