Mar 25, 2024

When Does A Pedestrian Have The Right Of Way?

Miami, Florida, is one of the country’s finest jewels. It boasts many beautiful attractions, such as Star Island, Bayside Marketplace, Matheson Hammock, Everglades National Park, and pristine beaches. However, with heavy traffic and an ever-growing population, there are an increasing number of severe and sometimes fatal pedestrian accidents. In 2022 alone, there were 105 pedestrian and cyclist deaths in Miami-Dade County. Unfortunately, the community has problems with pedestrian safety. (Note: Sometimes people on electric scooters and e-bikes are considered pedestrians when involved in an accident.)

If you are hit by a car in Miami while on foot at a pedestrian crossing, you may be overwhelmed with injuries and medical bills. However, if someone else was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Nunez Law specializes in auto and pedestrian accident cases and is ready to fight for you. Just call (305) 444-4407 for a complimentary legal consultation. 

What Is Pedestrian Right-Of-Way? 

Pedestrian right-of-way laws in Florida are to ensure pedestrian safety and stand for the premise that pedestrians have the right-of-way in marked and some unmarked crosswalks. If the crosswalk does not have a signal, the pedestrian may have the right-of-way once they are in the street. Drivers are required under the law to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian already in a crosswalk. Other right-of-way rules to be aware of in Florida for pedestrians include: 

  • Drivers are required to slow down when approaching an intersection and look for pedestrians whether there is a traffic signal or not. They should yield as they cross the street if there is a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk. Remember that pedestrians always have the right of way in a crosswalk when the walk light is illuminated. 
  • Pedestrians who are in a roundabout crosswalk have the right of way. Drivers must yield to the pedestrians before they can drive into the roundabout. 
  • If a pedestrian is in a crosswalk and the Don’t Walk sign is illuminated, the driver still has to yield. Even if the walk signal is green, pedestrians should always watch for traffic and any on-coming vehicle traffic. 
  • If a pedestrian is walking in a parking lot with motor vehicles, they also have the right of way. 

Drivers who do not yield the right-of-way to a vehicle or pedestrian and cause an accident can face a fine, three or more points on their driver’s license, and other penalties. Plus, they could be liable for the plaintiff’s medical bills, property damage, lost earnings, and pain and suffering in a pedestrian vehicle accident. 

Negligence & Fault In A Pedestrian Accident

In any pedestrian vehicle accident in Florida, the plaintiff must prove the driver’s negligence caused the accident and surpass the Tort Threshold to collect on pain and suffering. Negligence means the defendant was responsible for an action that a ‘reasonable’ person in the same situation would have avoided or somehow conducted himself differently. If a driver’s negligence caused a pedestrian accident, they may be liable for the victim’s injuries and other damages. 

Pedestrian accident victims must prove the following elements to receive compensation in a claim or lawsuit: 

  • The driver who caused the accident owed the pedestrian a duty of care. For example, Florida drivers must drive safely and obey all traffic laws. 
  • The driver violated his/her duty of care. Many actions can lead to violating the duty of care. If a Miami driver doesn’t stop at a red light and hits a pedestrian, they violate their duty of care. 
  • The driver’s violation of the duty of care caused the pedestrian’s injuries. You must prove that the breach of duty of care caused your injuries, or made pre-existing issues worse. 
  • The pedestrian suffered actual harm, such as medical bills, pain, and lost wages. 

A key aspect of many accidents involving pedestrians is the state’s comparative negligence law. This law states that if a pedestrian caused the accident, they could have their compensation reduced according to their percentage of fault. The comparative negligence law states that an injured party can recover compensation in an accident claim if they were partially at fault. Your attorney will have a vital role to prove liability in the case so you can receive the most compensation. Moreover, since March 24, 2023, if someone making an injury is found to be more than half at-fault, he/she cannot recover any compensation for the accident.

How To Avoid Accidents As A Pedestrian

Many Miami pedestrian accidents are caused by reckless drivers who speed, text and drive, or engage in other dangerous activities behind the wheel. However, there are several ways that pedestrians can stay safe and minimize run-ins with vehicles: 

  • Stay on the sidewalk as much as possible. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road with traffic approaching you. 
  • Wait for any pedestrian signals to go green and only cross at marked crosswalks. 
  • Only cross at crosswalks. Crossing in the middle of the street is dangerous. If an accident occurs, you could be found partially at fault, reducing your compensation in a claim or lawsuit. 
  • Stay away from poorly lit roadways. If you have a hard time seeing an approaching vehicle, chances are the driver will not see you in time. 
  • Don’t walk while you are intoxicated. Drinking isn’t just dangerous for drivers; alcohol can reduce the ability to walk steadily or make smart decisions. 
  • Always pay attention to your surroundings when walking in Miami. Put your cell phone away and look out for cars, especially when crossing the street. 
  • Always take care when crossing the street and watch for cars, even if you have the right of way. Never assume that a driver will stop, even when pedestrians have the right of way. 

However, if you have the right-of-way at the pedestrian signal and a car injures you, you could have legal options for compensation. Nunez Law’s pedestrian accident attorney will review your case and determine if they can prove fault. If so, you could have a valid claim or lawsuit in the car accident. 

Photo of Pedestrian

Hire A Miami Pedestrian Accident Attorney 

You may consider settling your case with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and not hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer. This is not recommended because you could lose compensation. Most pedestrian accidents cause serious injuries and long recovery times, and some injury victims are permanently disabled. 

Ensuring you receive total compensation for your injuries and damages is vital. For example, you could require months of surgeries and physical therapy to walk again. Having an experienced attorney represent you is essential. Most accident victims don’t fully understand the actual value of their case and could settle for far too little. 

Statute Of Limitations For Florida Pedestrian Accident Claims

When a driver is liable for a pedestrian accident, the victim may be eligible for compensation in a claim or lawsuit. However, the plaintiff needs time to file their case. Under Florida law, personal injury victims usually have two (2) years from the accident date to file their case in a court of law. Furthermore, it is better to file your case sooner than later, before accident evidence disappears or eyewitnesses’ memories fade. 

Speak To A Miami Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today 

When a pedestrian is struck by a car, severe injuries and disability are highly likely. If you were hit by a car and had the right of way, the at-fault party may be held liable.  Our experienced, highly-rated pedestrian accident lawyer can help any pedestrian injured in a crash to receive compensation for their medical bills, property losses, and pain and suffering in a successful claim. Lead Attorney Bobby Nunez gets outstanding, five-star case results and has been named to the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 40 Under 40 list. Contact our Miami pedestrian accident attorneys today by calling (305) 444-4407. Remember that at AccidentLawFirm.com, Our 5 Star Reviews Are No Accident.