Navigating busy roads can sometimes lead to unexpected accidents. Jaywalking, the act of crossing the street outside designated crosswalks or intersections, is not specifically illegal in Florida—but it can raise questions about who’s liable for an accident.
Pedestrians have certain responsibilities when crossing the street:
- Crosswalk usage: Pedestrians are generally expected to use designated sidewalks, crosswalks and intersections to travel and cross streets safely.
- Obey traffic signals: Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and cross only when allowed by pedestrian signals or traffic lights.
- Yielding right-of-way: Pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to vehicles if crossing outside of marked crosswalks or intersections.
Drivers also have responsibilities when it comes to pedestrian safety:
- Yielding to pedestrians: Drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are in marked crosswalks or are legally crossing the street.
- Exercising caution: Drivers should exercise caution, especially in areas where pedestrians may be present, such as near schools, parks and busy city centers.
Liability in jaywalking accidents often hinges on the concept of negligence:
- Pedestrian negligence: If a pedestrian crosses the road outside a crosswalk or against traffic signals and an accident occurs, the pedestrian's actions may contribute to their own injuries. However, this doesn't absolve drivers of their responsibility to exercise due care.
- Driver negligence: Drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, speed through crosswalks, or ignore traffic signals can be held liable for accidents involving jaywalkers.
Florida follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means both parties' negligence is considered when determining liability. If a pedestrian's actions contributed to the accident but the driver was also negligent, compensation may be adjusted based on the degree of fault assigned to each party.
If you’ve been involved in a jaywalking accident, reach out to a trusted Bradenton, FL accident attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh today.