Huntsville Motorcycle Accident Attorney
There is a common misconception that motorcycles are more frequently involved in accidents than cars. In fact, motorcycles are slightly less likely to be involved in an accidents, compared to cars. Due to the unique risks of riding a motorcycle, however, when a motorcycle is involved in an accident, the rider or riders are more likely to suffer an injury than those riding in a passenger vehicle. If you or a loved one have been a victim in a motorcycle accident, the Huntsville motorcycle accident lawyers at Conchin, & Cole, LLC are here to help.
Why Choose Us?
- We are passionate about preserving the rights of injured motorcycle accident victims in Huntsville, Alabama. Our lawyers work hard to represent every client’s best interests.
- We have the experience you need to feel confident in us as your representatives. Our lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience in and out of the courtroom.
- We will not charge you any lawyer’s fees unless we win your case. We only deduct our fees out of settlements and verdicts we obtain for you.
Do You Need an Attorney?
Fighting for compensation after a serious motorcycle accident can be difficult without help from an attorney in Huntsville. You might not fully understand your circumstances or the rights you have to financial compensation from one or more at-fault parties. A motorcycle accident attorney in Huntsville can help you through a legal dispute or personal injury action in pursuit of damages. Motorcycle accident laws are complicated in Alabama. With an attorney by your side, you will not have to worry about navigating them alone.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, in 2015, the latest year for which full information is available, there were 1,601 accidents involving a motorcycle. Out of these accidents, 1,254 people were injured, and 74 people were killed. The percentage of people injured in a motorcycle accident versus those injured in an automobile accident is significantly higher.
Alabama Motorcycle Laws
Motorcyclists have many of the same responsibilities as other drivers in Alabama. Motorcyclists also have specific laws that relate to them alone, such as the state’s universal helmet law. Alabama law requires that anyone operating or riding a motorcycle wear a helmet. The helmet must be specifically designed for use on a motorcycle, must have a hard shell and absorbent padding, and a permanent and adjustable chin strap.
Motorcycle operators are expected to obey all traffic laws applicable to drivers of other vehicles as well, including maintaining their vehicle within their own lane and not passing between vehicles in adjacent lanes whether they are moving or stopped, a practice known as lane splitting. Motorcyclists may ride two abreast, but may not share lanes with other motor vehicles. Motorcycles have the right to take up entire lanes. Other drivers may not drive in a way that infringes upon a motorcyclist’s use of a full lane.
To lawfully operate a motorcycle in Alabama, riders must obtain special class M licenses. Getting a class M license requires taking a motorcycle rider education course. Riders must pass written knowledge tests as well as driving tests to attain class M licenses. Operating a motorcycle without proper licensure could result in fines and other penalties, such as temporarily losing the driving privilege.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Catastrophic and fatal injuries are more common in motorcycle accidents than typical car accidents. Motorcycle users often only have helmets, jackets, pants and boots to protect them in a collision, if that. They do not have the metal shell or other protections vehicle passengers have in accidents.
Motorcycle operators and their passengers can suffer many serious injuries in an accident including:
These injuries often require extensive and expensive medical treatment and victims incur lost wages due to missed time at work. Nor do the expenses end after you are released from the hospital. Long and painful rehab is often needed for injuries. A personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party could be the most appropriate course of action for injured victims in need of financial recompense.
How to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim
In the first days after your motorcycle accident, a claims adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company may contact you to get more details about the crash. The claims adjuster may ask you questions about what happened, as well as about your injuries and the extent of damage to your motorcycle. Be careful what you say to the insurance claims adjuster. He or she is not on your side and may try to trick you into accepting a small settlement.
Wait for the other driver’s insurance company to offer you a settlement amount. In the meantime, follow the doctor’s orders for medical treatment and connect with an attorney to learn about your rights. If the insurance company offers a settlement, you have the right to hire an attorney to help you negotiate a better amount. Most initial offers are less than the true value of the case. Protect yourself by politely declining the first settlement amount until you have spoken to a Huntsville motorcycle accident attorney.
If the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to negotiate with your attorney for a fair settlement, your lawyer may take the at-fault driver to court in Huntsville. A personal injury lawsuit against the driver or another party could end in higher compensation for your damages than an insurance claim. A jury might assign pain and suffering damages, while a judge could order punitive damages to punish the defendant for wrongful acts. You have two years from the date of your motorcycle accident to bring a lawsuit in Alabama.
Getting Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident
While the other driver may clearly have been at fault in your accident, the insurance companies will fight to protect their bottom line. If they can prove that you contributed to your injuries in any way, they may be able to avoid paying any compensation.
Alabama contributory negligence laws state that if an accident victim is found to be in any way responsible for the accident or injuries they suffered, no compensation is required to be paid. As a result, insurance companies will often attempt to establish that you played some part in causing the accident. Even if they cannot make a very good case that you contributed to the accident, they will always try to offer the smallest settlement possible.
Consulting an attorney in your motorcycle accident case is a good idea to help protect your interests. An attorney can tell you honestly whether your case has merit and how much compensation you may expect to receive if you move forward with your claim. An attorney can also help you understand the process and the legalities that will come to bear on your case. Contact our personal injury lawyers to learn more today.