Anytime there is a collision between the human body and a car, the automobile always wins.
A pedestrian suffered a jogging injury while jogging in the city of Sacramento. The jogger was injured when they were hit by a car. While crossing a street, an automobile collided with the jogger. The jogger sued the City of Sacramento for its failure to warn motorists, who were driving on a dangerous S-curve, of a crosswalk. The Plaintiff (jogger) was partially paralyzed and, as a result of injuries to the brain, had difficulty talking. In April of 2011, Plaintiff was awarded $18 million in damages. 51% of the award was attributed to the city. Despite the verdict, reportedly there was a pretrial agreement that capped damages at $6 million.
Risk of Jogging
Joggers and runners are perhaps at an even higher risk than the average pedestrian because their fast speeds may make them harder to see. A jogging injury accident can be the result of many different things. Many running and jogging accidents are the result of negligent drivers. Many different things can be negligence, but the most common we have seen include:
- Distracted driving (e.g., texting, talking on the phone, eating, talking to passengers, daydreaming, changing the radio station, etc.);
- Fatigued driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Reckless driving (e.g., speeding, swerving in and out of traffic, tailgating, etc.)
- Poor Visibility
Jogging Injury Liability
Like every accident case, liability for a jogging injury accident depends on the facts of the case. In some cases, the driver will be completely at fault; in others, the runner could be partially liable. It is imperative that you determine and establish liability because any fault you have in the accident will diminish your settlement amount.
More jogging injury accidents happen at night than during the day. Without reflective clothing, joggers and runners may be nearly invisible to a driver until it is too late to avoid a collision. In addition to low levels of light, rainy or snowy weather conditions can also contribute to poor pedestrian visibility.
Jogging Injury Evidence
What evidence should you collect after a jogging injury accident? In order to prove fault and liability after a jogging injury accident, there are certain types of evidence you should collect.
- Medical information: Go to the doctor even if you do not think you suffered injuries. You may feel fine and then suffer from complications days or weeks later. Not only will visiting a doctor ensure your safety, but your medical records will serve as proof of your injury and will be invaluable during any future lawsuits or insurance settlement negotiations.
- Driver’s information: It is likely that you and the driver exchanged information at the scene. Make sure that you keep this information handy; consider creating a folder with all pertinent information. This can include any pictures you took at the scene, the police report, contact information of any eyewitnesses, etc.
- Record what happened: You should also jot down your side of the story while the facts are still fresh in your mind. If you are unable to collect this information due to your injuries, ask a friend or family member to do so on your behalf. Place this in your folder as well.
While you should always report an accident to your insurance company (to file a personal injury protection claim) and to the other driver’s insurance company (to file a third party liability claim), you should never agree to give a recorded statement.
The insurance company is a business and it will try to get away with paying you as little for your accident as possible. Tactics the insurer may use to accomplish this include getting you to admit to fault on a recorded statement (even if the driver is 100 percent at fault).
And keep going to the doctor. The worst thing you can do for your claim aside from giving a recorded statement is skipping your doctor’s appointments. The insurer may use your missed doctor’s appointments as evidence that you are faking or exaggerating your injuries.
Many people think that they cannot afford a lawyer so they should just represent themselves. This is rarely a good idea. You may unknowingly overstep a time limit or commit another mistake that will jeopardize your claim.
Having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference in the world. A licensed attorney will be able to represent you and get you the best possible outcome regarding your case.
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