If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, the Morris Bart law firm may be able to help you get compensation for your injuries, losses, related expenses, and more. An Alabama motorcycle accident attorney from our personal injury law firm knows how to develop a case to support an auto insurance claim or lawsuit and recover damages for traffic accident victims.
You can learn more about your legal options after another driver caused your Alabama motorcycle collision and injuries during a free consultation. Our lawyers assess these cases for free for potential clients and their families. We can help you understand your case, explain our services, and discuss our contingency fee plans with you for free today.
You May Be Able to Recover Damages Based on the Facts of Your Case
Motorcyclists often suffer more significant injuries in an accident than someone inside a passenger vehicle might in the same crash. Those who ride motorcycles understand that they lack many of the protections offered by modern vehicles, including seatbelts, airbags, crumple zones, and more. This is—in part—why many people are attracted to motorcycles in the first place. However, it is also why injuries in even a seemingly minor accident may include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Other back and neck injuries
- Injuries to the legs and feet
- Upper-extremity injuries
- Internal injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Asphalt burns and scarring, known as road rash
At the Morris Bart law firm, we believe crash victims deserve to recover fair compensation for their accident-related expenses and losses. They should not have to pay the bills and cover the losses they incurred because of another driver’s bad or careless behavior behind the wheel. We pursue justice by seeking compensation on their behalf.
Some of the recoverable damages common in motorcycle collision claims or lawsuits include:
- Current and future treatment and related medical expenses
- Ongoing and long-term care and support costs
- Missed paychecks and benefits
- Diminished ability to work and earn
- Property damages
- Related costs
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Other intangible damages
Once our team identifies the recoverable damages suffered by our client, we need to calculate what a fair settlement range would be in the case. This is necessary before we can file the claim and demand a just payout. Without calculating this range, how would we know if we were seeking justice for our client? To put a value on an Alabama motorcycle accident case, we collect evidence such as:
- Other documents that show expenses and losses
- Relevant medical records
- Testimony from medical experts about prognosis, care needs, and treatment
- Information from economists and others who can shed light on the effects of the crash
Then, we use this evidence to determine the value of the economic and non-economic damages our client suffered. This process allows us to estimate a settlement range where we would like the settlement to fall, ensuring our client can cover their bills and pay for the care they need today and in the future.
For a free legal consultation with a Motorcycle Accident lawyer serving Alabama, call 800-537-8185
Alabama Law Handles Wrongful Death Claims in a Unique Way
In most states, those closest to the victim can file a wrongful death action and recover compensatory damages following a fatal motorcycle accident. Alabama, however, has unique wrongful death laws. Under Ala. Code § 6-5-410, those who pursue compensation based on a loved one’s wrongful death cannot recover compensatory damages.
This means there is no way to get money based on loss of income, related expenses, or the losses the family incurred. Instead, the state only allows punitive damages. These are designed to penalize the negligent party and must be awarded through the civil court system. The Alabama Supreme Court reaffirmed this in 2012 in its opinion re: Hall v. Coastal Anesthesia, P.C. (CV-07-901577).
Our attorneys represent families in these cases. Our free consultations will give you a chance to learn more and decide if this option is right for your family.
Building a Case for Compensation Based on Your Alabama Motorcycle Crash
To hold another driver accountable for their role in causing your Alabama motorcycle accident, you must prove what happened, how their actions caused the crash, and that you did not contribute to it. Motorcycle accidents can happen in many ways, but most occur because of a driver’s negligence. This can include:
- Failing to yield right of way, such as when turning left in front of a motorcycle
- Ignoring traffic lights or signs
- Failing to see a motorcycle in an adjacent lane or blind spot
- Distracted driving causing a rear-end accident or other collision
- Speeding, reckless, or aggressive driving without taking the safety of others into account
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs
- Opening a car door into the street after parallel parking
- A “near miss” crash with another vehicle that causes the motorcyclist to lay the bike down or run off the road
To prove negligence and show what happened, there are four elements that must be present in your case. Your attorney will help you gather evidence to show:
- The driver had a duty to behave in a specific way
- They breached that duty
- This caused the collision
- You suffered harm as a result
For example, all drivers have a duty to yield before turning left on green. When a driver does not look or fails to see a motorcycle, they may continue with their turn without yielding. This is a breach of their duty and a common cause of intersection crashes. A motorcyclist involved in this type of collision is likely to have physical, emotional, and financial damages.
The evidence that may be available to prove these damages includes:
- The crash report filed by responding police officers
- Eyewitness statements
- Physical evidence from the crash
- A survey of the accident scene
- Accident reconstruction
- Video or photos from the incident
- Your relevant medical records
- Information from your doctor and other experts
- Documentation of your damages
In most states, proving negligence would likely be enough to recover compensation. In Alabama, though, there is one more thing to consider. Alabama recognizes a legal concept known as “pure contributory negligence.” It is one of only four states to do so. This was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Alabama in 1980 in its decision in Golden v. McCurry.
Under pure contributory negligence, the victim cannot recover compensation at all if they contributed to causing the crash in any way. As you can imagine, this leads to at-fault drivers and their attorneys commonly claiming the motorcyclist played some small role in the accident in an effort to avoid liability. Our attorneys know how to counter these claims and show that the at-fault driver or other liable party is solely responsible for a crash.
Exploring Your Legal Options for Justice and Compensation After a Crash
The best way an injured motorcyclist can learn more about their legal options following an Alabama injury accident is to connect with us for a free case evaluation and consultation. This discussion will allow you to ask questions, explain the crash, and learn:
- The possibilities based on the facts of the case
- The applicable laws
- Any obstacles you could run into specific to the claim
- The services our firm provides
- How our fees work
- How we may be able to help you
- What we believe the best approach may be to the case
While the details of each individual case are different, and we cannot offer advice without knowing more about your accident and injuries. There are generally two approaches to seeking and hopefully securing compensation following a crash:
- A liability claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company
- A civil lawsuit filed in the appropriate county’s civil court
Many cases settle outside of court without our attorneys suing or going to trial. This is possible by presenting the insurer with a demand for fair compensation supported by strong evidence of negligence and the value of the case. We then negotiate with them to reach a fair and just settlement on behalf of our client. The client gets the final say on when to agree, but our team guides them through this process.
Some situations, however, may require us to sue the at-fault party. This may be necessary when:
- The insurer or liable party refuses to admit fault
- They blame our client for some or all of the liability
- There are other disputed facts in the case
- The other driver is not insured
- The insurer will not offer a fair settlement
- There is little time left before the statute of limitations runs out
Sometimes, we sue and are still able to reach a settlement before the case goes to trial. Filing a lawsuit often encourages the insurer to reconsider their best offer and promise to pay our client more money if we will settle and avoid the cost and time of going to court.
Under some circumstances, the at-fault driver may face criminal charges in connection with the crash. This requires that they do more than violate a simple traffic law such as running a red light. Two common reasons why they might face criminal charges include:
- Drunk driving
- Leaving the scene of the accident, a hit-and-run
While having them held responsible in criminal court and facing the consequences may feel like justice is being served, it is important to remember that this does not help to compensate you for your expenses and losses in any way. The only way you will recover the money damages you need is through an insurance claim or civil action. The outcome of the criminal case has no bearing on your civil case.
Our Lawyers Fight to Protect the Rights of Alabama Crash Victims
At the Morris Bart law office, our team works for crash victims. We protect their right to pursue compensation and go after the fair and just payout they deserve. We believe in holding those responsible legally accountable by making them pay for the damages our clients suffered.
We have 15 locations across four states. The areas we serve include six Alabama locations:
We provide representation and free consultations state-wide from one of these six cities. You can trust our team to give you the information you need to make sound decisions about your legal case.
Our clients and their families can count on our team to handle their cases while they focus on getting better. Our law firm is based on a contingency fee, and we never ask our clients to pay any fees up front.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Alabama?
In most cases, the victim has only two years from the crash date to sue in Alabama. This is according to the state’s personal injury statute of limitations, Ala. Code § 6-2-38. This statute creates a deadline that bars potential plaintiffs from taking legal action after this deadline passes. This means you will lose the right to pursue compensation if you do not do so before the second anniversary of the collision.
There are some exceptions to this deadline, but many of them reduce the time you have to act instead of extending it. We ask motorcycle accident victims to act as soon as their injuries allow or family members to call us when they recognize that their loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries. This early contact ensures we are aware of the case and can act well in advance of the deadline to build a strong case.
Speak to an Attorney from One of Our Alabama Offices Today
You can talk to a lawyer from the Morris Bart law firm in confidence today. We will assess your legal options and give you the information you need to understand your choices for holding the at-fault driver legally responsible. Our lawyer may be able to help you get justice and recover compensation. Let us evaluate your case with you today at no charge.
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