Birmingham Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a recent motorcycle accident, you may need assistance from an attorney to put your life back together and seek justice against the driver or party who caused your wreck. Drake Injury Lawyers has the experience, resources, knowledge and compassion to successfully guide you through the legal process. If you or a loved one has serious injuries from a motorcycle crash, we can provide the information and legal support that you need. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer at Drake Injury Lawyers in Birmingham today for a free case evaluation.
Why Choose Us?
- We are a local law firm, not an out-of-state office that advertises in Alabama.
- Our Birmingham personal injury lawyers have been representing clients for more than 20 years.
- Our law firm has the highest possible Martindale-Hubbell (peer review) rating: AV.
- Personal injury is all that we do – we know how to handle the most complex cases.
- Initial consultations are free, and we can travel to you, if necessary.
What Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Do for You?
A motorcycle accident attorney can transform your legal experience. Rather than having to deal with a complicated lawsuit on top of your painful and debilitating injuries, you can trust an experienced attorney to advocate for the best possible results on your behalf while you rest and relax. A motorcycle accident lawyer can strengthen your claim using top-quality legal services, such as:
- Motorcycle accident investigation
- Evidence collection
- Eyewitness interviews
- Gathering testimony from expert witnesses
- Claims filing
- Insurance settlement negotiations
- Litigating a court case, if necessary
It can be especially important to hire an attorney in Birmingham to represent you if your motorcycle accident case involves challenges such as catastrophic physical injuries, the wrongful death of a loved one, a liability dispute, multiple defendants, insurance bad faith or an injury trial. Legal representation can be critical to the success of your case.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you get into a motorcycle accident in Birmingham, take the following steps to prepare yourself for a damage claim:
- Call the police and report the accident right away.
- Do not admit fault for the collision to the other driver.
- Exchange names, contact information and insurance information.
- Take photographs and videos while still at the scene.
- Get the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses.
- Go to a hospital immediately for your injuries.
- Request copies of your medical records and police report.
- Contact the driver’s insurance company to file a claim.
- Do not rush into a fast settlement that might not be enough for your losses.
- Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer for advice.
If you are too badly injured to complete all of these steps, don’t worry – an attorney can help.
Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents
Accidents on the road occur every day and are always unfortunate events, but when an accident involves a motorcycle, the outcome is almost always significantly worse than an accident involving two cars. Motorcyclists do not have the same protection as car drivers have, with a physical barrier between themselves and the road or the other vehicle. Victims of motorcycle accidents are often severely injured and face steep medical bills, disability, loss of wages, and severe pain and suffering. Injuries may be catastrophic and include:
What is more, many motorcycle riders are not at fault in an accident. If you or someone you care about has been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is critical that you reach out to an experienced and knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer to protect your rights and fight for your future. You may be eligible to receive damages to compensate you for physical injuries, emotional turmoil, medical bills, loss of wages, and suffering sustained as a result of the accident.
MOTORCYCLE FATALITIES AND ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Drivers of motorcycles are thirty-five percent more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than drivers of passenger vehicles. This is because they are extremely vulnerable to life-threatening injuries without the protections provided by a standard motor vehicle. According to Drive Safe Alabama, 90 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2019 alone. Another 1,213 victims were injured.
In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highway loss data report in 2019 states that:
- There were about 29 times more deaths on motorcycles than in passenger cars per mile traveled in 2019.
- A total of 5,014 motorcyclists lost their lives in traffic accidents nationally in 2019. This accounted for 14 percent of all traffic deaths.
- More than 60 percent of motorcycle accidents deaths involved an accident with at least one other vehicle.
- The number of motorcycle accident deaths in 2019 was more than double the number of deaths in 1997.
Motorcyclists are at significant risk of serious injuries and deaths caused by traffic accidents. Yet if all drivers fulfilled their duties, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents each year would be drastically reduced. Every roadway user has a responsibility to drive safely and avoid collisions. Unfortunately, not all drivers fulfill their responsibilities.
HOW DO MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS HAPPEN?
Because motorcyclists are far more vulnerable on the road than other drivers, all drivers have a duty and an obligation to take extra precautions around them. Motorcycles are legal vehicles, and those who drive them have legal rights, which protect them from negligent and reckless drivers, as well as unsafe roadway conditions.
Although many people hold a common misconception that most motorcycle accidents occur because of reckless driving on the part of the motorcyclists, the reality is that the majority happen because a car driver fails to take the necessary precautions when sharing the road with motorcyclists.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes include:
- Reckless and negligent driving, such as speeding, red-light running or distracted driving.
- Hazards on the road such as debris, uneven lanes, puddles, potholes, etc.
- Car drivers failing to see the motorcyclists when changing lanes, turning or speeding up.
The most frequent cause of a vehicle-motorcycle collision is the passenger vehicle’s driver being unable to clearly see the motorcyclist when changing lanes or turning. This may happen because the motorcycle falls into a driver’s blind spot or because the driver fails to watch for other vehicles when maneuvering. Crashes are especially common when a car making a left turn fails to observe a motorcycle approaching with the right-of-way and drives into the cyclist’s path.
PROVING FAULT IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIM
When a motorcycle accident involves multiple vehicles, the ensuing injuries can be devastating. If a driver or another party caused your accident, you will need to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party to secure compensation for your damages. Proving fault in a motorcycle accident case requires establishing the elements of negligence in court, which include:
- The plaintiff must show the court that the defendant owed a duty of care in the given situation. On the road, every driver and motorcyclist has a duty of care to the other drivers on the road to operate their vehicles safely and abide by the traffic laws.
- Next the plaintiff must show how the defendant breached his or her duty of care. This could be through a specific action, such as speeding, running through a stop sign or aggressive driving. Inaction may also constitute a breach of duty, such as a driver failing to signal before a lane change.
- The plaintiff may only file a lawsuit if he or she suffered actual harm, or some kind of measurable injury or economic loss. If there is no harm, there is no claim.
- Finally, the plaintiff must provide sufficient evidence to show the court that his or her damages were the direct results of the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
Your motorcycle accident attorney will help you gather the necessary evidence for building a strong case. This could include statements from eyewitnesses, collecting traffic camera data, or even subpoenaing an at-fault driver’s cell phone records to prove he or she was texting behind the wheel. The burden of proof that you must meet for a successful case is enough evidence to show that the other party is more likely than not at fault.
Fault vs. No-Fault Insurance States
It is necessary to prove fault after a motorcycle accident in Alabama because it is a fault-based state. This refers to the insurance system that it uses to determine liability (financial responsibility) for a motor vehicle accident. If you get into a motorcycle accident in a no-fault state, on the other hand, you do not need to prove fault or causation. Here’s how the two systems work:
- Fault (tort) states. In a fault state, the at-fault party pays for an accident. All drivers maintain minimum amounts of bodily injury and property damage liability insurance to pay for the accidents that they cause. To be eligible for coverage from someone else’s insurer, however, the injured victim must prove the policyholder is at fault.
- No-fault states. In a no-fault state, injured parties recover from their own auto insurance companies, regardless of fault. First-party personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will pay for medical bills in this case without requiring the policyholder to prove fault. The tradeoff is that the amount of compensation available is generally less than in a fault state. For serious injuries, however, most no-fault states allow victims to file outside of the no-fault system.
Alabama’s fault law is one of the many reasons it is a good idea to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you during a motorcycle accident case. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you preserve and collect key evidence to prove the motor vehicle driver or another party is at fault, making you eligible for compensation from his or her insurance provider.
CALCULATING DAMAGES IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CASE
The plaintiff in a motorcycle accident case can claim several types of compensation depending on the nature of his or her damages. Typically, the damages a plaintiff could expect from a successful motorcycle accident claim include:
- Medical expenses. Plaintiffs can claim the costs of all past and future medical expenses related to the crash, including hospital bills, surgery fees, rehabilitation costs, medical device costs (such as crutches or wheelchairs), and prescription costs.
- Property damage. The plaintiff can claim compensation for the costs of repairing or replacing a damaged or destroyed motorcycle or other personal belongings. The plaintiff can also claim compensation for out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the accident, such as cab fare, towing costs, or rental car expenses.
- Lost income. If the plaintiff had to miss work due to his or her injuries, he or she can sue for the income lost in that time. If the plaintiff suffers permanent injuries that limit his or her future earning potential, the plaintiff could receive compensation for this as well.
- Pain and suffering. The plaintiff can claim compensation for the physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering experienced after a motorcycle accident.
- Punitive damages. If the jury decides that a defendant’s behavior was grossly negligent, intentionally harmful, or manifested from malice, the jury may award punitive damages to the plaintiff as a means of further punishing the defendant.
Calculating how much your motorcycle accident case is worth may require assistance from a lawyer. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you add up your economic damages as well as estimate the noneconomic damages associated with your collision so that you can fight for a fair recovery.
HANDLING INSURANCE COMPANIES
After any motorcycle accident, you will more than likely have to deal with insurance companies in some capacity, whether it is to file a claim against an at-fault driver’s policy or against your own. It is essential to hire an attorney before talking to any insurance agents. An insurance agent will try to find any reason possible to reduce or deny your claim, and an attorney can help prevent this. If you have an attorney handle all your correspondence with insurers, they will be less likely to engage in high-pressure tactics to try and convince you to settle for less than coverage dictates.
Statute of Limitations on a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
An important law to know as a motorcycle accident victim is Alabama’s statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a deadline for taking legal action. If you miss your statute of limitations, the courts will most likely bar you from making a financial recovery. You must act quickly to file a lawsuit if you believe you have a case against a defendant.
In Alabama, you only have two years from the date of your motorcycle wreck to bring a cause of action. In some cases, however, this deadline is longer or shorter. An attorney can determine the deadline in your specific case.
THE RIGHT LEGAL REPRESENTATION IN ALABAMA
Although many people automatically assume that if a motorcycle is involved in an accident, it is because the rider was engaging in reckless behavior and is at fault, this is not always the case. At Drake Injury Lawyers in Birmingham, Alabama, our attorneys know that motorcyclists are frequently injured by other drivers’ negligence.
If you become our client, we will handle all aspects of your case from initial investigation to filing your claim, and fight your case at court when necessary to ensure the best possible financial outcome for you and your family. When necessary, we will call upon accident reconstructionists and traffic safety engineers to assist in demonstrating the other driver’s liability for the accident.
A LONG RECORD OF SUCCESS
Our firm has successfully recovered over $100 million in settlements and verdicts and has a 99 percent success rate in the cases which we accept. Because we are a small law firm, we can offer personalized attention and dedicate ourselves to one case at a time, while building a close personal and professional relationship with our clients. We understand the challenges you face in the aftermath of an accident and will work tirelessly to make sure these difficult times run their course as smoothly as possible.
Our consultation is free, and we do not charge any fees unless we recover a monetary award for you. We have the experience, knowledge and legal expertise to effectively fight for the justice that you deserve. We aggressively pursue all cases we take on and attribute our unparalleled success rate to our dedication to each client’s needs. Call us at (205) 970-0800 to set up your free consultation today.