September 7, 2016

What happens if you hit a pedestrian jaywalking?

A pedestrian accident occurs when a pedestrian, someone walking, is hit by a car. When this occurs, pedestrian accidents are treated much like car accidents are handled. In Florida, these situations are handled by comparative law. This means that both the pedestrian and the driver are held financially liable for their amount of fault in the situation. However, this is hardly ever as clear-cut as it might seem. So what happens if you hit a pedestrian jaywalking?

When the driver is liable

In these cases, the driver is usually handed a generous portion of the total liability; the driver is in thousands of pounds of armor, while the pedestrian just has their skin and bones to protect them. Therefore, the driver is more or less “in charge” of a pedestrian accident’s liability.

If the driver is found to be speeding, driving under the influence, or breaking other distracted driving laws of any kind, they will absolutely receive a sizable portion of the liability based on those laws alone. Laws are put in place for a reason, and if you find yourself asking the law for forgiveness for being involved in a pedestrian accident, the law will point out any ways in which you were found to be breaking it.

And, more often than not, it’s going to be difficult for the driver to convince an insurance company or a judge to take all the fault off of them for that very reason. While the pedestrian may likely be liable for a percentage of the blame, the driver should be prepared to shoulder most of the liability.

When the pedestrian is liable

But of course, a pedestrian is obligated to follow their rules of the road, as well. They may not have as many, but they do have some. For example, Florida Statute 316.130 explains how pedestrians are to utilize a crosswalk. Generally speaking, a pedestrian is obligated to yield to vehicles in all situations except for marked and unmarked crosswalks. In other words, crosswalks are a pedestrian’s domain. If a pedestrian crosses a crosswalk while a sign says to stop, however, any vehicles have the right-of-way, and the pedestrian is jaywalking. The pedestrian isn’t going to be thrown in jail for doing so, but they will be punished with liability if a car hits them.

Yes, crossing a crosswalk with a stop sign in place will assign liability to a pedestrian. Just like breaking driving laws will prove a driver to be more liable for a pedestrian accident under comparative law, breaking crosswalk laws will put the pedestrian in deeper trouble.

Therefore, it is of paramount importance that everyone on the road is aware of their surroundings – even pedestrians! Most pedestrian accidents can be easily avoided by simply following the law and paying attention to those around us.

If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, seek medical attention immediately.  Contact legal counsel as soon as possible.  This will allow you protection if you end up with medical expenses or time off of work.  At Corless Barfield, we can help you protect yourself after a pedestrian accident.  If you aren’t sure what to do, we can help you take the correct steps to figure out the best course of action. Contact us for a free consultation.

You may also be interested in:

Florida’s Ban on Texting While Driving
15 Defensive Driving Examples
Canceled Car Insurance Due to Nonpayment
6 Safe Driving Habits You Should Employ
Pedestrian Hit by a Car – Which Insurance Do You Claim?
Diagnosing Neck Pain After a Car Accident
I Rear-Ended Someone – Is It My Fault?