On a bicycle, you are extremely vulnerable to roadway hazards. With or without a helmet, a collision with a vehicle, car door, stationary object, or even a pedestrian can end in severe injuries. Greater exposure to the roadway equals increased odds of suffering major injuries in any type of incident. If you or someone you know recently suffered damages in a bicycle wreck, the team at Powers Injury Law wants to help.
Liability After a Biking Incident
After a bicycle crash, do not leave the scene and do not admit fault. Call the police and wait for them to arrive. Do not attempt to negotiate with the other driver without authorities present to document official statements. The question of fault is a major one after bicycle incidents, so it is important to be honest and truthful with your police report. Give as many details as possible about what you believe happened to the extent of your knowledge. If you sustained injuries, seek medical attention right away.
As soon as possible, speak to an attorney about your incident to see if you may be eligible for compensation from a negligent party. It often takes a thorough investigation to determine the exact cause of a bicycle collision. Powers Injury Law will visit the scene of the crash and collect any available evidence that places fault with the other driver, another bicyclist, a pedestrian, a roadway hazard, or a third party. Common causes of bicycle crashes include:
- Driver error or distraction
- Impatient, angry, or reckless drivers
- Vehicle speeding
- Motorists pulling out without checking for bicyclists
- Failure to stop at crosswalks
- Poorly designed crosswalks
- Failure to yield right of way
- Getting “doored” by a vehicle
- Bicyclists disobeying road rules
The defendant in a case will depend on the circumstances of the incident, as will the bicyclist’s legal options moving forward. A biker may receive compensation from the at-fault driver’s car insurance, or he/she may need to take negotiations a step further with a personal injury claim. Since the injuries and damages can be severe after a bicycle incident, it’s important to trust a lawyer with these cases.
Contributory Negligence Laws in Alabama
In Alabama, the courts obey contributory negligence laws. This is a doctrine most states have replaced with comparative negligence due to the unfair verdicts that often come from contributory negligence cases. Contributory negligence means that if the courts find the plaintiff at all responsible for the incident – even by 1% – he or she cannot recover for damages in a personal injury case.
Bicyclists have rules and rights on roadways just as motor vehicle drivers do. They must accept the duties applicable to bicyclists, such as riding as close to the right side of the road as possible and exercising care when passing vehicles. Wherever there are bicycle paths in Birmingham, riders must take these paths instead of the roadway.
Like other vehicle drivers, bicyclists must stop at traffic lights and stop signs and wait for the right of way. Bicyclists in Alabama only need to wear helmets if they are under the age of 16. Breaking these rules, leading to a collision and injuries, may end up the liability of the bicyclist, not the other driver. Understand these rules to avoid the courts finding you any percentage at fault for a crash, and to prevent losing your right to compensation.
Book a Free Attorney Consultation Today
No matter what type of injuries you sustained or whom you believe to be responsible, speak with us to learn whether your case has merit in the Alabama civil courts. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to discuss your case in more detail with a licensed attorney. Contact us online or call (205) 582-2723 to schedule your appointment.