Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Homewood
In comparison to passenger vehicle drivers, motorcyclists are thirty-five percent more prone to be involved in a deadly accident. All motorists have a responsibility and obligation to be extra cautious around motorcycle riders as they face significantly more risk on the road. Alabama law provides motorcycle riders with legal rights to protect them against careless and negligent car drivers as well as unsafe road conditions.
It is a common misconception among many people that a majority of motorcycle crashes take place due to negligence on the part of the motorcyclist. But in reality, most motorcycle accidents happen when motorists do not take the required precautions when traveling in the vicinity of motorcyclists.
Who is Responsible for Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries in Homewood, AL?
A thorough case investigation by the skilled motorcycle crash lawyers at Burge & Burge, will help determine who is responsible for your accident. At times, more than one individual or entity is at fault for the crash. We will identify these parties to include them in your personal injury lawsuit. The failure to identify all responsible parties could limit the amount of your rightful damages.
The following individuals and groups are often found to be responsible for motorcycle accidents:
- Passenger vehicle drivers or truckers
- Government bodies responsible for ensuring that roads are safe for all drivers, including motorcyclists
- Installers and mechanics
- Manufacturers, designers, and marketers of vehicles and parts
- Construction companies operating hazardous roadside job sites
How to Handle Insurance Companies and their Strategies
The insurance company of the at-fault driver will contest aggressively when it comes to safeguarding its profit margins from your AL motorcycle accident lawsuit. The insurer will only care about their profits, even at the expense of your health and the welfare of your family.
To achieve this goal, insurance companies are not beneath using the prejudiced and false “reckless biker” cliché. They can effectively reduce your compensation or entirely withhold it if they can show a court that all motorcycle riders, including you, are careless on the road.
A seasoned AL motorcycle crash attorney at Burge & Burge, will know what strategies an insurance company might use against you and strongly address them before they can affect your chances in settlement negotiations or in court.
Motorcycle License Requirements in Homewood, AL
Alabama was, until very recently, the sole state that did not require motorcycle riders to acquire a separate motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement. But with effect from January 1st, 2016, a motorcyclist in Alabama is required to acquire a class M endorsement on their driver’s license.
Motorcyclists must take safety courses or clear a written exam to obtain the class M endorsement. The new law was put into place to reduce the number of motorcycle wrecks that occurred due to untrained or inexperienced motorbike riders.
The Laws in Alabama for Motorcycle Passengers and Safe Operation
It is unlawful for passengers to ride on a motorcycle if it is not designed and fitted with footpegs to carry more than one individual. In addition, Alabama has lane sharing and passing regulations. These laws require motorcyclists to:
- Not pass a vehicle in the same lane as the vehicle that is being overtaken
- Not ride between lanes, also known as lane splitting, or between rows of automobiles
- Ride abreast in the same lane, but there cannot be over two motorbikes in the same lane
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Alabama
A universal helmet law applies to all motorcycle riders in Alabama. Irrespective of their age, any person riding a motorcycle on public roads must wear a helmet. Furthermore, the helmet must meet the safety standards of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and must fit securely. Helmets can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a devastating accident due to their ability to protect the head from injuries.
Since Alabama law makes it mandatory to wear a helmet, if an individual is involved in a wreck and they were not wearing a helmet, it may be hard for them to recover damages even if they were entirely not at fault for the accident.
The reason for the above is that Alabama follows the rule of pure contributory negligence. Under this tenet, any negligent action by the injured individual can impede their ability to recover compensation even if they were only one percent responsible for the accident.
How Much Compensatory Damages Can You recover?
You can potentially recover damages for the following in motorcycle accident claim under Alabama law:
- Immediate and future medical costs
- Modifications to your home, workplace, or vehicle to accommodate your injuries
- Loss of wages, including the impact of the accident on the future capacity to earn
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional, trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder
- Damage to your motorbike as well as any other personal property
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death, which has its own associated set of processes and damages
Based on this, you may also be entitled to punitive damages in cases that involve extreme recklessness or negligence shown by another party.
Can I still Recover Damages if I was Involved in a Single-Vehicle Accident?
It may not be the driver’s fault, even accidents involving a single vehicle. Road hazards, like potholes, are particularly dangerous for motorcycle riders. This means that your wreck could have occurred due to road defects rather than an error on your part.
The Alabama Department of Transportation is responsible for this damage and should correct the damage before anyone suffers injuries. Therefore, they could be held accountable in court if someone was injured due to the damage not being fixed.
However, it is vital to remember that filing a case against Alabama government agencies is not easy. It is best to consult an experienced lawyer to make sure that you are taking the required precautions as well as understand what will be necessary to file a claim against the government.
Statute of Limitations for Filing Your Claim
The statute of limitations for motorcycle accidents in Alabama is two years. Therefore, you have precisely two years to file for compensation from the date of your motorcycle accident.
You will be unable to recover compensatory damages if you do not file a claim within this period. An experienced attorney can help expedite the filing process.
Legal Assistance by a Seasoned Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Alabama
In motorcycle accident personal injury cases, the process of recovering damages is rarely straightforward. A dedicated Alabama motorcycle crash lawyer at Burge & Burge can guide you through this complex judicial process.
We will start with a free consultation and guide you on what to expect and how we can help recover the compensation that you deserve. If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle crash, call 205-251-9000 for a no-charge case review by a seasoned personal injury lawyer.