If you run or jog, you know how exhilarating a run in the Appalachian Mountains or a jog through downtown Pittsburgh can be. If you are a law-abiding pedestrian following the rules of the road and you are hit by a careless motorist, a Western PA jogger and runner accident lawyer could assess your situation and get you the compensation you are entitled to. Our Western PA pedestrian accident attorneys commonly represent people who are injured while walking to their destinations and could help maximize your chances of success.
Safety Tips for Runners and Joggers in Western PA
As much as some people love to run outside, it is never wise to run at night by yourself in unfamiliar, sparsely populated areas. Anyone who does so should carry a deterrent, such as pepper spray or a whistle. Some other safety tips include:
- Jog on the sidewalk or shoulder facing traffic so motorists and bicyclists can easily see you;
- Do not run or jog with headsets on;
- Be aware of cars waiting to turn right and stop to allow them to turn;
- Carry identification including blood type; and
- Wear reflective clothing if running at dusk or after dark.
Following these and other safety tips does not mean an accident will not occur, however. Runners and joggers are vulnerable when reckless drivers get behind the wheel.
It is a driver’s responsibility to protect others on the road from foreseeable harm, so a motorist who negligently injures a jogger could be held liable for breaching this duty of care. A local attorney could assist an injured runner pursue compensation from a negligent motorist.
Can Runners and Joggers Share Responsibility for an Accident?
42 P.S. §7102 allows plaintiffs to recover damages from liable parties for actions based on negligence even they themselves are partly responsible. However, a plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced to account for the portion of his or her own fault. This legal doctrine is known as comparative negligence and applies in cases where multiple parties contributed to an accident.
For example, a motorist who hits and injures a jogger while intoxicated may or may not be totally responsible for the accident if the runner was crossing in front of the car against a red light. In that case, abiding by the law would have protected the jogger from harm and therefore places some blame on him or her.
Western PA courts award compensation in proportion to the amount of blame that is allocated. For instance, if a runner is awarded $100,000 but deemed to be 10 percent liable for his or her own injuries, the damage award will be reduced by 10 percent to $90,000.
Statute of Limitations for Civil Claims
42 P.S. §5524 gives an injured jogger two years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for his or her losses. Meeting deadlines is a critical factor in obtaining compensation from liable parties.
If a lawsuit is filed after the deadline expires, the court may refuse to hear the case, and the plaintiff will be barred from seeking any damages whatsoever. To avoid making this filing error, runners and joggers harmed by reckless drivers are encouraged to contact a local attorney for assistance.
Let a Western PA Jogger/Runner Accident Attorney Advocate for You
Running and jogging are popular exercises that promote physical and mental well-being. Even if you are doing everything you can to ensure your safety while running, sometimes what you do is not enough to protect you from someone else’s carelessness.
If you were hurt in a collision with a negligent motorist, a Western PA jogger and runner accident lawyer could advocate for you in a civil claim to recover compensation for your injuries. Call our team today to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys about your case.