What are Your Rights as a Pedestrian?

If an automobile hits a pedestrian while they are crossing a road, they are going to suffer much more severe injuries than the people inside of the vehicle.  While most believe all pedestrians have the right of way, and that if hit, the driver of the vehicle should be responsible for their injuries, this is not always the case.

Pedestrians can be solely or partially at fault when involved in an accident with an automobile, which can reduce their likelihood of receiving compensation.

Florida Laws and Pedestrian Injury Cases

Every pedestrian, cyclist, and driver is responsible for knowing and following safety and traffic laws. These laws or regulations are in place to reduce the risk of accidents. The laws regarding pedestrians and drivers play a significant role in determining who is at fault when faced with an accident.

Under Florida law, pedestrian regulations apply to those traveling on foot, including runners, those on skateboards and walkers. Typically, bicyclists are not considered pedestrians as they are able to travel on the road alongside vehicles.

Under Florida laws, pedestrians are required to follow these regulations:

  • Traffic Signals 
    • When you are driving a car, you are required by law to stop for red lights. When a light is yellow, you should be slowing down and preparing to stop. Pedestrians have similar signals labeled, “Walk” and “Don't Walk.” A pedestrian is not allowed to rush through a “Don't Walk” sign if traffic is approaching. If there are no pedestrian signals at an intersection, pedestrians have to obey traffic signals, and only cross when the road is clear. 
  • Crossing Procedures 
    • When a pedestrian is ready to cross a roadway, they should look left, and left again before entering the driving area to cross. Pedestrians with the right of way should still look at the driver as they come to a stop to make sure they are seen. When all the cars have stopped, it is then safe to cross the roadway. Pedestrians should keep to the right side of the crosswalk to make sure there is adequate room for all walkers.
  • Diagonal Crossings 
    • Pedestrians are not allowed to cross a roadway intersection in a diagonal direction unless directed to by a traffic control officer. Even if this type of crossing is allowed, pedestrians have to take great care to watch for vehicles, and only cross when it is safe. 
  • Crossing With No Crosswalk 
    • A pedestrian can cross the road at any point under the law, as long as there is no traffic. If traffic is present, the pedestrian must yield the right-of-way. It is illegal for a pedestrian to step off the sidewalk or curb to enter into the path of an oncoming vehicle if the vehicle does not have adequate time to stop safely. A pedestrian also cannot cross between two adjoining intersections with signals unless it is designated as a crosswalk. 
  • Standing or Stopping in the Roadway 
    • Florida law prohibits anyone from standing near or in the roadway to ask a driver for a ride, employment, or financial support. A person is also prohibited from standing in a parking space or the street to guard a vehicle, give out parking advice, or save a parking space. 

The Rights of a Pedestrian in a Personal Injury Accident

If a pedestrian violates traffic laws, they can be charged with a noncriminal traffic infraction, and charged a fine. Civil penalties typically only cost a few dollars; however, they can cost an injured person thousands of dollars in lost damages from an injury case. If a jury knows you've gotten a citation, it could be used as proof the accident was your fault and could deny you access to compensation for your medical bills.

Sharing fault in a personal injury claim for being hit by a driver as a pedestrian does not completely exclude your chances of suing an at-fault driver. Even if you are partially at fault, you may still be entitled to compensation from the driver who was responsible for most of your injuries.

Where to Learn More About Pedestrian Laws and Personal Injury Claims

Batts-Daniels Law understands how devastating it can be when someone is involved in a pedestrian or bicycle accident. When an automobile strikes a bicycle or pedestrian, there is little chance of walking away without some form of personal injury. If you have been involved in this type of accident, call our office at 833-33-BDLAW to learn how we can help you recover money to cover your pain and suffering, medical expenses, wage loss, and more. We will make sure your rights are protected.

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