Over 165 pedestrians died and almost 4,000 were injured in Pennsylvania alone in 2014, reports the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Given these numbers, we know that pedestrian traffic accidents are a real and serious risk.
Joggers and runners are perhaps at an even higher risk than the average pedestrian because their fast speeds may make them harder to see. For help recovering injury compensation, call a jogger and runner pedestrian lawyer in Pittsburgh at Berger and Green: 412-661-1400.
What causes jogger and runner pedestrian accidents?
A jogger or runner pedestrian accident can be the result of many different things, such as:
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.)
The NHTSA says that more pedestrian 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.
Who is liable for jogger and runner pedestrian accidents?
Like every accident case, liability 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.
For example, if a driver was texting, ran a red light, and hit a jogger, he or she would likely be 100 percent liable for the accident. However, if a driver was texting and hit a jogger crossing the street, the two parties may share liability if the jogger did not have the right of way.
It is imperative that you determine and establish liability because any fault you have in the accident will diminish your settlement amount.
If the insurer or court found the driver 55 percent liable and you 45 percent liable for the accident mentioned above, you would only be able to recover 55 percent of your settlement.
Determining liability is difficult, especially for the average person. It requires experience and knowledge of the laws surrounding negligence in Pennsylvania. Fortunately, our attorneys have over 40 years of experience in this field and often work with accident reconstructionists to determine how an accident occurred and who caused it.
What evidence should you collect after a pedestrian accident?
In order to prove fault and liability after a pedestrian accident, there are certain types of evidence you should collect.
First, seek medical attention. 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.
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.
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.
Is there anything else I should know?
Never Agree to a Recorded Statement
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).
Make sure that you run your case by a lawyer before giving a recorded statement. A Pittsburgh pedestrian accident attorney can either tell you what not to say on the call or manage communication with the insurer entirely.
Keep Up with Your Doctor’s Appointments
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.
Do Not Try to Represent Yourself
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.
Contact the Pittsburgh Accident Attorneys of Berger and Green for Help
The pedestrian accident lawyers at Berger and Green in Pittsburgh are available to help you after a pedestrian traffic accident. We can help you file a claim with an insurance company or bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party. We will fight to recover the maximum possible settlement or award of damages for your injuries.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case: 412-661-1400.