Bicycles have become a popular means of transportation for many people in Alabama. Montgomery has miles of excellent bike paths. In fact, it is recognized as one of the more bike-friendly cities in the state. Unfortunately, having more bikes on the roads means bicycle accidents are more likely to occur. Bicyclists often suffer serious injuries when they get involved in crashes and many lose their lives. This is not surprising. Since cyclists have only a helmet to protect them, they are very vulnerable. If you get knocked off a bike by a car while riding around the city, you may be able to get compensation. However, you’ll stand the best chance if you work with an experienced Montgomery bicycle accident attorney.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bike accidents occur for many different reasons. However, negligent drivers are often to blame. They engage in dangerous practices like:
- This is generally risky. However, if a motorist drives too close to another car, it may result in just a simple fender bender. There may be no injuries. However, tailgating a bike can result in serious injuries to the cyclist.
- Failing to yield right-of-way. Some motorists refuse to yield the right-of-way to cyclists since they don’t seem to realize they also have rights. Others don’t even see cyclists when they are nearby.
- Lane-splitting. Even cyclists riding on the shoulder can be in danger. The law requires motorists to give riders at least three feet of space when they pass. However, drivers often drive close to the shoulder at high speeds. Even a small clip can knock a cyclist off their bike.
- People often park their cars at the side of the road and open the door without looking for approaching cyclists. Riders can get injured when they collide with the door.
If you can prove a motorist acted negligently in one of these ways, you may be able to get compensation. You will need an Alabama accident lawyer to help you build a strong case.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries Caused by Alabama Bicycle Accidents
When bicycles and cars collide, the occupants of the car are usually fine. However, the cyclist bears the brunt of the impact. Even if the vehicle doesn’t make contact with the rider, the cyclist may swerve and lose their balance. The fall can result in varying types of injuries.
- Road rash
- Head trauma
- Soft tissue damage
- Broken bones
You have the right to seek compensation for all your losses if a driver caused your injuries. You will need to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit to recover damages. However, if you’re even a little at fault for the accident, you won’t be able to claim compensation. That’s because Alabama practices a contributory negligence system. If you were even one percent responsible for the accident, you will be barred from getting compensation.
If the other party can prove that you broke a traffic law or got distracted, you may not get any damages. That’s why it’s important to work with a competent attorney. They will do everything they can to help you minimize your share of fault. To give yourself the best chance of a fair outcome, you need to take the right steps immediately after your accident.
What to Do After Being Knocked off a Bike by a Car
After your bicycle accident, you will be hurt and scared. However, you’ll need to keep your wits about you as much as possible. If you’re capable, you should call 911 to ensure the police come to the scene and prepare a report. You should also take photos of the scene and your injuries or ask someone to do it for you.
If your injuries are serious, you will likely go to hospital in an ambulance. However, if you feel relatively okay, you may be tempted to delay seeking medical attention. This is never a good idea. If you wait too long to go to the doctor, the insurance company will dispute your claim. They may say your injuries weren’t that serious or you didn’t get them in the accident.
Be sure to keep all the paperwork you get from your doctor and insurance companies along with any other evidence. Your attorney will use these to help prove your case. You must avoid speaking to the other party’s insurance company without first speaking to your lawyer. Despite what the insurance adjuster will tell you, they’re not acting in your best interests.
Contact The Vance Law Firm Today to Discuss Your Case
If you were knocked off a bike by a car in Montgomery, you need legal advice. Contact our Montgomery personal injury law firm for representation. We will help you get compensation for medical expenses, lost income, property damage and more. Schedule your free consultation today.