Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Denver
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For some, motorcycles can be a fast and fuel-efficient alternative to driving a car. Unfortunately, traveling by motorbike carries a much higher risk of death or injury than driving the same distance in a car. If you have been injured in an accident, it is important to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to guide you through the legal process and maximize your chances when seeking the compensation you deserve.
You May Be Entitled To Compensation
After an accident, it is essential to follow a few key steps:
1. Seek Medical Treatment
First and foremost, it is vital that you address your medical needs. This means immediately moving out of harm’s way if you can do so to prevent further injuries. Next, assess your injuries and determine whether emergency medical attention is required. Remember that adrenaline can often mask the pain of injuries, meaning it is essential to be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible.
2. Document the Accident
Be as thorough as possible at this step because it is difficult to determine what may be important in the future. Take detailed pictures of any damage to your motorcycle, the other vehicle involved, and the location of the crash. In addition, make sure to get insurance and contact information from the driver of the other vehicle, and the contact information from any potential witnesses.
3. File a Police Report
Regardless of how small the accident seems, it is essential that a report is filed to document exactly what happened. When talking to the police, be as thorough as possible while the events are still fresh in your mind.
4. Contact an Attorney
As soon as possible, contact an attorney who has experience in dealing with auto accident claims. Your attorney may uncover aspects of compensation in their investigation that may lead to a higher settlement; your insurance company is likely not to conduct a thorough investigation into your accident and attempt to settle for as little as possible. It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side, as they can help you build a strong case and seek a fair settlement for you.
How to File A Lawsuit
Follow the proper steps after an accident to protect your legal rights and not hinder your case, where possible:
1. Meet with your Attorney
There are a lot of moving parts involved in any lawsuit or insurance claim, and it is very easy to become overwhelmed with the complexity of the process. Meeting with your attorney will help you feel more at ease, understand the process better and keep you on track so that each step of the process is met.
At Zinda Law Group, we strive to make the process as simple as possible, and if you cannot or prefer not to come to our office to meet, we will come to you – so you can start the process from the comfort of your own home if needed.
2. Collect Information and Calculate Damages
Your attorney will then investigate your case and collect all necessary documents needed to seek compensation. In doing so, they will be able to estimate the value of your claim. To do this, they will work with you in gathering information such as medical bills, other expenses, and police reports.
3. Negotiate with the Insurance Company
At the end of the day, your insurance company is a business. They exist to make money, which unfortunately means that they will try to pay you as little as possible. Armed with your medical records, full diagnosis of your injuries and future medical care, lost earnings and other relevant information, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance companies involved to seek the best possible settlement offer.
4. Going to Trial
Generally, very few cases ever make it to the courtroom—most are settled well before they go to trial. However, if there is no settlement agreement before this stage, then the case may end up being litigated. Your attorney will have the experience and resources needed at this stage will be key and walk you through the steps, fight for you in court to seek maximum compensation for your case.
Motorcycle Crashes and Injuries
Denver Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In the winding mountain roads surrounding Denver, motorcyclists are often at an increased risk of substantial injury. Below are some statistics concerning these types of crashes in Colorado:
- Motorcycle crashes are increasing—from 2013 to 2017, crashes resulting in fatalities increased by 20% in Colorado, and the numbers are still rising.
- In Denver, fatalities peak during the summer months as the weather allows more riders to get on the road.
- While motorcycles account for just 3% of all the vehicles on the road, motorcyclists are killed 26 times more frequently than passenger vehicle occupants.
- Some of the most dangerous roads around Denver for motorcyclists include mountain passes like Rabbit Ears Pass and the Loveland Pass.
Unfortunately, with the rise of cell-phones, more and more people are driving while distracted by technology. An accident caused while a driver was texting will generally be the fault of the distracted driver.
Driving Under the Influence
Drinking, or being under the influence of any other drug, drastically reduces reaction time and decision-making. A driver who is under the influence will generally be at fault for an accident that they are involved in.
Most drivers tend to speed, and it can often seem relatively harmless. However, speeding is still breaking the law, and if speeding is the cause of an accident, then the party who is speeding will generally be at fault.
Running a Stop Sign
All drivers are obligated to follow the rules of the road, and the failure to do so in doing things like running a stop sign or a red light can sometimes cause accidents. If breaking a rule leads to an accident then it is likely that the person who broke it will be liable.
Sudden Unintended Acceleration
Sudden acceleration accidents involving motorcycles happen when the bike suddenly accelerates. This is also known as a sudden, unintended acceleration or SUA. If you were injured in an SUA, you might be entitled to seek compensation from the manufacturer.
Who is at Fault?
In any accident, there will typically be fault assigned to one or more of the involved parties. Determining where the fault lies is an essential step in an accident claim. The potential sources of fault include:
In addition to the general rules of the road, there are specific rules that apply to those traveling by motorbike. These include things like prohibitions against lane-splitting and clinging to another vehicle. If an accident results from a motorcyclist breaking one or more of these rules, then they will typically be the ones at fault.
The Other Driver
In an accident involving another vehicle, the driver of that vehicle is the most likely source of fault if it is not the motorcyclist. As discussed previously, distracted driving, driving under the influence, or merely speeding can all cause collisions with motorcyclists sharing the road.
The City or Township
In some instances, the jurisdiction responsible for the roads where the accident took place may be liable. For example, if a faulty streetlight causes two vehicles to collide, the city or township probably will take on at least some of the fault.
In cases of sudden unintended acceleration, if a defective part of the bike causes this, the manufacturer may be held liable for the accident.
There are a wide variety of injuries that can result from an accident on the road, and it depends largely on the kinds of parties involved. Some of the most commonly suffered injuries are listed below.
Motorcyclists can suffer a wide range of injuries from an accident. The most severe are head injuries, which can range from concussions to cracked skulls. In addition, motorcyclists typically suffer from some road rash from sliding across the pavement, as well as muscular injuries or broken bones.
With the protection of their car, drivers typically do not suffer injuries as severe as the motorcyclist. However, sudden swerving or change of speeds can lead to whiplash or spinal cord injuries.
For young people involved in these accidents, the consequences can be even more severe. Head and neck injuries can result in permanent psychological or physiological problems for children, and children are also at a higher risk of suffering from the emotional effects of an accident.
Passengers on a motorcycle can suffer the same injuries as the motorcyclist. Also, a passenger on a motorcycle adds an added element of complexity to any personal injury suit.
Especially in crowded urban areas like downtown Denver, scooters are gaining popularity as an alternative mode of transportation. However, their small size means drivers do not as quickly identify them, and they can suffer the same injuries as motorcyclists if they are involved in an accident.
In Colorado, many people enjoy cycling as a form of exercise, as well as a cheap mode of transportation. However, where a motorcycle and a bike collide —injuries such as head and neck injuries, as well as road rash and broken bones can occur.
Colorado Motorcycle Laws
- First and foremost, motorcyclists must obey all of the Colorado traffic laws. That being said, there are a few motorbike specific laws to be aware of:
- motorcyclists over the age of 18 are not required to wear helmets, but some form of eye protection is required. • If a passenger is under the age of 18, they must wear a helmet
- If a motorcyclist wants to take a passenger on their bike, footrests must be installed for the passenger, and the passenger must use them.
- Lane-splitting remains illegal in Colorado, although the topic has come before the legislature in recent years.
- Motorcycles can share a lane with one other motorcycle.
If you’ve been injured in an accident on your motorcycle, you’re probably wondering how much money you stand to receive. Generally speaking, to recover anything from a personal injury lawsuit, there must be a party at fault, and you must have suffered damages. Damages can be divided up into two categories:
This category includes things like medical bills, lost earning capacity, and other financial losses. These damages can typically be estimated with a relative degree of certainty.
This category includes things like the pain and suffering caused by an accident. Non-economic damages are difficult to pin down to a specific dollar amount.
Colorado is what is known as a “comparative fault” state, meaning that recoverable damages can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if a court determines that you were 5% at fault for an accident, then you may seek 5% less in damages.
What is the average settlement for a motorcycle accident?
This is dependent upon several factors, including percentage fault, medical bills, and other expenses, lost earnings and future lost earning, the extent of the pain and suffering in each case and your road to recovery. Talk to an attorney for more info on how to calculate the value of your claim.
Legal Time Limits
After an accident occurs, you have a certain amount of time within which to file a lawsuit. This period of time is known as the Statute of Limitations. Denver follows Colorado’s Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations tells us how long a person has to file their claim after an accident. In Colorado, for an accident involving motor vehicles a person has three years to file their claim, which means any suit filed after this period may not be allowed.
However, for accidents involving children, the statute will be “tolled.” Essentially this means that the clock on the statute will not start ticking until the child reaches 18 years of age. However, in the meantime, a parent or legal guardian may bring a claim forward on their behalf.
Our Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help
Zinda Law Group of Denver has a team of experienced and successful motorcycle accident lawyers willing to fight for you. Our attorneys can help you understand how to negotiate a motorcycle accident claim. We are fully aware of what insurance companies might do to try and shift liability for an accident over onto the motorcyclist.
An insurer might want a statement, but you shouldn’t give one without first speaking to a motorcycle injury attorney. The law doesn’t require you to give a statement, and the opposing insurer will only try to use that statement against you in the future.
If you were injured or a loved one died in an accident in or around Denver, don’t wait too long to contact the personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group. The law imposes strict time limitations, and evidence can get lost or disappear. As the victim of an accident, you deserve full and fair compensation.
Call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a Denver motorcycle accident lawyer.