Bike Accident Lawyers in Birmingham
If you are a cyclist who has been involved in a bike accident in Birmingham, it’s critically important to know the steps to take following an accident. Just as important, however, is enlisting the assistance of an attorney who knows the ins and outs of personal injury law to represent you in your case. Personal injury lawsuits are rarely successful when fought alone; luckily, with Norris Injury Lawyers, you don’t have to show up to battle by yourself.
Proving Fault in a Birmingham Bike Accident
In contrast to most states, Alabama follows a legal concept known as “contributory negligence” when it comes to proving fault in a bike accident. Under this theory, a cyclist who is involved in a bike accident is barred from recovering compensation for his or her injuries if even the smallest amount of fault can be attributed to the cyclist. If, for example, it was found that the cyclist failed to stop for a stop sign, it doesn’t matter how reckless the other person involved in the accident was; the cyclist is barred from recovering compensation for any damages whatsoever.
Thus, in order to recover damages to compensate you for injuries that you suffered as a result of a bike accident, your personal injury attorney must first prove that you were completely innocent in your wreck, and did nothing at all that could have contributed to the accident. On the other side of the spectrum, it is the sole job of the at-fault driver’s insurance company to prove that you did something–no matter how small–that helped cause your accident. If the insurance company can prove this, their interests are protected, as they won’t be under any obligation to compensate you for your injuries, no matter how severe they may be.
Once the hurdle of proving your innocence is cleared, your attorney will need to shift their focus to showing that the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries. The legal theory of negligence is made up of four elements, all of which are necessary in order for you to be compensated for your injuries.
Firstly, your attorney must prove that the at-fault driver owed you, as a cyclist, a duty of due care when driving on the roads which you shared at the time of your accident. As every driver has a duty to operate a vehicle safely, this element is relatively simple to prove.
Proving that the driver who caused your accident owed you a duty of care isn’t sufficient on its own to build a winning case; after proving that the at-fault driver had a duty to share the roads with you in a safe manner, it must be proven that the driver breached that duty. This is generally proved by establishing that the driver was breaking a traffic law, such as speeding or texting while driving when he or she collided with you.
Even if your attorney proves that the other driver in your accident breached a duty of care that was owed to you, he or she must then establish that the breach of duty caused your accident and your injuries. Drivers breach duties of care often by speeding and otherwise driving dangerously, but this breach doesn’t constitute negligence unless the breach can be directly linked to your accident.
The last element of negligence is usually the easiest to prove; the at-fault driver’s breach and subsequent accident must be proved to have caused damages to you. In a personal injury case stemming from a cycling accident, damages appear in the form of physical injuries to yourself and damage to your bike or other personal items you may have had with you such as the contents of a backpack.
If each of the above elements is proven by your attorney, negligence can be established on the part of the at-fault driver. In a bike accident case, a showing of negligence can open the door to financial compensation.
Compensation Available from a Successful Bike Accident Case
If you have been injured in a bike accident, you already know how much your life can be impacted, both physically and financially. While there is no amount of money that can erase the pain that you are experiencing as a result of your injuries, a personal injury lawsuit may be able to alleviate some of the other burdens that you face following your bike accident.
Expenses for Medical Treatment
As you already know if you are a cyclist who has been injured in an accident, the injuries that you can face can be debilitating. In a vehicle, while you can still face serious injuries in an accident, you are protected by a metal cage which can relieve some of the impact that your body would otherwise face. On a bicycle, however, there is nothing standing between you and the vehicle that collides with you, and your body takes the full brunt of the blow. Immediate treatment of your injuries can require emergency room trips, surgeries, hospital stays, and months of physical rehabilitation. You may also be saddled with the costs of prescription medication and medical equipment such as a wheelchair or crutches. If your injuries leave you permanently disabled, you may require long-term care from a medical professional. A successful personal injury lawsuit can provide compensation for the medical expenses that you face following your bike accident.
After your accident, you may face weeks or even months of time away from work as you recover from your injuries. Paired with the medical expenses you have incurred to treat your injuries, this lack of income can take a devastating toll on your financial stability. Personal injury lawsuits take this lack of income into account, and can provide compensation for the income that you have lost while recovering from your accident.
In severe bike accidents, you may be permanently unable to return to work. In these cases, a personal injury lawsuit may provide compensation for future income that you have missed out on as a result of being permanently disabled from your injuries.
Pain and Suffering
Following a bike accident, you know how grueling the pain of your injuries can be. The suffering that you endure after an accident doesn’t always stop at physical pain, however; the trauma of a bike accident can take a serious toll on your mental well-being, leading you to face depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. While there is no amount that you can be awarded to make the pain go away, a personal injury lawsuit does take this anguish into account when damages are asessed.
While rare, punitive damages are sometimes awarded in personal injury cases when an at-fault driver’s actions are so reprehensible that a court wants to make an example of the person. Whereas the damages listed above are meant to compensate you for the suffering you endured in the aftermath of your bike accident, punitive damages are meant to punish an at-fault driver for his or her wrongdoings and show others what could happen to them if such conduct is repeated in the future.
Suffering from Injuries After an Auto Accident? You Can Count On Us
If you are a cyclist who has been seriously injured after a bike accident in Birmingham or the surrounding area, Norris Injury Lawyers’ personal injury team is standing by to provide you with quality legal representation that you can count on. Don’t waste valuable time and energy trying to navigate the aftermath of an accident by yourself. Personal injury cases are too complicated to try to tackle on your own, and the best decision you can make following an accident is to entrust your case to the hands of legal professionals that you can count on. At Norris Injury Lawyers, our team of attorneys is dedicated to fighting your legal battle for you so that you can focus on what truly matters–healing to the best of your abilities. Don’t wait any longer; to take the next step toward obtaining the compensation you deserve following your bike accident, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 477-7510 today.