Although it is always a good idea for pedestrians in Hillsborough, Florida, to use crosswalks when crossing the street whenever they are available, sometimes people are in a hurry to get from point A to point B, and decide to cross a street along the fastest route. At other times, a pedestrian might not notice a nearby crosswalk or may just forget to use it.
Usually, not using a crosswalk is a minor issue. However, it can become a huge issue for a Tampa-area resident if he or she winds up getting hit by a car while crossing the street.
Not only will there no doubt be medical bills and other expenses that the victim will have to deal with, but there will also be those who think that just because the victim was not in a crosswalk, the victim’s injuries are the responsibility of the victim himself.
Thankfully, such is not the case. While Florida law indeed does require pedestrians either to use crosswalks or yield to passing cars before crossing the street, a driver still must use “due care” to prevent pedestrian accidents, even when a pedestrian is not following the law.
The motorist must also honk or give an unwary pedestrian some other warning if necessary to protect the pedestrian, and they must be particularly careful around children or those of any age who are obviously in some sort of mental fog, even if the confusion is due to drunkenness.
Moreover, as this blog has discussed previously, Florida uses a comparative fault system, meaning that even if a pedestrian is partially at fault for an accident, for example, by not using an available crosswalk, the pedestrian can still seek some compensation from the driver that hit him or her.