Unfortunately, many motorists struggle to safely share the road with bicycles. Serious bike collisions remain far too common. According to data provided by Alabama Public Health, the majority of bike accidents in the state are reported in urban areas (86%)—but they can occur anywhere. Following a bike accident, it is essential that you know what to do to protect your physical safety, emotional well-being, and your legal rights. Our Birmingham bicycle accident lawyer goes over what to do if you’re injured in a bicycle accident in Alabama.
Five Steps to Take if You are Hurt in a Bicycle Accident in Birmingham
- Report the Bicycle Accident to Local or State Police
All motor vehicle collisions involving bicycles that result in a physical injury should be reported to the police. As a bicyclist, it is in your best interest to ensure that your crash is reported immediately to a local or state law enforcement agency, such as the Birmingham Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, or the Alabama Highway Patrol. The responding officer(s) should come to the scene to write an official accident report.
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention for Any Bike Accident Injuries
Were you hurt in a bike accident in Alabama? If so, it is crucial that you see a licensed physician right away. Severe injuries always require emergency medical attention. Non-emergency injuries should also be evaluated by an experienced medical professional. Getting the appropriate medical care is vital to protect your health and well-being. Beyond that, seeing a doctor is a necessary part of bringing a successful bike accident injury claim in Alabama. You cannot get personal injury compensation without seeing a doctor.
- Document the Scene of the Bicycle Accident
As bike accident injury claims are based on fault in Alabama, you need to document the scene of your accident to the best of your abilities. Relevant evidence may include:
- The name of the driver;
- The vehicle information;
- Photographs of the crash scene and the crash damage;
- Your personal account of what happened; and
- Eyewitness statements.
Ultimately, the more comprehensive the documentation of the scene, the easier it will be for you to bring a successful bike accident injury claim.
- Avoid Giving a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company
For the most part, bike accident claims are handled by insurers. Insurance companies are not on the side of injured victims or their family members. They may try to get a recorded statement for you soon after your bike accident. You are not obligated to provide a recorded statement. In fact, you should not provide a statement to an insurer without an attorney. They are looking for a way to deny your claim or reduce its value.
- Consult With an Alabama Bike Accident Lawyer
Do not go through the bike accident injury claims process alone. You do not have to go up against defendants or insurers alone. Our Birmingham, AL bicycle accident lawyer is standing by, ready to help you get justice, accountability, and the most compensation that is available under state law. An initial consultation with a bike accident injury lawyer is free and fully confidential.
What to Know About Bicycle Accident Liability in Alabama
Alabama is a fault-based motor vehicle accident state. Bike accidents are subject to the fault-based standard of liability. The driver (or other party) that is responsible for a bike accident is legally liable for the crash. Some of the most common causes of bicycle collisions in Alabama include:
- Following a bike too closely;
- Buzzing a bike (passing too closely);
- Running red lights;
- Running stop signs;
- Failure to yield;
- Distracted driving;
- Intoxicated driving; and
- Opening a door directly in front of a bike.
Every bicycle accident in Birmingham should be thoroughly investigated. To prove fault, an injured bike accident victim needs comprehensive supporting evidence. An experienced Alabama bike accident lawyer will gather and assemble all of the evidence that you need to prove liability.
Statute of Limitations for Bike Accident Injuries: Two Years
Bicycle accident victims have a limited amount of time to take legal action against the at-fault party.
Under state law (Alabama Code § 6-2-38), a personal injury lawsuit—including a bike accident injury lawsuit—must be initiated within two years of the date of the crash. There are very few exceptions to this rule. If you do not file a bike accident injury lawsuit within two years, you will almost certainly lose out on your right to take legal action at all. Do not wait to get started: Consult with a Birmingham bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after a collision.
Maximizing Your Financial Compensation After a Bike Accident
In Alabama, bicycle accident victims have a right to seek compensation for their damages from the at-fault party. Sadly, even when you prove liability, it can still be challenging to access the full and fair financial support that you deserve under the law. The big insurance companies fight to protect their own bottom line—not what is best for you and your family. At Lewis & Feldman, LLC, our Birmingham bicycle accident lawyers are committed to helping our clients get every penny of financial support that they are owed. You may be entitled to recover compensation for:
- Bicycle repairs or replacement;
- Emergency medical care;
- Hospital bills;
- Health care costs;
- Rehabilitative care;
- Loss of wages;
- Loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental distress;
- Long-term disability; and
- Wrongful death damages.
Call Our Birmingham, AL Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
At Lewis & Feldman, LLC, our Birmingham bicycle accident lawyer fights aggressively to get justice for injured victims. If you or your loved one was hurt in a bike accident, we can help. Call us at 205-896-6410 or connect with us online for a free, no obligation case review. From our law office in Birmingham, we handle bicycle accident claims throughout the region, including in Jefferson County, Shelby County, Cullman County, Walker County, Saint Clair County, and Blount County.