Recently a potential client came to my Cape Coral Law office after suffering a broken leg. His story was that he was working at a job site, became thirsty and ran across the street to the local 7-11. Unfortunately, as he was crossing the street, a truck failed to see him and hit him causing the fractured leg. He, of course, thought the truck driver was totally at fault and wanted Lusk, Drasites, Tolisano & Smith P.A. to sue him immediately. The client was somewhat surprised when I told him that depending on the facts of the accident, the truck driver may arguably not been at fault in the accident under Florida Law.
For instance, if a person crosses an intersection that has a traffic light and a crosswalk, that person is obligated to wait for the green light and/or walk signal and then cross in that crosswalk. If it is not a lighted intersection, the driver of the vehicle must yield the right of way to the pedestrian only if the pedestrian is in the crosswalk. If that pedestrian is not in the crosswalk, the pedestrian has to yield the right-of-way to the vehicle driver. Upon hearing all of this, the client was somewhat startled and said he honestly could not recall if he was in the crosswalk or if he waited for the traffic light to turn green. The only consoling news I could tell him was that he might still have a case no matter what the facts are since that same Florida Statute says that every driver of a vehicle must exercise “due care” to avoid colliding with a pedestrian regardless of how the pedestrian crossed the road. Written by: Mark P. Smith, Board Certified Trial Attorney