Decatur AL Bicycle Accident Attorneys
We can help you in Madison, Morgan, Lawrence and Limestone Counties and the surrounding areas.
There were 857 bicyclists killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2018. Most bicycle accidents are caused by motorists that simply do not see the bicyclists when they are in intersections or in the traffic lane. Even though bicycles share the same responsibilities as automobiles, unfortunately they are much easier to hit and result in greater, even catastrophic injuries. Many cycling accidents occur in the bike lane, crosswalks and in the blind spots of other vehicles. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident in Alabama, our bicycle accident attorneys are here to help. We understand, and offer a FREE consultation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call now 256-534-3435.
If you have been struck while riding a bike, chances are that you have sustained severe injuries. In the event that you are injured and go to the hospital, be sure to have documentation produced for you that will provide as support for an accident injury claim if you are going to proceed with our lawyers regarding a accident settlement or lawsuit. Always cooperate with law enforcement officials if they request a statement at the scene or hospital and obtain a copy of any police reports. This will assist your lawyer in pursuing payment of your medical expenses and other damages.
What to do After A Bicycle Accident
If you have been in a bicycle crash, below is a list of things you need to do:
- Immediately file an accident report with the police, sheriff or highway patrol, if the agency has not done so at the scene.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police have told you that you are free to go.
- Write down the name, address, insurance information, vehicle license number and driver’s license number of any and all persons involved in the accident. Record names, addresses and telephone numbers of all witnesses.
- Obtain photographs of the accident scene, all vehicles involved (before repairing) and any visible injuries to the parties involved, such as cuts, bruises, and scars.
- Do not discuss the accident or your injuries with anyone, with the exception of your doctor and your attorney.
- Do not consent to a recorded statement or sign any document without first reviewing it with your attorney. Innocent statements made by you attempting to assist an insurance adjuster can easily be misinterpreted and used to deny or minimize your recovery.
- Immediately seek medical attention and tell your doctor the nature and extent of your pain and injury, and how the injury occurred.
- Don’t post medical updates about your recovery, don’t post any physical activities you may or may not be doing. Stay off social media.
- Keep all of the GPS, Gopro and Strava data from that ride.
- Hire an experienced bicycle accident attorney, not a television or billboard attorney who you will never meet.
- Track Your Expenses.
A strong claim clearly outlines the financial impact of your accident. Keep records of your:
- medical bills,
- mileage driven to doctors’ appointments,
- rental bike expenses,
- time away from work,
- and any other expenses your accident has caused.
Bike Accident Injuries
Although mandatory helmet laws and the use of other safety equipment such as lights, flashers and proper clothing can reduce the chance of a bike crash, if one does occur, it usually results in significant personal injury. The most common injuries are:
- Concussions and closed head injuries
- Fractures of arms, legs and ribs
- Spinal injuries including herniated discs
- Contusions, bruises, contusions, and severe abrasions often called road rash
- Internal bleeding and injuries to vital organs
- Eye injury
- Chest injury
- Degloving injury
- Wrongful death
- Soft tissue injuries
- Hip injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Strained ligaments
- Back muscle sprains
- Jaw injuries
- Loss of teeth
- Neck injuries
- Crushed larynx
- Crushed trachea
- Broken neck
- Pelvic injuries
- Penetration injuries
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues
Who is Liable for my Bicycle accident in Alabama?
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a bicycle accident, it’s important to maximize your recovery.The parties at fault could include:
- Driver of the motor vehicle;
- Commercial businesses (trucking companies or delivery companies etc.) if the driver of the vehicle was on the clock;
- Governmental agencies or public entities;
- Road construction companies and contractors;
Bicycle Accident Statistics
The statistics and facts you should know about bicycle accidents include the following:
- In 2017, there were 783 cyclists killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States. Cyclist deaths accounted for 2.1 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities.
- Bicyclist deaths occurred most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Bicyclist deaths occur most often in urban areas (75%) compared to rural areas (25%).
- Bicyclist deaths were 8 times higher for males than females in 2017.
- Alcohol was involved in 37% of all fatal bicyclist crashes in 2017.
- Cyclist fatalities were highest in Florida (125), California (124), and Texas (59).
- Over the past 10 years (2008 to 2017), the average age of pedal-cyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes has increased from 41 to 47.
Important Things To Do When Biking In Alabama
When going for a ride, always remember the following:
- Ride a bike that fits you.
- Make sure your bike is in good mechanical order.
- Ride with a cell phone, personal identification, emergency contact, and something to write with.
- Wear bright clothing, bike helmet, reflective gear, white front light, red rear light and reflectors.
- Ride with both hands unless doing a turn signal
- Make sure shoe laces are tightly tied.
- Know your route and do not make quick jerky turns or lane changes.
- Carry all items in a backpack.
- Drive defensively.
- Be alert and watch all drivers and their movements.
- Drive in the same direction as traffic.
- Obey all lights, signs and hazards.
- Never text, talk or take pictures with your phone.
- Do not wear headphones or sound blocking equipment.
- Never use drugs or alcohol before or during ride.
- Check your law to make sure sidewalk riding is legal.
- Watch for pedestrians.
- Pass pedestrians by announcing “on your left” or “passing on your left” or use a bell.
- Slow down and look for cars backing out of driveways or turning.
- Use bike lanes when it is safe to do so.
Bicycle Damages You Can Recover For In Alabama
Most vehicle-bicycle accidents are caused by the driver’s inattention. The Huntsville Law Office Of Ferguson and Ferguson is a experienced bicycle accident law firm with a long track record of obtaining for clients the compensation and accountability they deserve. An individual who negligently operates a motor vehicle in Huntsville may be liable for a wide variety of damages that an accident can cause, including but not limited to the following:
- Disability and Disfigurement
- Loss of Consortium
- Medical Bills
- Future Medical Costs
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Mental and Emotional Distress
- Out of Pocket Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Rehabilitative care
- Medical devices (crutches, wheelchairs)
- Bicycle repaired or replacement value
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Wrongful Death
Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Alabama:
Bicycle accidents can be caused by any of the following:
- Car and Bike Driver negligence
- Automobile Drunk driving
- Car and Bike Drivers failing to yield
- Defective maintenance of bike paths
- Defective bicycle
- Left Turning Vehicle at an Intersection
- Left Turning Vehicle Through a Gap in Traffic
- Right Turning Vehicle Traveling Ahead of a Cyclist
- Right Turning Vehicle Overtaking a Cyclist
- Doored on the Driver’s Side
- Doored on the Passenger’s Side
- Rear-Ended by a Vehicle When Merging Across Lanes to Turn Left
- Side-swiped by a Passing Vehicle
- Rear-Ended by a Passing Vehicle
- Dog attack
- Malfunctioning Traffic Lights
- Improper Placement of Utility Poles or Trees near the Roadway
- Foliage Obstructing stop signs or other signs
- Lack of a properly designed shoulder
- Improper design or placement of median barriers
- Improper lane width
- Improperly designed intersections
- Narrow bridge abutments
- Uncovered ditches or obstructions or poor drainage
- Construction site violations
Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of our most frequently asked questions:
If I wasn’t wearing a helmet during my accident, am I still entitled to compensation?
Yes you can still recover.
Do I need a lawyer after a bicycle accident?
In a Bicycle accident case, you are dealing with a team of insurance adjusters and attorneys. There job is to pay you as little as possible. Contact an experienced car accident attorney who will give you a free consultation.
Should I accept a settlement?
If you are injured, you should never accept a settlement from an insurance company before talking to an attorney. Insurance companies try to pay out as little money as possible in every case. An attorney can usually get you a much bigger settlement.
What injuries are most common from bicycle accidents?
People injured in car accidents in Alabama often sustain cuts, broken bones and soft tissue injuries. Other common injuries from car wrecks can include neck injuries, herniated discs, head injuries and brain injuries.
How much does a bicycle accident lawyer cost?
Most attorneys offer free consultations and take personal injury cases on a contingency basis. We never charge a fee up front. We only get paid if we win your case. All consultations are free.
How much time do I have after my car accident to file a lawsuit?
Two years in Alabama, unless you are a minor.
What should I do after my accident?
Call the police and do a report. Notify your insurance company. Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. Get medical treatment. Call our office.
Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys are Here to Help.
If you’ve been injured for any of these reasons, you deserve maximum compensation. Contact our Huntsville and Decatur bicycle accident attorneys to find out what you can recover in your case. When you contact us, it will only take a few minutes of your time to find out if you have a case, and can result in tens of thousands of dollars in compensation for you or your loved ones. Being injured in a bike accident can take a lot out of your physical and emotional health, you need to hire an attorney who understands what you’ve been through and can recover fair compensation to put you back into the position you were before the accident. You have enough on your mind after a bicycle accident, the last thing you need to worry about is paying your hospital bills and recovering lost wages. Call now. Call 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200. We are here to help.
Our bicycle accident attorneys serve every city and county in the State of Alabama. Check out our resources page for more information.
State of Alabama Bicycle Laws
Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.
(Acts 1980, No. 80-434, p. 604, §12-102.)
Riding on bicycles.
(a) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.
(b) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.
(Acts 1980, No. 80-434, p. 604, §12-103.)
Clinging to vehicles.
No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle upon a roadway.
(Acts 1980, No. 80-434, p. 604, §12-104.)
Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.
(a) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
(b) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
© Wherever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.
(Acts 1980, No. 80-434, p. 604, §12-105.)
No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.
Lamps and other equipment on bicycles.
(a) Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the department which shall be visible from all distances from 100 feet to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.
(b) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
(Acts 1980, No. 80-434, p. 604, §12-107.)
Violations of article as misdemeanor; responsibility of parent or guardian; applicability of article.
(a) It is a misdemeanor for any person to do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required in this article.
(b) The parent of any child and the guardian of any ward shall not authorize or knowingly permit any such child or ward to violate any of the provisions of this chapter.
© These regulations applicable to bicycles shall apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any highway or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles subject to those exceptions stated herein.
Bicycle Safety laws
As used in this article, the following words shall have the following meanings:
(1) BICYCLE. A human-powered vehicle with two wheels in tandem design to transport by the act of pedaling one or more persons seated on one or more saddle seats on its frame. “Bicycle” includes, but is not limited to, a human-powered vehicle designed to transport by the act of pedaling which has more than two wheels when the vehicle is used on a public roadway, public bicycle path, or other public road or right-of-way, but does not include a tricycle.
(2) OPERATOR. A person who travels on a bicycle seated on a saddle seat from which that person is intended to and can pedal the bicycle.
(3) OTHER PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY. Any right-of-way other than a public roadway or public bicycle path that is under the jurisdiction and control of the state or a local political subdivision thereof.
(4) PASSENGER. Any person who travels on a bicycle in any manner except as an operator.
(5) PROTECTIVE BICYCLE HELMET. A piece of headgear which meets or exceeds the impact standard for protective bicycle helmets set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation, or which is otherwise approved by the Alabama Department of Public Safety.
(6) PUBLIC BICYCLE PATH. A right-of-way under the jurisdiction and control of the state, or a local political subdivision thereof, for use primarily by bicyclists and pedestrians.
(7) PUBLIC ROADWAY. A right-of-way under the jurisdiction and control of the state or a local political subdivision thereof for use primarily by motor vehicular traffic.
(8) RESTRAINING SEAT. A seat separate from the saddle seat of the operator of the bicycle or a bicycle trailer or similar product that is fastened securely to the frame of the bicycle and is adequately equipped to restrain the passenger in the seat and protect the passenger from the moving parts of the bicycle.
(9) TRICYCLE. A three-wheeled human-powered vehicle designed for use by a child under the age of six.
(Acts 1995, No. 95-198, p. 306, §2.)
The purpose of this article is to reduce the incidence of disability and death resulting from injuries incurred in bicycling accidents by requiring that, while riding on a bicycle on public roadways, public bicycle paths, or other public rights-of-way, all operators and passengers who are under 16 years of age to wear approved protective bicycle helmets, and by requiring that all bicycle passengers who weigh less than 40 pounds or are less than 40 inches in height be seated in separate restraining seats.
Unlawful for person to use bicycle under certain conditions.
It is unlawful for any person to use a bicycle on a public roadway, public bicycle path, other public rights-of-way, state, city, or county public park under any one of the following conditions:
(1) For any person under the age of 16 years to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle unless at all times the person wears a protective bicycle helmet of good fit, fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet.
(2) For any person to operate a bicycle with a passenger who weighs less than 40 pounds or is less than 40 inches in height unless the passenger is properly seated in and adequately secured in a restraining seat.
(3) For any parent or legal guardian of a person under the age of 16 years to knowingly permit the person to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle in violation of subdivision (1) or (2).