Alabama Motorcycle Laws
Here are some laws that apply to motorcycle riders in Alabama:
Class M Endorsement
To operate a motorcycle in Alabama, you are required to add a Class M endorsement to your driver's license. This requires passing the motorcycle knowledge exam given by the Department of Public Safety. You can also obtain a motorcycle endorsement by completing a motorcycle safety course.
Lane-splitting is the practice of riding a motorcycle between two lanes of motor vehicles moving in the same direction. In Alabama, lane splitting is illegal, but lane sharing is allowed. A maximum of two motorcycles are allowed to ride side by side in the same lane.
Alabama's motorcycle helmet law requires motorcyclists, irrespective of their age, to wear helmets that have a solid exterior layer and a secured chinstrap. Riders and their passengers are also required to wear shoes while riding.
Motorists in Alabama (including motorcyclists) must have auto insurance coverage that meets the following minimum liability coverage requirements:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person in a single accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more people in a single accident
- $25,000 for property damage in a single accident
Determining Fault in an Accident
Alabama is an “at-fault” state. This means that the party responsible for the accident will bear financial liability for injuries, property damage, and other losses suffered by the victims in the accident. Under Alabama's at-fault negligence system, to recover damages, the plaintiff must prove liability or show that the motorcycle accident occurred due to the other party's negligence.
Alabama uses a "pure contributory negligence" rule. The state's contributory negligence system prevents the accident victims from recovering compensation if they are determined to be at fault for their injuries. This means that you will only be allowed to pursue damages if the other party was 100% responsible for the incident.
If a Loved One is Injured or Killed
If a motorcycle accident resulted in the incapacitation or death of a loved one, a family member or representative of the deceased may bring civil action against the responsible party.
- Incapacitation: If the accident resulted in incapacitation, the court would first need to appoint a friend or family member to act as the victim's conservator. Once conservatorship has been established, the conservator or legal guardian can file a personal injury lawsuit on the victim's behalf.
- Death: If the accident resulted in death, a family member or personal representative can file a wrongful death claim. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to hold the responsible party accountable for a preventable accident that resulted in someone’s death and compensate the decedent's surviving loved ones.
How Experienced Attorneys Can Help
Being in any kind of traffic accident can be devastating and affect your physical, mental, and financial health. Attorneys Paul Seckel and Emily Jolley Seckel are committed to handling personal injury claims and protecting the rights of motorcycle accident victims and their loved ones. As your attorneys, they can:
- Protect your best interests and work to hold the responsible parties accountable
- Review every detail of your case and conduct an in-depth, private investigation
- Gather important information, including evidence, police reports, and documentation
- Work to prove fault and establish liability
- Determine the full magnitude of your injuries and estimate case-value
- Help negotiate a fair settlement with insurance providers
- File a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, when necessary