While many motorcycle riders appreciate their bikes’ risk and power, it only takes one reckless choice or mistake to cause permanent damage and suffering. Unfortunately for younger riders, these careless moments are all too common.
In this blog, the Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys team outlines what you need to know about Alabama pedestrian and motorcycle crashes.
Motorcycle Crashes Are Too Common on Alabama Roads
Alabama is the only state that doesn’t require motorcycle drivers to have a motorcycle-specific license. Instead, hopeful motorcyclists just need to be over the age of 16, have a driver’s license, and pass a written exam. That’s an easy standard, and some motorcyclists lack the skills and knowledge to operate their bikes safely.
In 2018, there were 1,859 crashes involving motorcyclists in Alabama. The largest groups of riders who were involved in crashes were between the ages of 15 and 24. These young riders had 327 crashes, suffered 227 injuries, and experienced seven deaths.
All it takes is a single mistake for the worst to happen. And when the unthinkable happens, victims need to understand their options.
Common Pedestrian Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
When you’re hit by a motorcycle or try to escape a collision, you can easily suffer life-changing injuries. The average motorcycle weighs between 400 and 900 pounds. While lighter than a car, that’s a lot more force than the human body can tolerate.
Common pedestrian-motorcyclist injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and head trauma
- Spinal cord and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- PTSD and psychological injuries
- Cuts and abrasions, such as road rash
- Thermal and chemical burns
- Soft tissue or muscle damage
Sometimes, these injuries are relatively minor. However, a motorcycle crash can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries.
If you’ve been hit by a motorcycle and sustained a seemingly “minor” injury, you might consider going home to take an over-the-counter painkiller, and hope that it heals quickly. However, it’s always in your best interest to get checked out as soon as you can after a crash. What might seem like “just” a sore leg could be a fractured bone. A bruise could be a sign of internal bleeding. Addressing these conditions early on can save you time, pain, and money in the long run.
And if you’re worried about affording medical care, you can include the cost of your medical treatment in an insurance claim or lawsuit. If you have questions about how to get reimbursed for your bills after a crash that wasn’t your fault, speak with an Alabama personal injury lawyer right away.
Don’t Be Surprised if the Insurance Company Blames You for the Crash
If a reckless biker caused your injuries, they should be responsible for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. However, that doesn’t mean that their insurer won’t put up a fight. Insurance companies are for-profit companies, and they are more concerned about profits than your future.
Increasingly, their adjusters argue that pedestrians contributed to the crashes. Since 2009, pedestrian fatalities have grown by more than 63% in Alabama, and many researchers blame “distracted walking.” In 2018, the Center for Advanced Public Safety at The University of Alabama estimates that the vulnerable road user caused 71% of all fatal pedestrian crashes, not the motor vehicle.
Alabama has strict contributory negligence laws that incentivize victim-blaming. If you are as little as 1% at fault for a crash, you cannot recover damages in our state. Therefore, don’t be shocked if the insurance company argues that you were distracted, looking at your phone, or violated traffic rules.
You’ll need strong evidence and legal arguments to fight back. One of our lawyers can help you build counterarguments if you face victim-blaming.
Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Fighting for Your Right to Safety
Alabama roads and walkways should be safe for everyone. When one person’s reckless behavior causes you pain, suffering, and emotional trauma, you shouldn’t be stuck paying for their mistake. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’ve devoted our lives to making sure people like you have what they need to lead healthy, happy lives after a crash. If you’ve been hurt in a collision through no fault of your own, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. We’ll meet with you in a confidential, no-risk case assessment to help you understand your options and what to do next.
2018 Crash Facts. (2019). Alabama Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://www.caps.ua.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/CrashFacts_2018.pdf
Gould, C. (2019, June 24). Alabama ranks #15 in motorcycle fatalities: What safety experts want drivers to know. Abc3340. Retrieved from https://abc3340.com/news/abc-3340-news-iteam/alabama-ranks-15-in-motorcyclist-deaths-state-safety-laws-lacking-according-to-experts
How much does a motorcycle weigh (21 examples). Motor Gear Expert. Retrieved from https://motorgearexpert.com/how-much-does-a-motorcycle-weigh/
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.