When a person suffers personal injuries as a pedestrian in the State of Florida, a case or claim can be pursue seeking compensation to the injured pedestrian. Section 316.130, Florida Statutes sets forth some the general laws and provisions regarding Pedestrians. It should be noted that pedestrians have the duty to use designed sidewalks and otherwise obey and follow traffic regulations, signals, and signage.
Section 316.130 (15), Florida Statutes is an important part of the statute and the general laws as they apply to pedestrians and the duty of care of drivers when operating motor vehicles near or in the presence of pedestrians. This section provides as follows:
Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and give warning when necessary and exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person.
Certainly, drivers should be on the look out for pedestrians especially children and elders. It should also be noted that Florida has adopted a comparative fault set of laws as they apply to motor vehicle accidents and pedestrians. In other words, a pedestrian can still pursue a case or cause of action for personal injuries even if there may be some percentage of fault or negligence on behalf of the injured pedestrian. For instance, if it is determined, that the pedestrian was 10 % at fault and the driver was 90 % at fault, then, the injured pedestrian still has a viable case to pursue. While the comparative fault may affect the value of the case, it is clear that a case of this nature can still be pursued assuming that there is insurance coverage and damages to justify the pursuit of such a case or claim.
Crosswalks and related signals and signage are in place for reason. Namely, the safety and well-being of pedestrians are important concerns for every community in each of the 67 Florida counties. Drivers should slow down in areas where crosswalks are present. While most pedestrians obey signals and signage, some do not. This is especially true when children are the pedestrians. Drivers should furthermore slow down in or near school zones, bus stops, and residential areas. Big and bustling cities and downtown areas are loaded with pedestrians. Each driver should operate his or her motor vehicle with due care and pay attention to the presence of pedestrians and traffic. Distractions including mobile telephone use should be kept to a minimum. Do not text and drive. This is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving these days. By slowing down, keeping an eye out for pedestrians, and keeping driver distraction to a minimum, many pedestrian accidents and related personal injuries can be avoided.
When there is pedestrian injury incident, it is still important to contact the local police department to secure the scene, interview witnesses, document the details of the incident, and issue a citation when warranted. Because a pedestrian by size, weight, and power is no match for even the smallest of vehicles, signifiant personal injuries often result when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle. The injuries can be permanent in nature and can affect the pedestrian for a lifetime. In some pedestrian accident cases, the injuries can be fatal. If the injuries / death were caused by the negligence in part or whole of a driver, then a Florida Wrongful Death Act case can be pursued on behalf of the estate of the pedestrian.
David A. Wolf is a personal injury attorney with over 27 years of experience handling personal injury cases including pedestrian injury cases. He is the author of a number of books including the book titled - When the Wheels Stop Spinning - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Parents Need to Know After the Accident. The book covers a number of topics that arise in the aftermath of the Automobile Accident, Bicycle Accident, and Pedestrian Accident.