Dealing with the outcome of a motorcycle crash can be challenging. If you’re also facing a lawsuit, your life can become even more complicated. Dealing with the insurance company can be hard enough, but you may have injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering to handle on top of everything. Facing a motorcycle accident lawsuit is something you shouldn’t have to do alone. The attorneys at Norris Injury Lawyers are here to help. We are experienced with motorcycle accident cases and know how to get you the compensation you deserve after a crash.
Motorcycle Crashes Are Getting More Common
Motorcyclists are much more likely to get injured or killed in an accident than vehicle drivers. In 2019, about 84,000 motorcyclists experienced injuries in accidents in the U.S. Unfortunately, about 5,000 of those were fatal. In Alabama, more than 90 motorcyclists died that year.
Here’s another statistic: In 2020, motorcycle deaths went up 9% from 2019 — and it’s the highest number of fatalities ever documented. What does this mean for you? The roads are more dangerous than ever for bikers. If you’re one of the growing numbers of people involved in a motorcycle crash, you need Norris Injury Lawyers.
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident
It can be hard to think clearly after an accident. After all, it’s never planned. That’s why it can be helpful to know what to do ahead of a collision so that you don’t have to waste precious time. Take these crucial steps after an accident.
1. Move to a Safe Place
Leaving your bike can go against your instincts. However, you must think of yourself first and foremost before the motorcycle. You can fix it later. Move away from the crash site, especially if you’re in the middle of a roadway.
You could also injure yourself more if you try to move your bike. Keep in mind that first responders and insurance providers may need to see the undisturbed crash site to reconstruct the accident. The crash site can potentially become evidence if you get involved in a lawsuit.
2. Keep Safety Gear On
Your instincts may tell you to remove your helmet after an accident. After all, you want an unobstructed view. If you have unknown head and neck injuries, though, removing your helmet may cause further damage. Keep your boots and gloves on for the same reason — removing them may exacerbate injuries you don’t yet know about. Try to find a quiet spot where you can sit or lie still until emergency personnel arrives to assess your condition.
3. Call Emergency Services
Once you are safely away from the wreck, call for help or ask someone to do it for you. It’s a good idea to carry a card with emergency information if you can’t tell the police or EMT your name, address and pertinent medical data.
4. Assess the Scene
It may seem inappropriate, but it’s important to gather as much information about the accident as possible. Who was involved? What were the weather conditions? Were there witnesses? The answers to these questions provide valuable information later on.
If you can get photos, it could help you if you have a legal case. Ask someone else to take them if you are unable.
5. Assist the Police
Your cooperation with law enforcement is essential. Answer questions as well as you can. However, don’t admit any fault to an insurance adjuster or the other party. It’s a good idea to wait until you’ve had a chance to speak with our staff. Remember that insurance companies may try to talk you into admitting something so that they can use your statements against you.
Getting Compensation After an Accident
Alabama is one of a handful of jurisdictions that follows contributory negligence. What does this mean? In our state, plaintiffs cannot recover any damages if they are determined to be even 1% at fault. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how badly you were injured — if the court finds you to be even a little responsible, you won’t receive compensation.
After an accident, a Birmingham, AL motorcycle accident lawyer can assist you. An attorney at Norris Injury Lawyers will be in your corner if you face a lawsuit.
Once a plaintiff is determined to be without fault, the attorney works to establish that the other driver acted recklessly or negligently and caused the accident. Only then can you recover damages.
Statute of Limitations in Alabama
In our state, you have two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit for personal injury. The statute of limitations for property damage is six years.
While that may seem like a long time at first glance, it’s important to contact Norris Injury Lawyers as soon as possible to get your case started. Your Birmingham, AL motorcycle accident lawyer needs time to gather critical information to support your claim. Waiting too close to the deadline can jeopardize your ability to prepare thoroughly.
How You Can Help
The best thing you can do as a biker is to be safe on the road. Use common sense while you’re riding:
- Follow posted speed limits
- Obey traffic laws
- Wear a helmet, boots and gloves
- Don’t ride if you’ve been drinking
- Drive defensively
- Keep your motorcycle in good working condition
- Use extra caution at night
Consider enrolling in Alabama’s Motorcycle Safety Program. You may learn something new even if you’ve been riding a bike for years. Being proactive can lessen your chances of getting involved in an accident.
Types of Damages You Can Recover
Let’s face it: You’re more likely to get injured on a motorcycle than you are in a passenger car. Motorcycle accident injuries directly cost billions of dollars each year for:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Insurance costs
- Lost wages
Non-fatal accident cost estimates range from $2,500 to $1.4 million per incident, depending on how severe the rider’s injuries are.
In Alabama, motorcycle accident victims can recover economic damages. These damages are monetary compensation you can receive for expenses such as lost wages, medical expenses and property damage. You may be unable to work for an extended period, require physical or occupational therapy, or make multiple visits to the doctor. Economic damages help pay these expenses.
Sometimes, you can’t measure your losses simply in dollars and cents. These types of damages include pain and suffering. You are entitled to compensation for the pain and emotional trauma you endure after an accident.
You might collect these damages if the defendant’s actions in the crash were intentional. While not common in personal injury cases, they serve as a penalty for those who caused the accident.
Norris Injury Lawyers Can Help
Handling a motorcycle accident case can be complex and overwhelming. Our attorneys understand that you have a lot at stake — don’t try to handle the situation alone. We know the challenges you face, and we will fight to get you the settlement you deserve.
Are you ready to have someone on your side after a motorcycle accident? Call our office, chat with us online, or fill in our contact form. We offer a free initial consultation. Our staff is ready to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Norris Injury Lawyers will work with your interests in mind.