Jogging may be a great way to stay in shape, but runners are vulnerable to organ damage, paralysis, and other severe injuries when they're involved in pedestrian accidents caused by distracted or careless motorists. Compensation may be available, but you'll need to follow some basic steps to protect your legal rights.
Determining Liability for Your Injuries
Determining who is responsible for your injuries is the first step in seeking compensation. Runners are legally required to use the sidewalk when one is available. In the absence of a sidewalk, there is no law stating which side of the road you should be on. Studies have shown jogging against traffic may reduce the risk of injury, but you won't be considered negligent if you were jogging with the flow of traffic, as long as you were clearly on the shoulder of the road.
Running with headphones is quite common, but music that is too loud may affect your ability to remain alert to your surroundings. While runners aren't generally considered at fault when an accident occurs, you could be held partially responsible if you darted into traffic or ignored a crossing light because you were distracted by your music.
The easiest way to prove liability for your injuries is to learn if the driver was ticketed following the accident. Citations such as those for speeding, running a red light, or texting while driving may be used to support your claim that the driver who hit you was negligent. However, witness testimony, surveillance video, or testimony from an accident reconstruction expert could be used if needed.
Vehicles Driven by Someone Other Than the Owner
If the driver who hit you was operating a car belonging to another party, you might be able to file a claim against the vehicle owner. This type of case often involves someone driving a vehicle owned by an employer such as a pizza delivery or UPS driver. Employers have a legal responsibility for the actions of their workers.
Types of Damages You Can Recover
In a personal injury claim, you can seek to be compensated for:
- Medical expenses immediately following the accident, including emergency care, diagnostic tests, surgery, hospital stays, and pain medication
- Future medical needs, if your injuries have left you with a TBI or other type of permanent disability
- Lost wages from the time you were recovering
- Loss of future earning potential related to any permanent disability suffered as the result of the accident
- Pain and suffering, including both physical pain and emotional trauma
If your accident is caused by an uninsured driver or someone with insufficient coverage to account for all of your injuries, your own auto policy, Personal Injury Protection coverage, or Med-Pay coverage could be used to pay for some of your expenses.
Regardless of who is legally responsible for your expenses, documenting your damages is essential. You'll need to provide copies of your medical bills, pay stubs proving lost wages, and testimony from expert witnesses about how your injuries will impact future medical needs and earning potential.
Protecting Your Financial Future
Runners hit by cars often suffer injuries requiring lengthy treatment. However, insurance companies tend to be more interested in protecting their bottom line than making sure an injured runner has the resources necessary to recover.
The best way to protect your financial future after suffering injuries in an auto accident is to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney who can advocate for your needs throughout the process of resolving your claim. Your attorney can gather evidence to prove liability, document your damages, find relevant experts to testify on your behalf, and negotiate with the insurance company as needed.
Louisiana has strict statute of limitations laws for personal injury claims. In most cases, you have one year from the date of the accident to file your claim or you lose your right to compensation.
Have You Been Involved In A Louisiana Pedestrian Accident?
If you've been injured in a pedestrian accident you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.