Who Has the Right-of-Way in a Pedestrian Accident?
When pedestrians are struck by drivers in and around St. Pete-Clearwater, one of the first considerations is who had the right-of-way. At Roman & Roman, P.A., we may be able to help you prove liability and preserve your right to compensation. But the earlier you contact one of our Tampa pedestrian accident attorneys, the better your chances of success.
What is a Right-of-Way?
A right-of-way is a legal right or preference to access of a public roadway. A right-of-way can apply to two vehicles, a vehicle and a motorcycle, a vehicle and a bicycle, or a vehicle and pedestrian. Anytime two or more people have a need to occupy the same space, the law will determine who has the legal preference. A right-of-way can even apply to a crosswalk or sidewalk at times.
When Does a Pedestrian Have a Right-of-Way Over a Vehicle?
Under FLA STAT. 316.130, there are specific times when the pedestrian has the right-of-way. There are also times when a pedestrian is not legally permitted to be on a roadway.
Here are some of the legal restrictions:
- Except for construction, pedestrians must stay off freeways and highways
- Except for construction, pedestrians are not permitted on Interstate on-ramps and off-ramps
- If there is a sidewalk, pedestrians must use it instead of the roadway
- When otherwise permitted and where there is no sidewalk, a pedestrian should walk facing traffic on the side of the road, and remain as far off the road and off the shoulder as possible
- Someone riding a bicycle is not a pedestrian. They must travel with traffic and stay right.
- A pedestrian will have the right-of-way when in a marked crosswalk, but anywhere else the pedestrian must yield to vehicles.
- Pedestrians still have to obey road signs and traffic controls.
What Happens if a Pedestrian is to Blame for Being Struck?
Blame is a complex topic under Florida law. This is because Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. In other words, even if a pedestrian shares some responsibility for his or her own injuries, the law may still allow them to be compensated. A jury may reduce the award of compensation by the percentage of liability that is apportioned to the victim. Therefore, it’s not always a black and white issue.
Likewise, even if there was no crosswalk, the law does recognize that there are times when a pedestrian may have been acting as reasonably as possible under the circumstances, when a careless driver had the best opportunity to avoid the crash but failed to do so.
Visit Roman & Roman, P.A.
With more than 100 years of devoted service to the Tampa Bay area, our team of legal professionals can quickly assess your case and give you real options for moving forward with a claim. Keep in mind that as an injured pedestrian, you are not bound by the state’s no-fault laws. You may have an immediate right to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. So, don’t delay. Call or visit our firm online today.
We have four area offices in Clearwater, Tampa & Hudson, Florida.