Motorcycle accidents are different than ordinary car accidents because a motorcyclist is easily injured and in more danger without the protection of a vehicle.
Just like with any car accident, there are motorcycle accidents that are the fault of the person on the motorcycle and accidents that are the other driver’s fault. In some crashes, a person isn’t at fault but a road or other outside factor.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a motorcycle accident attorney Colorado trusts to help you recover damages. Our Denver motorcycle accident injury lawyer is ready to help you as soon as you schedule your free initial consultation.
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Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
When you understand the common causes of motorcycle accidents, you can do more to protect yourself and be vigilant on the road. It’s not possible for you to prevent all accidents but knowing what to watch out for may help reduce your risk.
Head-on Collisions: Many motorcycle accidents occur due to a head-on collision. This is a big deal because head-on collisions are often deadly for the motorcycle driver.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting: If you’re in traffic and it’s stopped or moving slowly, you may think it’s harmless to drive between two lanes to get where you’re going faster. This is called lane splitting, and it’s a common cause of accidents. If you have an accident while lane splitting, you need a good motorcycle accident lawyer to help you establish proof you aren’t solely at fault for the accident.
Other Car Making a Left Turn: Almost half of all motorcycle-car accidents occur because the other car made a left turn. The car then hits the motorcycle when the motorcycle is passing the car, going straight in an intersection, or trying to overtake the car. For the most part, the car making the left turn will be at fault, but you could be partially at fault depending on your speed, lane position, and other factors.
Fixed Objects: Running into a still object accounts for 25% of motorcycle deaths. This is something that’s almost always entirely preventable if you pay attention to the road and exercise caution when on a motorcycle.
Speeding or Alcohol Use: It’s no surprise that these behaviors will cause an accident. If you have an accident while speeding or under the influence of alcohol, you will need legal representation if you want any hope of recovering damages.
The cause of your accident will shape your case and your lawyer’s approach to defending your interests. Remember, if you are found even partially at fault for an accident, your compensation is decreased.
Liability and Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents
When it comes to who is at fault, or liable, for a motorcycle accident, the main factor that decides this is negligence – in other words, who acted unreasonably – who didn’t follow the rules of the road. This is true of any car accident. In order to be at fault for an accident, the driver must have acted negligently. The driver of the other vehicle or the motorcycle driver himself could be found at fault.
Any Denver motorcycle accident attorney will tell you in order to establish negligence in a car accident, the following things must be true:
- The defendant acted in way that was different than the driving or behavior of a “reasonable person”, and therefore, not careful.
- The defendant’s actions caused the injuries to the plaintiff.
- The plaintiff suffered losses or was injured – this is important because if you aren’t injured and don’t lose anything in an accident, the careless actions of another won’t be enough to claim damages.
In some accidents, the above factors are mostly obvious. It gets tricky when establishing negligence isn’t so clear. In any case, you may want to consult with Sean Olson, a motorcycle accident lawyer Colorado turns to, to help you fight for your right to compensation.
What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Recovering Damages
In the state of Colorado, the motorcycle helmet law is very specific and isn’t the same motorcycle helmet law most states have passed. Colorado only has a helmet requirement for people under 18, and it applies to drivers as well as passengers.
The helmet must be designed for reducing head impact injuries and have a chin strap, padding, and lining. It must follow or be better than the U.S. Department of Transportation standards for motorcycle helmets.
Since Colorado does have a helmet law in place, if you or your passenger are under 18 and injured in a motorcycle accident and weren’t wearing a helmet, you could lose some of your damages. This is especially true if you suffered a head or neck injury.
However, what many people don’t know is that even if you are over 18 in Colorado, or there isn’t a helmet law in your state, you may be considered partly negligent if you get into an accident and have a head or neck injury.
That’s why you need a Colorado motorcycle accident attorney on your side who knows what to expect and can help you prove you would’ve been injured even if you were wearing a helmet.
When a Motorcycle Accident is Fatal: Bringing a Wrongful Death Case in Colorado
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are considered more deadly than other vehicle accidents. In fact, in 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in an accident per mile traveled compared to people in a car accident.
The question is, what do you do when a loved one has died in a motorcycle accident? If you’re the next of kin (spouse, children, sibling, or parent) you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit depending on the circumstances of the crash. You may be eligible to recover damages for the accident, pain and suffering, loss of income from your loved one, medical bills, funeral and final expenses, loss of love and companionship, and more.
When you’ve lost a loved one due to a motorcycle accident, the best thing you can do is contact Denver motorcycle accident death lawyer Sean Olson who has experience handling these difficult cases. He will help you determine if filing a wrongful death suit makes sense and what damages you may be able to recover.
Work with a Colorado Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer to Protect Against Common Defenses
The best way for the other party to reduce the amount of damages you can recover, or make it impossible to recover any at all, is to prove you’re at least partially at fault for the accident.
Colorado law states that in order to recover damages for an accident, the victim must be less than 50% responsible for the accident himself. This means that an insurance company or other party who is determined to protect their interests will do their best to prove you are more than half at fault for the accident. That’s why you need a personal injury lawyer on your side who is familiar with the process.
Speak to Our Denver Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident or lost a loved one, you don’t have to face the insurance companies and other party alone. Sean Olson, the motorcycle accident lawyer Denver has come to rely on is here to help you fight for damages. Speak to him today by requesting your free consultation.