Most people’s first instinct is that drivers are always legally at fault in an automobile versus pedestrian accidents. However, it’s not always that simple. There are instances where pedestrians can be legally at fault for causing a crash. In other words, it may be the pedestrian’s fault that he or she got hit by a car.
Determining who is at fault for a pedestrian accident will often require an investigation of the particular facts of a given situation. Additionally, state and local laws, rules, and regulations regarding pedestrians and drivers could affect the outcome of a pedestrian accident case.
Having said all of that, drivers are often at fault for causing pedestrian accidents in Florida. After all, pedestrians have the right of way in many circumstances, and drivers are supposed to carefully avoid injuring pedestrians. That’s something every driver knows on some level. However, whether a pedestrian or driver is at fault for a pedestrian accident will depend on the unique circumstances of each case. After all, there are many ways a pedestrian accident can occur, and each case will have a different outcome that is based upon the facts and circumstances of that particular auto versus pedestrian crash.
When Are Pedestrians At Fault for a Crash in Orlando, Florida?
As we talked about above, there are several ways a pedestrian may be liable for an automobile versus pedestrian crash. Below are some of the more common ways pedestrians may be at fault for a pedestrian accident in Orlando, Florida, from our experience.
Keep in mind, the information here is not just applicable to Orlando. In any city where people walk a lot, you’re going to see some of the same pedestrian accident data that you see in Orlando. Thus, the information in this article will be applicable to other states and other places outside of Orlando.
Drunk or Intoxicated Pedestrian
Tragically, intoxicated people often get hit by cars when walking home from the bar or club or when walking to another establishment. This happens a lot in Orlando, Florida, Charleston, South Carolina, and other locations where people are likely to go out for a night of drinking and walk to other bars or walk home drunk from the bar. As you might imagine, when a drunk person gets hit by a car, the intoxicated pedestrian may be legally at fault, or at least partially at fault.
Jaywalking is a major cause of pedestrian accidents in Florida. Essentially, jaywalking can be described as illegally crossing the road on foot, whether it’s outside of a crosswalk or some other type of illegal crossing. The reason jaywalking is illegal is because drivers can’t anticipate when a person is going to cross the road outside of areas designated for that purpose. Thus, if people were allowed to cross the road anywhere, a lot more people would get hit by cars. Accordingly, jaywalking laws exist to protect pedestrians and drivers alike. When a person crosses the road illegally and is hit by a car, the blame may be put on the jaywalker, not the driver.
People are in a constant state of distraction. Our cell phones have our attention for hours per day. However, when you’re crossing the road, that is no time to be looking at your cell phone. Unfortunately, pedestrians are hit all the time because their focus is on their cell phone when it ought to be on the road and on drivers. When a distracted pedestrian walks out into the road and gets hit by a car, that pedestrian may be legally at fault for causing the crash.
Jaywalking is not the only way a pedestrian can break the law when crossing the street. For example, the pedestrian may also walk across a sidewalk in violation of a traffic signal. Crossing the street in violation of the traffic signal is one of the common ways a pedestrian can be held at fault for a car versus pedestrian accident in Orlando, Florida and elsewhere.
There are many places where pedestrians are not supposed to be. Some of those places could be in super dangerous areas, like on ramps going onto and off the interstate. These are areas where a driver cannot possibly anticipate a pedestrian’s presence because pedestrians shouldn’t be there. Thus, when a pedestrian gets hit in one of these locations, it may not be fair to blame the driver for that crash. Accordingly, if you’re walking in areas where you shouldn’t be and then you get hit by a car, you may be legally at fault for that pedestrian accident.
How Do We Prove Who is At Fault for a Pedestrian Accident in Orlando, Florida?
There are many tools that lawyers and insurance adjusters can use to try and prove fault or deflect blame. Even assigning just a portion of blame to a pedestrian or driver can change the outcome of a given case because Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that, under the Florida laws of negligence, a person’s monetary award may be reduced by his or her percentage of fault in an accident. For example, if a pedestrian is found to be 20% at fault and the jury awards that person $100,000, then the person will be entitled to $80,000, the $100,000 minus a 20% reduction ($20,000) for his or her fault.
If you’ve been hit by a car, you should consider reaching out to an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer. We’ve helped pedestrian accident victims get the money they were entitled to after being hit by a driver in Orlando. Proving fault or showing that you weren’t at fault can be difficult, especially if the police report is against you. However, helping pedestrian accident victims is our job. That’s what we do.
What to Do After a Getting Hit by A Car, Truck, or Other Automobile in Orlando, Florida
There are several important steps you should take after an Orlando pedestrian accident to ensure your safety and to protect the value of your claim. Below are some of the more important steps for you to take in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident.
- Assess your injuries. Don’t move around too quickly. Take your time and check yourself for serious injuries so that you don’t make matters worse.
- Get to safety. If you’re in a dangerous situation, do your best to get somewhere safe. If you can’t move, ask people for help.
- Dial 911. Contact the authorities to make sure people get the medical attention they need. If you or others are hurt, time is of the essence.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible. Waiting to get medical attention can cause your injuries to be much worse than if you get help quickly.
- Take pictures and video of everything. Take pictures of the vehicles involved and their license plates, if you can. Take pictures of the accident scene. Also, if you can, take a video of everything. Document the accident the best you possibly can.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses to the pedestrian accident. Witnesses are extremely valuable in many cases. However, if you can’t reach them, they can’t help you. Be sure to get contact information before people leave the scene of the accident.
- Report the accident to the authorities. You want to make sure there is a report of your accident.
- Get the information of the driver that hit you. Don’t let the driver leave without getting the driver’s contact information and insurance information. The police may do this when making a report.
- Don’t speak to the insurance companies. Insurance companies will reach out to you after an accident and try to get you to give them a recorded statement or get you to sign documents. Be very careful. The insurance company is not your friend. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible to get you to sign a release of claims.
- Contact a Florida pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. It’s critical to get an investigation done as soon as possible to gather and preserve important evidence. Also, you need someone there to keep the insurance companies from using their tactics to minimize your claim.
Contact an Experienced Florida Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Your FREE Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you should speak with an experienced Florida pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible because you may be entitled to compensation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on our website to set up your free consultation by email, or you can call our Orlando, Florida personal injury law firm today at (321) 352-7588 today to schedule your free consultation by phone.
When you schedule a consultation at our law firm, you will get a consultation with a real pedestrian accident lawyer, not a customer service representative or intake person. Also, we have at least one lawyer licensed in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. So, if you’ve been hurt in any of these states, we may be able to help you. We’re here when you need us.