Who’s at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?

Trusted Content

Legally reviewed by:

Erik Abrahamson, J.D. September 11, 2019

It is important for drivers to operate their vehicles carefully and safely, especially when there are pedestrians present. In most accidents involving pedestrians, the driver of the vehicle is at fault for the accident and may be held liable for any injuries sustained by the pedestrian. However, there are some cases when a pedestrian may be partially responsible for their own injuries.

When is a Pedestrian Responsible for an Accident? 

A reasonably cautious driver would take steps to avoid hitting a pedestrian in any situation. However, sometimes, pedestrians do things that make it difficult for a driver to avoid a collision such as:

  • Walking down a busy highway at night in dark clothing
  • Suddenly darting out into the street
  • Walking along a highway or bridge where pedestrian traffic is prohibited
  • Suddenly crossing against the traffic signal

If a driver is doing everything they can reasonably do to avoid an accident with a pedestrian and there is still an accident, then a pedestrian may not be able to recover compensation for their injuries.

When the Driver and the Pedestrian are Both at Fault

In a more common scenario, a driver and a pedestrian can both be at fault for an accident. For example, a pedestrian may be crossing against the signal, but the driver was driving over the speed limit and unable to stop in time. In this case, both parties may bear some responsibility for any injuries.

In Florida, the rule of pure comparative negligence would apply in a case where both the pedestrian and the driver are at fault. In a pure comparative negligence scenario, the damages sustained are divided between the parties based on the percentage of fault they have for the injuries. If for example, a pedestrian was found to have sustained $100,000 in damages as a result of the accident, a jury would determine the percentage of fault for each party. If a jury found that the pedestrian was 40% at fault by jaywalking and the driver was 60% at fault for speeding, the pedestrian may be able to recover $60,000 in damages from the driver.

Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney

Determining fault in a pedestrian-car accident can be difficult. If you’re a pedestrian who has been injured in an accident, you may want to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Florida. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have been helping accident victims in Tampa Bay for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.