Can a Pedestrian Be Found Partially At Fault for their Own Injuries?
Pedestrian accidents are a serious public safety hazard in our state. In fact, the Miami Herald reports that Florida has the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the entire country. We need to do more to protect the health and well-being of pedestrians. Negligent drivers must be held accountable for unsafe conduct.
Unfortunately, bringing a pedestrian accident claim can be challenging. In some cases, defendants and insurance companies try to blame pedestrians for their own injuries. Here, we explain Florida’s comparative negligence statute, how it impacts pedestrian accident claims, and why you need an attorney who can protect your rights.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Statute: Explained
Under Florida’s comparative negligence statute, liability is apportioned based on each party’s level of ‘fault’ of the accident. Under the law, a plaintiff can be held partially liable for their own injuries. When this occurs, their compensation will be reduced proportionately with their share of the blame.
As an example, imagine that a pedestrian was injured in a collision in Downtown Miami. In total, that pedestrian sustained $30,000 in damages in the crash. If that pedestrian was found to be at fault for ten percent of their own accident, their compensation would be reduced accordingly—by ten percent, or $3,000.
Pedestrian Liability: A Potential Defense Strategy
Florida law is clear: Both motorists and pedestrians have a duty to act in a reasonably safe and prudent manner. While most pedestrian collisions are the fault of a careless or inattentive drivers, some crashes are caused, at least in part, by a negligent pedestrian. Some example of negligence on the part of pedestrians include:
- Crossing a roadway in an unsafe or reckless manner;
- Darting out from behind a parked car or other obstruction;
- Walking in the road at night, while wearing dark clothes;
- Walking on a highway that is restricted to pedestrians; and
- Intentionally attempting to cause an accident.
In defending pedestrian accident claims, large insurance companies are focused on reducing their own financial liability. A common defense strategy is to try to blame a pedestrian for all or part of an accident in order to limit their total compensation. You need to be ready to fight back against this defense strategy.
All Pedestrian Accidents Require a Comprehensive Investigation
A serious pedestrian collision should be investigated by an experienced personal injury attorney. You need to protect yourself or your loved one from an unfair finding of liability. An experienced Miami, FL pedestrian accident lawyer can review the case and help you gather and prepare all of the evidence needed to prove a compelling claim. An unfair finding of partial fault in a pedestrian accident could take thousands of dollars out of your settlement.
Call Our Miami, FL Pedestrian Accident Lawyers for Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami pedestrian accident attorneys are experienced, aggressive advocates for injured victims. If you or your loved one was hurt in a pedestrian collision, we will protect your rights and help you recover full financial compensation. Call us now for a free consultation. We represent injured pedestrians in Miami, West Palm Beach, and throughout South Florida.