Dothan personal injury attorneys answer your urgent questions
Carey & Hamner, P.C. manages motorcycle accident litigation for injured bikers and their passengers. As an introduction to issues under Alabama law, we offer this brief list of frequently asked questions and answers. For in-depth and personal legal advice, take advantage of a free consultation at our Dothan office.
- What are Alabama’s licensing requirements for motorcyclists?
- What is the motorcycle helmet law in Alabama?
- What happens if I was partially at fault for an accident?
- If I was not wearing a helmet during the accident, can I still collect from the at-fault driver?
- How long after an accident do I have to file a case in Alabama?
- What should I do if I am involved in a motorcycle accident?
Contact a reputable personal injury attorney in Dothan for your motorcycle accident
Carey & Hamner, P.C. is conveniently located at 102 South Orange Avenue in Dothan, just off of West Main Street. Call 855-435-4797 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
For many years, anyone who wanted to operate a motorcycle in Alabama only needed a regular driver’s license. That changed in May 2015. Now, you must have a Class M endorsement, which requires you to either pass a motorcycle test or complete a qualifying motorcycle safety training course.
Alabama law requires anyone who operates or rides a motorcycle to wear a helmet that conforms to the standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation. An acceptable helmet will come with a DOT sticker. The fine for failing to wear a helmet is $90.
Alabama has a strict contributory negligence rule that completely bars a party from suing for damages if he or she did anything to cause the accident. However, your own negligence, such as driving with a burned-out tail light, is relevant only insofar as it was a contributing cause of the crash. Consulting with a motorcycle accident attorney in Dothan can help you determine if you have a right to sue.
Since failure to wear a helmet likely did not cause the accident, Alabama’s contributory negligence law would not bar you from suing for damages. However, failure to wear a helmet may bear on the amount of damages you can recover. If you suffered a head or spinal cord injury, your damages may be reduced to the extent that the injury was worsened by the lack of a helmet.
Motorcycle accidents are subject to Alabama’s personal injury statute of limitations, which is two years from the date of the accident. However, the limitations period may be interrupted — or “tolled” — while the injured party is disabled or otherwise unable to bring a lawsuit. For example, the accident victim may be in a coma or in a mentally incompetent state. When the disability or other impediment ends, the limitations period begins to run again.
The first priority is to get out of harm’s way. Then, if you are injured, there are things you can do to help your case for recovering damages. You can take pictures of the accident site and the vehicles involved, get contact information from all parties and give your account of the accident to responding police officers. Next, immediately seek medical attention, even if you’re not sure of the extent of your injuries. This will serve to document your claim. Finally, place a call to a personal injury firm with experience managing motorcycle accident cases.