Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents Near Dothan, AL
In a recent year, there were 1,859 motorcycle accidents in Alabama that resulted in 1,262 injuries and 83 fatalities, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. For all types of motor vehicle accidents for the same year, there were six fatalities in Dale County, two fatalities in Henry County, and eleven fatalities in Houston County.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Drug or alcohol impairment – Out of the 953 traffic fatalities that occurred for the year of its report, the Alabama Department of Transportation concluded that 188 involved apparent alcohol or drug involvement.
- Distracted driving – 39 of the motor vehicle fatalities involved distracted driving, which includes texting, talking on the phone, grooming, external distractions, and other distractions that take a driver’s mind off the task of driving.
- Not obeying traffic rules – Drivers of passenger vehicles may not notice smaller vehicles like motorcycles or mopeds. Others do not realize the potential danger of cutting them off.
- Speeding – Speeding was responsible for 139 traffic fatalities for the year of the report. When drivers speed, they increase the distance they will need to come to a complete stop once they realize a hazard. For too many motorcyclists, the tragic result is often death or serious injury.
Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident injuries tend to be much more serious than injuries incurred in other types of accidents. Motorcyclists don’t have the same types of protections afforded to the occupants of passenger vehicles. Additionally, even an accident that occurs at low speeds can result in the motorcyclist being ejected from the vehicle.
Motorcycle accident victims often suffer disability, steep medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from injuries such as:
Motorcycle Laws in Alabama
Motorcyclists must obey all of the same traffic laws as other drivers. However, they must also adhere to additional laws, such as:
- They must wear a helmet and shoes while operating a motorcycle.
- They must ensure that any minor passenger they carry wear a helmet and shoes.
- They must acquire a special “M” endorsement on their driver’s license.
- They must not use exhausts that operate at decibels over certain limits in municipalities that restrict them.
Additionally, many motorcyclists take extra precautions beyond these basic rules to protect themselves, such as wearing reflective clothing, using hand signals when turning, and staying out of blind spots.
Tips on Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Dothan, AL
The lawyer you select to handle your motorcycle accident claim is an important decision. It is crucial that you take some time to find the best lawyer to handle your case. Here are some tips to help you hire a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer in Dothan, AL:
Know What to Look For
Each attorney has their own unique background, education, and level of experience. Some have courtroom experience while others do not. Some take all kinds of cases while others focus on specific areas of the law. It is important to note that once an attorney is licensed in the state, they are generally allowed to take on any case, including personal injury cases. However, your experience as a client with one attorney may be very different than what it would be with another.
When considering a motorcycle accident lawyer to help with your case, consider hiring a lawyer based on these characteristics:
- Experience – You don’t want your case to be the first of the kind that your lawyer has handled. Look for a lawyer with experience handling personal injury cases and with motorcycle accident cases in particular. There are special concepts that your lawyer should be familiar with in order to competently represent you in this type of claim, including a strong understanding of Alabama motorcycle and negligence laws.
- Focus – Some lawyers are considered “general practitioner” lawyers who handle a variety of cases, like family law, criminal law, and business law. Others focus on specific areas of the law. This greater focus allows them to develop skills and knowledge in these particular areas to the benefit of their client.
- Location – The Dothan, Alabama legal community is relatively small. You will likely want a lawyer who is familiar with other local attorneys and judges, rather than an attorney from a national law firm with no local connections. Out-of-state law firms often refer your case to other attorneys with whom they have deals, which gives you little control over who will actually handle your case.
- Reputation – An experienced attorney should have testimonials from satisfied clients and a strong reputation in the legal community.
Prepare a List of Questions
Before you talk to an attorney you are considering hiring, prepare a list of questions you would like to ask. This will help you feel more prepared and give you an objective way to compare different lawyers.
Some questions you might want to ask include:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- What type of cases do you usually handle?
- What percentage of your practice is devoted to personal injury?
- Have you handled motorcycle accident cases before?
- How many similar motorcycle cases have you handled?
- What was the outcome in those cases?
- Who will be handling my case?
- How will I be charged for legal services and costs?
Interview Several Lawyers
Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation, so you can interview a few without any financial setbacks. This will also give you an opportunity to get to know the lawyers better so you can make a decision about your legal representation. You can ask the lawyers the questions you have prepared. Additionally, you can see how it might feel working with the lawyer on your case.
Ultimately, you will want to trust your gut. You will also want to know you are working with a lawyer who will listen to you and give you the one-on-one attention you deserve.
Contact a Dothan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Stokes Stemle, LLC
The experienced Dothan motorcycle attorneys at Stokes Stemle, LLC are all too familiar with the devastation that can follow motorcycle accidents. We understand the challenges you are facing after suffering a serious injury in a Dothan, AL motorcycle accident. You can trust us to fight zealously to protect your rights while you focus on your recovery.
Our firm focuses exclusively on personal injury cases, which has allowed us to develop the unique insight and skills necessary to confidently represent our clients. Our dedicated Dothan personal injury attorneys are here whenever you need us. You can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are accessible by call, text, email, or our online contact form. We also have a physical office in Dothan where you can visit us, or we can come to you wherever is most convenient for you.
Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options.