Birmingham Motorcycle Accident Attorney
With a little over 118,000 motorcycles registered in the state, Alabama ranks right in the middle of the pack when it comes to which states have the most motorcycle riders. That’s a lot of motorcycles and motorcycle riders to watch out for. Automakers come up with new safety features for their vehicles every year, but little can be or is done to protect a motorcycle rider in a crash with a car or truck. In 2019, motorcyclists in Alabama suffered through 1,867 crashes causing 1,213 injuries and 90 fatalities, and the numbers don’t change much from year to year.
People walk away unharmed from the majority of car crashes, but with motorcycles, it’s a different story. In the example above, motorcycle riders were injured or killed in nearly 70% of motorcycle wrecks. These injuries are not usually minor, either. Because riders are almost completely exposed to impact from a larger, heavier vehicle, motorcycle accident victims are more likely to suffer the most severe and catastrophic injuries, including brain and spinal injuries, multiple broken bones, loss of limb, scarring and disfigurement, or death.
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation which compiles these traffic accident statistics, 64% of motorcycle accident fatalities are said to be caused by the motorcyclist as opposed to the other driver. Given the enormous costs involved with a motorcycle wreck and Alabama’s strict contributory negligence law, it’s absolutely essential for injured riders to get excellent legal representation on their side when they’ve been in a crash caused by a negligent driver. At Goldasich, Vick & Fulk, our dedicated team of Birmingham motorcycle accident attorneys is committed to fighting for our clients, proving the other party’s liability and the damages they owe, and getting the results accident victims need to deal with the costs, the physical and emotional pain, and the disruption in their lives caused by another driver’s negligence or distracted driving.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Birmingham motorcycle accident, call Goldasich, Vick & Fulk for a free consultation regarding your potential claims. We’ll work to see that your medical and financial needs are taken care of as we labor to see that justice is done in your case.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Birmingham
As enjoyable as it is to ride a bike, motorcyclists face dangers from negligent drivers at every turn. Here are the leading sources of motorcycle accidents caused by negligent drivers:
Most motorcycle accidents happen when a driver makes a left-hand turn, usually at an intersection but not always, into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. The biker either doesn’t have time to react or brake or doesn’t have any alternative to crashing headlong into the turning vehicle. Drivers make this mistake because they misjudge the speed or distance of the motorcycle, they fail to check for or notice the bike, or they aggressively make the maneuver knowing it might not be safe.
Every driver should check their blind spots every time before changing lanes, but many fail this crucial step when they think they are already aware of all the traffic around them. What drivers fail to realize is that it is harder to notice motorcycles because of their size and that they often approach more rapidly than other vehicles, so what was a clear path a moment ago might now contain a motorcycle. Failing to check a blind spot is almost always going to be considered negligence and fault when a crash occurs.
Following too close is never a good idea, and it is the number one reason for car accidents in Alabama. Tailgating a motorcycle is especially dangerous, as even a low-speed bump or rear-ender can send the motorcycle out of control, cause it to flip over, or send the rider off the bike and into traffic.
Car accidents have been on the rise over the last several years after 40 years of decline, and texting while driving/cellphone use is the likely culprit. Motorcycles are harder to spot in traffic than larger vehicles, and a distracted driver is even more likely to fail to notice a motorcycle until it is too late to avoid a collision.
Some drivers routinely speed or engage in other reckless driving behaviors, and some drivers actually step up their reckless or aggressive behavior around a motorcycle. Aggressively whipping around a motorcycle only to slow down once in front, or squeezing a motorcycle out of its rightful lane, are vicious and dangerous behaviors. Punitive damages might be appropriate to punish drivers for intentional or reckless driving taken in disregard for the safety of others.
How Can Motorcyclists Stay Safe?
A large portion of motorcycle accidents are blamed on the rider, so skilled and careful riding is essential to keep from getting hurt. The more experience a rider has on a motorcycle, the better they are likely to be at handling the bike and avoiding a wreck. The following tips can be helpful in riding safe, avoiding negligent drivers, and protecting yourself in case of a crash:
Wear bright or reflective clothing. Run your headlight whether day or night. Ride in the center of the lane. Use your horn if necessary to get a driver’s attention.
Signal before making a turn or lane change. Maintain a steady speed. Stay in your lane and avoid the temptation to weave in and out of traffic. Adjust your riding to the current traffic, weather and road conditions.
Defensive riding means constantly scanning and watching out for others on the road. Drivers might be drunk or distracted, and you can’t always predict what they will do. Leave space between you and the cars around you, and if another driver is acting aggressive or reckless, it’s best to let them by rather than aggravate the situation and find yourself on the wrong end of a road rage incident.
Wear protective clothing
Alabama requires all riders to wear a shatterproof, hard-shell helmet. In addition, choose long pants and a jacket or riding leathers and boots. You want to be comfortable, but you also want to be safe and minimize harm if you get in a crash or have to lay down your bike. No matter how skilled, attentive or safely you ride, you might not always be able to protect yourself from a negligent, reckless or aggressive driver.
Let Our Dedicated Personal Injury Attorneys Help After a Birmingham Motorcycle Accident
The Birmingham personal injury attorneys at Goldasich, Vick & Fulk work tirelessly every day to help accident victims recover significant compensation to deal with the catastrophic injuries that have befallen them. Our lawyers know what it takes to prove a negligent driver’s fault and liability, defend against baseless allegations of rider fault or contributory negligence, and document and prove the need for a substantial damages award through settlement or jury verdict.
If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt in a Birmingham motorcycle accident, call Goldasich, Vick & Fulk at 205-731-2566 for a free consultation about your potential claims.