Comparative Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents

Comparative negligence shapes the way damages are awarded in accidents where multiple parties share fault. This legal principle recognizes that in many incidents, the actions of all involved contribute to the resulting harm.

In Florida pedestrian accidents, comparative negligence can drastically alter your ability to secure full and fair compensation. If you are facing accusations of liability after your collision, it is essential to contact an attorney right away to protect your right to recovery.

What Is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine used to apportion blame among parties involved in an accident. These laws, which vary from state to state, acknowledge that more than one party can be at fault and adjust compensation accordingly

The key premise of comparative negligence is that an injured party’s compensation can be reduced or barred based on their own contribution to the accident. This approach ensures a fairer distribution of damages, reflecting each party’s responsibility.

Florida’s Comparative Fault Laws for Pedestrian Accidents

Florida’s comparative fault laws have undergone significant changes in recent years. Previously, the state followed a pure comparative negligence rule, allowing injured parties to recover damages even if they were predominantly at fault. However, their recovery would be reduced by their percentage of liability.

In March 2023, the state introduced a new law that follows a modified comparative fault standard. Under this new rule, an injured party can no longer recover damages if they are found to be 51% or more at fault for the accident

Florida Statutes Section 768.81. Comparative fault

6) GREATER PERCENTAGE OF FAULT.—In a negligence action to which this section applies, any party found to be greater than 50 percent at fault for his or her own harm may not recover any damages. This subsection does not apply to an action for damages for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of medical negligence pursuant to chapter 766.

Examples of Comparative Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents

Comparative negligence plays a crucial role in pedestrian accidents, profoundly impacting the compensation an injured party may receive. There are many situations where this doctrine may apply

One common scenario involves a pedestrian crossing the street outside of a designated crosswalk, also known as jaywalking. If a vehicle strikes the pedestrian, the driver and the pedestrian may share responsibility for the accident. Factors such as the pedestrian’s decision to cross in an unsafe manner and the driver’s ability to avoid the collision could affect the pedestrian’s degree of fault.

Another example of comparative negligence can be seen when a pedestrian is engaged in distracted walking, such as using a smartphone or wearing headphones while crossing the street. This lack of attention to the surrounding traffic conditions can lead to an accident for which the pedestrian bears partial blame. If a vehicle hits the pedestrian under these circumstances, the court or insurance adjuster will consider the pedestrian’s distraction as a contributing factor to the accident, potentially reducing their recoverable damages.

Protect Your Rights—Contact an Attorney Today

Navigating a pedestrian accident can be daunting, and if comparative negligence is involved, the process can feel even more overwhelming. A Riverview pedestrian accident attorney can help protect your rights and argue for reduced liability on your behalf. To begin building your legal strategy, contact a lawyer as soon as possible and learn more about your options for compensation.