Numerous Huntsville residents cycle to and from their learning institutions and workplaces. It’s also common to find visitors and locals touring the city on bicycles. Unfortunately, sharing the road with motorists comes with the risks of an accident.
A bicycle rider is no match for a car – even a small vehicle. The cyclist is likely to suffer significant injuries in an accident, sometimes fatal. You’ll also pay for bike repairs and parts replacements.
Thus, it makes sense to file a personal injury claim and prove that the liable driver’s negligent actions caused your injuries. But drivers usually have the backing of large insurance companies, and they can make it difficult for you to prove they’re responsible. Fortunately, experienced Huntsville bicycle accident attorneys can protect your rights and help you build a strong case.
Why Should You Involve a Bicycle Accident Attorney in Huntsville?
Accidents involving cyclists and motorists can cause life-threatening harm, so the cases are highly valued. But the liable party and their insurer won’t be ready to pay such hefty compensation. So they’ll deny the claim and try to prove that the injuries and property damage were less extensive.
Furthermore, they probably have an attorney already building a solid defense. It’s hard to beat this yourself if you aren’t a law expert. That’s why it’s always advisable to speak with an experienced attorney right away.
A bicycle accident lawyer in Huntsville will do the following:
- Help you get the best healthcare services possible for reduced recovery time
- Gather sufficient evidence and records to prove your case
- Reach out to witnesses and gather their testimonies to create a solid claim
- Always ensure the liable party or their insurance provider don’t breach your rights
- Guide you through the bicycle injury claims process so you don’t make common mistakes that could jeopardize your claim
- Negotiate to ensure you’re fairly compensated, whether as a pre-settlement or in court
For a free legal consultation with a Bicycle Accident lawyer serving Huntsville, call (256) 666-3010
An Overview of Huntsville’s Bicycle Laws
Alabama laws outline the responsibilities of a cyclist while on the road. These requirements are crucial as they’re the main focus of the state’s contributory negligence statutes. The main provisions include:
- Bicycle riders have similar duties and rights as motorists on the roadway.
- Cyclists should stay on the roadway’s right side, ride two abreast, and leverage the usable path adjacent to a roadway (if available).
- Nighttime riders should have their headlights visible for up to 500 feet and a red reflector visible from 100-600 feet to the rear.
- Riders below 16 years must wear a helmet on a public roadway.
You can hold the responsible driver accountable for the injuries and damages if you had fulfilled all these at the time of the accident. Notably, the statute of limitations requires you to file the claim to seek damages within two years, commencing on the accident date. You’ll lose the case if you fail to comply with this requirement.
Determining Liability in a Bicycle Accident
Everyone behind the wheels owes a duty of care to riders sharing the same road. Hitting a cyclist because you failed to see them could make you liable for the resultant damages. The law requires motorists to:
- Provide a minimum space of three feet when passing a rider
- Avoid operating the vehicle while distracted, like using their phones
- Stay sober behind the wheels
- Watch out for approaching cyclists before they open the doors
- Avoid high speeds when there are cyclists around
If you sustained injuries in a bike accident caused by a driver who didn’t pay attention to these rules, you have a valid claim. But you’ll bear the burden of proof. Therefore, speak with an experienced Huntsville bicycle accident lawyer for a case evaluation and comprehensive guidance.
Understanding Insurance Coverage
Most bicycle accident victims aren’t aware that if they have auto insurance coverage, they may be able to recover compensation from the liable party’s insurer as well as their motor vehicle policy. This mostly applies when the negligent party is underinsured, uninsured, or the incident was a hit and run. Unfortunately, your best interests aren’t really important to insurance companies.
Insurance companies are businesses, so their priority is making profits. Even your insurance provider can attempt to deny a valid personal injury claim. Generally, they can make the process frustrating for you, and you may end up with a low-ball settlement or even nothing.
For instance, most are known to employ delaying tactics and try engaging victims to say something that could affect their claims. It’s even harder if the liable party is underinsured or uninsured. The only way to beat these challenges is to involve a reputable Huntsville personal injury attorney in your case, as this could be your only card to securing the maximum deserved compensation.
Your Legal Remedies after a Bicycle Accident
When filing a bicycle injury claim, you’ll be seeking compensation for the inflicted harm and property damages. The compensation is meant to cover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
These are the actual, quantifiable costs incurred after an accident. They include:
- Medical costs, including surgery and therapies
- Bicycle repairs and replacement of parts
- The additional cost of living, like purchasing a wheelchair, specialized seats, or a special bed
- Lost income
- Funeral costs on bereaved family members
These are personally inflicted and may not have a value attached to them. Examples include:
- The injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income opportunities
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Though rare, the court may grant punitive damages in severe negligence or malice cases. They’re meant to prohibit motorists from such behavior.
An Experienced Huntsville Bicycle Attorney Is Ready to Help
If a negligent person caused a bicycle injury that left you injured and burdened with hospital bills and the cost of repairs, you must hold them accountable.
It’s possible to file the claim yourself, but an experienced attorney from Morris Bart’s law firm will create a solid case and fight for the maximum deserved remuneration. With years of experience handling bicycle accident claims in Alabama, you can rest assured that an expert handles your case. Contact us to schedule your bicycle accident case evaluation.
Questions?Call (256) 666-3010
to find a Morris Bart office near you.