SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY
In 2013, 501 pedestrians were killed in Florida as a result of motor vehicle collisions. Obviously, considering the size and weight of a motor vehicle versus a pedestrian, the chance of surviving a collision or avoiding serious injury is greatly diminished.
Florida Statutes § 316.130 sets forth the obligations of motorists and pedestrians with respect to right of way. In general, a pedestrian should use a sidewalk when practicable, but if no sidewalk is present, the pedestrian may “walk on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction.” Drivers of vehicles must also be mindful of crosswalks. When a pedestrian is at a marked crosswalk, the driver of an approaching vehicle must stop to allow the pedestrian to cross. Similarly, when at an intersection, a pedestrian has the right of way to cross the street when there is a permitted signal.
Having said that, pedestrians obviously must use caution. Fla. Stat.§ 316.130 (8) specifically states that no pedestrian may leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is too close for the driver to yield safely. Additionally, any pedestrian entering a roadway at any point other than a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection must yield the right of way to all vehicles on the roadway.
However, a catch-all provision of Fla. Stat. § 316.130 indicates that every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian and give warning when necessary and exercise caution when observing any child or “obviously confused or incapacitated person.” At Burnett Wilson Reeder, our attorneys have experience in reconciling confusing and conflicting laws and arguing those to a judge or a jury. Even if the pedestrian is partially at fault, he or she may be able to recover a certain percentage of the damages.