With help from an experienced Lakewood bicycle accident lawyer at The Fang Law Firm, you can protect yourself and get your life back on track after a serious bike accident. We know exactly what you need to get through this difficult time.
Getting into a bicycle accident can leave you distraught, with painful injuries, expensive medical bills and lost income. It can be difficult to know what to do after a bicycle accident to defend your rights and get the financial compensation that you need to move forward.
A vehicle-bicycle collision or a crash with a fixed object can lead to physical, emotional and financial challenges. You can get professional help with these challenges by hiring an attorney. A Lakewood bicycle accident lawyer is required by law to advocate for your best interests. Even without this obligation, your lawyer will pursue optimal results out of a genuine desire to help you and your family move forward after a devastating accident. Your Lakewood bicycle accident attorney can investigate your collision, collect evidence to support your claim, connect you with crash experts to testify and take many other steps to achieve a positive case outcome on your behalf – all while you focus on healing and recuperating.
The financial compensation, or damages, that are recoverable after a bicycle accident reflect the victim’s unique losses. In Colorado, an injured accident victim can recover damages for many economic (tangible) and noneconomic (intangible) losses caused by a crash. A bike crash lawyer can help you list all of your recoverable damages in a bike accident insurance claim or lawsuit. These may include:
In general, the value of an injury lawsuit increases with the severity of the victim’s harm. If a cyclist suffers a serious or catastrophic injury, therefore, he or she may be eligible for a significant amount of financial compensation from the at-fault driver. If you’re curious about the value of your bicycle accident claim, ask an attorney at The Fang Law Firm for an evaluation.
There is currently no universal bicycle helmet law in Colorado. Colorado does not require bicyclists to wear helmets, regardless of age, unless the user is operating an electric bike. Since there is no requirement for cyclists to wear helmets, the Colorado courts generally do not allow the helmet defense. The helmet defense is a strategy used by defendants to argue that they are less liable – or not liable at all – for a bicyclist’s injuries because the victim was not wearing a helmet at the time of an accident.
The helmet defense is only applicable if the injury suffered reasonably could have been prevented or reduced had the bicyclist been wearing a helmet. Since you are under no legal obligation to wear a helmet while riding a bike in Colorado, this typically is not a usable defense. If the defendant tries to use the defense of comparative negligence for other reasons – alleging that you contributed to the bicycle accident through a negligent action or omission – this will not bar you from financial recovery in Colorado.
Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state. This law states that a plaintiff can still recover partial financial compensation if he or she is found to be at fault for an accident, as long as the degree of fault is less than 50 percent. With half or the majority share of fault for your accident, you will be ineligible to recover. Otherwise, your compensatory award will be reduced by your percentage of liability.
In Colorado, the statute of limitations is two years for general personal injury claims and three years for motor vehicle accidents, according to Colorado Revised Statute Section 13-80-101. A statute of limitations is a strict deadline for filing a claim. If you miss your filing window, the Municipal Court will most likely not hear your case, or else the defendant will use the expired statute of limitations as a defense against liability for your claim. This is why it is important to contact a bicycle accident attorney in Lakewood as soon as possible.
If you get injured in a bicycle accident in Lakewood, do your best to stay calm and remember that there are certain things you should do to protect yourself physically and legally. The eight main steps to take are:
If you can’t take all of these steps, don’t worry – an experienced bicycle accident attorney can still help you craft a compelling injury claim. Before you accept a settlement from an insurance provider, speak to an attorney to learn the value of your case.
According to the latest available statistics from the Colorado Department of Transportation, 16 cyclists lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in a single year. The number of deadly bicycle accidents in Colorado has increased by 33 percent over the past 5 years. Bicycle accidents are often preventable. In many cases, they arise because of careless or reckless actions and behaviors by motor vehicle drivers. Common examples include:
Environmental conditions can also increase the risk of bicycle accidents. For example, rain, snow, sleet and fog can increase the chances of a motor vehicle driver failing to see a cyclist. Roadway defects such as potholes and missing guardrails can also contribute to accidents. Determining the cause of your bicycle accident is one of the first steps in seeking financial compensation.
A bicyclist is extremely prone to injuries when struck by a motor vehicle. Cyclists do not have metal shells or airbags protecting them – and many do not even have helmets. When struck by a car or truck, a biker can suffer injuries in the initial collision as well as in the subsequent impact with the road. These injuries can include:
Bicycle accident injuries may affect a victim for weeks, months or life. Even if an injury is not serious, it can still be painful and debilitating enough to require time away from work. If you’re diagnosed with any type of injury after a bicycle accident in Lakewood, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Colorado is a fault insurance state. This means that, after a bicycle accident, you will file a damage claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you believe that a motor vehicle driver caused your wreck, you will call his or her insurer to file a claim. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, you would file a claim with your own insurance provider, even if you didn’t cause the accident. You or your Lakewood accident lawyer will need to prove that the policyholder is at fault for your bicycle accident, as well as negotiate for fair financial compensation. You may be able to hold multiple parties responsible for your crash, depending on the circumstances.
A common cause of bicycle accidents in Lakewood is a broken Colorado law. For example, a motor vehicle driver may break a speed limit, ignore stop signs or fail to yield the right-of-way to a biker. There are certain laws in Colorado that apply only to bicyclists. It is a cyclist’s responsibility to know and obey these laws:
Motor vehicle operators must learn and obey Colorado’s laws connected to bicyclists. For example, drivers are required to maintain a distance of at least three feet when following behind or passing bicyclists. Bicyclists are vulnerable road users that deserve respect and care from vehicle drivers. Breaking any of Colorado’s traffic laws could cause a bicycle accident.
If you get injured in a bicycle accident in Lakewood and wish to file a claim, your first step is to contact the car insurance company of the driver who struck you. Notify them of the accident and make an initial complaint. You do not need to know or give them all of the crash details at this point. Then, contact an attorney to help you with the demand letter.
The demand letter is a letter that you send to the defendant’s insurance company with a description of your complaint, a breakdown of your losses and a specific amount of money that you are demanding to resolve your legal conflict. The demand letter should also include a sentence stating that you are prepared to go to court if your demands are not met.
After receiving your claim and demand letter, the insurance company will open an investigation. The insurance company should respond to your claim promptly and come to a decision in a reasonable time. If your claim is accepted, your case will enter into settlement negotiations. Most bicycle accident cases in Lakewood are resolved at this stage with a successful insurance settlement.
If your claim gets denied or the insurance company refuses to offer a fair amount, you may need to file a lawsuit. To file a bicycle accident lawsuit in Lakewood, you or your lawyer will need to fill out the correct claims form and submit it to the Municipal Court in the City of Lakewood by the deadline. The courthouse address is 445 S. Allison Parkway, Lakewood, CO, and the phone number is (303) 987-7400.
You deserve answers after being injured in a bicycle accident in Lakewood, Colorado. At The Fang Law Firm, we will listen to your story and give you information and advice that you can trust. If we believe your case has merit, our Lakewood bike accident attorneys can help you with the claims filing process and compensation negotiations. We will do what it takes to achieve justice on your behalf. Please contact us online or call (720) 379-6363 today to request a free consultation.
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