Proving Fault in Colorado Motorcycle Accidents
People who are hurt in Colorado motorcycle accidents often face financial hardships. The cost of medical care, coupled with lost wages due to time off work, can create significant strain for recovering cyclists.
During this stressful time, there’s some good news. In Colorado, motorcycle accident victims may be entitled to compensation for their losses from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Prior to 2003, Colorado was a no-fault state, meaning that motorcyclists turned to their own insurance companies to claim compensation after an auto accident. Under a no-fault policy, motorists obtain damages from their own insurer, regardless of who was at fault for the crash.
Today, Colorado operates under a fault-based system. Motorcyclists must now file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company for compensation. But they also must be able to establish that the other driver was responsible for the crash.
Proving fault can be a challenge, but an experienced Denver motorcycle accident lawyer from The Sawaya Law Firm can help build a strong and solid case for compensation for you.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
What are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Most motorcycle accidents are caused by the recklessness of other drivers. The legal term for this type of kind of carelessness is negligence. When drivers do not exercise caution around motorcyclists, the results can be deadly.
The top causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Dooring: These wrecks occur when a driver of a passenger vehicle parks and opens his or her door into the path of an oncoming motorcycle.
- Unsafe lane changes: Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than other cars on the roads. Drivers must be especially careful when checking their blind spots. When they make an unsafe lane change and strike a cyclist, they can be held accountable for any injuries that occur.
- Drunk driving: Driving under the influence is illegal and can result in both criminal and civil penalties.
- Speeding: Vehicles traveling at high speeds need more time to stop. If a speeding driver hits a motorcyclist, the violent force of impact can lead to life-threatening trauma.
- Tailgating: Following too closely does not give drivers enough time to slow down or stop if a biker needs to brake suddenly. Tailgating is a common cause of rear-end collisions.
- Left turns: Drivers that make left turns at intersections must check to ensure that there are no oncoming vehicles. Unfortunately, they sometimes do not spot cyclists and pull out in front of them, causing a crash.
- Motorcycle defects: Faulty motorcycles may indicate negligence on the part of the motorcycle manufacturer or the maker of defective motorcycle parts.
If you’ve been hurt in a Colorado motorcycle wreck, a proven lawyer at The Sawaya Law Firm can investigate your case and identify who is to blame. Then we can begin the process of crafting a claim that explains why you deserve maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Aside from a helmet and protective gear, cyclists simply do not have the same protection in a crash that occupants of a passenger car enjoy. As a result, motorcyclists often suffer some of the worst injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis
- Road rash
- Facial fractures
- Permanent disfigurement
- Multiple broken bones
- Limb amputations
- Permanent nerve damage
It’s rare that motorcyclists escape an accident with little or no injuries. Even when this is the case, it is crucial that bikers seek medical attention so that a doctor can examine them for undetected injuries.
How Do You Know Who is At Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?
The moments after a motorcycle crash can be disorienting. You may not know who was at fault, especially if you were critically injured or knocked unconscious. Fortunately, a motorcycle accident lawyer knows where to look to find the answers you need.
The types of evidence that can be useful in determining fault in a motorcycle crash include:
- Police report: Although police reports are typically considered inadmissible in court, they often indicate the officer’s assessment of who was at fault. This can be helpful when filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
- Witnesses: Eyewitness testimony is considered objective, which makes for powerful evidence. Always collect the names and contact information of anyone who saw the crash.
- Photos: Pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, injuries, weather conditions, and any environmental factors (such as road debris or traffic signals) can help prove who was at fault for the crash.
- Video surveillance: Many businesses have video cameras that may have captured the accident in real time.
Collecting evidence is critical to a motorcycle accident claim, but hard to do from a hospital bed. That’s why it’s so important to contact a Denver motorcycle crash attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can get started on your case right away so that important evidence is not lost or destroyed.
Do I Need a Police Report After a Motorcycle Accident?
Colorado law requires that all motorists report any auto accident that results in injury, death, or property damage. There is little chance that you will not become injured or that your bike will not sustain significant damage after a crash, so you should contact the police immediately after a motorcycle accident.
Am I Partially at Fault if I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
In Colorado, only motorcyclists under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet. But it’s very likely that the insurance company will argue that you are partially at fault for your injuries if you were not wearing a helmet. This is not true. You can still hold the insurance company accountable for paying the full amount of compensation you deserve, helmet or not.
Our Colorado Motorcycle Accident Lawyers are Here for You
The trusted Denver motorcycle accident attorneys at The Sawaya Law Firm have represented the interests of two-wheel drivers in Colorado for more than 40 years. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, we know what it takes to prove who was at fault and why you deserve full and fair compensation.
Ready to learn more about how we can help? Contact us online or call now for a free consultation.
Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.