Huntsville Motorcycle Accident Lawyers, Alabama
Advocating for your right to compensation after a motorcycle accident injury
Every time motorcyclists climb on to their bikes and drive out into traffic, they are fully aware of the risks they are taking on. Motorcycle riders are completely vulnerable to the elements and the fenders of the motor vehicles that whiz past them on the freeway often without even noticing them. Not every motorcycle crash is caused by other drivers, but many of them are. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may have grounds for legal action against the at-fault driver.
At Martin & Helms, we represent motorcycle riders who have been injured in a traffic crash caused by the negligence of another. We understand the complexities of pursuing a motorcycle accident injury case in a world where insurance adjusters often have preconceived biases against motorcyclists. We fight for your right to recover the compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle traffic accidents and motorcycle safety
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclists’ deaths occurred 28 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles. Head injury is more common as a cause of the fatalities for motorcyclists, and wearing a DOT certified motorcycle helmet is crucial to a rider's safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that helmets are 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67% effective in preventing brain injuries. Alabama is one of the 19 states and the District of Columbia which has a universal helmet law. This means that every rider regardless of age must wear a motorcycle helmet.
The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) reports that there were 1,743 motorcycles and mopeds involved in traffic crashes in Alabama in 2017. There were 1,222 injuries and 79 fatalities.
Common factors that can cause or contribute to a motorcycle crash
Discovering who or what caused the motorcycle accident that injured you is going to be central to your case. The goal of the investigation following the crash is to determine who is responsible for causing the crash and who can be held liable for your injuries and other losses. Some of the common causes of motorcycle crashes include:
Motorcycle accident injuries
There are many ways in which a motorcyclist can become injured in a crash. The following are a few descriptions of injuries that can occur in a motorcycle crash:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
One of the most common motorcycle accident injuries is a traumatic brain injury. The University of Alabama Birmingham defines TBI as damage to the brain caused by an external physical force sometimes seen with a car wreck, fall, sports-related accident, or assault. Some symptoms may appear immediately after the accident, while others may show up days, or weeks later and might include nausea, fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, loss of balance, ringing in the ears, and memory and concentration problems to name just a few. The effects of TBI can be lifelong. Treatment for TBI varies depending on the severity of the injury and it is critically important that a person who has sustained a blow to the head such as after a motorcycle crash to be tested for brain injury.
Spinal cord injury/paralysis
Spinal cord injuries can occur if the rider is thrown from the bike and is struck by or struck against an object. A spinal cord injury can result in complete or incomplete paralysis the extent of which depends on the location of the injury on the spinal cord.
One of the most common motorcycle accident injuries, road rash, like burn injuries, are categorized by degrees:
- First degree road rash is a superficial wound to the top layer of the skin causing redness, burning, and discomfort which will heal on its own without medical treatment.
- Second degree road rash features broken top layers of skin leaving the deeper levels uninjured. Second degree road rash can be cleaned and treated with over-the-counter first aid remedies.
- Third degree road rash occurs when the abrasions break through all the layers of the skin. It is a wound that is prone to infection so it should receive medical attention immediately.
Bone fractures and crush injuries can occur in motorcycle accidents. Depending on the severity of the fractures, these injuries can take months to heal and are often quite painful.
Neck and back injuries
A neck or back injury sustained in a motorcycle accident is not only painful but limits the person's ability to move his or her body, and the effects of the injury can be felt throughout the body.
Motorcycle riders face a higher risk of traumatic amputation because of the lack of protection for their body in a crash. Losing a limb is a devastating and life-altering injury.
How much in damages can I recover in a motorcycle accident injury case?
There are several types of compensation available depending on the facts of the case and the nature of the plaintiff's damages. Every case is different, but the following are some of the typical damages from a successful motorcycle accident injury claim:
- Medical costs related to the accident injury including everything from hospitalization to physical therapy to office visits
- Wage losses including diminished earning capacity or disability for permanent injuries
- Pain and suffering and the emotional distress of the accident
- Punitive damages may be available depending on the facts of the case
How can a Huntsville motorcycle accident lawyer help my injury case?
If you are injured in a motorcycle crash because of someone else's negligence, and you want to pursue compensation for your injuries, you can be assured that you will face an aggressive defense from the at- fault party's insurance company. Some insurance companies have a preconceived bias against motorcycle riders. They assume that all riders have a reckless disregard for safety and traffic laws, which is untrue. You will be grateful to have the services of an experienced Huntsville motorcycle accident lawyer on your side to argue your case and protect your right to receive compensation.
Alabama law allows the defense of contributory negligence. Meaning, if a defendant can prove that you contributed to the wreck through your own negligence you may be barred from recovering compensation. However, our motorcycle injury attorneys are well-versed in dealing with the “contributory negligence defense” and with the tactics that insurance companies employ to escape paying damages. We are here to fight for you every step of the claim process and even in court if necessary.
Protecting Huntsville riders injured in motorcycle accidents across Alabama
After a motorcycle accident injury, you may have questions about how you might recover compensation for your injuries and other losses. You want to work with an injury firm that understands the different issues involved in a motorcycle case. At Martin & Helms, our Huntsville motorcycle accident lawyers are here to fight for justice for you. You are encouraged to call us at 256-539-1990 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We also serve injured clients in Decatur, Athens and Madison, and throughout the state.