Bicycle and helmet on ground next to car, indicating accident.

A bicycle accident in Decatur, Alabama, can instantly change your life. You may face serious physical injuries, overwhelming medical bills, lost income, and considerable pain and anxiety. It can be hard to know what to do in this situation. Thankfully, our attorneys can help you move forward after a Decatur bike crash.  

When you trust Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., with your bicycle accident claim, you benefit from a team that knows Alabama injury law and has a demonstrated commitment to local cyclists injured by careless drivers.  

Contact us today to discuss your situation in a free consultation.  

Benefits of Hiring Our Decatur Bicycle Accident Attorneys  

When your search for a “bicycle accident lawyer near me” leads you to Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., you can trust that your case will be in skilled hands. For nearly 60 years, our law firm has fought for injured cyclists just like you, helping them seek the justice and maximum compensation they need and deserve.  

With our knowledge, experience, and resources, we’re equipped to go up against the insurance companies to advocate for your rights and the money you need to move forward. We have the track record to prove it. We’ve secured millions in compensation for our clients, and we’re ready to fight for the total and fair amount the at-fault driver’s insurance company owes you.  

Causes and Types of Bicycle Accidents in Decatur, Alabama  

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, 209 cyclists suffered injuries, and nine died in traffic accidents in a single recent year. Bicycle accidents are a concern for riders of all ages, and it’s more important than ever for cyclists to stay alert and practice safe cycling behaviors to avoid a collision with a distracted or careless motorist. 

Some of the most common causes of bike accidents include: 

  • Tailgating and following too closely
  • Failure to check blind spots
  • Opening a door into a cyclist’s path
  • Failing to share the road appropriately

These and other behaviors on the part of motor vehicle operators can result in a variety of types of bicycle accidents, including:  

  • Rear-end collisions
  • Left turns in front of oncoming bicycles
  • “Right hook” turns into a cyclist traveling the same direction
  • Sideswipe collisions
  • Right-angle or T-bone collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Dooring accidents

Injuries Bicyclists Frequently Suffer in Collisions  

While some bicycle accidents result in relatively minor abrasions and bruises, many others have much more serious effects. Bicycle accidents can cause a variety of severe injuries that affect your health and your day-to-day life.

Some of the severe injuries that occur when motorists hit cyclists include: 

  • Cuts, bruises, and abrasions, including road rash
  • Joint injuries
  • Facial, dental, and eye injuries

Sadly, some bicycle accident injuries can be fatal. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that bicycle accident fatalities have risen by 55 percent since a 2010 low. As distractions become an ever-increasing problem among drivers, it becomes all the more important for cyclists to do what they can to protect themselves. 

How to Recover Damages After a Decatur Bike Collision 

To recover damages following a bike collision in Decatur, AL, you must prove the driver who hit you was solely responsible for causing the accident. That is because Alabama follows the legal doctrine of contributory negligence, which states that if a party’s negligence contributed even slightly to the accident, they are barred from recovering any compensation. Alabama is one of a few states that follow this harsh doctrine. 

As a result, retaining the legal services of a skilled bike accident attorney is a matter of considerable importance following a collision. To preserve your right to recover damages, our experienced lawyers can investigate the crash and craft a claim on your behalf that places the blame squarely on the driver who hit you. Our attorneys can then negotiate with the driver’s insurance company and any other liable parties to fight for the compensation you deserve. If necessary, we will be ready to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation in court. You have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit under Alabama law.  

Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., has successfully recovered compensation for numerous Alabama accident survivors, including bicycle accident victims.

Depending on the details of your crash, our bike accident lawyers in Decatur, AL, may pursue compensation for: 

  • Past, ongoing, and anticipated future medical expenses
  • Lost income, including lost earning capacity
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Property damage
  • Wrongful death

In extreme cases, the court may also award punitive damages to punish the at-fault driver and discourage others from engaging in similar behaviors. Punitive damages may be awarded if the driver engaged in willful or malicious conduct that caused a bicycle crash. 

Can Your Auto Policy’s UM/UIM Coverage Apply If You Were Hurt in a Crash as a Cyclist? 

If you have an auto insurance policy that provides coverage for accidents involving uninsured or underinsured motorists (UM/UIM), you may be entitled to file a claim under the policy for injuries sustained in a bike accident. UM/UIM benefits may be helpful if the driver who hit you lacks sufficient insurance coverage. Your auto policy’s UM/UIM coverage could extend to your children and other household members who get hurt in bicycle crashes. 

Important Alabama Bicycle Laws 

Understanding Alabama’s bicycle laws can help you stay safe and assert your rights effectively after your accident. Three key ones to remember are: 

  • Wear a helmet. While Alabama law requires only bike riders age 16 and under to wear a helmet while riding, helmet use is highly recommended for all bicyclists. It saves lives and prevents more severe head injuries in the event of a crash.
  • Ride on the right. Cyclists must ride as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when passing, turning left, or avoiding hazards. They must always ride in the same direction as motor vehicles.
  • Avoid DUI. Bikes are classified as vehicles under Alabama DUI law. That means the same DUI laws for motor vehicle drivers also apply to cyclists. Operating a bicycle under the influence can lead to serious legal consequences and puts your safety at risk.

How Our Decatur Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help You 

At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., our Decatur bicycle accident lawyers understand the challenges you’re facing after a crash. If a careless driver hits you, we want to advocate for your rights and seek the full compensation you deserve. We’re prepared to fight at no financial risk to you. 

Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options in a free initial consultation about your bicycle accident case.