Our Experienced FL Lawyer Explains Legal Considerations for Pedestrian Accidents Involving Jaywalking

Car accident cases can often be complex and stressful for those involved, especially if you’re recovering from injuries sustained in the accident. When an accident involves jaywalking, your case may be even more complicated since it must be determined how much fault each party carries. Jaywalking accidents in Florida

At Spetsas Buist, our accident injury lawyers are experienced in helping to obtain compensation for pedestrians suffering injuries after being hit by a car. Here, we discuss the legal ramifications of pedestrian accidents involving jaywalking and what you can expect if you were in this type of accident.

Understanding Jaywalking in Florida

Pedestrians and motorists share responsibility for pedestrian safety. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), accident data shows, in general, fault is equally split between pedestrians and motorists.

When you jaywalk, you walk into the roadway illegally where there are no crosswalks and fail to observe traffic rules. However, Florida doesn’t have jaywalking laws, and the word “jaywalking” isn’t found in Florida statutes. Thus, technically, it isn’t considered illegal to jaywalk in Florida.

Florida does, however, have legal statutes pertaining to specific jaywalking behaviors, and pedestrians do not always have the right of way. According to Florida statute 316.130, pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks and at intersections when the “walk” sign is active. The statute outlines the following illegal jaywalking-type behaviors:

  • Walking along a paved roadway meant for vehicles when a sidewalk is available
  • Crossing the roadway when facing a red light
  • Leaving a curb or other safe space off the roadway to walk or run into the path of a vehicle closely enough that the driver cannot stop

The Risks of Jaywalking

Even though the legality of jaywalking can be argued in some cases, walking into a roadway always carries risks. The dangers of jaywalking include:

  • Accidents. When pedestrians enter roadways outside of crosswalks or in violation of traffic signals, they risk causing a motor vehicle accident.
  • Pedestrian injuries. Pedestrians walking into the roadway without consideration of vehicles in the roadway risk physical injuries, including broken bones, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), or spinal injuries.
  • Clogged traffic. Jaywalking interrupts the normal flow of traffic, which may cause traffic congestion.

Your Eligibility for Compensation: Florida’s Modified Comparative Negligence Principle

Because Florida does not recognize the word jaywalking, liability in cases involving jaywalking behaviors can be complex and difficult to prove. In March 2023, Florida adopted a new modified comparative negligence principle for personal injury cases. Under this principle, as it applies to jaywalking, if a jaywalking pedestrian is injured but found to be partially at fault for the accident, their damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault for the crash, your damages will be reduced by 20%. However, if you are found to be over 50% responsible for the crash, you won’t be able to obtain any compensation for damages at all.

That’s why it’s important to obtain legal representation for a jaywalking pedestrian accident, even if you believe you might be partially at fault. Our personal injury attorneys will determine if you’re eligible for damages. If so, you could be awarded compensation for economic damages such as medical bills or lost wages or non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents Involving Jaywalking

Pedestrian jaywalking accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • A pedestrian steps into the roadway in front of a motor vehicle, giving the driver too little time and distance to stop or avoid the pedestrian
  • Oncoming cars are speeding, making it difficult or impossible for drivers to stop in time
  • Drivers are distracted, whether from using their cellphone or looking away from the road, and don’t see the pedestrian soon enough
  • Drivers are under the influence and unable to react quickly and avoid the pedestrian
  • Poor visibility due to weather conditions or obstacles prevents the driver from seeing pedestrians in time to stop

What to Do if You’ve Been in a Pedestrian Accident Involving Jaywalking

At Spetsas Buist, our vision is to treat our clients like family and fight for them like family. If you’ve been in an accident involving jaywalking, we can help. We’re here to fight for your rights and the fair compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation so you don’t have to handle your pedestrian accident case alone.