Pedestrians should be able to walk safely in their communities. Nonetheless, it is common for negligent drivers to disobey traffic laws and injure those who enjoy moving around on foot. After an accident, injured pedestrians can file a legal claim against the driver to recover damages. However, the amount of compensation will depend on who was at fault for the accident.
Proving negligence in Florida
In 2019, 6,205 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in the United States. Pedestrian accidents are not rare, and those injured while walking can sue the driver at fault to recover economic and non-economic damages. A pedestrian must prove that the driver was negligent and that their negligence caused their injuries to get compensation. A driver is negligent when:
- They drive while distracted
- They drive above the speed limit
- They fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks
- They disobey traffic lights or signals
- They fail to signal while turning
- They drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If the driver was negligent, pedestrians can sue them to recover damages. If the lawsuit is successful, injured pedestrians can get compensation for their medical expenses and their pain and suffering.
A pedestrian’s fault
Florida is a comparative fault state. This means that the court could reduce the total amount of compensation if the pedestrian had some responsibility for the accident. A pedestrian is at fault for an accident when:
- They don’t obey the rules of the road
- They don’t walk on the sidewalks when they are available
- They dart in front of a vehicle
- They walk under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- They enter traffic and disrupt the flow
- They cross the road while looking at their phones
If a pedestrian is negligent in any way, the court will reduce the amount of their compensation. The reduction will be according to the percentage of fault they had in the accident.
A pedestrian’s right
Injured pedestrians have the right to get compensation for their injuries. To get compensation, they must file a legal claim no later than 4 years after the accident. No one deserves to pay for another’s mistake, and pedestrians can fight back if a negligent driver causes their injuries.