Most Florida cities are home to both marked and unmarked crosswalks. Marked crosswalks have lines painted on them to signify the boundaries of the crosswalk for pedestrians. Walk signals are often found at these intersections to tell pedestrians when it is safe to walk. Pedestrians hit in a crosswalk are afforded special protections under Florida law. However, when an intersection doesn’t have these painted lines, it’s called an unmarked crosswalk. These crosswalks are part of the roadway. If you are hurt in a crosswalk accident, you should consult an experienced Palm Beach County crosswalk accidents lawyer. Iscoe Law Firm can help you seek fair compensation.
What is a Crosswalk?
According to Florida Statute section 316.003, a crosswalk is the section of a street at an intersection that is part of the links of lateral sidewalk lines on each side of the street. It’s also any portion of a street at an intersection or somewhere else that is plainly designated for pedestrian or bicycle crossing by markings or lines on the pavement’s surface.
Whether the crosswalk is marked or not, Florida drivers should always be careful and remain vigilant not to strike a pedestrian. While a driver is protected by their vehicle and its seatbelts, airbags, and other safety equipment during this type of accident, a pedestrian has no protection and could be catastrophically or fatally injured.
Proving Liability for Crosswalk Accidents
To prove liability for a crosswalk accident, your Palm Beach County crosswalk accidents lawyer must show that:
- The motorist owed you a duty of care to drive safely
- Their unsafe driving violated that duty
- You suffered injuries and damages as a result
A motorist who fails to yield to a pedestrian who has the right of way in a crosswalk will probably be found to have violated their duty of care.
Florida Statute section 316.130(15) states that every driver should use due care to keep from striking a pedestrian or someone riding a human-powered vehicle. They should warn a pedestrian when it’s necessary to do so. They should also use all the required precautions if there is a child pedestrian or an obviously drunk or confused individual.
At an intersection governed by a traffic signal, drivers need to stop completely before coming into a crosswalk. They should stay stopped to allow a pedestrian with a positive traffic signal to safely cross when they are located within a crosswalk or stepping into a crosswalk on the half where the car is traveling. The driver is also legally required to stop before entering a crosswalk if the pedestrian is closely coming from the other half of the street—so close that they will be at risk if the motorist continues moving.
If a driver doesn’t abide by this statute, it would strongly indicate their negligence. However, it wouldn’t be conclusive. After an injury accident, it’s imperative to have local law enforcement come to the scene. Suppose they cite the motorist for a traffic violation, such as not yielding to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. In that case, this could be helpful to the pedestrian’s personal injury case. In general, if someone broke the law that led to a personal injury, it helps establish the injured party’s claim.
Pedestrian Responsibilities Under Florida Laws
While pedestrians are afforded many protections under Florida laws, they also have responsibilities.
When crossing Florida roadways, all pedestrians must:
- Obey traffic all signals
- Not leave the curb until the traffic signal allows them to
- Not yield to right-of-way vehicles
- Keep to the right half of crosswalks
- Avoid crossing the roadway at a right angle or by the shortest route (except if in a marked crosswalk)
- Cross an intersection diagonally unless authorized by an official traffic control device
- Avoid crossing between two adjacent intersections, except when they are in a marked crosswalk
Comparative Fault in Florida Crosswalk Accidents
Sometimes, a pedestrian and a motorist are both to blame for an accident. Suppose someone dashed into traffic in an area not designated for pedestrians. As such, there was no walking light. There’s no way the experienced and attentive driver could stop in time. In that case, Florida’s comparative negligence laws apply. Meaning that even if a person is 99 percent responsible for an accident, they can collect the remaining one percent of damages. If the case went to court, a jury would look at the details of the circumstance and apportion fault between both parties based on the facts of the case.
Under Florida statutes section 316.130, pedestrians have an obligation not to leave the curb or another safe place and run or walk into the path of a vehicle that is so close that the driver is unable to avoid hitting them. If there are adjacent intersections with traffic signals, pedestrians can only legally cross at a marked crosswalk.
The at-fault party’s attorney will likely argue that you were negligent because you failed to abide by the duty not to dart out into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Florida subscribes to the doctrine of comparative negligence. Meaning that if the case goes to court, the jury will examine the facts and allocate percentages of fault to both the pedestrian and driver. The pedestrian’s compensatory damages will be decreased by their percentage of fault. For instance, if a victim suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and demanded $600,000 in damages, but they were 50 percent at fault, they would be entitled to recover $300,000.
Injured in a Crosswalk Accident? Call a Seasoned Palm Beach County Crosswalk Accidents Lawyer
Suppose you were injured in a crosswalk accident in Florida. In that case, you may suffer serious injuries ranging from broken bones and soft tissue injuries to spinal cord damage or brain trauma. To understand your legal rights and options, you should call the Iscoe Law Firm as soon as possible after you are injured. You need someone on your side who knows the law and isn’t afraid to stand up for your rights.
If you were in a Florida crosswalk accident, it would be well worth your time to speak with a qualified Palm Beach County crosswalk accidents attorney. Contact the Iscoe Law Firm today at 800 800-6500 for a no-charge case consultation. Our knowledgeable staff members are available by phone 24/7, 365 days a year. We have the time and resources to help you as you pursue justice and compensation for your injuries.