Legal representation geared for the unique needs of Alabama cyclists.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shared that 857 bicyclists were killed in traffic-related crashes in the United States during 2018. In comparison, the 2018 Alabama Traffic Crash Facts sheet lists a total of 209 bicycle crashes and nine fatalities in the state of Alabama. What’s most disturbing about these statistics to our Alabama bicycle accident lawyer Brian Plant is that cyclists were at fault for almost half of all bicycle accidents in Alabama.
When a bike accident is the result of another’s act of negligence, you may first feel shocked by what happened. Then, you might start to feel frustrated and a little lost on what to do next as the medical bills pile high. This is especially true if you are unable to work because of an injury, or you need to make arrangements to care for a loved one who was severely disabled or even killed.
If you suffered an injury or a loved one is permanently disabled because of another person’s negligence, please contact our experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys for a free consultation.
Our legal team is dedicated to helping Alabamians injured in a bike accident understand their legal options through every step of the personal injury claims process. You may be eligible to seek just compensation for lost wages, medical bills, loss of enjoyment in life, and other damages.
What Are Alabama Bicycle Laws?
Alabama cyclists are required to follow the same general traffic rules and responsibilities as motorists, such as:
- Never ride against the flow of traffic.
- Ride single file on the street. (Unless you are riding on parts of the roadway that are exclusively used for bikes.)
- Maintain a safe following distance of no less than three feet while on the road.
- Obey street signs, signals, and road markings.
- Riding upon a sidewalk or a sidewalk area is not allowed. (Unless there is a permanent or authorized temporary driveway.)
- You must look before you enter the street, exit a driveway, or cross through an intersection.
- You cannot text, read, or write while in movement.
- It is against the law to operate a bike while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances.
- You cannot wear headphones while in movement.
Safety laws specific to bicycle riders include:
- Cross at intersections to increase visibility to drivers.
- Walk a bike across busy intersections while using the crosswalk and following traffic signals.
- Cyclists in Alabama are not allowed to carry more people than a bike allows.
- If there is a bike path adjacent to the road, cyclists must use it.
- Riders must keep one hand on the handlebars at all times.
- Brakes must be in working order.
- Cyclists cannot operate a bike with a passenger weighing less than 40 pounds, or who is less than 40 inches in height, unless that passenger is properly seated and secured in a restraining seat.
- Every bike that is being used at night must be equipped with a lamp on the front that will emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and an approved red reflector on the rear that is visible between 100 and 600 feet. If a bike lamp emits red light, it must be visible from a distance of five hundred feet and is used in addition to the reflector.
- Bike riders under the age of sixteen cannot operate or be a passenger on a bike without a properly fitted bicycle helmet that meets national or state requirements.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Alabama
Cyclists of all ages will know the most common types of bike accidents include falling from a bike or crashing into another object.
The most common causes of serious bicycle accidents for which our team has represented clients include, but are not limited to:
- Left cross turn accidents. These accidents happen when a car attempts to make a left turn in front of an oncoming cyclist. The cyclist is then either struck from the side by the automobile, or caused to collide into the side of the car.
- Right turn accidents. In these types of accidents a motor vehicle driver cuts off the cyclist by turning right at an intersection.
- Dooring accidents. A person in a vehicle may be distracted or just not see a bicyclist in a blind spot prior to opening a door to exit a vehicle. The door may pass into a rider’s path, causing the rider to crash into the door, or be sideswiped as they barely pass by.
- Rear end collisions. These bicycle accidents often happen because an aggressive driver doesn’t leave much room when they try to pass a cyclist on the road. These types of bicycle accidents can also occur if a distracted driver does not notice a stop in traffic, thus colliding with the back of the bicyclist.
Different Types of Bicycle-Related Injuries
While a typical bicycle ride in Alabama is generally uneventful, a single mistake made by a rider or motorist can result in catastrophic injuries. Here are just a few examples of bicycle-related injuries, from minor to more severe:
- Scrapes, lacerations, and bruises
- Soft tissue injuries
- Fractured and broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Spinal injuries
- Head / traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
The most serious of these injuries are commonly the result of a vehicle colliding with a bicycle rider. Injuries to the head are also the main contributing cause of long-term disabilities and fatalities in bike riders.
Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer Dedicated to Helping Cycling Accident Victims
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury from a bicycle accident in Alabama caused by a motor vehicle, you would greatly benefit from speaking with our Alabama personal injury lawyer Brian Plant and support team.
You can feel confident that you will receive the full benefits of a legal team that is dedicated to helping ensure that the negligent driver is held responsible for their actions and liable for any damages that you may deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation, by phone at 844-977-1900, through our LiveChat feature, or through an online form. Our Alabama bicycle accident lawyer and support team are here to assist you 24/7 with your immediate legal needs.