Who’s At Fault in Car-Runner Collisions?
There are many reasons that runners run on roads or sidewalks, rather than on trails. Women may not feel safe running on secluded trails for one and two, even people who run on trails often end up having to cross streets or complete part of their run on a sidewalk, parking lot or roadway. There are safety risks for runners whenever they run alongside motor vehicle traffic. Most runners have at least one story about almost being hit by a driver who didn’t see them, and many have actually been hit by a driver. The tragic reality is that a runner doesn’t stand much of a chance against a motor vehicle; car-runner collisions usually end very badly for the runner.
If you or a loved one was the victim of a car vs. runner collision, contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney as soon as you are able. The pedestrian accident lawyer can discuss your legal rights and may be able to help you recover damages for your losses and injuries.
How many runners are hit by cars each year?
State and federal officials do not track car accidents involving runners specifically but Runner’s World ran a search of newspaper and online reports and found that almost 20 runners were killed by cars or trucks during the first 10 months of 2009 alone.
Rights and responsibilities of runners and drivers
When sharing the road, a runner has the same rights and responsibilities as a motorist. For example, a runner has the responsibility to wear a head light and/or reflective clothing when running in the dark but they also have the right to assume that drivers will see them and not crash into them. In addition, runners must obey traffic signals and should use designated crosswalks and sidewalks whenever available. Drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians on the road, including runners. Most states have traffic laws that require drivers to exercise due care to avoid hitting runners and other pedestrians. Drivers must follow the speed limit, drive appropriately for weather conditions, follow traffic signals, stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and keep a lookout for pedestrians.
Who’s at fault in car-runner collisions?
In many car versus runner collisions, the driver is deemed at-fault. A driver who crashes into a runner because they failed to stop at a cross walk, for example, may be deemed negligent and at fault in a car-runner collision.
In comparative fault states like Washington State, damages recovered by a runner can be reduced based on their own percentage of fault in the accident. If a runner failed to take reasonable steps to ensure their own safety such as wearing reflective clothing while running on a roadway in the dark, then they could be deemed partly at fault for their injuries. In some cases, a runner may be found to be completely responsible for their own accident.
Seek the help of a pedestrian accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!