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Proving Pedestrian Claims


Maybe you, like us, grew up hearing that familiar phrase – “pedestrians have the right of way.” Well that’s not completely true. Pedestrians can’t willy nilly run all over the road and then, if they get injured, blame the guy driving. It’s a bit more complicated than that.

If a pedestrian gets hit by a driver, s/he must prove that the driver failed to exercise reasonable care and was negligent in causing the collision and the subsequent injuries. That’s what Florida law requires in every automobile negligence case.

In Florida, both pedestrians and drivers are considered to have equal rights to use roadways; both walkers and drivers have a duty to respect the other’s rights of travel. Essentially, pedestrians and motorists have a reciprocal right to use all public roads in Florida. And both pedestrians and drivers are duty bound to exercise reasonable care while walking or driving.

To establish negligence in a pedestrian accident, the plaintiff-pedestrian must prove that the defendant-driver:

– Owed a legal duty to the plaintiff;
– Breached that legal duty;
– Caused an accident or injury involving the plaintiff; and
– Injured the plaintiff as a result.

However, motorists are not always completely responsible under the law for damages in all pedestrian accidents. Sometimes, both the pedestrian and the driver will be found partially negligent; this is called comparative negligence.

In a comparative negligence, or fault, scenario the pedestrian will only recover some, but not all of the damages sought.

Another consideration is that when a pedestrian is injured, there may be more than one party legally responsible for the accident. Besides the driver and the pedestrian, the party in charge of maintaining the sidewalk, road, or parking lot where the accident occurred may also be partially liable.

Pedestrian duties exemplify how jaywalking is truly a prohibited act. If a pedestrian suddenly crosses a road, without a signal or not in a crosswalk, and the pedestrian gets hit, the driver may not be negligent at all.

In sum, Florida has several pedestrian laws including:
Pedestrians must obey traffic lights, stop signs, and street markings unless a police officer directs them to do otherwise;

– Pedestrians must use available sidewalks; and
– Pedestrians must walk on the shoulder of the road, on its left side facing traffic, if there is no sidewalk.

It is crucial that all pedestrians in Florida follow the law, and proceed on the proper path.

Call , Goldman, Babboni Fernandez & Walsh for all your personal injury questions. Our attorneys believe that more experience equals better results. Schedule an appointment today for a free case review at [email protected].

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Proving Pedestrian Claims

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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