Dothan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
While the number of motorcyclists who are killed in traffic accidents in the state of Alabama represents fewer than 10 percent of all traffic accident-related deaths, the number of fatalities is nonetheless staggering. There have been more than 75 motorcyclists killed per year over the last two years, and that number is on the rise.
What’s most tragic about motorcycle accidents is that these accident types are often completely preventable and would not occur but for acts of human error. At the law offices of M. Adam Jones & Associates, our legal team is here to represent you in your claim for damages if you are injured in a motorcycle accident or if you are the surviving loved one of someone killed in a motorcycle crash.
Top Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Motor vehicle accidents involving motorcyclists often occur, in part, because the motorists simply do not see the motorcyclists. Motorcycles are much smaller and much less common on the road than automobiles, making them more difficult for other motorists to spot. That being said, it is ultimately negligence–the failure to maintain a proper lookout–that causes most motorcycle accidents. Some of the top factors that contribute to these crashes include:
- Driving while drunk or impaired;
- Motorcyclist riding in motorist’s blind spot;
- Failure to signal;
- Illegal lane change;
- Motorcyclist weaving between traffic;
- Aggressive driving;
- Distracted driving; and
- Running red light or stop sign/failure to yield.
Finding out precisely what happened and who was at fault often takes a thorough investigation into the crash and may require hiring accident reconstruction and other experts.
Motorcyclists Suffer Serious Injuries in Collisions
Regardless of who is at fault for the crash, the party who will suffer more damages when a motorcycle and a motor vehicle collide is almost always the motorcyclist. With few protections to mitigate injuries, motorcyclists involved in a crash may suffer from:
- Serious head and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Injuries to the skin, including road burn;
- Internal injuries;
- Bone fracture injuries;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Back and neck injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries; and
- Facial injuries.
This list is not inclusive; injuries are varied in a motorcycle accident, and depend upon things like the angle of impact, the force involved in the crash, the clothing and protective gear the motorcyclist is wearing, and more.
Recovering Compensation after a Crash
All drivers in the state of Alabama, including operators of motorcycles, are required to carry liability insurance. This insurance is designed to pay for damages to others in a crash. In order to recover compensation under another driver’s liability insurance policy after a motorcycle accident, the motorcyclist will need to prove that the other driver is at fault.
It is important that, after a motorcycle accident, you take the following steps in order to improve your chances of recovering a fair settlement:
- Seek medical care promptly and follow all medical advice;
- File a police report; and
- Notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible.
While an insurance company has a duty to process your claim in a timely manner, an insurance adjuster’s primary concern is with saving the insurance company money. Accordingly, you may not be offered the full settlement that you deserve, questions may be raised about your degree of fault, or your injuries may even be questioned. For these reasons, it is always a good idea to protect yourself by hiring an experienced Alabama motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible, before speaking to the insurance company.
What You Need to Know About Wearing a Helmet and Seeking Damages
Alabama is one of the few states in the nation that maintains a mandatory helmet law for all motorcyclists/riders, regardless of age or level of experience. This is a very important thing to note when you are seeking compensation for an accident, particularly if you suffered a head injury and were not helmeted at the time of collision. An insurance company will often deny a claim based upon the fact that an injured motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet. This is not the law in Alabama, and it is yet another reason why you should always retain an experienced Alabama motorcycle accident attorney before you ever attempt to speak with the insurance company.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim?
The Statute of Limitations governing almost all motorcycle accidents in Alabama is two years from the date of the accident. If you were a minor (in Alabama, that means under the age of 19) at the time of the accident, then the statute of limitations does not begin to run until your 19th birthday, meaning you have until your 21st birthday to file a lawsuit.
Our Law Firm Wants to Help You
At the law offices of M. Adam Jones & Associates, our experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyers want to help if you have been harmed in a motorcycle crash. We can help you by investigating and building your case, identifying all liable parties, negotiating with an insurance adjuster, and even taking your claim to court. When you work with an attorney, you improve your chances of recovering the full amount of compensation you deserve.
We work on a contingency fee basis, and consultations are always offered free of charge. Contact us today at (334) 699-5599, or send us a message telling us more about your case.
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