When a pedestrian gets in an accident with a motor vehicle or even a bicycle, the results can be catastrophic. Florida law specifies that vehicles must yield to pedestrians in certain circumstances. But pedestrians have responsibilities, too.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who understands the applicable laws. A Stuart pedestrian accident lawyer may know how the laws apply to your situation and can help you work toward a full recovery.
Duties of Drivers
In Florida, both pedestrians walking along the road and drivers operating vehicles have equal rights when it comes to the use of the roadway, and both are required to exercise reasonable care. Only when a driver is shown to be negligent can a pedestrian recover from injuries sustained in an accident.
Drivers have a duty to yield to pedestrians crossing the street in a designated crosswalk. Often, accidents occur when a driver with a green light executes a turn and hits a pedestrian lawfully crossing the street.
Both pedestrian and driver have the right to proceed when the light is in their favor, but the turning vehicle is required to yield to the pedestrian.
Duties of Pedestrians
Florida statutes set forth a number of rules for pedestrians. Among other things, Section 316.130 of the Florida code specifies that pedestrians must:
- Walk on sidewalks instead of the road if sidewalks are available
- Walk on the shoulder on the side of the road facing traffic if sidewalks are not available
- Not stand on the road to solicit rides or any other purpose
- Yield to vehicles when crossing the street at a point other than a designated crosswalk
- Not run into the path of an oncoming vehicle if there is not sufficient room for the driver to stop
- Not cross an intersection diagonally unless directed to do so by an authorized signal
If pedestrians are injured while in violation of one of these rules, they may still be entitled to recover a certain amount of damages because often the driver of the vehicle will be found to be partially responsible as well. By working with a Stuart pedestrian accident lawyer, may be able to recover damages.
Types of Damages
If the driver of the vehicle is found to be at fault in a pedestrian accident, the pedestrian may be entitled to compensation for:
- Past, present and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduction or loss of future wages
- Disability or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment
The amount of recovery a pedestrian may be awarded may be reduced if the pedestrian is found to be partial to blame for the accident. This is known as the comparative negligence rule.
For instance, if the driver is found to be 80 percent at fault for failing to yield to a pedestrian in the crosswalk and the pedestrian is determined to be 20 percent at fault for leaving the safety of the curb when it was too late for the turning driver to stop, the pedestrian’s damage award would be reduced by 20 percent in recognition of the portion of the responsibility borne by the pedestrian.
Contact a Stuart Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured as a pedestrian, your main priority is recovery. It is important to secure the services of an experienced advocate who knows how the circumstances of your case fit with the applicable law and can advise you on the best way to proceed so that you have one less thing to worry about. Contact a knowledgeable Stuart pedestrian accident lawyer today.