Pedestrians face some of the gravest dangers on the road, since they have
no protection and can easily be overlooked by drivers. In 2012, the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that there were more than
4,700 pedestrian death and 76,000 injuries. Those who walk, jog, hike,
or run along roads are considered pedestrians. While it is true that pedestrians
typically have the right of way, that doesn’t mean they may not
be held liable for their accident.
Can a Pedestrian Be Liable for Their Own Injuries?
Like any accident,
pedestrian accidents can be complicated. At first glance, it may appear that the driver of
a vehicle is the one to blame for the accident. Often, the true liability
of these cases comes down to the right of way. A pedestrian may be liable
for their accident when they do not have the right of way.
Understanding Right of Way
It is a commonly held misconception that pedestrians always have the right
of way, no matter what. While they generally do, there are certain situations
in which a pedestrian doesn’t have the right of way. Some of these
- When the pedestrian jaywalks or crosses the street outside of a marked
- When a pedestrian crosses against a traffic signal.
- When a pedestrian is walking in an area where pedestrians are forbidden.
- When a pedestrian jumps out into the street suddenly.
Who Is At Fault for a Pedestrian Accident?
Since pedestrians can potentially be at fault, or partially at fault, for
an accident, it is important to examine the facts of an accident to determine
who contributed to the accident. If a driver hits a pedestrian who has
the legal right of way, it is likely that the driver will be at fault.
If the pedestrian acts in a way that makes it impossible for a driver
who is driving in a reasonably cautious manner to avoid an accident, they
can be held liable for the accident. Pedestrians may also be held liable
for other accidents caused due to their actions, such as a driver swerving
into oncoming traffic to avoid a pedestrian.
Pedestrians may also be held liable when they proceed, despite not having
the right of way. Like an auto accident, pedestrians are expected to follow
traffic laws and yield to cars when they do not have the right of way.
When a pedestrian fails to do so and is injured as a result, the driver
may be found to only be partially liable or not at fault for the accident.
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that both parties
can be held liable to some amount for the accident, but the claimant may
still recover damages. Even if the pedestrian is found to be partially
at fault for their accident, they still can recover some of the compensation
they are owed. The amount they receive, however, will be reduced in proportion
to the amount of fault they are assigned.
For instance, if a pedestrian is found to be 25% at fault for their accident,
they can only collect 75% of the value of their claim. Unlike other states,
Florida doesn’t have a limit on the percentage of fault you can
be assigned before you are unable to recover compensation. This means
that you still may be able to recover a small amount, even if you were
mostly at fault.
Injured? Call Our Dunedin Personal Injury Attorney Now – (727) 270-8260
After an injury, it can be stressful and confusing to file your insurance
claim and fight for the compensation you need. At the
Paulsen Law Group, our team can help you navigate the twists and turns of your claim and
ensure that you recover your damages. With more than 15 years of experience
in personal injury law, our Dunedin
personal injury lawyer has the proven skills and knowledge to effectively advocate for you.
Schedule a free consultation to begin your case.
Contact us online or call (727) 270-8260.