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BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER IN BIRMINGHAM
Birmingham consists of an active and vibrant cycling community. Many roads are expanding to include bike lanes and there are plenty of natural spaces to enjoy time on your bike. However, not all drivers in Birmingham respect your space on the road as much as they should.
Go cycling in Birmingham for any amount of time, and you will see drivers who drive too close or pass too quickly. When the driver’s contributory negligence causes you to get in a bicycle accident, you have to be ready to take action. With the help of a bicycle accident lawyer in Birmingham from our law firm, you’ll be able to get justice for yourself and compensation to help you get back to normal.
The Dangers of a Bicycle Crash
Compared to driving a car at high speeds and in high-traffic conditions, you would think that driving a bicycle would pose relatively little threat to your well-being. To assume that you will never get in a bicycle accident, though, would be ignoring reality. More bike accidents happen each year than you might think, and taking the proper safety precautions can help you avoid a severe bike accident in the future.
According to Alabama Public Health, in 2018, there were 209 bicycle crashes. 9 of those crashes were fatal, and about half of those crashes were caused by the actions of the cyclist. Additionally, despite bicycle helmets being required for those 16 and younger according to the Alabama code, only 35% of cyclists wear helmets. It seems that, in addition to educating drivers about sharing the road with cyclists, bicycle riders need a reminder to stay ready to protect themselves, as well.
Helmets are extremely effective against head injury, and nearly ¾ of all fatal bicycle crashes involve some type of head injury, so wearing your helmet is a powerful first step. Secondly, if you’re driving in a low-visibility climate or time of day, wear reflectors and bright clothing, making sure other vehicles on the road can see you. Take special caution if driving along an urban route, as most bicycle crashes occur in those settings.
That being said, there are a few other protections you can make in advance to protect yourself on the road. It’s vitally important to stay alert, properly indicate your turns, and follow traffic laws. Doing these things will help you identify situations that may be potentially dangerous for you as a cyclist.
Even with all of these considerations in mind, crashes still occur. If you are ever injured in a bicycle accident, call our team of professional bicycle accident lawyers. We’re ready to help you sort out your legal options, prove your case, and get the compensation you deserve.
If I Was in a Bicycle Accident with a Motor Vehicle, am I Considered a Pedestrian?
In different states, a cyclist is considered either more like a vehicle or more like a pedestrian. In Alabama, however, a bicyclist is considered a vehicle and must follow the same, or similar, laws that are enforced on roadway vehicles. For instance, you cannot drink and drive a bicycle, and you must obey all posted signs.
In some instances, there may be laws put in place or insurance company policies that are specific to bicyclists. For example, if there is a bike lane available to you, you are required to use it instead of using the right-most lane, unless you are turning left. Bicycles also cannot ride side-by-side on the roadway. But there are also laws in place to protect you, just like there are laws to protect pedestrians from drivers. Cars passing you must maintain 3 feet of distance, and cars opening their doors onto streets must look for passing cyclists. In short, the best way to know your legal status as a cyclist is to hire a trusted accident attorney.
If the Accident Occurred Because of a Problem with the Road, Can I Sue the City or County?
If you were injured because of road flaws like potholes or crumbling pavement, you should be able to firstly file a claim with the city, county, or state. The party responsible is the government level in charge of maintaining the roads. However, it can be difficult to actually get compensation from these governments for your injuries. You must show that the government was negligent to the state of the road and that the road conditions caused you to crash. In short, you have to show your injuries are a result of negligence.
Although it may be difficult, a skilled lawyer will know how to go about getting justice for you against the government. Contact us, and we’ll investigate your case and get started.
Wettermark Keith: Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Birmingham
At Wettermark Keith, we believe that everyone has an equal right to share the road, which is why we’re dedicated to taking a stand for Birmingham’s bicyclists. Bicycle accidents occur all too often in our community, and taking legal action is just one way to incentivize drivers to show more caution while on the road. Contact us today before your case reaches the statute of limitations, and we’ll get started on a free consultation that will help us determine how best to proceed with your case. When you choose a bicycle accident lawyer in Birmingham, make it one from Wettermark Keith.