Motorcycle crashes have a higher rate of fatalities and injuries than other types of motor vehicle accidents as riders lack the physical protection provided by an enclosed vehicle. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there were 125 motorcyclist traffic deaths in Colorado alone in a recent year.
If you have been seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the Denver motorcycle accident lawyers at The Fang Law Firm can help. Your best course of action is to consult with an experienced Denver personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Our experienced Denver motorcycle collision lawyers can investigate your motorcycle wreck to determine cause and liability. We can obtain and preserve evidence in your case, such as police reports and medical records, and assess the full extent of your losses, past and future. Our trial lawyers can negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf for a full and fair settlement. If necessary, we will fight aggressively in court for the financial recovery you deserve.
All motorcycle riders in Colorado must follow certain laws and regulations to operate their vehicle safely and ensure the safety of others on the road. The Colorado Department of Transportation outlines clear regulations for motorcycle riders in the state on their website. According to the agency, motorcycle drivers must obey the same traffic laws applicable to other motor vehicles. These laws include following traffic signals, coming to a complete stop at intersections, and honoring the right-of-way.
The Colorado DOT does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet if you are over the age of 18 while operating or riding on a motorcycle. However, any passengers or cyclists under the age of 18 must wear a helmet approved by the DOT.
In addition, the state highly recommends motorcyclists wear a helmet to reduce their risk of a fatal traffic collision. One recent study from the University of Michigan found that while the number of motorcycle deaths over a two-year period did not increase significantly, the fatality rate of those not wearing a helmet during a crashed was 5.4% — double the 2.8% rate of those wearing helmets.
While Colorado law does not require helmets, all motorcycle operators and passengers must wear some form of eye protection. The state recommends using a visor on a motorcycle helmet or goggles made of safety glass. You cannot rely on windshields to provide this protection.
In terms of insurance requirements, Colorado requires motorcyclists to purchase minimum amounts of coverage.
You could opt for additional insurance to cover other expenses that may come after an accident.
Motorcycle accident claims face additional issues in the settlement process. Those involved in motorcycle crashes can face additional prejudices and liability issues.
Many people have a bias against motorcyclists due to misrepresentation and the actions of a few reckless individuals. As a result, many juries can apply unfair biases to motorcycle riders and reduce their settlement claims.
Motorcycle injuries are often more serious than those sustained in car accidents. This reality is in part due to the fact that cars can protect their passengers from outside
collisions, acting as a buffer between the impact and the people inside. Motorcyclists do not have this protection, so they can sustain severe injuries. Common motorcycle accident injuries include road rash, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries.
Many jurors in motorcycle accident cases do not have a basic understanding of how motorcycles operate and the experiences of motorcyclists on the road. As a result, they cannot accurately determine who is at fault for the accident. Car accidents are much easier for jurors to examine, since most of them drive a car.
Insurance companies can lowball or outright deny compensation to motorcyclists. It is difficult to determine liability in these crashes, and the company may try to prove that you were at fault for the accident.
Hiring a motorcycle accident attorney in Denver to represent your case can remedy several of these issues. Your attorney will be able to negotiate with insurance companies to reach the settlement that you need for a full recovery.
In addition, your Denver motorcycle collision attorney can appropriately calculate your damages and the extent of your injuries to argue for full compensation. Your attorney can also assist in the juror selection process, removing those who may have a bias against motorcyclists and educating jurors on the realities of motorcycle riding.
If you suffer injuries due to a motorcycle crash in Colorado, the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company could owe you compensatory damages to cover your economic and non-economic losses. As a motorcycle accident victim, you could recover compensation for a variety of expenses.
Colorado state law does not limit the amount of economic damages, such as medical bills and lost income. However, the state does cap non-economic damages for pain and suffering at $540,000 for most cases. If clear and convincing evidence is available to justify non-economic losses, $1,080,000 is the damage cap.
Many motorcycle crashes result in fatalities as well as injuries. If your loved one died from injuries sustained in a traffic accident with a motorcycle, you or your loved one’s immediate family, or both, can claim damages for several types of losses.
The Colorado Wrongful Death Act does not put a cap on tangible economic damages. Non-economic damages are subject to a cap of approximately $468,000 after inflation. However, the courts will not award punitive damages for negligent or reckless behavior in wrongful death cases.
Colorado courts may also award solatium (consolation) damages in the amount of $67,250 in lieu of non-economic or non-tangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of quality of life. Solatium damages are meant to compensate the deceased’s immediate family for pain and suffering, as well as loss of companionship and consortium.
As reported by the Insurance Information Institute (III):
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2018.
Many motorcycle crashes are caused by other drivers. Common causes of motorcycle crashes include:
You may have a personal injury claim for compensation if your motorcycle crash was caused by the negligent or willful conduct of another party. Most motorcycle accident claims are based on negligence – the failure of another party to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would use under similar circumstances. The responsible party for motorcycle accident injuries may vary. It may be another driver who caused the crash, the manufacturer of the motorcycle if defective design, manufacturing, or assembly contributed to the accident or another negligent party.
Colorado law does not require motorcyclists over the age of 18 to wear a helmet. If you have minor passengers or are under the age of 18, you must wear an approved helmet. Even though the law allows you to operate the vehicle helmet-free, failure to wear one could work against you in the courtroom.
The defense attorney may use the fact that you did not wear a helmet as evidence of negligence on your behalf. The insurance company may refuse to pay for injuries sustained to your head and brain because you did not wear a helmet. The jury may develop a biased picture of you as a reckless driver.
A Denver motorcycle accident lawyer can help you counter these arguments, remind appropriate bodies of state laws, and craft a compelling case in your favor.
At The Fang Law Firm in Denver, our motorcycle accident attorneys are tough advocates for injured motorcyclists. Contact us today if you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault. We can guide you through the legal process and fight for maximum compensation. Our legal team serves various areas of Colorado, including Boulder, Denver, Aurora, Fort Collins, Littleton, and Parker.
Our legal team offers free consultations and handles all our cases on a contingency-fee basis. Pay us no legal fees until our Denver motorcycle accident lawyers recover compensation for you.