When we think about collisions between motor vehicles and
pedestrians, we initially assume that the driver of the vehicle is at fault since
“the pedestrian has the right of way.” However, there are
many cases when the pedestrian can actually be to blame, whether partly
Pedestrian’s Duty of Care
Despite having the right of way in mostly all situations involving vehicles,
pedestrians must always exercise reasonable care for his or her own safety.
The required care must be in proportion to the danger to be avoided and
reasonably anticipated consequences. If they fail to exercise such care,
contributory negligence may be evaluated against pedestrians.
The following are the most common factors contributing to pedestrian negligence:
- Ignoring the “walk” signal at an intersection
- Failing to use marked crosswalks
- Entering traffic and disrupting the flow
- Darting in front of a vehicle
A normal, cautious individual would take steps to avoid hitting someone
walking across their path if possible. However, if the pedestrian acts
in a way which makes it impossible for someone driving in a normal, cautious
manner to avoid a crash, a judge or jury will find that the pedestrian
caused the collision.
In many cases, even when a pedestrian is partial to blame for causing the
accident, the driver of the vehicle may be somewhat at fault as well.
For instance, if a pedestrian is jaywalking, and the motorist was driving
a few miles above the posted speed limit before striking the pedestrian.
Florida is a “comparative negligence” state, which means that
an injured person shares some amount of fault for causing or contributing
to the underlying accident. An injured individual can recover compensation
from any at-fault party, but the injured person’s own damages award
(the amount of compensation they are awarded) will be reduced by a percentage
which is equal to their share of fault.
Contact our Orlando personal injury attorney at The Maher Law Firm today for more