Who’s at Fault for a Pedestrian Accident When Crossing Outside of a Crosswalk Marking in Florida?
While most people presume that car drivers are to blame for all pedestrian accidents, there are cases when pedestrians can be partially or even fully at fault for the collision. Who is at fault when a vehicle hits a pedestrian who is crossing not in a crosswalk or at an intersection? How’s liability determined in accidents that involve pedestrians crossing outside of a crosswalk marking in Florida?
Pedestrian Accidents When Crossing a Road Not in a Crosswalk or Intersection
A large percentage of pedestrian accidents occur when a pedestrian is crossing a road illegally. Most recently, two such accidents happened in Orange County in the span of two days. As reported by WFTV, a woman was killed after being struck by a vehicle on State Road 50 in Winter Garden.
The woman and another person were crossing in an area with no crosswalk on West Colonial Drive when the collision occurred. The woman died at the scene. Two days after, a woman was killed after being struck by a vehicle on Sand Lake Road. According to WKMG-TV, she was not in a crosswalk or at an intersection when the collision occurred.
Traffic Rules for Pedestrians in Florida
In Florida, pedestrians must follow six basic rules when crossing the street:
- Pedestrians cannot walk on paved roads when sidewalks are available.
- When sidewalks are not available, pedestrians must use the left shoulder of the road and face traffic.
- Pedestrians are not allowed to step off a curb into the path of traffic.
- When crossing the road anywhere other than a marked crosswalk or intersection, pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to traffic.
- When crossing the road, pedestrians must do so at a right angle from the curb.
- Pedestrians are not allowed to cross intersections diagonally unless traffic control devices direct otherwise.
Who’s at Fault for an Accident if a Pedestrian is Crossing Outside of a Crosswalk Marking?
While pedestrians are required to follow the traffic rules mentioned above, motorists have a duty to exercise due care to “avoid colliding with any pedestrian,” according to the Florida Statutes Section 316.130.
Under the statute, car drivers are also legally required to give warning “when necessary,” and be vigilant to avoid colliding with children or “obviously confused or incapacitated person.” In other words, even if a pedestrian is crossing the street outside of a crosswalk marking or fails to follow other traffic rules, the driver who hits them may be deemed at fault for the collision.
In other words, a driver always has a duty to take appropriate precautions to avoid causing harm to pedestrians (by slowing down, slamming on the brakes, honking, etc.), even when the pedestrian is jaywalking or crossing illegally.
If the injured pedestrian can prove that you could have prevented the crash, you may be held partially or even fully at fault for the collision under Florida’s comparative negligence statute. The doctrine of comparative negligence will reduce your amount of compensation by the percentage of your fault.
However, it is advised to contact a Lakeland car accident attorney to determine liability in your particular case. Speak with our attorney at The Turnbull Firm to receive a consultation about your case. Call at 863-324-3500 today.