According to the Florida Pedestrian Law Enforcement Guide, “many of Florida’s streets and roads were laid out when there was little expectation of future pedestrian use.” The result is that it can be difficult to cross many of the roads. The challenges are particularly acute in Orlando, with its very wide streets and heavy vehicular traffic.
Both pedestrians and drivers have their own rules of the road in Florida. If a driver was to blame for a pedestrian accident, the injured may be entitled to significant financial compensation. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact us at JustCallMoe to discuss your possible legal case. Our Orlando pedestrian accident attorneys are standing by.
Both Pedestrians and Drivers Must Follow Laws
Seven of the ten urban areas that have the highest pedestrian fatality rates are located in Florida. The problem is getting worse, as pedestrian accident fatalities in general have skyrocketed across the country.
While pedestrians have rights under Florida law, they also have their obligations to follow. The laws try to balance a pedestrian’s safety with that of a driver, recognizing that a pedestrian may also cause an accident.
Florida law operates under the principle that both drivers and pedestrians must exercise due care when they are exercising their own rights, and no right is absolute.
Different Types of Crosswalks in Florida
In Florida, there are two types of crosswalks:
- A marked crosswalk has lines that indicate where pedestrians should walk, and they signify to motorists that they need to stop.
- An unmarked crosswalk does not have lines. It is located at an intersection which would be a logical extension of the sidewalk.
Pedestrian Requirements Under Florida Law
Here are some laws that pedestrians must follow:
- Pedestrians must obey traffic control devices that are specifically applicable to pedestrians.
- At intersections, pedestrians also have red and green lights that they must follow unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
- When there are sidewalks, pedestrians must walk on them, and they cannot walk in the area for vehicular traffic. If there are no sidewalks, the pedestrian shall, when practicable, walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel.
- They should be facing traffic when walking on the roadway
When pedestrians are crossing the street, they should do so at a crosswalk, especially when it is required by law. However, pedestrians may cross at mid-block locations. While it is dangerous to do so, the pedestrian may have no other choice. If a pedestrian is crossing outside of a crosswalk, they are the one who must yield to the driver.
Pedestrians have been fined for crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, when it is required. Florida police issue thousands of tickets each year. However, studies have shown that the officers do not always understand the law.
Drivers Must Also Respect Pedestrian Safety
If a pedestrian is inside the crosswalk, the driver has the obligation to yield the right of way if the pedestrian is legally crossing. Here, lawful means that the pedestrian began crossing when it was legal for them to do so. The driver must remain stopped as long as the pedestrian is on their half of the roadway.
The obligation to stop is the same, regardless of whether there is a traffic control signal or not. The driver must even stop if the pedestrian is in the other half of the roadway, if they are so close to the driver’s half that the pedestrian may be in danger.
Florida has very steep fines for drivers who fail to yield at a crosswalk. They can be fined up to $500, and they can receive points on their license. If a police officer gives a driver a citation, and the driver is guilty of a pedestrian law offense, it can help a pedestrian prove negligence. In personal injury law, there is a concept called negligence per se, which means that a person is considered negligent when they commit an act that violates a statute.
The Insurance Company Often Tries to Blame Pedestrians for Their Injuries
Florida’s pedestrian laws are crucial because the insurance company often likes to try to blame the pedestrian for their own injuries. Under Florida’ new personal injury laws, the insurance company may be able to get out of paying damages if the pedestrian was more than 50% to blame for the accident. The insurance company tries to spread the blame because they know that it could save them money. Therefore, it is crucial that you have an attorney to defend you from any allegations that you were not following the law.
Your Damages in a Pedestrian Accident
If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, chances are that there are significant injuries involved. If you can prove that the driver was to blame for the accident, you may be eligible for the following types of compensation:
- The complete cost of your medical care
- Lost wages for time missed from work (or for the rest of your career, depending on the severity of your injuries)
- Pain and suffering for the physical and mental ordeal of a pedestrian accident
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress, including PTSD
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
Your lawyer may negotiate a settlement agreement with the driver’s insurance company that pays you for your damages. Alternatively, a jury could decide how much you get after finding the driver liable for your accident injuries.
Contact an Orlando Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
It is crucial that you get all the compensation that you can, and that you deserve, after a pedestrian accident. You will need the money for your care and to compensate you for other costs and harm related to the accident.
Contact JustCallMoe to begin the legal process that could lead to financial compensation after a pedestrian accident. You can speak to a lawyer during a free consultation. Call us today at 1-866-CALL-MOE or message us online to discuss your case. We do not ask you to pay us anything upfront, and we do not get paid at all unless you win.