Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Denver, Colorado
Everyone on the road is at risk of getting in an accident. But no one faces the same level of danger as motorcyclists.
As a motorcycle rider, you have minimal protection compared to drivers of the cars and other vehicles around them, which is why you’re more likely to suffer catastrophic and life-altering injuries when an accident occurs. This damage could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. But if the accident wasn’t your fault, you’re already going through enough—you shouldn’t have to pay the price.
At the Law Offices of Malcolm B. Seawell, we’re committed to helping injury victims pursue the compensation they deserve. Our motorcycle accident attorney in Denver, Colorado, strives to provide the best possible service for every client we represent. We handle cases throughout the Denver Metro area, including Castle Rock, Arvada, Golden, Aurora, Brighton, Littleton, Lakewood, Boulder, Highlands Ranch, and Englewood.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When involved in an accident, motorcyclists are more susceptible to severe and life-threatening injuries because their bikes lack the protective features found in cars, vans, and trucks, such as seatbelts, airbags, and metal frames. Their injuries can be even worse when they don't wear their helmet or other protective equipment. Some of the most common injuries motorcyclists suffer in accidents and collisions include:
traumatic brain injury
spinal cord injuries
loss of limbs
In worst-case scenarios, the injuries can be fatal. If you've suffered in a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim and pursue compensation.
Colorado Motorcycle Laws
In Colorado, motorcyclists must obey the same traffic laws as other motorists on our roads. However, there are also special laws they should be aware of:
Helmets: Colorado law does not require riders aged 18 and older to wear helmets, according to the website of the Colorado Department of Transportation. However, this does not change the fact that a helmet could save your life and reduce the severity of head trauma when an accident occurs.
Passengers: When riding with passengers, the motorcycle must be equipped with footrests for passengers. Passengers are never allowed to ride in front of the operator. They must be seated either behind the operator or on the side (side cars).
Lane splitting: Colorado law makes lane splitting illegal. It means that motorcyclists are not allowed to ride between lanes of traffic or pass/overtake other vehicles in the same lane. However, a motorcycle can share a lane with another motorcycle.
Clinging: Motorcyclists cannot attach their bikes to other vehicles.
Whether or not these and other traffic laws were followed can affect the determination of fault in a motorcycle accident. Consider speaking with a motorcycle accident attorney to fully investigate your collision and determine if all parties obeyed the relevant traffic laws.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
No two motorcycle accidents are alike. While there are many possible causes of motorcycle accidents, some of them are more common than others:
Sudden stops. Rear-end collisions are common for motorcyclists. Sudden stops by other motorists give little time for a motorcyclist to react, especially in heavy traffic.
Speeding. A large percentage of motorcycle crashes occur due to excessive speeding. High speeds make it difficult to react to changes in road conditions or traffic patterns. Speeding also increases stopping distance, decreases reaction time, and makes maneuvers more difficult.
Inclement weather. Rain, snow, fog, and other weather conditions pose a significant threat to motorcyclists. Wet surfaces reduce the tire’s contact with the road, increasing the risk of skidding.
Driving under the influence. Impaired drivers are a menace on the roads. They have a reduced sense of perception and judgment, slower reaction time, and impaired coordination. Drunk drivers/riders can cause catastrophic damage to those around them.
Improper left-hand turns. Left-hand turns can be dangerous for motorcyclists. When turning left, motorists may misjudge the motorcyclist’s speed and distance, causing an accident. Motorists must ensure that they are always visible, wear reflective gear, and use signals well in advance.
Illegal lane changes. Weaving in and out of traffic can increase a motorcyclist’s collision risk. As mentioned earlier, lane splitting is illegal in Colorado. However, some riders may still attempt to ride between lanes of traffic.
Dooring. This occurs when the occupant of a parked car opens the door into a rider’s path, causing the rider to collide with the door or swerve into traffic to avoid it.
Reckless driving/riding. This includes driving or riding too close to other vehicles, unsafe passing, aggressively changing lanes, and other dangerous maneuvers.
No matter how your accident occurred, you should consider working with a motorcycle accident attorney in your jurisdiction to increase your chances of receiving fair compensation.
Recovering Damages After a Motorcycle Accident in Colorado
Colorado is an at-fault car insurance state, which means the party that caused the accident is responsible for any damages resulting from the crash. The at-fault party’s insurance company will typically pay for the other party’s injuries and damages.
Proving negligence is essential in determining fault after a motorcycle accident. Negligence is the failure to act with reasonable care, resulting in harm to someone else. In order to recover damages, you must show that the other party:
had a duty to act with reasonable care;
breached that duty by acting negligently; and
their conduct caused the accident and your injuries.
Colorado also follows a modified comparative fault rule. Thus, if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover compensation, but your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you’re pursuing $10,000 in damages and the court found you to be 10% at fault for your motorcycle accident, then you would only be able to recover $9,000.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you can file a personal injury claim to recover damages such as medical bills, lost income, property damage, and emotional anguish. If someone you love died in a motorcycle accident caused by another party’s negligence, you can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages such as funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and more.
The statute of limitations for motor vehicle claims is three years in Colorado. For wrongful death cases, the deadline to file is only two years. Don’t wait to get the justice you and your loved ones deserve. Call our team today to partner with an attorney who cares about your future and will fight for your maximum recovery.
Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Denver, Colorado
At the Law Offices of Malcolm B. Seawell, we understand the importance of our clients’ situations and the nuances of representing motorcyclists. Our motorcycle accident attorney in Denver, Colorado, can help you secure the compensation you need to move forward with your life after a devastating crash. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation.