Representing Injured Motorcyclists in and around Huntsville
If you sustained injuries because another person caused you to crash on your motorcycle, you might have important legal rights. You should discuss what happened and your injuries with an experienced Huntsville motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the office of Cloud, Ryan & Rouse, LLC, to learn how our legal team might help.
Many people in Alabama love riding their motorcycles. Whether you ride a motorcycle as your primary form of transportation or simply for recreation to enjoy the weather and scenery, you should be able to expect that you will return home safely. Motorcyclists have the right to share our roads just like any other vehicle, though the risk of motorcycle accidents occurring still remains high.
Motorcyclists Suffer Serious Injuries
Motorcyclists should always wear all appropriate safety gear, including thick clothing, heavy boots, and a properly-fitted and approved helmet. However, motorcyclists will never have seat belts, airbags, crumple zones, or the frame of a car around them to protect them. Even with all the right safety gear, motorcyclists are still highly vulnerable to devastating injuries when they crash.
The impact of another vehicle crashing into your body or the impact of your body with the pavement can result in a wide range of traumatic injuries. Common injuries that motorcyclists might sustain include the following:
- Fractures – Motorcyclists might fracture bones in their limbs, but also their hips, pelvis, ribs, collarbone, and more. Some fractures require surgery to prevent infection and repair for proper healing.
- Spinal cord injury – Many motorcyclists sustain trauma to the back, which can damage their spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries require emergency treatment, and patients are often hospitalized. Complete spinal cord injuries can result in permanent paralysis below the point of injury, which is life-altering.
- Soft tissue tears – The muscles, tendons, and ligaments can tear in a motorcycle accident, especially around your joints. This can usually require surgery to repair and can have a long recovery time.
- Head injuries – Even the perfect helmet cannot protect you from head injuries 100 percent of the time. Helmets can reduce head trauma, though you can still hit your head and sustain damage to your brain tissue. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to coma, extended hospitalization, and permanent cognitive and physical impairments.
- Face and jaw injuries – Many helmets do not have face guards, and this leaves a motorcyclist vulnerable to a broken jaw, nose, cheekbones, and more. These injuries are painful and can be permanently disfiguring.
- Internal injuries – Not all injuries are apparent from looking at a person. Some motorcyclists sustain serious internal injuries, including hemorrhaging and damage to vital organs, including the lungs, kidney, and spleen.
Motorcyclists often need emergency trauma care following a crash, and their medical treatment might be ongoing for months or even years. The medical bills can pile up quickly and can become overwhelming for most people. Injuries can often cause you to miss work and keep you from engaging in your regular activities, including even taking basic care of yourself. Because these injuries can be serious and lead to extensive losses, it is important to recognize when another person might be held liable for your losses.
Who was Responsible for Your Motorcycle Accident?
There are a number of parties that may be responsible for your motorcycle accident, and identifying them is essential to obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled under Alabama law. A party is liable when their negligence led to your accident and injuries, and negligence can come in many forms that lead to motorcycle accidents.
Some of the parties that are often liable for serious, injury-causing wrecks are detailed below.
The negligence of other motorists is perhaps the most common cause of motorcycle accidents. Drivers who speed, drive while distracted, violate traffic laws, or just fail to give motorcyclists the space they need often cause extremely serious accidents that leave motorcyclists with devastating injuries.
The Municipality Responsible for the Maintenance of the Roads
Local governments have a responsibility to keep their roadways in a reasonably safe condition. Issues with the quality of the roadway can have a significant impact on motorcyclists, as having only two points of contact with the road makes them inherently less stable than cars or trucks. Examples of road defects or hazards that can cause preventable motorcycle crashes to include potholes, overgrown vegetation, inadequate or missing signage, or malfunctioning stoplights.
Motorcycle and Equipment Manufacturers
In some instances, motorcycle accidents are the result of defectively designed, manufactured, or marketed motorcycles or motorcycle equipment. When this occurs, victims can often recover compensation from the manufacturer of the motorcycle or equipment that caused their accident. It’s especially important for motorcycle accident victims in single-vehicle accidents to consider whether an equipment malfunction played a role in their wreck, as it is not always immediately apparent.
Often, determining liability can be more complicated than you might imagine. You should always have the assistance of a law firm with the resources needed to identify all potentially liable parties so you can seek the full compensation you deserve.
The Legal Process
Once our attorneys determine that one or more other parties should be liable for your accident and injuries, we can begin the process of seeking compensation for your losses. Many people believe that all personal injury cases take place in the courtroom but, in reality, there are many steps that need to be taken before your case would go to trial. In fact, the large majority of injury cases are able to be resolved out of court.
First, we will prepare and file insurance claims with the companies that provide coverage for negligent parties. This involves calculating the damages you seek from the insurance company. Damages can include:
- Medical bills for treatment you have received
- The estimated costs of medical care you will likely need in the future
- Lost income from missing time at work
- The estimated earnings you will lose in the future
- Permanent disabilities or disfigurement
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
Once we file your insurance claim, we will communicate and negotiate with the insurance company to seek a settlement offer that is adequate to cover your losses. Insurance companies will try to pay as little as possible on claims, and we know how to fight for a favorable settlement.
If an insurer does not offer a sufficient amount, we can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. We are skilled personal injury litigators who know how to navigate this process and engage in settlement negotiations throughout.
Consult with Our Huntsville Motorcycle Accident Lawyers for Help Today
At the law firm of Cloud, Ryan & Rouse, LLC, we have seen the devastating effects of motorcycle accidents and injuries firsthand. We know that your losses can be extensive, and we are here to help. You should remain focused on your treatment plan and recovery process while we handle your insurance claim and personal injury lawsuit if necessary.
When you need legal help you can trust, you should not wait to speak with a Huntsville motorcycle accident attorney. Contact us online or call 256-801-1000 to set up your free case evaluation and consultation as soon as you can.