You may have been in the wrong for jaywalking. But there may have been other negligent parties and external factors that played a role in your pedestrian accident. That said, continue reading to learn whether you can file a claim after jaywalking and how an experienced Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer at Merricks Law Group, P.A. can guide you on a legal strategy.
What are the rules and regulations surrounding pedestrian safety?
Generally speaking, jaywalking is the act of crossing the street at mid-block instead of at a marked crosswalk or an intersection.
What’s more, as a pedestrian, you are held to follow the directions of official traffic control devices. In other words, you must cross an intersection with the flow of traffic facing a green light.
While jaywalking is not necessarily illegal in the state of Florida, you still hold a duty of care when crossing a street other than a marked crosswalk or intersection (i.e., look both ways before entering the road). What is illegal though, is for you to walk along the road when there is a sidewalk present; or for you to cross a street while facing a red light.
Specifically in Tampa, the fine for jaywalking may be approximately $15. What’s worse than a fine, though, is the potential injuries and damages you may incur from a pedestrian accident.
Can I file a pedestrian accident claim if I was jaywalking at the time?
Since 1973, the state of Florida has followed pure comparative negligence law. But on March 24, 2023, it was amended to change to a modified comparative negligence law; which means that a plaintiff of a personal injury claim cannot seek financial compensation if they are found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident.
So, it may be difficult to prove that your pedestrian accident was due to no fault of your own if you were found to be jaywalking. But you may be able to prove that you were 49 percent or less at fault for a chance to recover a portion of your damages. With all that being said, you may argue that the defendant was 51 percent or more at fault for your pedestrian accident in the following ways:
- You may argue that a driver was violating a traffic violation (i.e., speeding, texting while driving, etc.) at the time of your accident.
- You may argue that dangerous inclement weather (i.e., fog, rainstorms, etc.) made it difficult to see the traffic control device at the time of your accident.
- You may argue that hazardous road conditions (i.e., uncleared snow or ice, potholes, etc.) made it difficult to walk on the crosswalk at the time of your accident.
You should not have to go through your personal injury claim proceedings alone. Instead, you should seek the assistance of a skilled Tampa auto accident lawyer from Merricks Law Group, P.A. Contact our firm today.