Help for Alabama Motorcycle Accident Victims
It is crucial to investigate the cause of your motorcycle accident in order to determine liability of the at-fault party. You need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who will collect evidence and establish a strong case to help you obtain maximum damages.
In a motorcycle personal injury claim, you may be entitled to damages for the following:
- Medical bills
- Physical pain
- Loss of future earnings
- Property loss or damage
- Emotional turmoil
- Physical Impairment
- Loss of quality of life
If there is evidence that indicates that another party was reckless and caused your injuries, you have the right to seek monetary compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional losses. However, the final amount of compensation differs depending on the situation.
Establishing Fault in a Motorcycle Crash
Irrespective of whether you were riding your motorcycle safely, accidents can occur, and determining fault is a common element in such cases. In Alabama, the law of pure contributory negligence will apply to personal injury cases. This means that you are not eligible for any compensation if you are also found responsible for the incident. This rule holds if you are found to be even one percent at fault while the other part was 99 percent responsible.
It can be challenging to handle allegations of contributory negligence. If you find yourself being blamed for a crash or you anticipate it, you need to have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side. The legal team at Smith & McGhee understands when to expect contributory negligence issues and how to deal with insurers as well as represent you effectively in court.
At times, another driver is not at fault in a motorcycle wreck. Rather, the accident may have occurred due to faulty design or production of the motorcycle itself. Some examples are as follows:
- Defective tires
- Faulty brakes
- Substandard helmet
- Accelerators that stick
- Defective fuel mechanism
- Malfunctioning seats
The seasoned attorneys at Smith & McGhee in Alabama have vast experience in handling defective product lawsuits. We will investigate and identify the exact reason for the accident. If a designer or manufacturer is at fault for a defect, and failed to properly warn people who bought the bike, we know how to hold them responsible.
Various Common Causes
In accidents between bikes and other vehicles, driver inattention and distraction are common reasons. A motorcycle is smaller in size, making it difficult for motorists in other vehicles to see the oncoming rider, leading to a fatal accident. Also, reckless drivers may try to overtake motorcycles or share a lane, increasing the possibility of a collision. Finally, according to the CDC, riding when intoxicated is one of the primary causes of single-vehicle bike crashes and fatalities.
More Potential Dangers
Some hazards which may not impact trucks and cars can prove fatal for bike riders. Specifically, road defects can be life-threatening for riders. In such cases, the city or government agency responsible for the roadway may be held accountable for the accident. Moreover, poor weather conditions and defects in the motorcycle and/or equipment may lead to motorcycle crash injuries.
Sometimes insurance adjusters and/or juries may be prejudiced against motorcycle riders. For instance, these parties may have a preconceived notion that the bike rider was driving negligently or speeding. Also, it may be more challenging to obtain fair damages if the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet. However, the use of a helmet does not legally impact your ability to sue for damages.
Higher Verdicts and Settlement Awards
Motorcyclists typically suffer serious injuries and damages. Therefore, the result of a motorcycle crash claim may be higher in comparison to other claims. As it is often necessary for injured riders to obtain this compensation to be able to afford medical treatments, it is best to consult a lawyer who can protect your claim.
Motorcycle Injuries: Types
Motorcycle riders involved in accidents usually suffer such severe injuries as:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Despite wearing a helmet, a bike rider can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion by suffering a blow on their head during a crash.
Spinal cord injury (SCI)
The severing or tearing of the spinal cord leaves a motorcycle crash victim paralyzed below the injury point. Paralysis refers to the loss of function and sensation and may differ in its extent.
Abdominal and Chest Injuries
If a motorcyclist sustains bodily blows in a motorcycle crash, it can fracture the sternum and one or more ribs. Such an injury could also damage internal organs, such as the lungs, heart, and bowels. Damage to vital organs can be deadly or necessitate emergency repair surgery.
Amputations and Fractures
In an accident, a motorcycle rider’s extremities (legs, arms, feet, hands) are at risk for fracture, laceration, and crushing injury. At times, a traumatic amputation may be necessary after a crushing injury and/or deep laceration.
A motorcycle crash can lead to injuries that warrant an extended recovery period or leave a motorcyclist permanently disable. In the worst-case scenario, the rider succumbs to the injuries sustained in an accident. The skilled and compassionate lawyers at Smith & McGhee have successfully handled numerous motorcycle accidents and wrongful death cases, obtaining the most favorable outcome for the affected families.
What are the Helmet Laws in Alabama?
In Alabama, there is a universal motorcycle helmet law requiring all motorcycle riders and their passengers, irrespective of age, to wear a helmet when riding a bike.
The helmet must conform to all state requirements, such as:
- Being designed and manufactured specifically for motorcyclists and passengers
- Has a hard exterior shell
- Has a shock-absorbent cradle for the head
- Has a chin strap that is adjustable and permanently attached
- Has impact-resistant padding that is absorbent and appropriately thick in all areas where it contacts the head
- Use materials that do not cause skin disease or irritation
All motorcycle operators and passengers must secure the chin strap when operating or riding the bike. It is considered a breach of the law if the helmet is worn, but the chin strap is not secured.
Legal Help from Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Smith & McGhee
At the law offices of Smith & McGhee, experienced motorcycle crash lawyers guide injured motorcycle riders through the complex judicial process and handle insurance companies on their behalf, to ensure that they receive the rightful compensation that they deserve.
We will thoroughly investigate the accident and identify all potentially responsible parties. Our skilled attorneys, who are highly competent negotiators, will prepare a robust claim on your behalf. Most of the cases we handle are resolved without going to trial.
But if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, we will fight hard for you in court. For a free initial consultation with a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer, call today at (334) 702-1744.