One of the very first things we all learn as children is to hold hands when we cross the street. As we get older and realize that crossing a street is a “survivable” experience, the need to hold hands and the fear both diminish. For many of us, crossing busy streets remains a common part of our daily experience. It is such a commonplace that we tend to underestimate just how dangerous and potentially fatal crossing a busy street can be. Para leer en español haga clic aquí.
For example, according to Florida’s Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department, nearly 500 pedestrians are killed and 7,500 seriously injured each year in Florida alone. And the number of traffic accidents increases every year, perhaps partly because of the increased number of people who are taking public transportation and then having to walk the rest of the way to work, school, or home.
Read this post about a Florida teen tragically killed as a pedestrian.
Hit by a car while crossing the street in Florida-call: 1-866-597-4529
For some reason, statistically men are almost twice as likely to be killed crossing Florida streets, especially men between the ages of 45-54. I am 48 years old, which puts me both in the most dangerous age and gender categories. If I were to guess why more men my age die crossing Florida’s streets, I would assume it has something to do with my own over-estimation of how quickly I can run from point A to point B. In other words, I simply no longer move the way I once did but have not quite come to realize it.
Pedestrians are subject to Florida Statute Section 316.130 and its 19 subsections. The details in the statute tell me, as a Miami car accident lawyer, that the way many people cross a street in Florida is not only dangerous but also potentially illegal.
Pedestrian Law in Florida
Here are eight interesting “highlights” found in Florida’s pedestrian law. Some may seem obvious, but others may surprise you:
1. If there is a sidewalk, you must use it and cannot walk or run in the street. 316.130(3).
2. You cannot stand in the road to hitch hike, or sell things like water, fruit, or chewing gum–all things one sees frequently at busy intersections in South Florida. 316.130 (6).
3. Drivers must stop for a pedestrian entering the roadway using a crosswalk. 316.130 (7).
4. Drivers cannot pass or overtake a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk for a pedestrian. 316.130 (9).
5. Drivers have the right of way over a pedestrian who is crossing the road at a place other than at a crosswalk. In other words, pedestrians DO NOT always have the right of way in Florida. 316.130 (10).
6. It is illegal to cross a road between adjacent intersections and not use a crosswalk. 316.130 (11).
7. One must cross the road using the shortest and most direct route (except at crosswalks) from curb to curb. (Something I, unfortunately, ignored every day when walking to the courthouse from our Coral Gables personal injury firm … until now).
8. It is illegal to jump off a publicly owned bridge, and the failure of a city or county to post a warning sign does not impose liability. Florida has thousands of large and small bridges crossing canals, lakes, and the intracoastal. Jumping off these bridges is not only dangerous but also violates 316.130 (17).
Legal Help for Injured Pedestrians
Our personal injury attorneys in Florida are passionate about protecting the legal rights of those who have been hurt or killed in traffic accidents. Many people do not realize that a pedestrian hit by a car, truck, bus, or motorcycle in Florida is entitled to special insurance benefits that will pay up to $10,000 for lost wages and medical expenses and an additional $5,000 for funeral expenses.
With law offices in Tampa and Miami, we accept cases across the State on a contingency fee basis. In other words, we do not get paid unless we are successful in getting our clients money for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
With more than 25 years of combined legal experience in representing people–and fighting against insurance companies like State Farm, All State, and Geico–we can help you. Please call Toll Free at 866-597-4529 or email us today.