What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Alabama
Ferguson & Ferguson
Attorneys at Law
July 28th, 2020
Unfortunately, there are very few “minor” motorcycle accidents. When there is a motorcycle accident near Huntsville, Cullman or Decatur, Alabama, we typically hear from a wife or children of the deceased rider. Most of the callers are distraught and overwhelmed by the incident. Injured parties or their family members have to deal with medical treatment and bills, health and motorcycle insurance, powers of attorney, wage loss issues and possibly funeral arrangements and life insurance. Often times we have to meet with our clients at the hospital or their home. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident in Alabama, be informed of your rights, follow these steps and retain counsel as soon as possible.
What to do After A Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident, you are often confused and unsure of what to say or do. Always remain at the scene until you can speak with the other party involved if you can. Never admit you were at fault and do the following:
- Remain calm and remain in your vehicle (unless too dangerous)
- Turn on your hazard lights
- Call 911
- Unless necessary, do not move the vehicles until the police arrive
- Never leave the scene of the accident
- Immediately file an accident report with the police, sheriff or state trooper, if the agency has not done so at the scene.
- Write down the name, address, insurance information, vehicle license number and driver’s license number of any and all persons involved in the car accident. Record names, addresses and telephone numbers of all witnesses.
- Do not admit fault
- Immediately notify your own insurance company of the accident
- Do not discuss the accident with anyone except the police or your own insurance agent or representative; you are not required to give a statement to anyone but the police and your insurance company
- 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.
- If you have a dashcam installed by a company like BlackBoxMyCar, recover any footage that documents the accident.
- 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 for injured drivers and passengers and tell your doctor the nature and extent of your pain and injury, and how the injury occurred.
- Track Your Expenses. A strong claim clearly outlines the financial impact of your accident. Keep records of your:
- All medical bills, including doctor’s visits, surgery and therapy,
- Future medical bills including long term care,
- mileage driven to all medical providers,
- rental car expenses,
- time away from work,
- and any other expenses your accident has caused.
The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Alabama
Did you know that motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash, and are over five times as likely to be injured. Most motorcycle accidents are caused by the other driver, and the most common causes include the following:
- Unsafe lane changes Many drivers fail to check for motor vehicles or fail to signal because they can’t see motorcyclist because of a blind spot.
- Car doors Drivers of cars or trucks who open their car door without looking.
- Speeding A leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents is speed.
- Driving under the influence Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be extremely dangerous. This is criminal and civil if an accident happened.
- Lane splitting by the motorcycle Very dangerous practice of motorcyclist driving between lanes and cars.
- Sudden stops Cars or motorcyclist stopping too fast and/or tailgating.
- Weather Snow, rain and storms often contribute to motorcycle accidents.
- Left turn accidents More than 40% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and a second vehicle are caused by the other vehicle turning left across traffic. Commonly caused by drivers who misjudge the motorcyclist’s speed or distance, fail to see the motorcyclist, stop or turn in the motorcyclist’s path.
- Distracted driving Driving while distracted is the leading cause of auto accidents in Alabama.
- Defective roads Dangerous pavement, potholes, debris, and other dangerous signals and signs can cause accidents.
- Sudden stops Stopping too fast in traffic or too fast for your speed.
- Head-on collisons Head-on collisions caused by one vehicle in wrong lane.
- Swerving in front of a cyclist Not giving the cyclist notice of lane change.
- Overcompensating the front brake: When the front brake of the motorcycle stops too hard.
- Vehicle and motorcycle defects: Defective parts or motorcycle design.
- Riding without a valid motorcycle license: Not having a license or training.
- Riding without a helmet/protective gear: Head injuries are often the result of not wearing a helmet.
- Pulling out in front of a motorcycle: Pulling out or not yielding to motorcycle. in front of motorcycle.
- Backing out of a parking spot without checking for motorcycles: Not looking before backing out in parking lots.
How Much Money Can I Recover
The amount of money you can recover in a Alabama motorcycle accident depends on a number of different factors including the following:
- Cost of your medical treatment
- Wages you lost because of the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Insurance of liable party
- Your own uninsured/underinsured insurance
Types of Compensation for Motorcycle Injuries and Wrongful Death
It is important to keep all bills, receipts and employment documents after an accident. The plaintiffs in motorcycle accident can obtain compensation for the following:
- Lost income
- Future lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Existing medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Special equipment to accommodate disabilities
- Physical and/or mental impairment
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Loss of use
- Workers compensation
- Wrongful death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Punitive damages in case of wrongful death
How We Can Investigate And Prepare Your Motorcycle Accident Case
Our motorcycle accident lawyers can start an investigation into your accident the day you hire us to represent you. We can go to the accident scene, talk to witnesses and gather evidence to establish who is at fault for your injuries. We can do the following:
- Meet you in person. We can do this at our office, your home or place of business, or any other location you choose.
- We will represent you based on a contingency fee agreement. We are paid if we win.
- Get the accident report.
- Hire accident reconstruction experts.
- Visit the accident scene and take skid mark measurements.
- Take photos and videos of the scene and the vehicles involved.
- Get ahold of security camera footage.
- Consult with experts.
- Talk to witnesses and your doctors.
- Investigate the other motorist’s driving history.
- Gathering all medical records related to your motorcycle accident.
- Get copies of your pay stubs from your employer.
- Take pictures of any scarring or injuries.
- Prepare a settlement brochure and offer.
- Help with paying medical bills and living expenses.
- File suit and prepare the case for trial. If we cannot settle the suit, we will file a lawsuit.
- Mediate your case.
- Try your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of our most frequently asked questions:
Do I need a lawyer after a motorcycle accident in Alabama?
In a motorcycle 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 motorcycle accident attorney who will give you a free consultation.
Do you have to wear a helmet in Alabama?
Yes, in Alabama all riders and passengers are required to wear a helmet.
Should I accept a settlement from an insurance company?
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 motorcycle accidents?
People injured in motorcycle accidents in Alabama often break bones, suffer traumatic brain injuries and often die. Other common injuries from motorcycle wrecks can include road rash, neck injuries, and herniated discs.
Is the daytime use of headlights required by law in Alabama?
Alabama requires the use of daytime headlights but allows a “modulating headlight” that changes between full power, low beam, and a dimming effect.
How much does a motorcycle accident lawyer cost?
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 motorcycle accident to file a lawsuit?
Two years in Alabama, unless you are a minor.
What should I do after my motorcycle 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.
Is lane splitting allowed in Alabama?
No, lane splitting is illegal in Alabama.
Can you wear headphones while riding in Alabama?
No, wearing headphones while driving your motorcycle is illegal in Alabama.
Call a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If your loved one was injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, you should call a motorcycle injury attorney as soon as possible. The insurance companies do not care how badly your loved one was hurt. They have teams of lawyers who are trained to find ways to deny your case. Our Huntsville and Decatur motorcycle injury lawyers have recovered tens of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Backed by more than 60 years of combined experience, you will enjoy peace of mind in knowing that your rights will be protected from start to finish. We will do everything in our power to secure the maximum compensation for you or your family members. Call 256-534-3435. We can help.