Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Birmingham, AL
When a motorcyclist is in a crash, the injuries are generally more severe than those that happen in a regular passenger vehicle car crash. Due to the exposure of the motorcyclist’s body to the road, stationary objects, and other vehicles, a crash can easily result in serious road rash, broken bones, brain damage, and death. Understanding Alabama motorcycle laws can help you protect your rights as a motorcyclist on the roadway. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury as a result of being involved in a motorcycle accident, contact our experienced Birmingham motorcycle accident lawyers for a free initial legal consultation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Speeding and negligent driving are common causes of motorcycle accidents. Often, a driver of a passenger vehicle fails to check twice for motorcycles before pulling out, resulting in a large number of collisions. Drivers may collide with motorcyclists they don’t see at intersections, or merge into a lane on top of a motorcycle. Between driver negligence and the small size of motorcycles, they are always at risk of collision.
When a driver is texting, eating, emailing, talking on the phone, or otherwise distracted, it’s easy to miss a motorcycle. These accidents are almost always more catastrophic to the motorcyclist than the negligent driver. Motorcyclists are especially at risk at night, when visibility is limited and the number of DUI drivers increases. Other causes include badly maintained roadways and improper roadway signage.
Typical Motorcycle Accident Injuries
In more than a decade of representing motorcycle accidents throughout Birmingham, our firm has seen a wide range of motorcycle crash injuries. The majority of accidents involve and result in brain injuries, burn injuries, bone fractures, neck injuries, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, abrasions, cuts, and more. Often, legs and feet suffer injuries in a crash, followed by the trunk area of the body, including the hips and pelvis.
Even with a helmet, head injuries can be severe. When the skull strikes an object, such as the road or another vehicle, the brain can hit the sides of the skull and cause swelling. Concussion and other brain injury can result in brain damage, often moderate to severe. Brain injury can range from slight confusion to coma or death.
What the Law Says About Motorcycles
In Alabama, the use of a safety helmet is mandatory for motorcyclists on the road. The helmets must meet certain specifications, laid out in Alabama Code Section 32-12-41. The law does not require motorcyclists to undergo periodic safety inspections, use turn signals, wear eye protection, or use a headlight during daytime. The defendant would not be able to use any of these inactions against a cyclist in court to prove fault in an accident.
Although the law makes wearing a safety helmet mandatory, the lack of wearing a helmet is not automatically grounds for a negligent driver to use against a motorcyclist. While the defendant may use it to show that injuries wouldn’t have been as severe with a helmet, it does not negate the fact that the cyclist still would have sustained injury. If the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet during your accident, a skilled Birmingham motorcycle accident attorney may be necessary prove the victim’s injuries would have been serious regardless.
Weaving through stopped traffic is not allowed, nor is lane splitting. Two riders can ride side by side in one lane, but they cannot ride next to a passenger vehicle in one lane. The law also prohibits riding in the emergency lane to avoid traffic. Motorcyclists must obey speed limits, road signs, stoplights, and traffic patterns.
Your Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Birmingham, AL
For experienced help with your motorcycle accident case, call The Mitchell Law Firm, LLC, at (205) 942-0249. We’ll help you file a claim against a negligent driver or against a city for poorly maintaining a roadway. Contact us today to discuss your case. We offer a free consultation.