Birmingham Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
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Motorcycle accidents are much different than accidents involving other types of vehicles. The biggest difference is that, in a passenger vehicle, truck, or SUV, there's an entire steel frame, not to mention a number of other safety features such as airbags, to protect the people inside. Motorcyclists however, have only a helmet and maybe some protective clothing to protect them in case of a crash. Because of this, motorcycle accidents are often much more severe, and much more fatal, than other types of automobile accidents.
Have you recently been involved in a motorcycle accident in Birmingham? Was this incident the fault of another person who failed to obey the rules of the road? Were you injured as a result of the crash? Or was a loved one hurt or killed as a result? If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you may have grounds to pursue legal action against the at-fault party.
Types of Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Head injuries are the most common injury in motorcycle accidents. Even when wearing a helmet properly, there's not a lot of protection between the cyclist's head and the surrounding pavement and vehicles. Concussions can result from the skull being shaken inside the helmet, and if the skull does make contact with anything, it can also crack or become otherwise damaged. When head injuries are very severe, brain injuries can also be a tragic result of the accident.
Road rash is a condition that develops on the skin after it has slid across a surface, such as pavement. This is another extremely common motorcycle accident injury because riders are often thrown from their bikes, causing them to go over the handlebars, and down onto the pavement in front or to the side of the bike. This impact can be so severe that it rips through clothing, and through several layers of skin. While it might just look like a series of cuts and bruises, it can lead to skin irritations, infections, and even nerve damage.
Muscle damage is another very real possibility in a motorcycle accident. Muscle damage can include anything from rips and tears, to permanent loss of the use of that muscle, or paralysis. This occurs when another vehicle, the road, or any surroundings, make an impact with just about any part of the biker's body. The impact can cause crushing, burning, or other injuries to the muscle. Often when a biker suffers muscle damage in an accident, the results are permanent.
This is a term used when a biker has been thrown from their bike. When this happens, it's a natural instinct to throw one arm around yourself to help brace for the impact and protect whatever part of the body you can. However, the arm that was used absorbs all of that impact, often more than any other part of the biker's body, and this can cause severe nerve damage in both the arm and the upper body.
Leg injuries are also very common for bikers because they can be difficult to protect in the event of an accident. Shattered, fractured, or completely broken bones might be found in the leg and foot, road rash can appear, and even severe nerve and muscle damage can be done. Leg injuries typically aren't fatal to motorcyclists, but the damage can definitely be permanent.
Rear End Injuries
Rear end injuries are not only common in motorcycle accidents, they can be some of the most severe. Motorcyclists can't see very well behind them, so when a vehicle is about to hit them from behind, they have no way to move away from the vehicle or brace for impact. Because of this, they are hit full-on and can be thrown from their bike and sometimes, even pinned underneath other vehicles. This can result in accidental amputations, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and paralysis.
Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Unlike when passenger vehicles get into an accident, which most often results in nothing more than bumps and bruises, motorcycle accidents are often fatal. When another driver or other person is to blame for the accident, a wrongful death claim may be made, which can provide compensation for the widow or widower, next of kin, children, or parents of the victim. These cases are made more often in motorcycle cases than with other vehicle accidents.
Hit & Run Motorcycle Accidents
Hit and runs aren't really that different when referring to motorcycle accidents. Often insurance will still provide compensation for the claim, even if the name of the other driver is unknown. However, when it comes to hit and run motorcycle accidents, insurance companies can be wrongfully biased and not offer the amount the victim is actually entitled to.
How Soon Should I Contact a Birmingham Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
When it comes to motorcycle accidents – or any motor vehicle accident – Guster Law Firm, LLC suggests as soon as possible. There is a great deal of research and investigation that goes into these accidents, not to mention keeping insurance companies in check. Let Guster Law Firm, LLC fight for you.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Some of the common causes for automobile accidents involving motorcycles include:
- Left-turn accidents: A car either doesn’t see you or inaccurately judges your motorcycle’s speed, turning in front of you at an intersection.
- Unsafe lane changes: When a car strikes a motorcycle when changing lanes. It is well known that those driving cars have blind spots when changing lanes and the problem is exacerbated due to the relative small size of a motorcycle.
- Rear-end motorcycle accidents: A car strikes the motorcycle from behind. An example would be when a yellow light is turning red and the motorcyclist stops and the vehicle brakes, but impacts the motorcycle. In a car to car accident this would be classified as a “fender bender,” unfortunately these scenarios can be fatal for a motorcyclist.
- Car door / "dooring" accidents: A car door swings open into your lane of travel. A distracted motorist exiting their vehicle can have fatal consequences.
- Lane splitting accidents: Operating a motorcycle between an active lane of traffic and a lane of parked vehicles. In addition to car doors opening, the potential for pedestrians entering the space is possible.
What Kind of Compensation is Available for My Injuries?
This is by far the most common question we receive about motorcycle accidents. If you have been injured in a collision, what you can collect really comes down to the specifics of your case.
Questions such as the following must be answered before any particular number can be established:
- Was anyone else on the bike with you at the time of the accident?
- What was the at-fault driver doing that caused your accident?
- Was anyone killed as a result of collision?
- How severe were your injuries?
- Was the at-fault driver drunk?
Depending on the answers, you could be eligible for significant compensation. More often than not, motorcycle accidents end up costing the rider and their passengers dearly. You could be entitled to considerable economic damages in the form of hospital bills and doctor's fees, as well as non-economic expenses such as pain and suffering. The only way to be sure is to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Birmingham.