You likely already know how dangerous motorcycles can be if either you or a loved one has ever been involved in a motorcycle accident. After all, there is nothing to brace a rider when a rider makes an impact on the road. Likewise, if you make an impact with a vehicle, it can cause the rider to get thrown from the bike which can result in very serious injuries.
What you might be unaware of is the fact that you might be entitled to compensation for some if not all of the damages. Here at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we know how important it is to get immediate assistance which is why we make ourselves available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We are ready to help you get the kind of compensation you are entitled to for any injuries you suffered from your accident. You will likely be faced with various bills and medical expenses. When you combine this with any lost wages you experienced, being able to financially recover from such a traumatic event can seem next to impossible. This is why we strive to offer risk-free consultations to each of our prospective clients when you contact us.
We will link you with one of our highly experienced Birmingham motorcycle accident lawyers to give you the guidance you need to alleviate a lot of your concerns. You can get all of your pertinent questions answered and we will be able to explain how much your claim might actually be worth. We are fully committed to ensuring you get max compensation for your case which can help you focus on more important things like getting healthy and recovering.
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How Can a Lawyer Help My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
It is an insurance adjuster’s and an insurance company’s job to effectively diminish the value and to dispute the validity of every claim that they come across. Whether from obscuring the policy holder’s responsibility or by stating the person riding the motorcycle was at fault, they can do it in various ways including downplaying the seriousness of the injuries the victim suffered.
Because of this, you want to ensure you have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who is aggressive and capable of developing a well thought out personal injury claim that allows you to fight for the kind of compensation you rightfully deserve. Here at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have a team of experienced and talented professionals who will be able to handle every aspect of your related claim including:
Conducting a Fully Independent and Thorough Investigation
We will use our team to identify who was responsible for the crash and who should be held liable for the injuries that you were faced with and we will determine all of the insurance coverage that would be applicable based on our determination. We will do this by gathering all crucial evidence from the scene, analyzing police accident reports, looking at witness statements, and even surveying surveillance footage that caught the incident. We might even consult with someone experienced in accident reconstruction to ensure we know exactly what happened.
Tracking and Reviewing Medical Records
The compensation you receive for your injuries has to be based on the event of your injuries and the prognosis you receive once you receive maximum medical improvement. Because of this, we might even consult with medical and vocational rehab experts to project any future medical or life care assistance you might need in the future including any costs it might incur.
Calculating Compensation for Costs and Losses
The claim we develop and submit for you will demand the full and fair compensation that you deserve for what you have been forced to endure due to the accident. Birmingham personal injury law provides compensation for:
- Any past and future medical expenses
- Any lost wages, income, and/or earnings including loss of future income due to reduced earning capacity
- Any mental distress
- Permanent disfigurement
- The aggravation of any pre-existing conditions or injuries
- Past and future designations of pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium of a spouse who has physical injuries as a result of the accident
Communicating and Negotiating With Insurance Companies
We will work to shield you from dealing with aggressive insurance adjusters. We can file all necessary claims on your behalf, and we will ensure insurance companies provide you with full payment in a timely fashion.
Advocate for You in a Lawsuit if Needed
If the insurance company does not provide you with the full payment in the proper manner, we will always be willing and able to take your case to court and battle it out. It is not unusual to have an insurance company look to wait for a lawsuit to get filed to take a personal injury claim seriously. We promise to take your claim seriously from the moment you bring it to us and we have experienced and skilled litigators on staff who have demonstrated and proven success handling these cases in the courtroom.
You do not need to accept an accident settlement for your motorcycle accident from an insurance company that is looking to mitigate losses before speaking with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Here at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have Birmingham motorcycle accident lawyers with extensive experience ready and willing to handle your claim and we will fully review all of your case details for free.
You can contact our law firm today to get your free consultation to learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
If you find yourself personally involved in a motorcycle accident, you will want to remain as calm as possible and continue by taking the following steps:
Call the Authorities
You want to call the police and tell the person you speak with that you were involved in a motorcycle accident and give them all of the information that they ask for to get someone sent out to the scene. If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, you will want to tell the police anything you know about the other driver or vehicle so they will have a much greater chance of successfully tracking them down.
When the police do arrive on the scene, you don’t want to admit fault or say anything that could be used against you. Just state the facts of the accident. When you are done, you will want to be certain you ask how to obtain an official copy of the police report.
Get Medical Attention
It is important to take any injuries you sustained from the accident seriously and get to an experienced doctor as soon as you can. Even if you don’t necessarily feel as if you suffered injuries from the accident, a lot of conditions might take days and perhaps even weeks to show up. Therefore, you can’t be too careful when you are trying to ensure you are fully healthy. By waiting too long after the accident to see a doctor, the insurance company can use it against you to effectively question just how severe your injuries were to challenge your claim.
Take Photos of the Scene
If you are unable to take the photos on your own, you can ask someone else at the scene to take them for you. To give yourself the best chance to succeed, you want to showcase as many details as possible with your photos and videos of the scene. This includes everything from the property damage to any related street markings and even traffic signs. You also want to get photos of visible and identifiable injuries and a view of the scene from every angle you can get.
Exchange Information With Everyone Involved
You want to get everything from the name to the address, license plate number, and even the phone number of the other people involved with the accident. Most importantly, you need to get insurance information. During this time, do not admit fault for the accident nor should you argue who is at fault. If you find someone hostile at the scene, you should wait for the police to arrive to have them get all of the information that you need without having to do it on your own.
Wait to Speak with The Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Anything that you say to this adjuster can and is likely to be used against you to challenge your claim. You will also want to avoid posting anything online about your accident including various social media channels. Anything that you post about the accident can be used as evidence to challenge the claims you make.
Contact a Lawyer
Our Birmingham motorcycle accident attorneys have been working these types of cases and have the necessary knowledge and experience needed to handle every single aspect of your claim. They will be able to handle everything from the evidence gathering process to the negotiation process to ensure that you can get full compensation for your damages and injuries.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accident?
There are various causes of automobile accidents that involve motorcycles. These include:
This is a big one. This occurs when a vehicle doesn’t see you or they improper judge the speed at which you are going and they turn in front of you at an intersection.
Unsafe and Improper Lane Changes
This occurs when a vehicle hits a motorcycle while they are changing lanes. Any vehicle has its own blind spots when they are changing lanes and this problem is only worsened when it comes to spotting a motorcycle due to its small size.
This is typically when a vehicle strikes the motorcycle from behind. A specific example of this would be when a motorcycle stops at a yellow light and the vehicle fails to stop in time and ends up hitting the motorcyclist. This would be referred to as a relatively minor “fender bender” if it occurs with two cars. However, unfortunately, when this happens to a motorcyclist, it can be fatal.
Vehicle Door Accidents
A vehicle can swing its door open while you are riding by. This can have fatal consequences if a distracted motorist swings their door open without paying attention.
Lane Splitting Accidents
The operation of a motorcycle in the middle of a lane of traffic that is active and one that is parked.
Alabama Motorcycle Accident Statistics
There were 1,828 motorcyclists involved in accidents in the state of Alabama in 2016 according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. Of all of these accidents, there were 114 fatalities and a total of 1,297 injuries.
Motorcyclists accounted for a total of 8 percent of all deaths from motor vehicle accidents in the state of Alabama in 2014 according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Alabama was only one of six in the entire country to have a figure that was lower than 10 percent.
Motorcyclist deaths increased by as much as 5.1 percent in 2016 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This accounted for the largest number of motorcyclist deaths since the year 2008 totaling a reported 5,286 fatalities.
The 606 motorcyclists that were killed between 3 and 6 pm were the highest number of weekday facilities, but the most that occurred during the weekend were from 6 to 9 pm. The same time frames occurred for motorcyclist injuries with 14,000 occurring between 3 to 6 pm on weekdays and 11,000 injuries happening between 6 and 9 pm on the weekends.
What Are Alabama’s Motorcycle Laws?
Alabama actually has specific laws that are focused on enhancing the safety of anyone riding a motorcycle. Specifically, Alabama mandates that all motorcyclists wear helmets and it has also mandated rules for passengers and other safety equipment. Our experienced attorneys will be capable of helping you understand all of your rights if you happened to be involved with a motorcycle crash that involved a specific violation of these laws.
What Injuries Do Motorcycle Accidents Cause?
Motorcyclists that are involved in crashes typically suffer from a lot of serious injuries including:
Traumatic Brain Injury
No matter if the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet or not, they can suffer from serious brain injuries with a hard impact during an accident. This type of brain injury can result in permanent physical and cognitive impairment.
Spinal Cord Injury
Either tearing or even severing the spinal cord in this type of accident can leave the victim completely paralyzed anywhere below the injury location. Paralysis can result in the loss of both sensation and function in both the chest and abdomen area. Paraplegia is the result of being paralyzed in the lower body region.
Chest and Abdominal Injuries
The traumatic body blows that can result from a motorcycle accident can end up fracturing the sternum and even one of your ribs. It can also cause severe damage to the internal organs including but not limited to your heart, bowels, and even lungs. Any major internal organ damage can result in a fatality or require emergency surgery for repair. Any amount of internal bleeding can cause a victim to enter a state of shock which itself can be fatal if not promptly treated.
Fractures and/or Amputations
Because a motorcyclist’s extremities are exposed to the vehicle, they are at a heightened risk of fracture, laceration, and even amputation. It can even lead to the need for surgical amputation if the body part/extremity is damaged beyond the point of repair. Typically, legs and feet are the most commonly injured in this type of accident, but nerve damage is much more likely in any hand-related injuries.
A motorcycle accident can cause a lot of injuries that require lengthy recovery times and that may even leave the victim disabled. In the worst instances, the victim doesn’t even survive the accident.
Our team of dedicated and compassionate attorneys has the kind of experience and knowledge to help handle even the most serious motorcycle accident injury claims and any wrongful death cases on behalf of the families involved. You can contact us right now to learn more about how we can help you.
What if a Driver Who Hits a Motorcyclist Does Not Have Insurance?
Alabama is a state with a lot of uninsured drivers. In fact, recent studies have shown that around 1 in every 5 drivers in the state of Alabama does not have insurance. A lot of Alabama drivers are also under-insured. Thus, if they are the primary cause of an accident, their insurance does not cover all of the expenses that a victim incurs. If you happened to find yourself in a Birmingham accident with someone who is either completely uninsured or someone who is under-insured, you still have options.
You might be entitled to filing a claim with your own insurance company if you carry the proper insurance motorist coverage. You can talk to our professional and experienced Birmingham uninsured motorist accident lawyers to discuss your options. Our team is here to answer any question you may have and to explain to you all of your legal options to figure out the best way to approach your case.
How is Fault Determined in Motorcycle Accidents in Birmingham?
Anyone deemed at-fault in Alabama is responsible for any injuries they cause during an accident, unlike some other states. Therefore, in other words, if a driver who didn’t see you because they were distracted rather than yielding, they should be responsible for all of the potential lost income and medical bills you incur. Unfortunately, things aren’t always that black and white in a motorcycle accident.
The state of Alabama applies a strict theory of contributory negligence as it relates to motorcycle accidents. Therefore, if you were a contributor to the cause of the crash even by a small amount, you will be unable to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
A lot of people wrongfully assume that motorcyclists are all irresponsible and looking for thrills. It’s very common to see a lot of insurance companies attempt to shift the blame to an otherwise responsible motorcyclist even though they were the victims in the accident. In order to combat this tactic that insurance companies love to use, you will need to have a skilled and experienced accident lawyer on your side assisting you every step of the way.
Here at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we work diligently to investigate every crash for our clients. We do everything from studying police reports to consulting with witnesses and we even hire professional accident reconstructionists in cases to ensure we can identify the exact cause of it. Our end goal is to provide all of our clients with the best chance of recovering and we know exactly what is required to ensure successful litigation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Alabama?
Like other states, Alabama has specific and strict deadlines that you must adhere to if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident. If you don’t file it within two years of the date of the accident, you will lose any rights to compensation. That being said, you should never be waiting that long to contact an attorney in the first place.
It takes time to investigate and negotiate a claim. The longer you end up waiting, the fewer chances you have to win your case. Likewise, you might even discover that your case has destroyed evidence or that witnesses have seemingly forgotten what happened during the incident. Thus, the sooner you contact reputable and experienced attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, the better the chances you have at getting the compensation you deserve. To request a completely free and zero risk evaluation, you can contact us right now.
According to the state code that dictates it, the statute of limitations on all of these types of injury claims is a period of two years. This includes wrongful death claims. While this might sound like a lot of time, it’s important to take quick action due to the complexities that negotiations can result in.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for a Motorcycle Accident?
Because motorcycles don’t have the same construction and protection as cars and other vehicles, those driving them can end up at a heightened risk of serious injury in an accident. In fact, these injuries can oftentimes be life-altering or life-threatening. When you suffer from injuries as a result of someone else negligence, you could be eligible for rightful compensation.
While you could attempt to represent yourself throughout the entire claims process, doing it can add even more pressure to a situation with enough of it already. The state motorcycle laws involve a lot of different processes that you have to deal with that differ significantly from passenger vehicle accidents. In addition, you can expect some injuries to have even longer-lasting effects that are worth much more in compensation than you might assume. The state’s contributory negligence laws can make it very difficult to receive the compensation you deserve.
Why Would a Motorcycle Claim be Denied?
You could find your claim denied for a variety of reasons that include:
- The policy is canceled before and/or lapsing
- The other driver wasn’t insured under the policy
- They think the accident is your fault
- They don’t believe you sustained injuries
- They don’t think the accident is the cause of your injuries
Our professional attorneys are capable of guiding you through the entire process involved with filing a claim. They can call and speak with the adjusters on your behalf to see whether or not the adjuster is willing and able to negotiate a settlement. If the adjuster refuses to pay out your claim, your lawyer will need to file a lawsuit on your behalf within the city of Birmingham.
Can I Recover Damages If I Wasn’t Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet?
Unfortunately, according to Alabama Code § 32-5A-245, no person can operate a motorcycle unless they are wearing a compliant helmet that adheres to the standards set forth under the Alabama Code § 32-12-41. Likewise, a motorcyclist needs to wear shoes. Failing to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle will lead to the other party filing contributory negligence. However, this law doesn’t apply to someone that is riding inside a cab that is enclosed.
Contact Our Lawyers Today!
If you find that you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, you will want to contact our Birmingham motorcycle accident lawyers right now. We have experienced attorneys available to work as hard as possible to get you the compensation you rightfully deserve. You can call us today to schedule your free consultation. You can sit down with an experienced attorney to ask any questions pertaining to your case and get the answers you need. They will also be able to review your entire case and give you an estimate on the total compensation you might be looking at.
It’s important to remember that it’s your attorney’s job to make your whole. Your lawyer is going to be tasked with the difficult job of proving that the injuries you sustained were a result of the accident. By contacting a professional Birmingham attorney, you can give yourself the best chance of winning your case. The other driver and their insurance company will have their own professional team of attorneys fighting you every step of the way and you should too.