Yes, you might be able to sue if you were struck by a car while jaywalking. Sometimes, however, you might not have a claim against the driver. Your right to go after compensation will depend on the facts of your situation.
Rights and Duties of Pedestrians
Under Florida Statute § 316.130, pedestrians must obey all traffic control signs and signals, just like drivers of motor vehicles. Pedestrians do not have the right to walk into the street carelessly and bring traffic to a screeching halt. Florida law also requires pedestrians to observe these regulations:
- If there are sidewalks, people on foot must not walk in the paved traffic lanes of the road.
- Where there are no sidewalks, people walking should proceed only on the shoulder, if possible, facing the oncoming traffic.
- Pedestrians are not allowed to stand in any portion of a traffic lane to seek a ride or to sell things to people in the cars.
- If there is a pedestrian overhead walkway or tunnel, pedestrians can only cross the street after yielding the right-of-way to all vehicles if they opt not to use the tunnel or overhead passage.
- Pedestrians are not allowed to enter the road suddenly in the path of a vehicle that cannot safely stop in time.
- Whenever crossing the street at a point without a marked or unmarked crosswalk, the pedestrian must yield to all motor vehicles on the road.
- Florida law prohibits “jaywalking,” which is crossing at a point that is not a marked crosswalk where there are adjacent intersections with working traffic signals.
The law does not differentiate between someone who violates these regulations intentionally and one who does so because he is not watching where he is going.
Duties of Car Drivers Toward Pedestrians
Drivers must exercise particular care to avoid hitting people on foot because pedestrians are vulnerable to severe injuries if a car hits them. Florida law states that drivers must take these measures to protect pedestrians:
- Stop and wait for a pedestrian to cross the street when they are in the crosswalk and on or approaching the car’s half of the road.
- Obey all traffic signals and signage.
- Drivers are not allowed to pass another vehicle that is slowed or stopped for a pedestrian.
- Although a driver might have the right-of-way, he must make a reasonable attempt to avoid hitting all pedestrians and cyclists.
- Drivers must be extra careful when there are children near the street or adults who look incapacitated or confused.
A person driving a car must try to stop or slow down to avoid hitting a pedestrian, even if they are distracted or jaywalking.
What a Pedestrian Has to Prove
When a pedestrian jaywalks in Florida, he takes the risk of getting struck by a car. If the driver did not make a reasonable effort to avoid hitting the pedestrian or following the Florida Driver License Handbook, the pedestrian might be able to sue the driver for his losses.
Montero Law Center helps people injured due to the negligence of others. We provide caring, hands-on legal services for our clients. Call us today at (954) 767-6500 for a free consultation. We can help you understand if you can sue if you were struck by a car while jaywalking.