What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?It’s no secret that motorcyclists are the scapegoats of many motor vehicle accidents. Perhaps even more upsetting is the fact that these accident victims are often the ones who need the most help after an accident, as the exposed nature of motorcycles leaves them vulnerable to catastrophic injury. In fact, motorcyclists accounted for nearly 22% of Colorado road fatalities in 2020, despite representing only three percent of vehicles. Myriad factors contribute to motorcycle accidents, and many parties can be at fault. Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving is a major driver of all types of motor vehicle accidents. It can include checking cell phones, eating, drinking, adjusting the radio or any other activity that distracts the driver from operating the motor vehicle.
- Low visibility. Motorcyclists aren’t as easy to spot in mirrors as larger vehicles, so when drivers aren’t taking the proper precautions and monitoring their surroundings closely, they are more likely to collide with a cyclist.
- Speeding. Speeding, whether by the cyclist or another driver, is a massive contributing factor to all road accidents.
- Intoxication. Similar to speeding, intoxicated driving—whether by the motorcyclist or other driver—increases one’s risk for crash and injury.
- Road hazards. Whereas a massive vehicle, such as a large SUV or 18-wheeler, can sustain a deep pothole or other road hazard without wrecking, motorcycles aren’t always so lucky. Poorly maintained roads and construction zones can contribute to serious motorcycle crashes that result in horrible injuries.
- Defective parts. Motorcycles, just like other vehicles, are susceptible to malfunction. When defective parts result in a motorcycle accident, the manufacturer or seller may be held accountable.
Common Motorcycle Accident InjuriesWhereas car passengers may be held in the vehicle by their seatbelts, motorcyclists are more likely to be thrown from their bikes. As a result, some injuries are more common among motorcycle accident victims than other vehicle victims, including the following:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Lower extremity injury
- Internal injury
- Road rash
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle AccidentIn the moments following any type of serious accident, victims may be in shock and unable to think clearly. If you are a motorcyclist, it’s important to make a plan of how you’d handle the situation. Here are some suggestions for you to consider:
- Move to safety. If you’re able to move, try to get out of the road and to a safe place on the shoulder.
- Keep your safety gear on. After an accident, adrenaline is likely rushing through your body and may make you think you’re not injured. Instead of removing your gear and risking further injury, wait until the paramedics arrive.
- Call 911. If you have access to your phone, call 911, or ask someone else to do so. A medical team will arrive alongside police, who will write up an accident report.
- Gather evidence. If you have access to your phone and you are physically able, take pictures of the scene, including your motorcycle, other vehicles involved, the roadway, traffic signs and any other relevant surroundings. If there are witnesses there, ask for their contact information.
- Go to the hospital. Even if you think you are ok, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. A healthcare professional can make sure you’re not suffering from any serious injuries, and the record of your hospital visit will be important evidence if you decide to file a lawsuit.
- Call a motorcycle accident lawyer. An experienced auto accident lawyer can review your case, investigate the accident scene, determine liability and pursue compensation for your losses.
Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?The unfortunate reality is that many accident victims don’t know when they need a lawyer. What’s more, most people don’t realize that personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay anything upfront for their representation. Instead, you pay them from your settlement, but only if and when you receive compensation. Determining whether or not you should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer is actually pretty simple: If you suffered serious injuries in an accident caused by someone else, you should consider hiring an attorney. An experienced accident lawyer will help you pursue compensation for your losses and help hold the responsible party accountable.
What Types of Compensation Can You Recieve?Make no mistake—most injury victims don’t want to file a lawsuit. However, filing a lawsuit is sometimes the only way for them to recoup their losses, pay medical bills and hire essential care. Once you decide to begin a motorcycle accident lawsuit, your lawyer will help you calculate damages in order to determine how much compensation you’re owed. These losses generally come in the form of economic and non-economic damages.
Economic DamagesEconomic damages, as the name suggests, refer to calculable losses, such as destroyed property, medical bills, missed paychecks and more. It can also refer to estimated losses, such as the price of future medical treatments, therapies and injury-related expenses.
Non-Economic DamagesNon-economic damages refers to losses that you can’t put a price tag on, such as your pain and suffering. Other examples include loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement and disability. When calculating your settlement, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will include both types of damages.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries: FAQsMotorcycle accidents are often complex and can leave victims with a lot of questions. The best way to find answers is by contacting a trusted motorcycle accident attorney in Denver. In the meantime, read through the following section to find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Do I have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Colorado?According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, motorcyclists over the age of 18 do not have to wear a helmet when traveling in Colorado. However, some states do require helmets, so it’s important to research motorcycle safety laws before crossing state lines. Although Colorado does not require helmets, it does require riders to wear some form of protective eye gear.
Who can be at fault in a motorcycle accident?Potential at-fault parties include the other driver, the driver’s employer, the establishment that over-served alcohol to the driver, a negligent motorcycle mechanic, the manufacturer of a defective motorcycle or auto part, the government agency that failed to properly maintain the roads and more.
What are the traffic laws for motorcycles in Colorado?It is illegal for a motorcycle to pass, share or lane-split with another type of vehicle in Colorado. However, motorcycles are allowed to share the same lane with one other motorcycle. Clinging—attaching your motorcycle to another vehicle by grabbing onto it—is also illegal.
What are the state laws regarding motorcycle passengers?In Colorado, motorcycle passengers must utilize footrests at all times. They must also sit behind the driver (rather than in front or in a sidecar).
How much does a motorcycle accident lawyer cost?Most personal injury lawyers and auto accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if and when you receive your settlement.
The Hermele Law Firm: Top Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Denver, ColoradoMotorcycles offer Colorado residents an exciting, intimate way to enjoy our state’s natural beauty. However, that comes at a price; in the event of an accident, motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable to bodily harm. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be facing expensive medical bills, lost wages, permanent injuries and more. One of the best ways to protect you and your family’s financial future is by hiring an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to look over your case. At The Hermele Law Firm, we take pride in the care and support we offer our clients. Every injury victim deserves compassionate, communicative representation, which is why if you choose us as your advocate, you can expect to be treated with the utmost respect. Ready to get your life back on track? Contact us online or give us a call at (720) 740-0889 to schedule your free consultation.
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