Can a Pedestrian be At-Fault for a Car Accident?

man running across a crosswalk

According to data from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), over 8,110 pedestrian accidents were reported in 2020, resulting in 715 pedestrian fatalities. More specifically, 176 pedestrians were struck in Leon County.

Debunking Pedestrian’s “Right of Way”

Whenever a pedestrian is struck by an oncoming vehicle, the driver is the one at fault in many cases. However, there is a common misconception that pedestrians always have the right of way and that drivers are at-fault in all pedestrian accidents. While operating an automobile comes with the increased responsibility of vigilance, there are instances where a pedestrian can actually be liable in an accident:

  • Not Using a Crosswalk - A person crosses the road in an area not designated for pedestrians, otherwise known as jaywalking.
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Signal - A pedestrian crosses the road too early or too late, neglecting to follow the pedestrian crossing lights.
  • Walking on Highway - A person walks down a “limited access facility” prohibited for pedestrians. There are exceptions for maintenance workers.
  • Darting into the Road - A pedestrian runs into the middle of a street, leaving the driver with insufficient time to safely come to a stop.

Pure Comparative Negligence

Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that if a person is injured in an accident, their compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to them. For example, suppose a pedestrian is found 50 percent at fault for running out into the middle of the road, and the driver is found at fault for the remaining 50 percent due to speeding or distracted driving. In this case, the pedestrian will only be able to collect half of the damages awarded to them.

Tallahassee Car Accident Attorney

At Shapiro Law Firm, P.A., we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that car accidents can take on victims and their families. If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, we can help. Our experienced personal injury attorney will fight for the compensation you deserve. We have a proven track record of success in car accident cases, and we will put our knowledge and resources to work for you.

Call us today at (850) 629-7226 or fill out our form online for a free initial consultation.

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