Motorcycle Accidents : Negligence Laws | Denver Injury Lawyers
Strictly speaking, negligence law in Colorado is the same for motorcycle accidents as it is for other types of accidents. The outcome of a case, however, depends on the application of the law to the facts and motorcycle accidents typically differ from other types of accidents.
Indeed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the fatality rate for motorcycle travel is many times higher than the fatality rate for automobiles.
Elements of Negligence
To establish a negligence claim for a motorcycle accident under Colorado law, you must prove four elements:
- Breach of duty;
- Causation; and
Since every driver has a duty to exercise reasonable care on Colorado roads, you can establish both duty and breach by showing that the defendant’s driving exhibited a lack of due care. It is particularly common for automobile drivers to cause accidents because they are not keeping a proper lookout for motorcycles. To establish causation, you must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty actually caused the accident. Finally, you must establish damages – the exact amount of your losses due to the accident. You will need documentary evidence of your medical expenses, lost work time, and other expenses such as additional personal assistance, transportation expenses related to medical care, and child care that only became necessary as a result of the accident.
Evidence of Negligence
It is critical to build an evidentiary case to establish negligence. This may be done through photographic or video evidence from the accident scene, police reports, witness testimony, and accident reconstruction. By working carefully with a skilled motorcycle injury attorney, it is possible to develop an effective legal strategy to demonstrate that the defendant was more than 50 percent responsible for the accident.
Damages and Comparative Negligence in Colorado
Your damages claim includes both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are tangible expenses that you incurred as a result of the accident, such as medical bills and lost work time. Non-economic damages compensate you for psychological losses – physical pain, depression, anxiety, and other forms of intangible distress.
Once your damages have been established, a Colorado court will subtract an amount equal to the extent, if any, you share in the blame for the accident. If the court decides you were 15 percent at fault and your damages were $100,000, for example, it will reduce the amount of compensation actually paid from $100,000 to $85,000. Under the law of the state, if you were 50 percent or more at fault, there will be no recovery.
Mitigation of Damages
A court may refuse to award you any damages that you reasonably could have avoided. If you failed to wear your motorcycle helmet, for example, the court might deduct an amount from your damages that is equal to the losses you suffered because of your failure to wear your helmet.
Motorcycle accidents commonly result in the death of the motorcyclist because he or she lacks the physical protection of a car or other motor vehicle. If you are the spouse, parent, or child of a motorcycle accident victim, you might be able to file a lawsuit for wrongful death based on a negligence claim. There is a priority of who may file and when that action may be brought, so it is important to consult with a skilled Denver motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
Zinda Law Group Represents Those Injured in a Denver Motorcycle Accident
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be going through a very difficult time right now. The last problem you need to be added to your current woes is the prospect of long-term financial insecurity. Zinda Law Group is a Denver law firm experienced in motorcycle injury law. We are well-respected by our many clients. As your personal injury attorneys, we will zealously represent your interests to seek every penny of the compensation to which you are entitled. Call us today at 303-800-1501 to set up a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.