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Birmingham, AL Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The Birmingham region is popular with bicyclists but experiences a growing number of accidents
According to Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, in 2012, 726 lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes nationally, just under two people every day of the year in the U.S. The death rate from bicycle crashes is high due to the relative lack of protection bicyclists have in an impact with a motor vehicle.
Bicycling Laws in Birmingham
Birmingham traffic-safety laws are designed to allow bicyclists to share the road safely with motor vehicles in an increasingly crowded space.
According to the State of Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles:
- When bicycles are ridden with other traffic, cyclists must obey the same rules and regulations as motor vehicles.
- At intersections, motorists must yield to cyclists as they would for other vehicles and pedestrians.
- When passing a cyclist, motorists must move into an adjacent lane to the left if possible. If not, the motorist must pass with at least 3 feet of clearance.
- Motorists must yield the right-of-way to a cyclist on a bicycle path or in a bike lane.
- Motorists may not stop, park or drive on a designated bicycle path or lane unless they are entering or leaving an alley or driveway, performing official duties, directed by a police officer, or in an emergency situation.
- A cyclist is required to ride on the right side of the roadway.
- A bicycle must be equipped with a white lamp in the front, visible from at least 500 feet.
Get information on bicycle crashes from the Police Departments in the Birmingham region
The Birmingham Police Department offers information on accidents, and also provides information on filing a police report and on obtaining a police report.
Birmingham bicycle crashes have common causes and deadly outcomes
While helmets and proper reflective gear make bicycling safer, riding a bicycle is riskier than driving a car. Maintaining control is more difficult on two wheels, and when collisions happen, bicyclists are at greater risk of serious injury or death because they don't have an enclosed vehicle for protection.
Common causes of bicycle crashes include:
- Motorist turning across path of cyclist;
- Cyclist riding into the path of a motor vehicle;
- Cyclist turning right from a major road and from a minor road;
- Child cyclist playing or riding too fast.
When someone is injured in a Birmingham bicycle accident, what needs to happen next?
In an injury bike crash, it is crucial to get appropriate medical treatment, regardless of the financial cost. The major hospitals in the area include:
- University of Alabama Hospital at Birmingham
- Brookwood Medical Center
- Princeton Baptist Medical Center
- Children's of Alabama
- St. Vincent's Health System
- Trinity Medical Center
As soon as possible, an injured person should contact their insurance company to find out how medical treatment is covered under their insurance policy. Since insurance policies often have unique provisions to deal with bicycle-accident injuries, it is important to review the policy and speak with the insurance adjuster to get clarification on coverage.
Where to find legal assistance after a Birmingham injury accident
After a serious crash, it is crucial to get help from a Birmingham injury attorney who understands the local regulations and legal standards, who knows how insurance policies work, and who can handle all aspects of an insurance claim so the injured person can focus on recovery. If someone is killed in a collision, a Birmingham wrongful death attorney will launch a claim that will begin the process of financial recovery for the family members left behind. Learn more here about what a Birmingham accident lawyer can do to help.