Huntsville Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Thousands of individuals living in and around Huntsville, Alabama, own and ride motorcycles. Whether you like to leisurely cruise around the Monte Sano District or speed down I-565, your motorcycles may be a well-loved hobby and way of life. Unfortunately, this love of the open road also increases your risk of being in a serious accident. Unlike vehicles that offer numerous safety features, motorcycles can do little to protect you during a collision. In the 1,601 motorcycle-related accidents that occurred in Alabama in 2015, there were 1,254 injuries and 74 fatalities.
If you were recently injured in a motorcycle accident in Madison County, contact our Huntsville motorcycle accident lawyers from Belt & Bruner, P.C. as soon as possible. We will help you deal with insurers and review your right to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Alabama Motorcycle Laws
If you own a motorcycle in Alabama, you need to be aware of the state laws that dictate how and when you can ride. Alabama motorcycle safety laws require that you obtain a Class M driver’s license in order to operate any type of motorcycle on public roads. Your normal driver’s license is not enough. There are also a number of other laws that may become relevant after an accident, such as:
- You can only operate or ride a motorcycle in a permanent regular seat.
- All motorcycle operators and riders must wear helmets.
- All motorcycle operators and riders must wear shoes.
- A motorcycle operator cannot pass and overtake a vehicle in the same lane.
- A motorcycle operator cannot ride between lanes of traffic or rows of vehicles.
- Motorcycle operators cannot ride more than two abreast within a single lane.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
As a motorcycle rider, you need to be aware of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. This may enable you to avoid an accident. However, if you were part of an accident already, it can also guide the investigation in determining what went wrong and who is responsible.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Speeding by any rider or motorist
- Distractions caused by any riders or motorists
- Drowsy driving or riding
- Driving while intoxicated
- The rider failing to make a turn
- The rider is hit by a vehicle while making a left-hand turn
- A vehicle changes lanes into a motorcycle
Whether you were on a motorcycle and hit by a vehicle, or you were in a car or truck when a motorcycle caused a crash, our experienced and trusted Huntsville motorcycle accident lawyers can help you seek compensation for your injuries here in Huntsville.
Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Being involved in a motorcycle accident almost always leads to injuries. You may escape an incident mostly intact, suffering from road rash and other minor bumps and bruises. However, if you were on a motorcycle that collided with another moving vehicle, you are likely to experience significant injuries that result in long-term or permanent consequences.
Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Road rash
- Leg fractures
- Shoulder, arm, and wrist fractures
- Pelvis injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Motorcycle Accident Claims in Huntsville
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, the next step should be filing an insurance claim. When another rider or motorist is at fault, you will file a third-party claim against their auto insurance policy. If the other driver was an employee and on the clock at the time of the crash, you will probably file a claim against their employer’s insurance policy.
The insurance claim process should be relatively straightforward. However, a number of issues can arise. The best way to protect your rights and interests are to work with an experienced personal injury attorney during this time. Our Huntsville motorcycle accident lawyers who are experienced in motorcycle accident claims can assist you in:
- Determining who is responsible for the crash
- Gathering evidence of that driver’s liability
- Filing a formal claim with the relevant insurance company
- Preparing to make an appropriate statement to the insurer
- Responding to any of the insurance adjuster’s questions or concerns
- Protecting your privacy and limiting the medical records the insurer receives
- Calculating your damages
- Appealing if the insurer denies your claim
- Negotiating a higher settlement amount when your claim is approved.
Depending on the situation, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is important under two circumstances. First, filing a lawsuit gives your attorney the ability to gather additional evidence that may not be available without legal intervention. This may be necessary to prove the other party’s liability. It may also put pressure on the insurer to settle for a greater amount. Second, you may need to file a lawsuit if it looks like an insurance settlement is not possible. If the insurer treats you unfairly or the at-fault driver was underinsured or uninsured, going to court may be your best chance of obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Personal Injury Compensation
Whether you are working with an insurer or going through a personal injury lawsuit, you can pursue a variety of damages, commonly referred to as special or general damages. Special, or economic, damages are calculated based on your records. They are a specific sum derived from your expenses and financial losses caused by the accident. Your general, or noneconomic damages, are physical or psychological injuries that must be valued in some way. There are multiple possible methods for valuing general damages that are not derived from your bills or pay stubs.
Our Huntsville motorcycle accident lawyers can fight for you to receive compensation for your:
- Medical expenses
- Current and future loss of earning capacity
- Damage to your vehicle or other personal property
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A Frequent Problem in Motorcycle Accidents: Contributory Negligence
Alabama follows a strict, pure contributory negligence law. For a variety of reasons, other drivers are quick to blame motorcycle riders for accidents, even when the rider was entirely in the right regarding the rules of the road.
Under a pure contributory negligence rule, if you are in any way responsible for the accident and your injuries, you cannot recover any compensation. Even if the other party was mostly at fault, any evidence that shows you contributed to the accident will bar you from receiving any damages for your injuries.
Alabama Wrongful Death Claims
If you lost a parent, spouse, child, or other family member in a fatal motorcycle accident that you believe was another person’s fault, contact our attorneys as soon as possible. Alabama allows the personal representative of a decedent’s estate to file a wrongful death claim if the decedent’s death was the result of another person’s wrongful act, omission, or negligence. Through this claim, a representative can seek punitive damages that punish the at-fault party.
Contact Our Huntsville Motorcycle Accident Lawyers for Help
If you were injured in a motorcycle crash in Huntsville, Alabama, or a surrounding area, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced attorneys at Belt & Bruner, P.C. Whether or not you think a lawsuit is going to be necessary after a collision, we can explain and protect your rights, help you through the insurance claim process, and fight for you to receive fair compensation.