After sustaining injuries in a Colorado motorcycle collision, one may not know exactly how to prove the other party is at fault for causing the accident. If that’s the case, you might be unaware or unsure how to pursue damage compensation. Rather than trying to guess your way through something as serious as a motorcycle accident claim, it’s best to work with an experienced attorney.
That’s because you will need a professional who is well-versed in laws regarding motorcycle accidents. Additionally, it’s critical to establish the other party’s negligence if you expect a successful outcome for your accident claim.
On top of the potential confusion and frustration around your accident claim, you might face lost wages due to missed work and other strains from your injury. Even though these can be stressful times, accident victims can take steps to protect their rights and hold the liable parties accountable.
Motorcyclists must file claims with the at-fault party’s insurance for compensation. Going through the at-fault insurance also means you need to establish liability or who was at fault for the crash. Usually, the grounds for establishing liability is showing that the at-fault party was somehow negligent and consequently caused the crash.
Establishing a Duty of Care in a Colorado Motorcycle Accident
After any traffic collision, like a motorcycle accident, the first step to building your claim is showing that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. All drivers and motorcyclists owe a duty of care to others sharing the roadways. Therefore, establishing a duty of care means proving that the defendant was driving or operating a vehicle at the time of the accident.
A duty of care involves driving or operating in a safe and reasonable manner to prevent harming others. So, any driver on the road owes a duty of care to other drivers, motorcyclists,
Next, You Must Prove a Breach of Duty
Once you establish a duty of care, you will need to show that the defendant breached their duty of care. That is, they failed to drive reasonably safely and prudently to prevent harm to the plaintiff.
Negligence is usually the basis for showing that a motorist breached their duty of care. Examples of negligent behaviors include, but are not limited to:
- Driving drunk or while using drugs
- Driving while fatigued or overly tired
- Distracted driving
- Violating traffic laws
- Reckless driving
Then, Show Causation (That the Accident Caused Your Injuries)
After establishing a duty of care and a breach of that duty, there is still more to prove. You must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty is the actual cause of your injuries.
Sometimes, simply showing the defendant breached their duty is not sufficient grounds for a personal injury claim. Instead, you must have solid evidence to show that your injuries are a result of the at-fault party’s negligence.
You’ll Also Need to Show the Extent of Damages You Suffered
Once you’ve clearly established a duty of care, a breach of that duty, and causation, you will need to show the damages you’ve incurred. Damages include any financial, emotional, physical, and psychological losses you experience due to the accident.
Examples of damages in a motorcycle accident case include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, physical injuries, property damages, and other out-of-pocket losses.
Working With a Denver Motorcycle Accident Attorney With Help You Build a Stronger Claim
Motorcycle accident claims are not always so straightforward. That’s why hiring a Denver motorcycle accident attorney with experience handling such claims will be helpful. An attorney can help ensure you gather all necessary evidence and help you move along in a timely manner. Additionally, they can help assess and determine a fair value for all your losses. This will be helpful if the insurance company tries to delay, deny, or undervalue your claim. If you cannot reach a desirable agreement with the insurance company, your attorney might want to prepare your case for trial.
Leading Causes of Colorado Motorcycle Accidents
The leading cause of motorcycle accidents is driver error. The legal term for careless or reckless driving is negligence. When a driver fails to exercise reasonable caution, that is negligence. Sadly, an accident involving a car and a motorcycle is usually more devastating for the motorcyclist.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Colorado are the following:
- Tailgating (following too closely resulting in a motorist having inadequate space to brake; commonly causes rear-end collisions)
- Speeding (a high-speed vehicle is likely to cause more severe or even life-threatening damage to a motorcyclist)
- Drunk driving ( drinking and driving is illegal in all fifty states. Drivers who drink and drive can face civil and criminal penalties)
- Dooring (when a car opens its door into the path of a motorcyclist)
- Unsafe lane changes ( motorcyclists are smaller than cars and therefore less visible to passenger vehicle operators. Drivers need to pay special attention to their blind spots if a motorcyclist is traveling near them. If a driver makes an unsafe or erratic lane change and then strikes a motorcyclist, they might be liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries)
- Left turns (intersections are notorious for traffic collisions. Drivers should always double-check before making a left turn to ensure there are no oncoming motorcycles or cars)
- Defective motorcycle parts (on rare occasions, the motorcycle manufacturer might be liable for producing a defective part)
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Unlike a regular car, motorcycle riders don’t have much of a protective barrier to shield them in a crash. Their protective gear is limited to a helmet and perhaps some padding. They simply do not have the same safety barrier passenger vehicles have in a collision. Therefore, motorcyclists often suffer severe or catastrophic injuries after a crash. Additionally, motorcyclists are more likely to die in a crash than regular passenger vehicles.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Severe road rash or burns
- Facial fractures
- Permanent nerve damage
- Broken bones
- Limb amputations
It’s rare for motorcyclists to walk away from an accident unscathed or without an injury. However, even if a motorcyclist thinks they are not severely injured, they should still get medical attention right away. Sometimes the initial shock and adrenaline after a crash can mask pain symptoms. Other times, injuries have a delayed onset. In any case, accident victims should seek prompt medical care for claim purposes.
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?
It’s normal and common to feel disoriented in the moments after a motorcycle crash. You might not know who is at fault for causing the collision immediately. Your attorney can help review the facts of your case to find all liable parties. They will do so by gathering evidence that can help determine fault. Some examples of evidence your attorney might want to gather:
- A police report
- Video Footage
Evidence is crucial to any accident claim. However, it’s not always easy or obvious where or how to start obtaining evidence. Furthermore, if you’re in a hospital bed or at home recovering, getting evidence is even more difficult. The good news is that your attorney can help you get all the evidence you need before it’s lost or destroyed.
What if I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
It’s possible for the insurance company to purport that you are partially at fault if you were not wearing a helmet. However, this is not true. Under Colorado law, only motorcyclists under 18 must wear a helmet. So, even if you were not wearing a helmet, you may still be able to hold the at-fault party of their insurance provider accountable for paying you the full amount for damage recovery.
Contact a Denver Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Having strong legal representation can make all the difference in your case outcome. We will handle all legal proceedings for you while you recover. Most importantly, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
You have nothing to lose since we offer a free initial consultation.