How Right of Way Laws in Tampa, Florida Affect Pedestrian Accident Claims

The Sunshine State is a warm-weather haven for residents and visitors alike. Many people enjoy taking advantage of the sunshine and Gulf Coast breezes by electing to travel by foot. However, like most of Florida, most of Tampa’s roads are not designed with pedestrian safety in mind. Understanding pedestrian right-of-way laws is crucial for avoiding catastrophic accidents.

Contrary to popular belief, pedestrians do not always automatically have the right of way in Florida. Some situations require drivers to yield to pedestrians, but others put the onus on pedestrians to preserve their own safety and avoid creating dangerous situations for other road users. If you have suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in Tampa, here is what you need to know about how right-of-way laws can influence the outcome of your compensation claim.

Where Do Florida Pedestrians Have the Right of Way?

In Florida, pedestrians have the right of way in several situations.


When a pedestrian is crossing the street at a marked crosswalk or intersection with traffic control signals, drivers must yield to the pedestrian. (However, if a signalized crosswalk displays a DON’T WALK signal, the pedestrian must yield to traffic.) Additionally, when a pedestrian is crossing at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, vehicles must yield the right of way to the pedestrian.


Pedestrians have the right of way at roundabout crosswalks. However, because motorists can often be distracted by other vehicles or navigational difficulties on roundabouts, pedestrians should exercise extreme caution.


Pedestrians also have the right of way on sidewalks. Drivers entering or exiting driveways, alleys, or parking lots must yield to pedestrians on the sidewalk. It is important for drivers to exercise caution and look out for pedestrians in these areas.

Parking Lots 

Parking lots are designed to permit people to leave their vehicles and make their way on foot to their destination. Drivers should yield to pedestrians in parking lots. Nevertheless, pedestrians should refrain from suddenly jumping into the path of motorists who are searching for or pulling out of a parking space. Pedestrians may be liable for accidents they cause with this type of behavior.

Where Should Florida Pedestrians Yield to Motorists?

While pedestrians often have the right of way, there are situations where they must yield to motorists.

Pedestrians should not suddenly leave a curb and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close that the motorist is unable to yield. In other words, pedestrians must not create hazardous situations for drivers who do not have sufficient time to react and stop safely.

Furthermore, when crossing outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, a pedestrian must yield the right of way to vehicles. Pedestrians should always exercise caution and ensure that it is safe to cross before doing so.

The Role of Insurance in Florida Pedestrian Accident Claims

Insurance plays a significant role in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident in Florida. As a no-fault state, Florida requires all drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which covers a portion of their medical expenses and lost wages, no matter who was at fault for the accident.

In Florida, PIP coverage for a registered vehicle covers any pedestrian that vehicle hits. The minimum PIP policy amount is $10,000. PIP coverage is often insufficient to fully compensate pedestrian accident victims for their losses, particularly in cases involving severe injuries. In such situations, if the at-fault party’s PIP coverage is exhausted and the pedestrian’s injuries are severe, they could file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurer for the remainder of their losses.

It is important to note that insurance companies often prioritize their own financial interests and may attempt to minimize or deny valid claims. Working with a skilled pedestrian accident attorney can help you navigate the complex insurance process, protect your rights, and fight for the total compensation you deserve. 

How Is Fault Determined in a Florida Pedestrian Accident?

How Right of Way Laws in Tampa, Florida Affect Pedestrian Accident ClaimsDetermining fault in a Florida pedestrian accident involves a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Factors such as the location of the accident, whether the pedestrian was crossing at a designated crosswalk, and the actions of both the pedestrian and the driver leading up to the collision are all taken into account.

Florida follows a comparative negligence rule, which means that fault can be apportioned between the parties involved in the accident. If the pedestrian is found to be partially at fault, their compensation may be reduced by the percentage of their own negligence. For example, if a pedestrian is deemed 20 percent at fault and their total damages are $100,000, they would receive $80,000 in compensation. However, if the pedestrian was 51% or more at fault for the accident, they would be unable to collect any compensation at all.

Evidence such as eyewitness statements, traffic camera footage, police reports, and accident reconstruction experts can all play a significant role in determining fault. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help gather and analyze this evidence to build a strong case on behalf of the injured pedestrian and ensure that their rights are protected throughout the legal process. 

Contact an Experienced Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Pedestrians are uniquely vulnerable on the road. An accident at any speed can cause potentially fatal harm, such as traumatic brain injuries and organ damage. Survivors often require intensive medical intervention and physical therapy for months or longer. The impact on a pedestrian accident victim’s personal and professional life can create excruciating pain and long-lasting emotional trauma. When a negligent party is responsible for these losses, you may be entitled to file a claim to hold them accountable and recover compensation.

The experienced Tampa pedestrian accident attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers understand how overwhelming the aftermath of these events can be. We have spent nearly 20 years fighting on behalf of injured individuals, and our successful track record is a testament to our commitment to excellence. With us on your side, you will have the support and advocacy you deserve. Call us today at (619) 233-5020 or contact us online for a free case review to learn more about how we can help you.


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