Here in Bessemer, both motorists and cyclists have to be responsible on the road to avoid harming themselves and others around them. Alabama has several laws in place for them to follow. Nonetheless, cyclists may still find themselves in accidents no matter how careful they are. Fortunately, they can seek damages from the driver or party who wronged them.
If you were the victim of a bicycle accident, you could sue to get compensated for your expenses and other losses. Discover how a Bessemer bicycle accident lawyer can help you comply with your requirements and guide you through the other legal procedures.
Shared Fault Can Bar You from Recovery
Suppose the driver that hit you was texting at the time of the accident, violating the state’s distracted driving laws. However, evidence shows that you carried a package while riding your bike and had one hand away from the handlebar (or that you weren’t wearing a helmet).
That would mean you violated Alabama Code § 32-5A-264. Since you are partly responsible for your injuries for breaking said law, you would not be able to recover any amount.
Such a rule makes it vital to gather as much evidence as possible before filing a claim. Your lawyer can review the compiled proof to see if it can sufficiently support your claims.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving Bessemer, call 877-562-0000
You Can File a Bicycle Accident Insurance Claim First
If a driver is at fault for a Bessemer bicycle accident, you could file a claim with their auto insurance company. Alabama requires all motorists to carry auto liability insurance to legally operate vehicles. The coverage would shoulder the victims’ injury and property damage expenses if the driver is completely at fault for the accident.
If a business or pedestrian is at fault, you could still check whether they carry liability coverage or not. For example, commercial liability insurance is not mandatory for Bessemer businesses, but they may still carry it to avoid paying out of pocket.
If you do not agree with the insurance company’s initial settlement offer, your Bessemer lawyer can negotiate further on your behalf.
Bessemer Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-562-0000
When to Proceed with Civil Lawsuits After Bicycle Accidents
Your lawyer might advise you to file a lawsuit if:
- The liable party does not carry enough liability coverage to compensate you.
- The liable party is uninsured.
- The liable party intentionally hurt you, such as in the act of road rage (insurance companies usually do not handle intentional tort claims).
Instead of having your accident reviewed by an insurance claims adjuster, the civil court will decide how much you can recover from the at-fault party. Your lawyer can guide you through the court filing processes and represent you in the proceedings.
Your lawsuit might also never reach court at all. The other party might want to avoid going to court, so suing could encourage them to try and settle with you privately. Your accident lawyer can still be your representative during arbitrations if this happens.
Filing Bicycle Accident Lawsuits on Time Is Important
Like many other Alabama injury cases, Bessemer bicycle accidents typically follow the statute of limitations specified in Alabama Code § 6-2-38. That means you usually have up to two years from the accident date to file your lawsuit.
The court automatically dismisses late submissions, so starting early on after the accident would be in your best interest. Your lawyer can help check how much time you have left.
Keep in mind that your case could have tolling exceptions that affect your deadline. For example, if your child was injured in a bicycle accident, the statute of limitations would only start counting down when they turn 19. Your lawyer would factor in this exception when determining your time limit.
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Types of Bicycle Accident Damages You Could Recover
If the bicycle accident claim or case is successful, the insurance provider or liable party will compensate you for your accident-related losses. Therefore, you will want to be detailed with enumerating these damages.
Economic Damages Pay for Financial Losses
Economic damages reimburse you for your actual expenses due to the bicycle accident, which can include:
- Medical bills (hospitalizations, treatments, appointments, and so on)
- Lost income (if you could not work or manage your business due to your injuries)
- Bicycle repairs or replacements
Your bicycle accident lawyer serving Bessemer can help compile the records of your expenses, such as receipts, to estimate your economic damages more accurately.
What do Non-Economic Damages Entail?
On the other hand, non-economic damages aim to repay you for the pain and suffering you went through due to the bicycle accident injury. You can typically recover a higher amount if your injury is more severe. Both claims adjusters and courts commonly use a rating to multiply your economic damages by to secure your goal award amount— usually between 1.5x to 4x.
Some other examples of non-economic damages include:
- Emotional trauma
- Disabilities (for instance, if you are temporarily or permanently unable to walk)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Your lawyer can evaluate your injury to estimate your non-economic damages.
Consult With Our Bicycle Accident Legal Team Today
Getting hurt in a bicycle accident can often have expensive consequences here in Bessemer. But you may still be able to recover damages from the other party. If you have any concerns about your accident, you can always consult with Cory Watson Attorneys.
We are ready to use our 38-plus years of experience with Alabama injury law to help you form your case and provide legal representation. You can recover a free case review with our team by sending your accident details online or calling us. Our bicycle accident lawyers are ready to act on your Bessemer family’s behalf.