Traffic accidents in which a car collides with a pedestrian often cause severe or even fatal injuries but does this mean that all motor vehicle drivers are liable for damages? This an argument being had around the nation but especially in heavily congested areas like Fort Lauderdale and Miami where pedestrians can outnumber vehicles at any given intersection.
Drivers have the responsibility to operate their vehicles in a safe and reasonable manner that keeps pedestrians and fellow commuters out of danger. However, pedestrians aren’t blame free. Florida has a set of laws that all pedestrians must abide by and violating one of these provisions can easily result in an individual being denied compensation in a pedestrian accident.
Florida Laws Governing Pedestrians
Florida law defines a pedestrian as anyone traveling on foot for transportation or leisure. This doesn’t include cyclists, who are considered to be another category of road user. While driving, motorists have a responsibility to be on the lookout for pedestrians to avoid an accident. Pedestrians, on the other hand, have their own set of various responsibilities.
These include obeying all signals at intersections, walking on the sidewalk if one is available, not running into the path of a moving vehicle, and yielding to cars when crossing a street outside of a crosswalk. These laws are in place to protect pedestrians, but those who ignore these laws leave themselves open to being injured in a damaging collision with a motor vehicle.
Determining Fault in an Accident
When a traffic accident happens, insurance adjusters will attempt to establish which party is at fault. A motorist might be found to be at fault if they were distracted or driving in an unsafe manner. On the other hand, if a pedestrian wasn’t following rules of the road applicable to pedestrians, they may be found to be responsible for the accident. If a vehicle and your negligence hit you isn’t greater than the driver’s, comparative fault principles state that you may be eligible to receive compensation.
What Is Comparative Fault?
There are cases in which both the driver and pedestrian are partly to blame for an accident. Should this happen, the pedestrian will be entitled to compensation; however, the amount will be reduced by a percentage related to their degree of fault. For example, if an accident resulted in $100,000 in damages and the pedestrian was found 20 percent at fault, they will only be awarded $80,000.
For a pedestrian to recover damages as a result of an accident, they’ll have to show that their injuries were caused by a driver that breached their duty of care.
What to Do If Injured in a Pedestrian Accident
No matter if you were the driver or pedestrian in a pedestrian accident, you have rights that need to be protected. The Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyers at Salpeter Gitkin, LLP are seasoned personal injury attorneys .with experience taking on insurance companies to get an accurate settlement for our clients. Bring your case to us for us to analyze, explore possible avenues of compensation, and protect your best interests throughout the claims process. Contact us today at (954) 467-8622 for a free case evaluation.