Riding a bicycle is a fun and healthy way to get around. Unfortunately, there are risks involved and accidents happen. A bicycle accident can lead to serious injuries, high costs, and even emotional damage. You need a Colorado bicycle accident lawyer to help you recover while making sure any negligent party is held to account.
Talk to a Colorado Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you’re still recovering physically and emotionally from a recent crash, don’t settle for sympathy. Let a Colorado bicycle accident lawyer fight for the compensation you’re entitled to. Call 303-688-0944 for your free case assessment, o lláme al 720-359-2442 para hablar con alguien en español.
Common Bicycle Crash Injuries
Bicycling accidents should never be taken lightly. Even non-fatal crashes can cause severe and long-lasting medical issues such as:
- head trauma
- spinal damage
- crushed limbs
- broken ribs and hips
- severe whiplash
- internal organ damage, and more.
How Much Can an Injured Bicyclist Be Compensated?
Bicycle injury claims are always unique to the particular accident. However, a bicyclist struck by a motor vehicle can usually recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including:
- immediate and long-term medical expenses
- lost wages or reduced earning potential
- additional financial costs, such as home modifications, transportation, and childcare expenses
- non-economic damages for pain and suffering
Determining Negligence After a Colorado Bicycle Accident
Colorado law follows a four-step process for determining negligence in personal injury lawsuits. But in bicycle accident situations, especially when a motor vehicle is involved, it more or less breaks down to two questions:
One: Did the motorist or offending party violate or fail to observe state traffic laws? And …
Two: Did the motorist’s failure to follow traffic laws cause the accident, injuries, and continued pain and suffering to the cyclist?
That’s the long and short of making a plausible negligence claim after a Colorado bicycle accident.
Duty of Care
Plenty of rules detail what bicycles and motor vehicles should and should not do when sharing the state’s roadways. Therefore, each has a duty of care — a moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of others — to watch for and give ample operating space to the other.
However, due to cyclists’ status as vulnerable road users, or VRUs, motor vehicle drivers tend to be found negligent more often when accidents between the two occur.
When Motor Vehicles Can Be at Fault in Bicycle Accidents
A motorist who fails to observe general traffic and safety laws can be found liable for injury and damages, whether they caused an accident with another vehicle, pedestrian, or bicycle.
Additionally, drivers can be found liable for the following careless or reckless behaviors when sharing the roadways with bicyclists:
Intruding on Bike Lanes
Bicycle lanes are there to give cyclists their own space while improving the safety of everyone who shares the road.
Unfortunately, motorists misuse these lanes by parking on them, making sudden right turns without yielding to bicycle traffic, or using them to pass the vehicle in front of them.
Many serious, yet avoidable, accidents are caused by motorists simply opening a left-side door in high-traffic areas without first checking for bicycles that might be too close to adjust to this sudden hazard.
Failure to observe this rule is a Class B traffic infraction. C.R.S. § 42-4-1207
Crowding the Bicyclist
Colorado law requires that any motorist traveling in the same direction as a bicycle must allow at least three feet of space between when passing the cyclist. C.R.S § 42-4-1003
Any motorist that harasses or threatens a bicycle rider by driving too close to them or attempting to impede the cyclist’s progress commits a Class A traffic violation. C.R.S § 42-4-1008.5
Cyclists Also Can Be at Fault in Car-Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle riders in Colorado have the same rights and privileges as other vehicles on the roads. They also have the same responsibility to observe general traffic and safety laws or else be found at least partially liable for accidents they’re involved in.
Generally, cyclists must:
- maintain as much distance as safely possible to the right of motor vehicle traffic on two-way roads,
- maintain a safe distance to the left of cars on one-way roads, and
- avoid blocking traffic, especially when riding in pairs or groups.
Colorado Bicycle Accident Numbers
As the population of Colorado continues to grow, the roadways, city streets, sidewalks, and bike trails become more crowded and, unfortunately, more dangerous for bicycle riders.
Colorado Department of Transportation data shows that since 2010, 970 cyclists a year are injured in accidents, and an additional 13 per year die from those accidents.
Get a Colorado Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Your Corner
If you’ve been injured in a Colorado bicycle accident and you’re wondering if you should file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party, the answer is yes. Robinson & Henry’s experienced legal team can examine the facts of your case and help you get compensated. Call 303-688-0944 to begin your free case assessment. Si gustarÍa hablar con nosotros en español, por favor llámenos al 720-359-2442.