One of the most dangerous and life-threatening vehicular accidents are those involving motorcycles. Because these vehicles do not have the protection of an enclosure as other cars do and the lack of protective gear such as seatbelts, motorcycle accidents cause direct injuries and damage to a victim. The injuries that can be sustained are serious and catastrophic.
Every year, there are over a hundred deaths in Colorado caused by motorcycle accidents. And even for survivors of accidents, the serious injuries and bodily damage can a victim is impacted in various aspects of his or her life. This includes mentally, emotionally, physically, and most of all, financially.
And the worst possible scenario is if a victim has to go through all this physical and psychological pain despite the accident not being their fault.
Anyone who suffers harm in a motorcycle accident because of the negligence or fault of another has the right to seek damages and get compensation from the motorcyclist at fault. If you or anyone you know is a victim, you need to speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Fort Collins immediately.
Hiring an attorney can help you make a claim and get the financial aid that you deserve in the form of damages, which include:
- Hospital and medical bills
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, whether physical, emotional, or psychological
- Decrease in the quality of life.
Our injury lawyers are dedicated to helping you make the claim for what you rightfully deserve. We’ll work with you so that you can lighten your burden and focus on your recovery.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are serious and devastating. Riding a motorcycle is a risk in itself because there is no outer enclosure protecting the rider from other motorists or environmental factors. There is also the lack of seatbelts and other protective gear that can lessen the impact of collision.
The injuries that a victim sustains can be severe and fatal. Statistics show that death by motorcycle accidents are 27 times more likely than that in car accidents.
A lot of factors can cause motorcycle accidents, such as:
- Abrupt stops. Sudden and abrupt stops can cause rear-end accidents, especially when a motorcyclist is driving too close to another vehicle.
- Changing lanes without care. Because motorcycles are so small, it is so easy to miss them when they change lanes. But if changing lanes isn’t done with care and foresight, it can cause serious injuries for the motorcyclist.
- Driving under the influence. Balance and focus are two of the most important things to have when driving a motorcycle. Coincidentally, these are also the two things that become clouded when under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Hence, driving under the influence is twice or even three times more dangerous than driving sober.
- Lack of experience. Not everyone can ride a motorcycle. So those who have no knowledge of it or any experience whatsoever should not be on the road. This also poses harm to other motorists.
- Lane splitting. It’s common for motorcyclists to drive in between two lanes of traffic. In Colorado, this is illegal because of the evident danger that it poses.
- Motorcycle defects. Defective motorcycles or its parts can also be a huge cause of accidents on the road. In these instances, the manufacturer of the motorcycle can be held liable for damages sustained in an accident.
- Speeding. Motorcycles are known to be the epitome and speed and thrill. But this is the leading cause of accidents for all types of vehicles. Fast driving speeds can cause bigger and more devastating impacts.
- Unsafe road conditions. Stability and balance are compromised by unsafe and uneven road conditions. Things like cracked pavements and debris on the road can cause a motorcyclist to lose control of his or her vehicle.
Motorcycle Laws in Colorado
To make the road safer for motorcyclists and other drivers and passengers, Colorado has set up some laws that motorcycle drivers must observe while on the road.
Only two people are allowed to ride one motorcycle at a time. The passenger must sit behind the driver in order not to obstruct the driver’s control of the vehicle. Instances where the passenger sits in front is not allowed in the State. However, side cars can be utilized.
Further, motorcycles must have footrests installed for the passengers. These should be situated a few feet away from the drivers’ footrests. At all times, the passenger must keep their feet planted on the footrest for safety.
Wearing protective gear, specifically helmets, while riding a motorcycle is basic knowledge. In fact, this is proven to save lives, especially in case of motorcycle accidents. A whopping 65% of motorcycle-related deaths are attributed to not wearing helmets.
However, helmets are not required in the State of Colorado, though highly encouraged. But it is mandatory for riders who are under the age of 18.
While helmets are not mandatory for adults 18 years old and above, they are legally required to wear protective eye gear such as goggles, visors, helmets, or eyeglasses made of plastic or safety glass.
When on the road, certain practices are taken seriously by Colorado authorities. These road practices are illegal in Colorado:
- Clinging or attaching the motorcycle to another vehicle
- Overtaking other vehicles in the same lane
- Lane splitting or sharing with cars. But motorcycles are allowed to do so with other motorcyclists.
Colorado and Fort Collins Motorcycle Accident Facts and Statistics
Motorcycle accidents are very frequent not only in Colorado, but all around the world. Here are some alarming statistics involving motorcycle accidents in Colorado and Fort Collins.
- As of September 2020, there have been 100 motorcycle accidents in Colorado. This is 12% above the number in the same month in 2019.
- 23% of all deaths in Colorado involve motorcycle accidents.
- 78% of fatal motorcycle accidents are composed of riders ages 16 to 55.
- 94% of motorcycle accident victims are men.
- 35% of fatal accidents were caused by driving under the influence of alcohol.
- 80% of accidents involve riders who did not wear helmets.
- 35% of fatal accidents involve speeding.
Motorcycle accidents are prevalent in the State of Colorado. This year, the counties with the most motorcycle deaths include El Paso, Adams, and Jefferson. Fort Collins was a leading district with the most motorcycle deaths in 2015.
The number of motorcycle accidents are increasing every year. And with this rapid pace, authorities are now, more than ever, encouraging the wearing of helmets and taking a training course on motorcycle riding.
What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
Should you find yourself in a motorcycle accident, the first thing that you should do is to get medical attention. Even if you feel fine, you might have sustained a serious injury. It’s better to be safe than sorry later on when you find out that you made your injury worse.
You never know when a motorcycle accident can happen. So learn to be prepared and equip yourself with the knowledge of what to do in case of an unforeseen circumstance:
- Move to safety
It’s not far-fetched to assume that a motorcycle accident can cause another accident with other vehicles. If possible, move yourself out of the road and get to safety. If you are badly injured, wait for help.
- Keep your protective gear on
The adrenaline and shock that you sustain after an accident can prevent you from noticing that you’re badly injured. It’s a safe bet to keep your protective gear on to avoid excarberating your injuries, if any. Wait for medical help before removing your gear.
- Seek medical assistance
If you are capable of doing so, call 911 immediately after the accident. Let the professionals know if you feel any pain, pressure, or discomfort at any part of your body. The usual injuries in a mild motorcycle accident include internal bleeding and broken bones.
There can be instances when the injuries will start to become evident only days or weeks after the accident. Should this happen, visit your doctor immediately.
- Speak with your lawyer
You never know, but you might be entitled to compensation after the motorcycle accident. Speak to your attorney as soon as possible. They can help you claim your insurance, make a settlement with the other party, gather evidence, etc.
Who Is At Fault For Your Motorcycle Accident in Colorado?
Motorcycle accidents can be caused by a variety of different actors. And the person at fault can differ on a case to case basis. Some of the common incidents involve negligence or the lack of care by the driver or other motorists. Some other people who can cause and be sued for a motorcycle accident include:
- The motorcycle driver
- The driver of the other vehicle/s involved
- Municipality or government. This is in case of poor road design or unsafe road conditions.
- The manufacturer of the motorcycle. This is in case of poor manufacturing, bad quality, defective parts, etc.
- Mechanics who worked on the motorcycle. They can be sued for damages if they negligently worked on your motorcycle and it can be considered as a proximate cause of the accident.
The State of Colorado follows the principle of comparative fault. This means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still claim a certain amount of compensation based on the degree of your fault or negligence.
But without an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, you may have a difficult time claiming the compensation that you rightfully deserve. Hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to help you make your rightful claim.
What To Do If You Suffered Injuries in a Colorado Motorcycle Crash?
Your first priority after a motorcycle accident is to attend to your health. Seeking medical care is at the top of the hierarchy of things to do after an accident, especially if you’ve suffered injuries.
You may also be entitled to be compensated for the damages that you have sustained. And the quicker you attend to these matters, the better your chances of recovering your rightful compensation.
Speak to one of our motorcycle accident lawyers as soon as you can after the accident. Your attorney can help you file a police report, document all expenses, medical treatments, etc., claim your insurance, and gather evidence related to the accident.
If you can, take photos of the crash, the damages, and the injuries that you have sustained. Make sure to get the information of the other driver immediately. Ask for their names, addresses, and contact number. It would also be helpful to get the names and numbers of eye witnesses in the crash site.
All these pieces of evidence will help you make a better and stronger claim and get the award for damages that you deserve and are entitled to.
Choosing a Colorado Attorney With Experience With Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
Motorcycle accident lawsuits can get very complex. But the complexities of the law, the at fault parties, the injury, and liabilities should not be a hindrance to you getting the compensation that you deserve.
It’s important to find an attorney who has experience and knowledge to handle sensitive and complex cases involving motorcycle accidents. Our lawyers have handled a vast number of cases like yours. We are aggressive, strategic, and goal-oriented — qualities that will help you make a strong claim and move your life forward. Our experiences will bring you the highest possible value and the best possible outcome.
We also have strong relationships and networks with the best medical experts and professionals in Colorado who can help you get top-of-the-line medical care and treatments after a motorcycle accident.
We will handle every aspect of your case for you, from explaining the process, communicating with your insurance company, obtaining reports and evidence, to achieving a settlement. With us backing you up, your load is significantly lightened and you have the time and confidence to focus on your recovery.
How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?
A motorcycle accident lawsuit can involve extensive processes and procedures. The timeline of it depends highly on the complexities of your case.
A lawsuit involving motorcycle accidents starts with filing a claim for damages, where things like the fault of the other driver and the worth of the damages will need to be proven. When the evidence clearly shows that the other driver was at fault, the case can end there and the at-fault party’s insurance company can immediately decide to approve your claim and pay the amount of damages.
However, there are also instances when the evidence is inconclusive, making it hard for the insurance company to approve a claim. They can try to avoid payment or lessen the amount by shifting the blame to you or offering a lower compensation amount.
This is where an attorney will be very helpful. They can help strengthen your claim and yield a fair settlement. Should you go through a settlement process, it can take as long as 4 to 6 weeks to resolve. When a settlement is reached, you will be able to receive the money within five to seven days.
If, on the other hand, a settlement is not reached, you and your attorney will have to take the case to court. This is where the lengthy procedure happens. The discovery phase alone takes 6-12 months — not to mention the trial that can take as long as 2 years to be resolved.
That’s why it’s important to get the best motorcycle accident lawyer to help you with your case. The sooner you can hire an experienced and expert lawyer, the sooner you can get the compensation that you are entitled to.
How Much Do Motorcycle Accident Cases Settle For?
The settlement amount depends on the complexity of the case and the conclusiveness of the evidence presented. The experience and expertise of the lawyer you are working with also comes into play, along with the liability of the parties, the damages actually sustained, and the sources of recovery.
On average, motorcycle accident settlements amount to $200,000 more or less.
Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Motorcycle accident cases can get very overwhelming. The complexities of the law, the facts of the case, the presence of conclusive evidence, etc. all play a part in determining whether or not you’re going to get the compensation that you are entitled to.
Many victims who do not hire motorcycle accident lawyers end up having a difficult time making a claim or settling with the insurance company of the liable party. Your injuries are serious and burdensome enough — you don’t need the added weight and stress of your lawsuit to hinder your path to recovery.
Having a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you make a stronger claim and increase the chances of you getting the value of the damages you are entitled to. Our lawyers will handle every aspect of the case for you so that you can focus on what’s important — your recovery.
We put you first and are dedicated to helping you move forward with your life. Contact our lawyers today.