Alabama Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer
Protecting victims of motorcycle accidents throughout the state
Every time a motorcycle rider climbs onto his or her bike and heads down the highway, they are fully aware of how vulnerable they are to the other vehicles on the road with them. Sometimes, when drivers are not keeping a look out for motorcycles, they might cause a crash and then say that they never even saw the motorcyclist until they hit them. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the experienced Alabama motorcycle accident lawyers at Mezrano Law Firm are here to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents
Because motorcycles are smaller and nimbler than other vehicles on the road, drivers often simply fail to see them, which is part of the reason that motorcycle accidents occur. Other factors that contribute to motorcycle wrecks include:
Alcohol use by the motorcycle rider. The NHTSA reports that 37% of motorcycle riders killed in single-vehicle crashes were impaired by alcohol.
- Vehicles turning left into the path of a motorcycle at an intersection
- Drivers following too closely crash into the rear-end of a motorcycle
- Failure to yield the right-of-way to the motorcyclist
- Drivers failing to look before changing lanes and collide with a motorcycle in their blind spot
- Defective roadways cause the rider to lose control
- A parked car opened its door into the path of an oncoming motorcycle
- Slippery road conditions
Impaired by Alcohol
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Examples of motorcycle accident injuries
Drive Safe Alabama reports that in 2016, there were 1,828 motorcycle accidents in Alabama, resulting in 1,297 injuries and 114 deaths. Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries for the rider. Typical motorcycle injuries might include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause permanent disability requiring ongoing medical care for the injured person. A severe TBI is a major cause of death in motorcycle riders. Wearing a helmet, according to the NHTSA, can reduce the rider's chance of a fatal injury by 29 percent.
- Spinal cord injury (SCI) can leave the motorcycle ride paralyzed, and with other devastating long-term injuries that destroy their health and quality of life.
- Broken bones are a common motorcycle accident injury because the body is completely unprotected from impact with another vehicle or the roadway itself.
- Facial injuries often occur, but these could be prevented or at least diminished by using a DOT approved helmet.
- Burns can occur if a gas tank gets ruptured and a spark ignites the fuel starting a fire.
- Road rash from skin scraping on pavement.
Fatal motorcycle accidents are common
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 28 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes, in 2016. In 37% of those crashes, the other driver was impaired by alcohol.
The overwhelming majority of fatal Alabama motorcycle accidents, however, were related to rider error. According to Drive Safe Alabama, 75% of all fatal motorcycle wrecks in Alabama were caused by the motorcycle rider.
Does Alabama have motorcycle helmet laws?
Yes. Alabama has a universal helmet law, which requires all riders regardless of their age, to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle on public roads. The helmet must meet Department of Transportation (DOT) safety standards, and it must fit properly. Helmets are designed to protect the head in the event of a serious crash. Given that Alabama law requires riders to wear a helmet, if a person is involved in an accident and they were not wearing a helmet they may find it challenging to recover compensation even if they were not at fault in the crash. This is because Alabama follows the pure contributory negligence rule, which means that any negligent action on the part of the injured person can bar their ability to recover damages even if they have just one percent fault. (John R. Cowley & Bros., Inc. v. Brown)
The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,859 motorcyclists' lives in 2016, and that about 802 more lives might have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.
What can an Alabama motorcycle accident lawyer do for me?
After you sustain injuries in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another driver's negligence, their insurance company is supposed to pay for your damages. Shortly after your accident, the insurance company may approach you with a check that might seem substantial, but there is no way to know the total settlement value of your case in the beginning. So, if you took their check, thinking that it will be far more than you would need to cover your losses, but then it turns out that one of your injuries doesn't heal properly and you are left partially disabled with ongoing medical bills.
An experienced Alabama motorcycle accident lawyer can sometimes make difference between receiving nothing and recovering an amount enough to cover your financial losses, your pain and suffering and other losses due to your injury. The lawyers at Mezrano Law Firm take injury cases on contingency. This means that they will receive a percentage of the settlement amount as their attorney fees. So, it is in their best interest to fight for the greatest amount of compensation for you. If we agree to take your case, we are confident that we can win compensation for you.
The way that an injury attorney can get more compensation because they know what evidence to gather to help prove the extent of your injuries, and they are skilled negotiators. Having done this work for many years, they have a clear understanding of how to value your case once your injuries have reached maximum medical improvement. They are also adept at navigating the purposefully complicated legal system.
Your best course of action is to schedule a free consultation so that you can discuss your case and the lawyer can offer their opinion about whether it is worth pursuing.
How much is a fair settlement for a motorcycle accident injury?
Every motorcycle injury case is different, so there is no average settlement amount for any injury, and there is no way to know what your case could be worth in the beginning. What is the same for accident cases is the factors that the insurance companies, judges and juries will use to determine the value of your claim? The financial compensation you receive if your case is successful is supposed to make you whole--as if the injury never happened from a financial perspective. You will also likely receive some damages for the non-economic losses such as for your pain and suffering and emotional distress caused by the injury.
The factors that will be used to value your motorcycle accident injury case include:
- Your current, previous and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and benefits for the time you missed at work because of your injury
- Disability or any permanent injuries from the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Other losses related to the accident
Most cases are settled before a case goes to court because the insurance company does not want to take its chances that a jury will award high damages. Having an experienced Alabama motorcycle accident lawyer on your side will ensure that your case is handled professionally, and it will give you a better chance of recovering more compensation because they know how to present a compelling case on your behalf.
The Alabama lawyers you want after a serious motorcycle accident injury
After suffering a serious injury in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else's negligence, you want a personal injury team that you can trust to recover the compensation you need to get on with your life. The experienced Alabama personal injury lawyers at Mezrano Law Firm represent clients throughout the state with offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, Florence, Gadsden, and Tuscaloosa. You may schedule your free consultation to discuss your case with a skilled Alabama personal injury lawyer by calling 205-206-6300 or filling out our contact form.
If you have a case, you have a lawyer. Call us today to learn more.