Florida is notorious for pedestrian and bicycle accidents, having been named time and again the most dangerous place for pedestrians. Tampa Bay is currently the second most dangerous area to walk in the United States, beat only by Orlando in risk of death to pedestrians.
Many of the pedestrians injured and killed on Florida roads are hit by motor vehicles while crossing the street in marked crosswalks or at intersections. These cases are pretty straight forward when it comes to liability because a pedestrian in a crosswalk usually has the right of way. Of course, there are exceptions for people who jump into a crosswalk right in front of a moving vehicle or who remain in a crosswalk far after the walk signal has ended.
Mid-block crossings can be more complicated. Along many roads in Florida, but not all, pedestrians have the duty to cross at a lighted or signaled intersection if one is nearby rather than crossing mid-block. But let’s face it, people take the shortest route and will often cross between intersections. When the unexpected happens and someone is struck by a vehicle the insurance company for the driver will always come out arguing the fault was all on the pedestrian. We have years of experience handling this type of pedestrian injury case. We understand it is never that clear.
Even if a signaled intersection was nearby, meaning the pedestrian should have been using it, the driver may still be found to have been at fault for not seeing and avoiding them when they are hit crossing mid-block.
Each situation must be looked at closely based on how the law will be applied at that location. For example, if a pedestrian crosses the street in the middle of the block and is hit by a driver who was speeding and texting, both the pedestrian and the driver are partially at fault. Now, if the driver could have avoided the accident by driving at or below the speed limit or paying attention to the road instead of texting, the fault on him may be greater.
Your lawyer needs the experience to be able to know what to look for in order to piece together the strongest argument against the driver, such as; the number of lanes of travel, where on the roadway the collision occurred, what was the available lighting if it was a night time crash, the speed of the vehicle, the speed limit, the route you or the injured party was walking immediately before impact and many other factors. Even if the police report finds you or the injured party was at fault we may be able to get your case settled.
The specific facts each case decide the outcome. That’s why it is crucial to hire an attorney to represent you when you are injured. We never charge a fee to answer your questions and we always give you an honest analysis of your case. If you have been hurt while crossing the street, simply give us a call.