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What If You Hit Someone Who's Jaywalking?


According to Florida law, an accident involving an individual being hit by a car will be reviewed by law enforcement, insurance adjusters, investigators, and attorneys against these laws. While there are many instances where drivers of motor vehicles are at fault for collisions involving pedestrians, there are some circumstances where the pedestrians share some level of fault—especially when it comes to jaywalking.

Driver’s & Pedestrian’s Duty of Care

Not all pedestrian accidents are caused by drivers of motor vehicles, especially when it comes to jaywalking. As a general rule of law, both people walking along the street and those driving vehicles along the street must exercise a “duty of care” concerning the safety of others.

If a motorist sees a pedestrian crossing an intersection illegally or against the light, that driver still needs to take steps to avoid hitting the pedestrian—despite the fact that the driver has the right of way. However, the pedestrian must prove that the motorist should have been able to react and stop in time to avoid the collision, which can be quite difficult to prove when it comes to jaywalking. Pedestrians are often found negligent and not the driver, who could not see the jaywalker in enough time to take evasive action.

The following are pedestrian laws in Florida:

  • Obey traffic lights, stop signs, and street markings (unless law enforcement directs you to do otherwise)
  • Use available sidewalks
  • If there is no sidewalk, you may walk on the shoulder of the road—on its left side facing traffic

Pedestrians who are hit by a vehicle and are shown to have violated pedestrian safety statues will have a more difficult time being successful in their personal injury case for damages against the driver who struck them.

For more information, contact our Dunedin personal injury attorney at Paulsen Law Group today.

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