Year-long warm weather and an abundance of rural roads make Alabama a popular state for motorcycle enthusiasts.
Although motorcycles are a great way to tour the Cotton State, they’re inherently more dangerous than cars. In this article, we’ll take a look at motorcycle accidents in Alabama, including the laws that might impact your injury claim and the steps you should take following a motorcycle crash.
Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to get into a fatal accident than car drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
|Alabama motorcycle accidents (2015-2019)|
In order to operate a motorcycle in Alabama, you need to obtain a “Class M” motorcycle license.
Anyone 16 years of age or older is eligible to obtain a Class M motorcycle license. To do so, you’ll need to pass a written motorcycle test or complete an Alabama Traffic Safety Center Basic Rider course.
In addition, you’ll need to be able to provide the following documents:
Just like car drivers, all motorcyclists in Alabama are required to maintain the state’s minimum amount of liability insurance coverage, which is:
Keep in mind that liability insurance covers someone else’s injuries and property damage in an accident that you cause. To cover your own injuries and property damage, you’ll need to purchase optional coverage.
Alabama has passed several laws designed to keep motorcyclists (and other vehicle drivers who share the roads with motorcyclists) safe. Most of these laws can be found in Alabama Code Section 32-5A-240 through 245.
Here are the highlights:
In addition to the statutory laws listed above, it’s important to keep in mind that all motorcyclists have a common law duty to exercise “reasonable care” to avoid harming others on the road while operating their motorcycles.
Motorcyclists and motor vehicle drivers have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid harming others on the road. If a motorcyclist or motor vehicle driver breaches this duty and an accident results, the at-fault party can be held liable.
The legal theory most often used to hold the at-fault party liable is negligence and it requires the plaintiff to establish 3 elements:
In the tragic event that a loved one is killed in a motorcycle accident, certain family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. As is the case with a typical negligence claim, the family members will need to prove that the party being sued was responsible for the accident.
Often, the motorcyclist is at least partially at fault for their accident.
Although motorcycle accidents are usually caused by a motorcyclist or a motor vehicle driver, that's not always the case. There are a couple of other parties who may be liable for your accident:
"It was just like milk went in front of the mask; I couldn't even see at all."Moments after his vision became obscured, he lost control of his motorcycle and struck an oncoming automobile. As a result of the collision, Bobby’s left elbow was shattered and his right foot severed. His right leg was later surgically amputated below the knee.
All states require plaintiffs to file lawsuits within a certain period of time. The purpose of this time limit is to help improve the chances that relevant evidence is still available when a lawsuit is filed and to help prevent plaintiffs from threatening defendants with lawsuits indefinitely.
In Alabama, the time limitation (called the “statute of limitations“) for physical injuries is 2 years. This means motorcyclists injured in a crash have 2 years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit. The time limitation for property damage is 6 years.
According to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), motorcycle crashes cost more than $16 billion in direct costs, such as emergency services, medical costs, property damage, lost wages, and insurance every year.
The costs associated with non-fatal motorcycle accidents vary widely, typically ranging from $2,500 to $1.4 million depending on the injuries.
Fortunately, Alabama allows motorcycle accident victims to recover 3 types of damages:
Every year more than 5,000 motorcyclists are killed in motorcycle crashes across the country. Some accidents are unavoidable, but there are a couple of things you can do to improve your chances of making it home from a ride.
A personal injury lawyer helps individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents to recover financial compensation. These funds are often needed to pay for medical treatment, make up for lost wages and provide compensation for injuries suffered. Sometimes a case that seems simple at first may become more complicated. In these cases, consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Read more