Montgomery Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Montgomery is a great place for motorcycle enthusiasts. While the temperatures can get a bit chilly during the winter and there is the occasional snow fall, the rest of the year offers sun and warm temperatures. It is perfect for using your motorcycle to run errands around town or to cruise down Normal Bridge Road.
However, as exciting as riding a motorcycle can be, it is also dangerous. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) reports there were 1,867 motorcycle-involved accidents in 2019. These led to 1,213 injuries and 90 fatalities, putting many individuals and families in the tough position of having to fight for compensation for their injuries and losses.
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident in Montgomery County, or your loved one was killed while riding, contact our experienced and trusted Montgomery motorcycle accident lawyers at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. right away. We will review your situation and explain your options. If you choose to pursue compensation, we will guide you through the insurance claim process.
Alabama Motorcycle Laws May Impact Your Claim
As a motorcycle rider, you are likely already aware of Alabama’s laws that govern your ability to ride safely and legally. They may be so ingrained into your riding habits that you hardly think about what the actual laws are anymore. After an accident, however, it is important to revisit them. Whether you were in total compliance with these and other laws may impact your claim. The law states you:
- Must operate or ride a motorcycle in a permanent regular seat.
- Must wear a helmet.
- Must wear shoes.
- Cannot pass or overtake a vehicle in the same lane.
- Cannot ride between lanes of traffic or rows of vehicles, known as lane splitting.
- Cannot ride more than two abreast within a single lane.
Alabama Contributory Negligence Law
If you were not abiding by one or more Alabama motorcycle or traffic law at the time of your accident, the other party may argue that you are partially to blame for the crash and your injuries. This is a serious allegation. Under Alabama’s contributory negligence law, if an insurer or court finds you are in any way responsible for the accident, you are prohibited from receiving compensation for your injuries. If there is evidence you were lane splitting or violating another law intended to keep motorcycle riders and other motorists safe, you could face significant opposition to your claim and lose out on any type of monetary settlement or award.
If you are worried you may have contributed to your accident, contact our Montgomery motorcycle accident lawyers right away. We will conduct an investigation into the crash, review all of the evidence, and figure out the best way to fight for your right to compensation.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Montgomery
Motorcycle accidents may by the result of a rider’s maneuvers, another motorist’s actions, or another pedestrian or cyclist who interferes with traffic. No matter who is at fault, some of the most common causes of motorcycle-involved collisions include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Failing to properly turn
- Failing to yield to the right of way
- Driving the wrong way in a lane
- Improper lane changes
Common Injuries Associated with Motorcycle Accidents
When you are in a crash while riding a motorcycle, you face a greater risk of suffering significant and catastrophic injuries. Unlike in a passenger vehicle, there is little protecting you from the elements or a collision while on a motorcycle. If you are struck by another vehicle or forced into another object, some motorcycle accident injuries you may suffer include:
- Road rash
- Lower extremity injuries, such as broken leg bones
- Shoulder, arm, and wrist fractures
- Pelvis injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Concussions (mild traumatic brain injuries)
- Moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Personal Injury Compensation
Following any type of accident that was caused by another person’s negligence that resulted in you suffering bodily injuries, you can pursue compensation. A motorcycle accident lawyer helps you recover both special and general damages.
Special damages, sometimes referred to as economic damages, encompass compensation that can be calculated from your records. There is a defined total that includes:
- Medical expenses
- Current and future loss of earning capacity
- The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle
- The cost of other personal property damages in the crash
Your general damages, also called non-economic damages, cannot be neatly totaled up to one figure. Instead, these types of damages must be assigned a value. They include:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Moving Forward with a Montgomery Motorcycle Accident Claim
If you were harmed in a motorcycle accident that you believe was another person’s fault, contact our Montgomery motorcycle accident lawyers to discuss moving forward with an insurance claim. An insurance settlement is a common way of obtaining compensation after an accident.
Give Notice to the Other Party’s Insurer
The first step in an insurance claim is giving the other party’s auto insurer notice of an upcoming claim. Notice is very important if you feel it may take you days or weeks to gather the information you need for a formal claim or to determine if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you do not give notice and do not file a claim within a reasonable amount of time, your claim could be denied.
Cooperate with the Adjuster
Once you file your claim, the insurer will assign you an adjuster. This is the person you will likely have the most contact with. You must cooperate with the adjuster to move forward with your claim. This includes providing the following:
- A statement regarding the accident
- Documentation of the accident
- Your medical records in relation to the injuries caused by the accident
Having an attorney during this process can make all the difference. A Montgomery motorcycle accident lawyer can help you prepare your statement, giving you the confidence to tell the full truth of the situation while avoiding accidentally claiming any responsibility. This is important given Alabama’s contributory negligence law. A lawyer can also ensure you provide the necessary documentation without enabling an insurer to violate your privacy.
If the insurer approves your claim, we will strive to negotiate an acceptable settlement on your behalf. However, if your claim is denied, we will explain the next best steps. We may recommend appealing through the insurer’s administrative process or filing a personal injury claim in the local court system.
A Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Claim
Motorcycle accidents often lead to fatalities. If you lost a parent, spouse, child, or other family member in a crash, contact our Montgomery motorcycle accident lawyers right away. We will thoroughly review your situation and advise you on whether or not a wrongful death claim is appropriate. Under Alabama law, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate is entitled to file the claim. However, they pursue punitive damages on behalf of your loved one’s heirs.
Let Our Montgomery Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Fight for You
When you are suffering the repercussions of a motorcycle accident, our Montgomery motorcycle accident lawyers at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. are here to help. We want to find out what went wrong and who is responsible. We want to pursue the compensation you are entitled to under the law through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Our priority is to see you obtain a settlement or court award so that you can move forward from this accident with the financial resources you need to continue to heal.