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Alabama Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in Alabama? The attorneys at Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey are here to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation.

Nothing is better than going for a relaxing ride on a motorcycle on a pretty day. Sometimes, what should have been an enjoyable experience turns into a stressful one. Every motorcyclist knows there are risks involved in riding a motorcycle. Their small size makes them difficult to see, and the lack of protection can make even minor accidents devastating. When compared to cars, motorcyclists are nearly 28 times more likely to be injured or killed in an accident over the same miles traveled. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents often lead to permanent injuries or death. Our Alabama motorcycle accident lawyers believe you deserve justice for any injury sustained in a wreck caused by someone else’s negligence.

Motorcycle Accident Myths

Unfortunately, other drivers sometimes try to blame motorcyclists for accidents involving other vehicles. They may hold on to old stereotypes about bikers being reckless law-breakers who put everyone on the road at risk. These stereotypes sometimes even create a bias with insurance adjusters, which is why having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side is extremely helpful. We will ensure insurance companies don't try to blame you for an accident that was not your fault or use the fact that you were on a motorcycle against you.

We know that most motorcyclists are serious about safety. They obey the rules of the road, including wearing a helmet and doing everything they can to keep themselves and others safe. Drivers of cars, trucks, and other vehicles must be held accountable for their negligence when they cause an accident with a motorcycle driver.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents happen regularly, and the most common reason drivers give for causing these accidents is that they simply did not see the motorcyclist. Though the driver may not have meant to cause harm, they could still be liable for the accident. Other causes of motorcycle accidents in Alabama include:

  • Distracted Driving: This can be due to texting, eating, adjusting a radio, or anything that takes a driver's focus off the road

  • Illegal Lane Changes: This can happen when drivers fail to use their turn signals or change lanes in improper zones. These happen most often on highways and streets with traffic congestion

  • Running Red Lights: This is self-explanatory. Many motorcyclists are injured in intersections when a driver runs a red light

  • Speeding: Speeding reduces a driver's reaction time and makes a wreck more likely

  • Drunk Driving: Drunk drivers are not able to make good decisions quickly, and their motor skills are impaired as well. This recipe for disaster puts everyone on the road in danger, especially motorcyclists

Accidents Caused by Negligent Road Construction

The risks motorcycle riders face are compounded when roadways are neglected or when a construction project isn't managed properly. Poor road conditions may be a minor inconvenience to most drivers, but they pose major hazards to those on a motorcycle. Some roadway conditions that can lead to an accident include:

  • Potholes

  • Broken pavement

  • Gravel

  • Loose sand

  • Wet or slippery surfaces

  • Pavement seams and grooved pavement

  • Railroad crossings

These hazards not only make it difficult for motorcyclists, but they also make it harder for other drivers to see a motorcycle because they are distracted by a hazardous situation on the road.

If you were injured in an accident on your motorcycle due to someone else’s mistake, it is advisable to seek guidance from one of the Alabama motorcycle accident attorneys at Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey. We will advocate for you against the insurance company to make sure you get the best possible outcome for your situation.

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can come in various forms, and each one will be unique. Some will be more severe than others. These are the most common ways motorcycle accidents resulting in injuries typically occur:

  • Rear-end Accidents: If there is danger ahead and someone is forced to brake, a motorcycle will naturally have a shorter stop time than a car or other passenger vehicles. This leads to many motorcyclists getting rear-ended by much larger vehicles who were not practicing a safe following distance. A rear-end collision can cause a serious accident that may knock a motorcyclist off their motorcycle, leading to catastrophic injury.

  • Left-turn Accidents: Cars turning left sometimes hit a motorcycle attempting to go straight. This might happen due to the driver of the car misjudging the distance of the approaching motorcycle or simply not paying enough attention to their surroundings. Drivers have the responsibility to remain aware of what is around them and recognize who has the right of way.

  • Lane Changing Accidents: We hear it all the time: “I just didn't see them!" Car drivers commonly don't pay enough attention when changing lanes and fail to recognize a motorcyclist right next to them, often claiming the motorcycle was in their blind spot. It is still the responsibility of the car driver to thoroughly check their surroundings before attempting a lane change.

  • Head-on Accidents: Head-on collisions most often occur at intersections or on roads without a center median. If a car driver is distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may drift into oncoming traffic, hitting a motorcycle head-on. This can lead to major injuries to both parties. In accidents where a fatality occurs, it may be grounds for a wrongful death claim.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Many injuries can happen to the driver of a motorcycle when involved in a wreck. Some types of injuries are more commonly associated with motorcyclists than drivers of larger vehicles, though. The most common Alabama motorcycle accident injuries we see include:

  • Road Rash: Road rash is what happens when a motorcyclist slides across pavement, gravel, or dirt during an accident. This kind of injury ranges in severity from relatively minor scrapes to deep wounds that can cause permanent damage and scarring. Road rash can also lead to infections and other complications.

  • Limb Injuries: This category includes fractures, scrapes, sprains, or "biker's arm," a term used to describe what happens when a motorcyclist is thrown forward and tries to use their arms to reduce impact, which can lead to nerve damage or bone fractures. In the most serious cases, a limb may need to be amputated.

  • Back and Spinal Cord Injuries: These are especially damaging injuries. A spinal cord injury will often require extensive surgeries and physical therapy if there is any hope at all of leading a normal life after the motorcycle crash. Unfortunately, depending on where the injury occurs on the spine, a motorcyclist may permanently lose the ability to use their legs (known as paraplegia) or their arms and legs (quadriplegia).

  • Broken Bones: Broken bones and fractures are incredibly common motorcycle accident injuries because there is nothing to protect a motorcyclist in the event of a collision (except for a helmet, which should always be worn). Bones in the hands, arms, legs, upper body and lower body are susceptible to breaks and may require surgery to heal. Even minor fractures can take months before they return to their normal function.

  • Muscle Damage: Muscle damage can occur from road rash or bone fractures, and often requires physical therapy and other forms of intense medical treatment in order to heal.

  • Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries: Even with the use of helmets, some accidents can still lead to head injuries. They might be minor, like bruising to the skull, or they can be much more severe. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be devastating, sometimes leading to permanent brain damage.

Motorcycle accident injuries can have a major impact on your life, sometimes leaving you or a loved one with irrevocable damage. Not only can it affect you physically, but steep medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work while you recover, and other financial losses can leave you feeling like you will never get your life back. No one should have to suffer such consequences due to the negligence of another driver.

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, call our office for a free consultation. See how we can help you get your life back on track after such a terrible incident.

Why Motorcycle Helmets Are So Important

Alabama law requires all motorcyclists and their passengers to wear helmets while on a motorcycle, and for good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets saved an estimated 1,872 lives in the year 2017 alone. 749 fatalities could have been avoided that year if all motorcyclists had worn helmets. Helmets reduce the risk of motorcyclist deaths by 37 percent and reduce the risk of death in their passengers by 41 percent. Furthermore, helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69%.

You may believe you are a safe rider and therefore don't need a helmet. However, you cannot predict the behavior of the drivers around you. Always wear a helmet before you start up your motorcycle, because it will likely save your life.

Compensation For Your Motorcycle Accident

An estimated total of 6,084 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in the year 2021, accounting for 14% of all vehicle accident deaths that year. The number of motorcyclists not fatally injured is much higher. When a fatal or catastrophic injury-causing motorcycle accident occurs, there will be enormous costs involved, ranging from medical bills to loss of income.

If you've been injured in an accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation through an Alabama motorcycle accident claim to cover your losses, also known as damages. These generally come in two forms: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include:

  • Your current and future medical expenses related to the accident, including doctor bills, hospital visits, surgeries, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and any necessary medical equipment

  • Any lost wages from time you took off work to recover from your injuries

  • Lost earning capacity if your injuries are so severe that you can no longer work, or if you are no longer able to do the kind of work you did before the accident

  • Property damage for the loss of your motorcycle or any other personal belongings

Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering for any physical pain or emotional trauma caused by the accident. This might include anxiety, depression, fear, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Scarring and disfigurement that leaves a visible mark on part of your body

  • If your spouse was injured, you may be able to claim loss of consortium damages for the loss of emotional or financial support your spouse provided before the accident

Non-economic damages can be more difficult to prove in court. To ensure you get the maximum possible compensation, including both economic and non-economic damages, you will want to discuss your options with an Alabama motorcycle accident attorney from Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey. We can help ensure you cover all your bases when calculating your damages, so you don’t unintentionally agree to a settlement offer that is far below what you will truly need to recover financially and otherwise.

In rare cases, if the negligent party was found to be acting out of extreme negligence or malice, you may also be awarded punitive damages which are designed to punish the negligent party and reduce the chances of such accidents happening in the future.

Pure Contributory Negligence

In order to be awarded damages, you must first prove that the liable party (defendant) was negligent against the injured party (plaintiff). This is determined by proving the following four points:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care

  • There was a breach in the duty of care by the defendant

  • The plaintiff suffered injuries caused by that breach

  • The injuries resulted in damages which can be proven through medical bills and other documentation

Alabama practices pure contributory negligence laws, which means that you will not be able to recover compensation for any damages if you share fault for the accident. This makes hiring a personal injury lawyer even more important, as you will likely need one to prove that the accident was purely the fault of a negligent driver. If you have more questions about Alabama's negligence laws, call us at 205-349-2009 to learn more.

Alabama Statute of Limitations

If you intend to file a personal injury claim following a motorcycle accident, it is important that you do so within the legal time frame of two years from the date of the accident. If you fail to file in time, you will not be eligible for any compensation.

Even if you believe you have plenty of time, you should still contact an attorney as soon as possible because it will likely take time to collect the evidence needed to build your case. Contact an Alabama motorcycle accident lawyer so we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

If you've been in a motorcycle accident, you may be wondering what to do next. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you maintain your legal rights and give yourself the best chance of recovery:

  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don't believe you are injured, adrenaline can mask symptoms, and you may have internal injuries you are unaware of. It is also essential to seek medical treatment as soon as you can following your accident so that a medical record is created to document your injuries, which will be needed later if you pursue a legal claim for compensation.

  • Gather evidence. If you are able, take pictures and video of the accident scene and take down the information of any eyewitnesses. Also, take photos of any injuries. This could serve as important evidence when negotiating with the insurance company.

  • File a police report. Emergency personnel likely arrived to the scene of your accident, especially if it was a severe crash. It is important to call the police to the scene even if you think the crash was not that bad. This report will be needed for your claim as it serves as a neutral account of what happened.

  • Contact a motorcycle accident attorney. Ideally, you should have legal counsel representing you before you ever speak to the insurance company for the person who caused the accident. Adjusters have tricks up their sleeves to try to get you to admit fault when getting a recorded statement from you. If you say anything that is not legally advisable, they will use it against you to justify offering you a smaller settlement or deny your claim outright. Call Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey so we can help you understand your legal rights and options as soon as possible after getting into a motorcycle wreck in Alabama.

How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help

After a motorcycle accident, when you are seeking compensation from the other party, you may wonder if you actually need the help of an attorney or if you can handle the claim yourself. The truth is, having an attorney on your side will make a world of difference, especially when it comes to how much compensation you get paid for your damages. Our team believes you should get absolutely possible under the law. Here are some of the ways we can help you achieve a maximum settlement:

  • We know the law. Most people don't understand their rights or the laws surrounding motorcycle accidents. This leaves you vulnerable and more easily taken advantage of by insurance companies and others that do not have your best interests in mind. We can advise you on the best course of action to take and help you make the most of your rights as an accident victim.

  • We will handle the tedious work involved in filing a claim. This includes investigating your accident to determine the cause and who is liable. We can also help gather evidence, speak with eyewitnesses, keep track of all necessary paperwork, and file your claim so that you can keep your focus where it should be: on recovering.

  • We know how to negotiate with insurance companies. Insurance companies are looking out for themselves and their own bottom line. They are notorious for lowballing victims by offering settlements well below what is actually needed. Here at Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, we are experienced with negotiating motorcycle accident claims to ensure you receive the full payout you deserve.

  • We can represent you in court. Most motorcycle accident claims are settled out of court, but sometimes insurance companies refuse to budge on their low offers. In these cases, you may need to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit. We will be fully prepared to represent you at trial when necessary to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.

Contact an Alabama Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident in Alabama, don’t wait to speak with a skilled motorcycle accident attorney. The lawyers at Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey have many years of combined experience handling personal injury claims, including those involving motorcycles. We will fight aggressively to get you the fair settlement you deserve so that you can get your life back on track.

Contact an Alabama motorcycle accident lawyer today by calling 205-349-2009 for a free case evaluation. Let us help you fight for your right to fair compensation while you focus on recovering from your injuries.


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