by HGD Staff
Alabama is one of the best states for riding a motorcycle. We have a moderate climate, great year-round riding weather, and some of the best backroads and boulevards in the U.S. Whether you are cruising from Weiss Lake up through Fort Payne or taking in a sunset in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is a great place to ride. Sadly, not everyone on the road appreciates or understands the rules of the road, especially when it comes to motorcyclists.
At Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC, we have been helping injured motorcyclists for decades. Over the years, we have learned a few things about motorcycle crashes. Here are five things every motorcycle rider in Alabama should know about insurance.
Your Minimum Liability Insurance Offers No Protection if You Get Injured
People often think that carrying car or motorcycle insurance will protect them if they are hurt in a crash. In some ways it can help, but it does not actually pay for your injuries in any way. This is because the state’s minimum liability insurance rules only require you to get insurance to cover those you hurt. So your minimum liability insurance will pay for someone else who you injure, like a passenger or the driver or passenger of another vehicle or even a pedestrian. It will not, however, pay for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and so forth.
To get these covered, you will need to pick up different types of coverage, including medical payments insurance and possibly uninsured motorist coverage. If you are at fault, medical payments insurance will still pick up your medical bills. If the other driver was at fault and uninsured, then your uninsured motorist coverage will pay for things like medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Again, though, minimum liability insurance pays for none of that.
Not Wearing a Helmet can be Used Against You
Alabama law requires helmet use. Therefore, failure to wear one could potentially be used by a clever defense lawyer to try to shift blame for your injuries through something called “contributory negligence.” In general, if you are partly to blame for your injuries, it can reduce or eliminate your right to recover compensation. Lack of a helmet has been used for this purpose in some cases, although it is not universal.
No Contact Often Means No Liability
Every rider knows that some accidents happen because a driver fails to acknowledge a motorcycle and pulls right out in front of the rider without warning. This can leave the rider having to lay down the bike to prevent a total impact that could be potentially fatal. When this happens, the motorcyclist may have extreme injuries, but the vehicle may show no signs of an impact. In these cases, big insurance companies would have you think there is no right to recover. This is incorrect. While insurance companies will try this tactic, our attorneys fiercely reject such efforts to escape responsibility.
Burns and Amputations are Among the Most Common Injuries
Aside from minor bumps and bruises, some of the most common injuries from motorcycle crashes are actually extremely severe. These common injuries include:
- Road rash burns
- Disfiguring injuries
- Facial scars
- Amputated fingers and toes
- Broken knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists
Passengers are Often Hurt Worse than Operators
Because passengers are less likely to wear head protection and are often ejected violently during a collision, Reuters reports that motorcycle passengers actually suffer quite a lot more serious head traumas than motorcycle operators. This is just one more good reason to make sure passengers are always suited up with the right gear from head to toe before getting on a motorcycle.
Getting Skilled Representation is Crucial
After a serious motorcycle crash or a fatality, insurance companies get to work fast trying to conceal or hide evidence, build a strong defense, and gathering written or recorded statements from everyone involved. They do this not to help injured people, but to protect their own interests. They are seeking any potential excuse to deny liability or reduce compensation to injured people.
By hiring an experienced lawyer from Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC, you give yourself a skilled team of legal professionals who can carefully and thoroughly advocate for your best interests from start to finish. This ensures that you are not being ripped off by the insurance company. Alabama law gives you a short amount of time to take action after an accident. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle crash, give our firm a call today to schedule a free consultation.