Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating activity that many Alabamans enjoy. There are few experiences that are more freeing than riding your bike on the open roads with the wind at your back taking in all of the gorgeous scenery the Yellowhammer state has to offer. While there is nothing like the rush you get from motorcycle riding, this activity is not without its downsides.
Motorcyclists are far more vulnerable to the potentially devastating effects of an accident. While a motor vehicle has a steel cage to protect those inside, a motorcyclist has no such protection. So, when they are involved in a collision, there is not much that separates their bodies from hitting the pavement. If you or a loved one suffered injury in a motorcycle accident in Alabama, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible, so you are fully informed of your rights and legal options.
At the Zach Peagler Law Firm, we understand that being injured in a motorcycle crash takes a major physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and our goal is to make the legal process smooth and stress-free. We work closely with our clients, and we handle everything for you from start to finish. We deal directly with the other side and take care of all the complex legal tasks, so you can focus on getting recovered and putting your life back together.
Common Causes of Alabama Motorcycle Accidents
There is a common misconception that motorcyclists are reckless, and that they are the cause of most of the accidents they are involved in. The truth is that the majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by car and truck drivers. In fact, a University of South Florida study from a few years ago found that 60% of the time, motorists are to blame for crashes with motorcycles.
There are several reasons why motorcycle crashes occur, here are some of the most common:
Speeding: When someone is driving too fast, they have far less time to react when something goes wrong on the road. Motorcycles already have small profiles that make them difficult to see, and when a motorist is speeding, they may not see them in time to avoid a collision.
Aggressive/Reckless Driving: Many auto accidents happen because of aggressive or reckless driving. When a motorist is driving in a reckless manner, it means they have total disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of others. Examples of reckless driving include excessive speeding, tailgating, weaving back and forth between lanes, running stoplights, illegal or dangerous passing maneuvers, and street racing.
Distracted Driving: Motorcycle accident fatalities have been on the rise in recent years, and many experts believe that the increase coincides with the widespread use of smartphones. Texting while driving and similar activities demand a motorist’s complete focus, and this causes them to miss important things that are happening on the road, such as a motorcycle entering their blind spot.
Drunk Driving: Driving while intoxicated chemically alters a person’s body and mind, resulting in slower reaction times, reckless attitudes, and generally very poor driving decisions. Whether it is done by a motorist or motorcyclist, drunk driving is a dangerous practice that greatly increases the chances of an accident.
Drowsy Driving: Each year, hundreds of people are killed and tens of thousands are seriously injured because of drowsy drivers. Of course, a driver who falls asleep at the wheel can quickly cause a lot of destruction. But even if that does not happen, a drowsy driver loses focus, has slower reaction times, and is more likely not to see motorcycles because of their small profile.
There are some motorcycle accidents that happen because of factors that are beyond the control of drivers and riders. For example, a faulty vehicle or vehicle part could malfunction at the wrong time, causing an accident with injuries. In such cases, it may be possible to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the defective or dangerous product.
Damages Recoverable from Motorcycle Accident Claims
When someone is injured in a motorcycle crash that was caused by another party, they have a right to be compensated for their losses. Compensatory damages can be divided into two general categories:
Economic Damages: These are direct monetary losses that the accident victim incurs. Examples of economic damages include medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and property damage.
Noneconomic Damages: These are intangible losses that are more difficult to put a value on. Examples of noneconomic damages include pain-and-suffering, emotional distress, diminished quality of life, disfigurement, and permanent injury.
In rarer cases in which the actions of the party responsible for the accident were especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim, but rather to punish the wrongdoer and help discourage them and others from committing similar acts in the future.
Pursuing a motorcycle accident injury claim in Alabama is more difficult than in most other states because our state applies the “contributory negligence” legal doctrine. Contributory negligence means that if an injured party is found to have contributed in any way to the underlying accident (even 1%), they can be barred from recovering damages. You can be sure that the insurance company for the other side will try to use these laws against you, and for this reason, it is highly recommended that you get an attorney involved as early as possible. Otherwise, you may lose out on your legal right to damages.
Contact a Knowledgeable and Compassionate Alabama Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
A motorcycle accident can turn your life upside down, and without strong legal counsel by your side, you could jeopardize your right to recover just compensation. At the Zach Peagler Law Firm, we are here to help! We are ready to put our extensive experience to work for you, and we will explore every potential legal avenue towards securing the most favorable outcome possible. Our initial consultations are always free, and if we accept your motorcycle accident case, it will be on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will only pay us if we recover compensation on your behalf.
To schedule your free consultation with a member of our legal team, message us online or call us at (205) 871-9990. You may also stop by our Birmingham office in person, or if you are physically unable to do so, we will come to you.
The following language is required pursuant to Rule 7.2, Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct. No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.