Pedestrian Cross-Walk Laws in Tampa, Florida

With 1,500 miles of interstate and about 275,000 miles of state roads, Florida is not particularly well-known as a pedestrian-friendly state. Whether traveling by foot, wheelchair, or even roller skates, pedestrians often have a challenging time getting themselves from place to place in Tampa without feeling nervous about their safety. In fact, recent studies have determined that Florida has one of the country’s highest rates of pedestrian fatalities.

What are your rights if you are a pedestrian who has suffered injuries in an accident in Tampa? With such a high potential for severe or even fatal injury in pedestrian accidents, it is essential to understand the laws that are in place to protect pedestrians. The experienced Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers have compiled this crosswalk safety and legal guide to help you understand your rights.

Why Are Pedestrian Accidents So Common in Florida?

Several factors contribute to the high rate of pedestrian accidents in Florida. First, the state’s warm and sunny climate attracts many tourists and residents to engage in outdoor activities year-round, leading to a higher number of pedestrians on the streets. Additionally, Florida’s infrastructure is primarily designed for vehicles, with wide roads, high-speed limits, and limited sidewalks or crosswalks in some areas. This can make it challenging for pedestrians to safely navigate the streets.

Another factor is the high population of elderly residents in Florida. Older pedestrians may have slower reaction times, impaired vision, or limited mobility, making them more vulnerable to accidents. Distracted driving is also a significant problem, with many motorists using their phones or engaging in other distracting behaviors while behind the wheel, increasing the risk of collisions with pedestrians. 

Understanding Crosswalk Laws in Florida

While crosswalks might not appear as frequently as they should in Florida, they are there to keep pedestrians safe from harm. Pedestrians should be aware of all road users’ rights and legal responsibilities at crosswalks. According to Florida Statute 316.130, here is what pedestrians and motorists need to keep in mind. 

  • When traffic signals are present at crosswalks, pedestrians must obey the signals under all circumstances. The one exception to this rule is when a police officer is directing traffic flow.
  • Motorists must stop their vehicles when there is a walk signal and when pedestrians are in the crosswalk.
  • Motorists must not pass another vehicle that has stopped to allow pedestrians to cross, whether at a crosswalk or elsewhere.
  • When crossing on a crosswalk, pedestrians should walk on the right side. 

Motorists who contravene the above laws or do not give pedestrians the right of way may be legally liable for losses resulting from any accidents they cause. 

Other Laws Pertaining to Pedestrians

When not crossing a crosswalk, Florida law requires pedestrians to adhere to the following laws: 

  • Pedestrians should not walk on the street if a sidewalk is available. If a sidewalk is unavailable, pedestrians should walk along the side of the road.
  • It is illegal to solicit rides (hitchhike), conduct business, or solicit employment while standing in a roadway.
  • It is illegal and extremely dangerous for pedestrians to suddenly move into the path of moving vehicles.
  • Crossing an intersection at a diagonal is illegal unless directed by a police officer or other traffic official.
  • Pedestrians are prohibited from walking on highways, freeways, and interstates.

If a pedestrian fails to observe the above laws, they may bear some legal liability for any resulting accidents. However, you should always consult a knowledgeable Florida pedestrian accident attorney after being hurt in a crash. A full investigation can determine who is ultimately at fault. 

What to Do If You Are Involved in a Pedestrian Accident in Tampa

Pedestrian Cross-Walk Laws in Tampa, FloridaIf you are involved in a pedestrian accident in Tampa, your first priority should be your health and safety. If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately, even if you believe your injuries are minor. In many cases, your injuries may not be immediately apparent, and prompt medical care can help prevent further complications.

If possible, gather evidence at the scene of the accident. Take photos of the area, your injuries, and any damage to property. Collect contact information from the driver involved and any witnesses who may have seen the accident.

After receiving medical treatment, take the following steps:

  • Follow your medical professional’s advice and attend all follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and recovery. Failure to do so can prompt insurance companies to argue that the treatment you have received was medically unnecessary and excessively costly.
  • Maintain accurate records of your medical treatment, expenses, and any lost income resulting from the accident. These documents will help you prove the nature of your injuries and the extent of your economic losses.
  • Avoid making public statements about the accident or your injuries, as these could be used against you in legal proceedings.
  • Consult with a skilled Florida pedestrian accident attorney who can help protect your rights and guide you through the legal process.

You may be eligible to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses related to the accident. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the complex processes of insurance claims and legal proceedings, working to secure the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Rights Lawyer in Tampa

Suffering injuries in a pedestrian accident can be one of the most traumatic and overwhelming experiences in your life. You might feel lost, confused, and alone. However, it is essential to remember that help is available. Working with a seasoned Tampa pedestrian accident attorney can help you understand your rights and recover the compensation you deserve.

The experienced team at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers has handled pedestrian accident claims for nearly 20 years, and we are ready to give you the support and advocacy you need at this challenging time. Call us today at (619) 233-5020 or contact us via our online form for a free case evaluation to learn more about how we can help you fight and win against greedy insurance companies.

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