You may observe all of the traffic laws for pedestrians in Tampa and still find yourself the victim of a pedestrian accident. There is only so much an individual can do to observe the traffic law before the burden falls on potentially negligent drivers. That is why it is best to be aware of Tampa traffic laws, and your rights as a pedestrian. If you have already been involved in a pedestrian accident, the counsel of an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can be indispensable in helping you seek damages for your injuries.
Pedestrian Laws in Tampa
Pedestrians are obligated to cross at crosswalks and to follow the traffic signals designated for pedestrians. In Florida, a pedestrian is deemed to possess the right of way, and have a lesser duty. Vehicles are obligated to ensure that they are operating their vehicles safely, with a higher duty.
A pedestrian should recognize that traffic rules are put in place to protect people. Crossing at crosswalks, avoiding jaywalking, and waiting for the light to turn are things that are designed to make sure the person stays safe. In the Tampa area, a pedestrian will not get a citation for jaywalking, but he may lose a leg over it.
If a pedestrian is clearly not following the rules set forth for pedestrians, that is called comparative negligence and partly responsible for their own injuries. A jury in Florida is instructed by the courts to reduce the level of compensation by the same percentage of liability that a pedestrian may have had in causing the accident and does not get to recover for his injuries.
Common Locations Where Accidents Occur
Generally, there are more accidents in places where people congregate. Tampa has a crosswalk at every intersection. Some major intersections in Tampa include Kennedy Boulevard which is a big thoroughfare in Tampa, as well as Westshore. There is a huge mall at International Plaza on Bay Street which is a big intersection. Dale and Mabry highway is a major intersection. Howard/Armenia are called parallel roads, but they are one way; Howard travels south and Armenia travels north.
Responsibility of Pedestrians and Drivers
The pedestrian is responsible for regulating their own behavior, although the traffic patterns are set by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation, or the municipality. Pedestrians are obligated to follow traffic laws for pedestrians in Tampa, to navigate traffic at intersections and obey the crosswalk signs. Drivers are obligated to ensure that they are operating their motor vehicle safely and that they recognize that it is the pedestrian that has the right of way.
A pedestrian has the right of way when they cross the street at a crosswalk. If the pedestrian is in the appropriate location when an injury occurs, it is very difficult to prove, from the driver’s standpoint, that the pedestrian may have been doing something wrong. The burden then falls on the driver.
Importance of Paying Attention
It is generally a good idea for pedestrians to pay attention to what is going on around them. No settlement from a lawsuit is worth a person’s health or the injuries that most people suffer in a pedestrian/vehicle accident. If someone is following the traffic laws for pedestrians in Tampa and is acting in a reasonably safe manner, that person is not responsible. When a pedestrian is acting unreasonable or unsafe, they risk comparative negligence.
If pedestrians are paying attention and they use those crosswalks, it makes them far more attentive to what is happening in their surroundings. However, there is a lot of heavy traffic in Tampa and even though pedestrians may be walking in a crosswalk, drivers are impatient and become aggressive, sometimes causing drivers to cut in and out of traffic. The drivers are focused on traffic as opposed to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
Value of a Lawyer
Getting into a pedestrian traffic accident can be a terrifying experience. It is even more upsetting if you were hit while observing local pedestrian traffic laws. If you have been hit by a driver while crossing the street, it is important that you get in touch with a lawyer who can fight for you. A qualified traffic lawyer will possess a knowledge of traffic laws for pedestrians in Tampa and will be able to use that knowledge to build your case.