Pedestrians are not always at fault in pedestrian accidents. Many times, drivers are responsible for these collisions. In some accident scenarios, pedestrians may be distracted and not look both ways before crossing an intersection. In others, drivers don’t yield to pedestrians, causing serious collisions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that drunk driving is among the leading causes of pedestrian accidents. With this information in mind, if you suffered harm as a pedestrian, you can seek compensation for your damages.
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Who Can be at Fault for a Pedestrian Accident?
One or more of the following parties could share fault for your pedestrian accident:
Most pedestrian accidents are caused by motorists. These collisions can result from:
- Distracting driving
- Failing to yield to the right-of-way
- Intoxicated drivng
- Road rage
- Weaving in and out of lanes
- Not braking in time
- Failing to obey posted traffic signals
A Government Department
The government is responsible for ensuring the safety of Florida’s roadways. When it fails in this obligation, it can hold liability for your losses. For instance, suppose you were crossing the street when a traffic signal stopped working, causing a car to hit you. If the government knew (or should have known) about this issue, it could pay for your losses.
A Vehicle Manufacturer
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues recalls on defective cars. However, it may take multiple incidents before this happens. If your accident was caused by a defective car (like a vehicle that accelerated suddenly or didn’t have functioning brakes), you can file a product liability claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer.
What Could Make a Pedestrian Responsible for a Collision?
Pedestrians need to obey the rules of the road just like everyone else. When pedestrians ignore these expectations, they could be responsible for their losses.
Here are some common situations where a person walking or bicycling might share responsibility for an accident:
Ignoring Traffic Signals
If a pedestrian or bicyclist crosses the street when they don’t have the right-of-way, they risk their life. Motorists aren’t watching for pedestrians when following the flow of traffic, and they’re not expected to stop in the middle of an intersection to let someone cross.
Pedestrians should wait for a “WALK” signal before entering a roadway.
Walking Along High-Speed Roads
On many suburban and country two-lane highways, there is no room for someone to safely walk along the side of the road. Often, signs warn people not to walk along the road, as many cars, trucks, and buses are zooming by at speeds between 45 mph and 75 mph. It is very unsafe to put yourself in this situation.
If you walk or bike along these roadways, and you get hit by a vehicle, you might be partially at fault for the accident.
Crossing Outside of Crosswalks
The National Safety Council (NSC) notes that most pedestrian accidents happen in urban areas outside of designated crosswalks. When a pedestrian does not use a crosswalk at an appropriate time, they put themself at risk of harm.
You Can Seek Damages Even if You Partially Caused the Accident
Florida’s a no-fault state, meaning if you partially caused the accident, you can seek compensation regardless of fault. However, matters get complicated when you’re hurt as a pedestrian.
In this case, you can seek compensation from the liable insurer. Keep in mind that your percentage of fault will reduce your final settlement. For instance, if you caused 20 percent of the collision, your case’s value gets reduced by 20 percent.
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What Should I do if I Suffered Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you or a loved one suffered harm in a pedestrian accident, we recommend the following measures:
- Visit a healthcare provider. Even if a car “tapped” you, serious injuries may develop over time. Be sure to keep copies of your lab test results, imaging scans, and follow-up appointment dates.
- Filing a police report. Florida Statutes § 316.066 says that you generally have 10 days from your accident’s date to file a police report. Following a collision, you must file a police report if anyone was hurt or passed away.
- Document your injury-related losses. Expenses will start accumulating at the accident scene. By documenting your injury-related damages, you can request compensation that pays for them.
- Notify your insurance company. If you own a car and have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurer to recover damages after your accident. Even if you didn’t cause the crash, it still wants to know about the incident.
Connect with a lawyer from our Florida law firm
If you were involved in a pedestrian-driver accident, consider hiring a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine. Our team of attorneys can speak with you about the accident, determine what happened, and seek compensation accordingly.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at (954) 525-0050 for a free consultation with our team about your recent accident. We want to advocate for your legal rights in Broward County.