Birmingham Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycle accidents result in some of the most severe injuries. Unfortunately, they’re also some of the most common accidents in Birmingham. In any big city, bicyclists are constantly at risk of negligent drivers striking them in the roadway. Due to driver negligence, lack of bike lanes, and confusion surrounding what bicyclists can and cannot do on the roadway, dozens of preventable bicycle accidents and auto accidents involving bike riders occur in Alabama every year. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of being involved in a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of someone else, contact an experienced Birmingham bike accident lawyer for a free legal consultation.
Bicyclist Rights and Responsibilities
Alabama law treats bicyclists on the roadway the same as motorists, holding them both to the same standards of the road. This means bicyclists in the roadway cannot run stoplights, ignore traffic patterns, or automatically assume the right of way. When riding in the roadway, bicyclists must ride as near to the right side of the road as possible. In Birmingham, the law does not make helmets mandatory for riders over the age of 16.
It is every bicyclist’s responsibility to ride safely and prudently. Despite the law recognizing bicycles as vehicles on public roadways, many drivers fail to respect bicyclists’ rights and tailgate them to intimidate bicyclers. Many motorists become impatient while driving behind bicycles and drive irresponsibly. Bicyclists should never assume motorists will give them proper space or follow the law. Instead, take caution near motorists and anticipate being ignored, unseen, or cut off.
Motorist Rights and Responsibilities
Many drivers mistakenly believe the law requires bicycles to stay off roadways if there is no bike lane available. However, the laws in Alabama state that when there is a bike lane, bicyclists must use it. With no bike lane, a bicyclist is allowed in the road and should be treated like a motor vehicle. Motorists should follow a set of standards in regard to bicyclists. They should leave plenty of room around the bicyclist and exercise due care.
Motorists should check twice for bicycles before making turns and crossing intersections. Distracted drivers can easily fail to see a bicyclist crossing the road, resulting in a collision. Drivers should double-check their mirrors and blind spots for bicycles before changing lanes on city roads and always open doors with caution. Drivers can open doors into moving bicyclists without realizing it, causing riders to be thrown from their bicycle or sending them crashing into the vehicle.
Common Bike Accident Injuries
Due to the exposure of the bicyclist to the outside elements in a crash, injuries are often severe. Acute trauma is usually the result of a bicycle-vehicle collision – trauma to the head, face, and neck especially. Bicyclists without helmets can sustain more severe head injuries than those with helmets, but lack of a helmet does not automatically make the injury the bicyclist’s fault. Head and brain injuries can cause serious brain damage, leading to temporary or permanent physical and mental disability.
Road rash, contusions, spinal cord injuries, wrongful death, and lacerations are also common. Some road rash can be severe enough that embedded debris needs to be removed at a doctor’s office or hospital. Broken bones and fractures can occur, especially in the chest and ribcage. When bicyclists are thrown under a vehicle in an accident, their injuries will most likely be fatal, due to crushing or internal bleeding.
Talk to a Birmingham Bike Accident Attorney
If a motorist’s reckless behavior or negligence caused you to crash your bicycle and sustain injuries, you may have a personal injury case against the driver. At The Mitchell Law Firm, LLC, our Birmingham personal injury lawyers know bicycle accident injuries are often catastrophic, leaving the victim with long-lasting physical and emotional damages. Our bicycle accident attorneys in Birmingham, AL are committed to providing capable, compassionate legal defense to victims of bicycle accidents. To stand up against negligence on the roadway, contact us online or call (205) 942-0294 for a free case evaluation.