Motorcycle accidents can often be more severe for the injured rider than other auto accidents. Without a car around them and other safety features like airbags and seat belts, victims can face more serious bodily injuries in a crash. However, this should not be misconstrued as the rider’s fault; many motorcycle accidents are caused by other car and truck drivers.
For help with your case, you should work with an attorney who handles motorcycle accident cases. Victims are often blamed for motorcycle accidents, but our attorneys can help you fight to get the damages you deserve from the at-fault driver’s insurance or even take your case to trial if needed.
For a free review of your potential motorcycle accident case, call the motorcycle accident lawyers at Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
How to Combat Victim-Blaming in Motorcycle Accidents in Mobile, AL
Motorcycle accidents are often blamed on the rider for “putting themselves in jeopardy” by riding a motorcycle. While motorcycles do not have roofs or walls protecting the rider, motorcyclists often go above and beyond to drive safely and avoid crashes. In many cases, it is truly the other driver who caused the crash, and motorcycle riders should not be blamed for their injuries.
Alabama uses a strict “contributory negligence” standard when determining who is at fault for an accident. Under this rule, if the victim contributed in any way – even a slight way – to causing their own accident, then they are blocked from being able to sue or collect damages. Because of this, victim-blaming is potentially stronger in Alabama than in most other states.
However, the simple fact that the rider was on a motorcycle is not enough to claim the rider contributed to the crash. In order for the defense to use a contributory negligence defense, they must show that you did something that was unreasonable or something that actually violated traffic laws. If you were minding your own business when another driver crashed into you, our motorcycle accident lawyers will work to shut down these unfounded defenses and work to prove the other driver was the one who really caused the crash.
If you were riding with other motorcyclists when the crash happened, we can use their witness testimony to back up your claims. We can also point to physical evidence, such as skid marks and the location of vehicle damage, to show how the other driver caused the crash.
Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident in Mobile, AL
As mentioned, there must be a traffic violation or some other example of unreasonable decisions behind the wheel for someone to be held at fault for a motorcycle accident. This means that we will often need to show what the other driver did wrong and how that led to your crash.
In many cases, the defendant’s actions are obvious. Drunk driving, speeding, cutting across lanes without signaling, and tailgating can be observed, and you can testify about what the driver did that was dangerous. In cases where the driver was texting while driving, was distracted, or was falling asleep at the wheel, your lawyers might need to depose the defendant or other witnesses to get testimony about their dangerous driving.
In any case, we also have to prove that the defendant’s actions actually caused the crash to happen. If the defense proves that you did indeed do something wrong that contributed to your crash, you might lose your case – so it is very important for us to head off any claims of contribution and show that your actions actually did not contribute to the crash. The defense will similarly try to distance their driver’s actions from the actual cause of the crash. For example, they might claim that their traffic violation was meaningless because another driver actually caused the crash or that their traffic violation happened a few miles back and did not actually contribute to the accident.
Our lawyers will use all evidence at our disposal to prove that the defendant was at fault and that they should be the ones to pay for your damages.
Evidence to Collect for Motorcycle Accident Claims in Mobile, AL
Evidence comes in many forms in a typical injury case. In any auto accident, there are some core pieces of information to collect to help build your case, as well as evidence at the scene that needs to be collected (if possible) or documented with photographs.
Contact and Insurance Info
After a motorcycle accident, if you are well enough to do so, you must collect the contact information, insurance information, and vehicle information for every driver involved in the accident. You should also collect the names and contact info of any witnesses who might be able to testify as to what happened.
If you are able to, take photos of all of the vehicle damage and skid marks. Also snap photos of injuries. These can all be used later as evidence of how the crash scene looked, where the vehicles were located, etc. The photos might also help if we need to use accident reconstruction experts to show how the collision happened.
Police Reports and Other Details About the Crash
A police officer should be called to the scene to document the crash and write up a report. This report will contain a lot of the information you should be able to collect at the scene of the crash, but it is still important to collect this info yourself. This includes info about the crash location, weather, lighting, roadway conditions, and more. However, you should also get a copy of the police report.
Your medical records will also be vital evidence, so make sure to get medical treatment after an accident and get copies of all records. These records will help put a date and time on your injuries, helping us prove that the injuries happened in this accident and not in some other situation. Records also help us show the court what injuries you suffered and how severe they are.
Your testimony and the testimony of any other witnesses to the accident will make up the core evidence in your case. In a recorded statement for the insurance company, in a deposition, or in court, you will be able to state the facts as you saw them: what happened leading up to the crash, how the crash occurred, and what injuries and pain and suffering you faced in the aftermath.
Other eyewitnesses to the accident can also testify about what happened. Later, your friends and family can also testify about how the accident affected you to help prove your pain and suffering damages.
Call Our Mobile, AL Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
For a free case review, call (844) 876-4357 to speak with Howe Law’s motorcycle accident lawyers.