As runners, the law is on our side if we get bit or otherwise injured by a dog. Most states have laws that hold dog owners "strictly liable" for injuries their dogs cause. The statutes are stronger than the law of negligence, which traditionally imposed a "one bite" rule that imposed liability only if a dog had bitten before.

Even though the laws are runner-friendly, we still have obligations to run with commonsense, not provoke dogs, and avoid trespassing where dogs might be found and cause us injury.

Most railroad tracks are private property or travel across private property. Runners face both legal liability and personal injury when they go there. When runners get injured while running on or around railroad tracks, chances are slim they can win in court.

Go the for more.


This is the second in a series of episodes on how the law of trespassing intersects with the sport of running. In this episode, attorney Steve Aggergaard explains why being on private property does not automatically make runners trespassers.

Recent events stemming from the tragic death of 25-year-old runner Ahmaud Arbery have increased focus on the threat of violent attack while running, and consequently the right of self-defense. This episode provides some generalities on the factors that go into when we have a legal right to defend ourselves.

This is the first in a series of episodes that explore the rights runners have to use private property. How do we know when property is private and not welcome? Look for signs, look for fences, and obey directives to leave private property.


Unleashed dogs present a danger to runners in cities, suburbs, parks, and rural areas. With many of us exploring new areas for running during these weeks of social distancing, it is worth considering the laws that apply when runners are bit or otherwise injured by dogs.

Some counties in California are requiring runners to maintain social distancing by moving off sidewalks and even into the street to avoid other pedestrians. As for wearing masks, they are recommended but not required.

Gyms are among the first businesses to get the go-ahead to reopen in some states and communities. Can runners blame their gyms if they believe they contracted a virus at the gym? The fine print in gym contracts makes it difficult to do so.

Runners might find themselves running in the street more often these days, to practice social distancing but also because there are fewer cars. This episode explores your legal right to run in the street when sidewalks are available.

Runner and lawyer Steve Aggergaard explains what happens under the law when running-related events are canceled because of global pandemics, bad weather, or bad planning.


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