I Wasn’t in The Crosswalk; Do I Have a Case?
On Behalf of Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa | October 24, 2022 | Pedestrian Accidents
In Florida, pedestrians have the right-of-way when crossing streets at intersections. But even at intersections, pedestrians must still pay attention to their whereabouts. This means observing all traffic signals and checking for motor vehicles before entering the road, particularly for oncoming traffic.
If a pedestrian tries to cross a street - but is not in a crosswalk - and gets hit by a car, it may seem that they will not be eligible to pursue compensation for their injury because they were outside the crosswalk. But this isn’t necessarily true.
Shared Fault in Pedestrian vs. Car Accidents
Like all motorists, pedestrians also have legal duties and laws they must follow. If they fail to abide by these laws, they may be held liable for an accident even if a vehicle hit them and they were injured. This means that if you walk outside of the crosswalk and a vehicle hits you, you may be deemed partly responsible for the accident.
But it is also crucial to keep in mind that the facts of each accident vary greatly, which means that establishing liability will be different from one case to the next. So even if you were not in a crosswalk when a vehicle hit you, depending on the situation, the driver may also be at fault for the accident. For example, the driver may have been distracted or intentionally breaking a traffic law when they hit you.
In this case, if the driver had been focused on driving and wasn’t distracted at the time of the accident, they may have stopped in time to prevent the accident. This also means that the pedestrian and driver may bear fault and liability for the accident based on comparative fault laws.
If you apply the comparative fault laws, even if injured pedestrians contributed to the crash, they may still be eligible to recover damages for their injuries. But the amount they may recover will be reduced to their percentage of fault for the accident.
When Negligent Drivers Are At Fault for Pedestrian Accidents
While all pedestrians must follow all the traffic signals and rules, motor vehicle drivers also have a legal responsibility to act reasonably when on the road. They must always be attentive when driving and be aware of other road users, including pedestrians who are crossing the road. Otherwise, they will be found automatically at fault for an accident because of negligent driving behaviors, such as:
- Driving while drugged or drunk
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Distracted driving
- Failure to stop for pedestrians walking in crossing areas or crosswalks
- Failure to yield to pedestrians in areas and traffic situations where pedestrians always have the right-of-way
If the driver that hit was driving negligently when the accident occurred, you have a right to bring a legal claim for your damages.
Connect with a Skilled West Palm Beach Pedestrian Accident Attorney Now
If you were hurt as a pedestrian while crossing the road outside of the crosswalk, please reach out to Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa for legal guidance. Our West Palm Beach pedestrian accident attorney can evaluate your case and figure out if you have a solid claim for compensation. Dial 561-478-2500 or send an online message to set up your free consultation.