Who Is Liable When A Pedestrian Causes An Accident In Florida?
One of the best things about living in Bradenton is that we get year-round sunshine. That means that the weather is nice enough we don’t always have to drive. We can enjoy a beautiful walk to our destination. Unfortunately, Florida also ranks as the second highest state for pedestrian accidents and deaths. In 2021 alone, 869 pedestrians died in Florida accidents. In most cases, these accidents are the fault of the driver. However, sometimes the pedestrian is responsible for the auto accident. These cases are pretty legally complex, so it is advised that you work with a pedestrian accident attorney.
Duty Of Care
Like drivers have a duty to follow the laws and drive safely, so to do pedestrians have a duty of care. Duty of care is a legal concept. It is the idea that in a society, we have a duty to one another to not cause harm. A duty of care is the ordinary level of care you can expect from another person. For example, you don’t expect that every driver will pull over so you can drive first, that would be unreasonable. However, you can expect that if you use your turn signal, the other driver will recognize that you are planning to change lanes.
When you breach your duty of care, you are considered negligent. Meaning you are at fault for any damages that occur as a result of your lack of care. Pedestrians have a duty to exercise reasonable care for their safety. They would be considered negligent if they did not exercise this duty and walked out in traffic in the middle of a busy street.
Determining Fault In A Pedestrian Accident
Although Florida law applies the same to both pedestrian and vehicle accidents, determining fault in pedestrian accidents is challenging. There’s an obvious disparity in the degree of harm a pedestrian and a vehicle can cause. However, even though auto drivers can cause more destruction, it does not mean that pedestrians cannot be responsible for an accident. To prove fault in a pedestrian case you will have to prove:
● The pedestrian had a duty of care
● The duty of care was breached either intentionally or unintentionally
● The breach caused damages
You will prove fault with documentation, evidence, and witness testimony just as you would in any other Florida auto accident case. Florida uses a comparative fault system where the courts assess the evidence of the accident and assign fault based on a percentage. For example, imagine an accident where a driver hits a pedestrian. If the driver was speeding and the pedestrian was jay-walking, they are both responsible for the accident. So they would both be assigned a percentage of fault. That percentage is what they will receive of the total value of the damages from the accident.
How To Prove A Pedestrian Is Liable For An Accident
In order to pursue damages for a pedestrian accident, you will have to prove liability. A local auto accident attorney will guide you through this process. Proving pedestrian liability is legally challenging but with the right evidence, it’s possible. Evidence your attorney may use includes:
● Footage from traffic and security cameras
● Eye witness and expert testimony
● Photographs of the scene of the accident
● The police report
Once they have put together all the evidence they need, your attorney will begin pursuing a claim with the insurance companies.
If you’ve been in an auto accident with a pedestrian, they may be at fault. In that case, you are legally owed compensation for your damages. To understand more, contact the knowledgeable auto accident attorneys at Justice Pays Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh. We’ve resolved over 10,000 auto accident cases in the Bradenton area. We have the experience, knowledge, and network to ensure that we can resolve yours. Contact us for a free case review to learn all the ways we can help you after your pedestrian accident.