Determining fault in motor vehicle accidents can be complicated. The same is true when a vehicle hits a pedestrian. The best way to know whether you have a case as a pedestrian injured outside of a crosswalk is to talk to a Florida accident attorney.
There are many factors involved in determining fault. The courts will look to see if both the driver of the vehicle and the pedestrian were following the rules at the time of the accident.
Ways the Driver Could Be At-Fault
Even when a pedestrian is not in a crosswalk, drivers have a responsibility to stay alert and protect pedestrians. Think about neighborhoods where there are no sidewalks and therefore no crosswalks.
Pedestrians are still permitted to walk in the road in such neighborhoods, as long as they observe some safety precautions.
Likewise, cars must observe safety precautions on all roads. Some ways that a driver could still be at-fault for an accident even if the pedestrian is not in a crosswalk include:
- Speeding, which makes it harder for pedestrians to predict the driver’s behavior
- Failure to yield to pedestrians
- Distracted driving
- Not yielding to pedestrians on the corner at intersections
- Failing to recognize disabled pedestrians and yield to them
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Factors That Contribute to the Pedestrian’s Fault
A pedestrian can be at fault or at least partially at fault for accidents involving motor vehicles. Pedestrians have a responsibility to follow the laws. They could be at fault if they engage in carelessness or break the law.
- Crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, when a crosswalk is available
- Crossing the street inside of a crosswalk when the sign says do not walk
- Walking in the roadway when under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Wearing dark clothing that makes it hard for motorists to see you at night
- Not looking both ways before you cross the road
- Engaging in distracted walking by looking down at a mobile device instead of at the road ahead of you
- Chasing an item that went into the street without taking a moment to look before entering the roadway
What Is Negligence and Why Does It Matter?
When the courts review a personal injury case, they’ll be considering whether one or both of the parties were negligent. Here’s a look at what negligence is and its role in a personal injury lawsuit.
For there to be negligence on behalf of either party, the following characteristics must be present:
- The offender had a duty of care toward the victim.
- The offender breached that duty of care.
- The offender’s breached duty of care directly caused the victim’s injuries.
- The victim suffered harm as a result of the breached duty of care.
Without negligence, a collision could be determined to be just an accident in which both parties are equally responsible or bear no responsibility to the other. In this case, the parties might both be liable for the others damages under Florida’s comparative negligence laws, or possibly neither party would be required to pay compensation to the other.
The best way to determine if the driver that hit you as a pedestrian was negligent is to discuss the matter with a car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. The lawyer will review the circumstances surrounding the accident to determine whether the driver was negligent.
Florida’s Comparative Fault Negligence Laws
A pedestrian who gets hit in a crosswalk when obeying the signals has a pretty clear personal injury case. However, a pedestrian hit outside of a crosswalk could still get a partial settlement from the driver based on Florida’s comparative fault negligence laws.
Under Florida law, you can still pursue financial damages against the other party involved even if you are partially at fault for your injuries. Based on this law, the courts will evaluate how much of the accident you contributed to and how much the motorist contributed to. Then, the amount the other party is ordered to pay will be reduced by how much you are found at fault for.
Let’s take a look at an example to illustrate how Florida’s comparative fault negligence laws work.
Because you were outside of the crosswalk, the courts might find that you were 30 percent at fault for the accident. The total settlement amount might be set at $100,000 based on the cost of your injuries and level of pain and suffering.
Since you were partially at fault, you’ll get $70,000 from the settlement because it will be reduced by the 30 percent that you were at fault for.
Hiring a Florida Accident Attorney
After you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s best to reach out to a personal injury attorney. The attorney will guide you in understanding your rights and evaluating whether or not you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Goldman & Daszkal offers a free consultation to help you evaluate your pedestrian accident. Schedule your consultation now to discuss your case with an attorney.