WHO IS LIABLE WHEN A PEDESTRIAN CAUSES AN ACCIDENT IN FLORIDA
Florida is known as the sunshine state for a good reason. The sun is out more times than not and for many people, it gives them access to walk to their destinations or just to go out for a walk. Unfortunately, Florida ranks as the second-highest state for pedestrian accidents and death. In 2021 alone, 896 pedestrians died in Florida accidents. In most accidents, it usually is the driver's fault. However, sometimes the pedestrian is responsible for the accident. These cases can be legally complex, so it is advised that you work with a pedestrian accident attorney.
Duty Of Care
Everyone knows that drivers have certain laws that they need to follow and have a consciousness to drive safely, which is called Duty of Care. This legal concept also applies to pedestrians. It is the idea that in society, we have a duty to one another to not cause harm. A duty of care is the ordinary level of care you can expect from another person. For example, you can’t expect that every driver will pull over so you can drive first, that would be irresponsible. However, you can expect that if you use your turn signal, the other driver will recognize that you’re planning to change lanes.
When you breach your duty of care, you are considered negligent. Meaning that you are at fault for any damages that could occur as a result of your lack of care. Pedestrians have a duty to exercise reasonable care for their safety. They would be considered negligent if they did not exercise this duty and walked out in traffic in the middle of a busy street.
Determining Fault In A Pedestrian Accident
Florida law applies the same to both pedestrian and vehicle accidents, determining fault in a pedestrian accident is challenging. There’s an obvious disparity in the degree of harm a pedestrian and a vehicle can cause. Just because auto drivers can cause more destruction, it does not mean that pedestrians cannot be responsible for an accident. To prove fault in a pedestrian case you will have to be able to prove it.
The pedestrian had a duty of care
The duty of care was breached either intentionally or unintentionally
The breach caused damages
To prove fault for these cases, go about it the same way you would for any auto accident case. Collect documentation, evidence and witness testimony. Florida uses a comparative fault system where the courts assess the evidence of the accident and assign fault based on percentage. An example would be that if a speeding car hits a jaywalking pedestrian, they would be assigned a percentage of fault. The percentage is what they will receive of the total value of the damages from the accident.
How To Prove A Pedestrian Is Liable For An Accident
In order to pursue damages for a pedestrian accident, you will have to prove liability. A local auto accident attorney can help guide you through the process. Proving a pedestrian liability its legally challenging but with the right evidence, its possible. Evidence your attorney may use includes:
Footage from traffic and security cameras
Eye witness and expert testimony
Photographs of the sense of the accident
The police report
Once they reviewed though all the evidence, your attorney will begin pursuing a claim with the insurance companies.
If you happen to be in an auto accident with a pedestrian, they may be at fault. In that case, you are legally owed compensation for your damages.