The amount of people running outdoors has increased during the past few years due to the pandemic. More than a fifth of all runners reveal that they run more often than they did previously, because of Covid-19. However, some areas in Houston are not suitable places for people to be involved in this activity due to unsafe road conditions.
The problem with Houston roads is that they are increasingly congested. Walking lanes and/or trails often interfere with the flow of traffic, and in some cases, there are no such lanes. Since runners must share the road with vehicles, putting the runner in danger, accidents have increased.
Most of these accidents are caused by drivers who simply do not see the runners. Since runners do not have enough protection, their risk of becoming severely injured increases tremendously.
Running accidents statistics
Running is one of the most popular and practiced sports worldwide. In the United States alone, almost 60 million people participated in running, jogging, and trail running in 2021. Walking for fitness drew more than 110 million participants in the U.S. in that same year.
In 2021, the Department of Transportation stats reported 77,000 ‘Pedestrian’ (Walk, Run, Stationary) accidents requiring a trip to the hospital, while data specific to runner accidents were not reported, we can get a better sense of the proportion of runners, based on the type of accident and time of day.
Of the most frequent reasons for reported injuries, runners are likely to have higher representation in the ‘tripped on uneven/cracked sidewalk’ (24%) and ‘hit by car’ (12%) categories.
Time of Day provides an even clearer picture of the degree to which runners are seriously injured. Out of the 77,000 injuries to Pedestrians (walkers, runners, stationary), the injury time of day shows peak times are after dark when a far greater number of runners are training.
There is an accident involving a runner every thirty minutes in the United States.
Main causes of accidents with runners
Runners are at great risk of serious injury when involved in an accident. Without adequate protection, such as a helmet, or reflective gear while running at night, and considering the size and structure of a car, the slightest hit can severely injure a runner.
When there is a collision between a runner and a car, the runner will be the one who gets the worst injuries. Due to the sensitive and vulnerable nature of runners, motorists must exercise care and caution when sharing the road with them.
Some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents with runners include:
-The driver’s distraction
-A Driver who does not give way at the intersection
-A driver who does not pay attention when opening the door of a car
-A drunk driver
-A driver who leaves a driveway or alley without looking
Accidents with runners do not always involve a motor vehicle. Because runners can run at a fast pace, the slightest obstacle can cause tripping and falling. Being attacked by a dog, forced out of the lane/trail by another runner, or even trying to avoid running over bad terrain, can lead a runner to suffer an accident.
No matter the cause of the accident, running accidents often involve very serious injuries. This is because the runner does not have protective equipment.
After suffering an accident, a runner can suffer injuries such as:
-Serious bone fractures
These are just some of the damages that a runner can suffer if hit by a car. It should also be mentioned that many of these injuries may have repercussions over time and can seriously affect the runner’s quality of life.
Run with the assumption that drivers do not see you. No matter how safe you are and how well you understand the risks, you are still vulnerable to being hit, as you have no control over inattentive and/or negligent motorists.
After a running accident, look at the accident site for the location of surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident (Time is of vital importance – surveillance images are commonly recorded and saved only for a few days and then deleted).
What if you are partially responsible for the accident?
It is possible to file a lawsuit for injuries against a motorist even if you were partially responsible for the accident.
When you are partially at fault in the accident the term “comparative negligence” is used, this means that you will be assigned a percentage of blame (otherwise known as “culpability”) for the accident. The other party’s insurance company will try to use the term “comparative negligence” against you to reduce the settlement amount to reach an agreement. For example, if you are assigned a 50% culpability, the settlement you will be offered will be reduced by half.
The insurance company will try to assign the guilt of the accident directly to you. For that reason, you must have an experienced attorney at your side, a lawyer who will fight aggressively against the insurance company in case they try to blame you for the accident.
Our lawyers will assess your case even if you were partially guilty of the accident.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage also applies to running accidents
One of the first questions we ask our clients is: Do you have Uninsured Motorist coverage?
For example, if while running or jogging, you are hit by a driver who does not have auto insurance or insufficient auto insurance to cover your injuries, you have the right to a claim through your own Uninsured Motorist Coverage policy.
This coverage is valid while you are running and are hit by a car. If you run regularly, we encourage you to obtain uninsured motorist coverage of at least $250,000 per person.
How to know if you need an accident lawyer?
If you have been involved in an accident while running, you may need the services of an experienced accident lawyer.
Being involved in an accident can result in serious injuries, and the more serious they are, the higher the medical bills will be.
Also consider that because of the accident injuries, your daily routine can be adversely affected especially if you live a healthy lifestyle.
Contact PMR Law Today
At PMR Law, our attorneys have experience handling cases involving injuries caused by car accidents in Houston and the surrounding region. We can help you regardless of the type or severity of the injury. Reach out online or by phone to speak with a Houston injury attorney.
Contact our car accident injury lawyers at 832-844-6428, get in touch with us immediately so we can evaluate your case for free. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also fill out a form by clicking here.
PMR Law is considered one of the Best Law Firms in America, by Rue Ratings. Several of our attorneys have been given the honor of being named Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters. The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has named our attorneys 10 Best in Client Satisfaction. Speaking of personal injury, Attorney and Practice Magazine awarded our attorneys with Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney distinctions. The National Trial Lawyers have named three of our attorneys as Top 100 attorneys. The Academy of Attorneys has named two of our attorneys as Top 40 Under 40. Our attorneys have been recognized as Best Attorneys of America, by Rue Ratings. PMR Law is a proud member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum. Texas Lawyer magazine has named PMR Law as the #1 Personal Injury Law Firm in Houston.