According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, in 2021, there were 899 pedestrian fatalities in Florida, an increase of more than 25% from 2020. Florida made up 12% of all the pedestrian fatalities in the United States. Florida is ranked as among the most dangerous states in the US for walking.
Road designs, population growth, and distracted driving are to blame. As you navigate the streets and the sidewalks of Florida, you are at risk of injury.
Unfortunately, despite the high prevalence of pedestrian accidents in Florida, many people are unaware of what to do after the accident. A pedestrian accident can be very devastating. If you or your loved one gets injured, it can cause a physical, emotional, and financial burden. You should get help immediately. But, what do Florida Pedestrian Accident Laws stipulate? Here is everything you should know about Florida Pedestrian Accident Laws:
Who is a Pedestrian?
According to Florida law, a pedestrian is “any person afoot.” This includes people walking or running on the streets and those on skateboards, wheelchairs, or roller skates. As per the law, if you are on a bicycle, you are treated as a motorist. However, if you are walking on the street while pushing your bike, you are considered a pedestrian.
Steps to take after a Pedestrian Accident
When a pedestrian accident occurs, the pedestrian is likely to be more injured since the motorist is better protected in their car. As a pedestrian, you must stay and assess your body for any injuries. If you sustain serious injuries, don’t move. This could cause more injuries. Call 911 for an immediate medical response.
If you are relatively unhurt, exchange information with the driver. Get their contact address and insurance information. Call the police and as you wait for them, seek help from a pedestrian accident lawyer. The lawyer will advise you on what to say and not say to the police. The lawyer will also take up the legal matter on your behalf.
Florida Right-of-Way Laws
According to the Florida right of way, pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks. The driver is at fault if a car hits you when using the crosswalk. When crossing the road at a place without a crosswalk, you should yield the right-of-way to the vehicle.
However, the driver is also responsible for avoiding pedestrians they are aware of. If hit by a car while traversing a road, the vehicle that hit you could be entirely or partially at fault, and Moreso if they were aware of you.
Florida Law on Hitting a Pedestrian
The Florida car accident laws stipulate that if a driver hits a pedestrian, they should be liable for all the damages to the pedestrian. But, ‘comparative negligence is used to determine the fault. Both parties account for liabilities. For instance, under this law, it could be established that the driver was at 60% fault while the pedestrian was at 40%.
This means if you, as a pedestrian, are suing for $80,000 and you are at 40% fault, you will only get 60 % of your claim, which is $48,000.
However, determining comparative negligence can be difficult, especially when you are dealing with an insurance company. They might want to avoid paying for the accident. Therefore, it will be best if you get help from a pedestrian accident lawyer to protect your rights.
A top pedestrian lawyer is more experienced in handling such cases as per the laws in the state. Through their experience, they will do everything possible to ensure that you are compensated fairly for your pain, suffering, and losses due to the accident.
Steps You Should Take to Avoid Pedestrian Accidents
The Florida pedestrians’ laws stipulate how pedestrians should behave in traffic situations. The regulations reduce the likelihood of pedestrian accidents and make the road safer for use. As a pedestrian, you should obey the traffic signals and follow them.
Avoid walking on the roadway and instead use the sidewalks. If the road has no sidewalks, walk on the shoulder or the edge of the road on the left side while facing the incoming traffic.
Avoid moving in front of a moving car because the car driver may not have the reaction time to stop. Always give the right of way to vehicles unless you are crossing a marked or a marked or unmarked crossing. Also, avoid walking on a road or ramp in a limited-access facility.
Unfortunately, many pedestrians are at risk of accidents in Florida. As a pedestrian, it is imperative that you follow the set guidelines when using the road.
If unfortunately, you get involved in a pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to get the help of a pedestrian accident lawyer. The lawyer will handle your case from the beginning to ensure that your rights are protected and you get fair compensation for your pain, injuries, and damages.