Birmingham Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Getting around on a bicycle isn’t just for kids anymore. Today, in Birmingham and cities throughout Alabama, cycling has become a popular activity. Every day, you may see college students on their bikes in areas around Samford and UAB, professionals pedaling through downtown on their way to work or people of all ages cycling along country roads for exercise and recreation. Unfortunately, motorists in our area often overlook and disregard bicyclists, which can lead to devastating and even deadly injuries.
At Serious Injury Law Group, our experienced and dedicated Birmingham bicycle accident attorneys aggressively protect the rights of cyclists who have been injured by negligent drivers. We fight for the win in every case. If you were recently hurt in a bike accident, or if you lost a loved one in a bike-car collision, we are ready to go to work for you today. Contact us now for a free consultation.
Types and Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Birmingham
Bicycle crashes can occur because of many different reasons. However, as our law firm has seen, negligent motorists often are to blame. Some common causes include:
- Right-of-way violations – Some motorists don’t seem to regard bikes as having the same rights. So, they may entirely cut off cyclists or fail to see them at all.
- Buzzing/lane-splitting – When a cyclist is safely riding on the shoulder of the road, and a driver flies by quickly without attempting to give any space, it can easily cause a collision. A car may “clip” or “buzz” the cyclist and knock him or her off the bike. Alabama law actually requires motorists to give cyclists at least three feet of space when they pass.
- Tailgating – What would normally be a fender bender to another vehicle can be a broken leg or crushed spine to a bicyclist. Motorists should leave room so a cyclist can stop and/or avoid obstacles in the road like rocks and potholes.
- Dooring – Many bicycle riders in Birmingham suffer injuries when people exit cars which are parked along the side of the road without looking for and seeing the approaching cyclist.
Bicycle Accident Statistics in Alabama
You may think that young children are the ones who get hurt most often in collisions between cars and bicycles. To an extent, this is correct. For instance, Alabama traffic crash facts show that 18 percent of the cyclists who suffered crash-related injuries in 2016 were age 15 or younger.
However, a growing number of adults ride today, too. According to a recent Governors Highway Safety Association report, an estimated 34 percent of Americans ages 3 and older rode a bicycle within the past year, and many of them were older riders. Bike-share programs such as Zyp BikeShare in Birmingham contribute to this trend.
Unfortunately, the increased number of adult bicyclists has led to an increase in accident victims. In fact, in 2016, 90 of the 214 cyclists in Alabama who suffered injuries in crashes, or 42 percent, were between the ages of 41 and 70.
Most Dangerous Areas for Bicyclists in Birmingham
While there is a strong national movement to add bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways in major urban areas, Birmingham is a bit behind the times in this regard. Many areas, especially in outlying parts of the city and in the suburbs, it can get very crowded with vehicles. A couple of the more dangerous intersections in Birmingham include:
- University Boulevard and 28th Street – According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this is perhaps the most dangerous intersection in Alabama.
- S. Highway 280 and State Highway 119 – This has long been regarded as one of the deadliest intersections in the state.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident in Birmingham
After a bicycle crash in Birmingham, make sure to take these steps:
- Call 911 right away. You want to make sure an officer gets to the scene and, ultimately, files a report about your crash.
- Take photos of everything if possible. You can take photos at the crash scene (or ask someone to take them for you), and you should make sure to take photos of your injuries so you can document them.
- Go to the hospital and get checked out. If you wait too long to get medical attention, an insurance company may claim that your injuries are not serious or that your bike crash didn’t cause them.
- Keep all paperwork you receive. You should especially keep any letters or e-mails that you get from insurance companies.
- Don’t speak to the insurance company. Although you should report your bike crash to your own insurance company, you don’t have to speak to an adjuster from any other insurance company.
- Call a bicycle accident attorney. At Serious Injury Law Group, we will investigate your bike accident right away and take immediate steps to protect your right to full and fair compensation.
Compensation for Bicycle Accidents in Birmingham
If you are injured in a serious bicycle crash in Birmingham that another person causes due to their negligence, you have a right to seek financial compensation for damages such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium.
If you lost a loved one in a bicycle crash, you may be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim. But don’t delay. Waiting too long to call a lawyer could mean losing your rights entirely.
In Alabama, you will typically have only two years from the date of the accident to bring a lawsuit to protect your rights. If someone you love died, you have just two years from the date of the death to bring your case.
Our Birmingham Bicycle Accident Attorneys Will Fight for You
When you are suffering and dealing with medical bills, loss of income, and daily pain and anguish, you want an attorney who will aggressively fight for the compensation you are due. When you hire Serious Injury Law Group, you will be represented by experienced and seasoned trial lawyers who understand how to win in and out of court. To learn more in a free consultation, contact us today.