Most of the calls we receive about motorcycle accidents aren’t from the victims themselves. We are called by our loved ones. Overwhelmed spouses, parents, and even children call us because their husband, wife, child, or parent was the victim in a motorcycle accident and these caregivers are facing mounting bills, calls from insurance companies, and of course, their own terrifying emotions.
If this is the situation you are in, you have our empathy. You probably never imagined that you’d be searching for a Denver motorcycle accident attorney. You have a lot to manage right now and the attorneys at The O’Sullivan Law Firm can help take the load off you today. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
How Can a Denver Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help My Claim?
An injury lawyer in Denver is going to be critically important to securing full compensation for these cases. In most situations, motorcycle accident victims do not have the resources necessary to fully investigate their claim. However, an accident attorney can:
Gather the evidence necessary to determine liability, which can include video or photo surveillance of the incident, statements from eyewitnesses, mobile device data, vehicle “black box” data, and more.
Obtain and review all insurance policies related to the claim, including the victim’s policy as well as the at-fault party’s policy.
Handle all communication and negotiations with other parties in an effort to secure complete compensation on behalf of the motorcycle accident victim.
Additionally, a lawyer will be able to help insurance carriers and personal injury juries overcome their inherent bias against motorcyclists. This is an important step in ensuring that a motorcycle accident victim secures the compensation they need.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Denver, Colorado
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are not uncommon in and around the Denver area. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, motor vehicle crashes are among the cause of death in Colorado. At The O’Sullivan Law Firm, we often discover that motorcycle crashes are caused by the careless or negligent actions of other drivers. When we conduct an investigation into these incidents, we often find that they were caused by vehicle drivers:
Failing to yield the right of way
Following a motorcyclist too closely
Passing a motorcyclist recklessly
Failing to obey traffic laws
Operating too fast for conditions
Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
Driving while distracted by phones or other devices
What Are Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents?
An unfortunate reality of these incidents is that motorcyclists do not have very much protection against the force of a vehicle slamming into them. When we consider that the average passenger vehicle weighs approximately 4,000 pounds, we can see why these collisions often result in so much devastation for the motorcyclist. One aspect of these claims that is often overlooked is the fact that a motorcyclist usually sustains two injury-causing impacts: one impact with the vehicle and another impact with the ground. It is not uncommon for our motorcycle accident lawyers in Denver to help clients who have sustained the following injuries:
Broken or dislocated bones
Severe lacerations or road rash
Traumatic brain injuries
Open head wounds
Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
Other severe back or neck injury
Internal organ damage
Significant scarring and disfigurement
In addition to these acute traumatic injuries, our motorcycle accident attorneys often help victims in Denver who have sustained significant emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the crash. Our goal is to help clients recover compensation for all of their injuries after a motorcycle accident, including the visible traumatic ones as well as the hidden emotional and psychological ones.
Motorcycle Laws in Colorado
In Colorado, all motorcyclists must follow regulations and laws in order to operate their vehicles safely on the road. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, motorcycle drivers are required to obey the same traffic laws that other motor vehicles abide by. Colorado motorcycle law requires all drivers to have a valid license in order to operate a motorcycle. The Colorado DOT has no requirement for motorcyclists to wear a helmet if they are over the age of 18 while operating or riding a motorcycle. However, all minors under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
Additional Motorcycle Laws
Motorcyclists can share a lane with another motorcycle.
Motorcycles cannot share or split a lane with a car
You cannot attach your motorcycle to another vehicle
Some form of eye protection is legally required for all motorcycle riders and passengers
Turn signals are not required
Motorcycles must have operational lights at night
Motorcycles must have footrests for passengers
Motorcycle Insurance Laws
Motorcyclists in Colorado are required to purchase a liability policy with the following minimum amounts of coverage:
$15,000 for damage or destruction of property.
$25,000 for death or bodily injury per person
$50,000 for bodily injury coverage per incident
All other motorcycle coverage is optional. You may opt for additional insurance to cover other expenses that may come after a motorcycle crash. This coverage can include:
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
How Are Motorcycle Accident Claims Different From Car Accidents?
Motorcycle accident claims are certainly different than traditional car accident cases. On the surface, these two types of incidents look very similar. They both involve motor vehicles, and they both involve insurance carriers. However, motorcyclists who sustain injuries will face an uphill battle when it comes to recovering compensation for their injuries or property damage, even if the other party caused the accident.
Unfortunately, motorcyclists in Denver and throughout Colorado face significant unwarranted biases from drivers and even insurance carriers. It is not uncommon for individuals to point the finger at a motorcyclist for causing a crash, even if another driver was clearly at fault. Some people simply see motorcycles as dangerous vehicles, which translates to blaming the motorcyclist for a crash. Is this fair? Absolutely not. However, this is the reality that motorcyclists are left dealing with after a crash occurs.
That is why it is strongly recommended that any motorcycle crash victim work with a skilled attorney as soon as possible after the incident occurs. A Denver motorcycle accident lawyer can get involved quickly and begin gathering all evidence needed to prove liability. They will need to overwhelmingly show the insurance carrier or a personal injury jury how the liability falls on the other parties involved. Attorneys can be persuasive, which is exactly what an injured motorcyclist needs in these situations.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Colorado That You Need to Know
Data available from the Colorado Department of Transportation shows there were 137 motorcyclists killed on Colorado roadways during the latest reporting year. This represented an increase of 33% from the previous year. In 2020, approximately 22% of all traffic fatalities in this state were motorcyclist fatalities, even though motorcycle accidents represent only 3% of all vehicles on state roadways.
How Long Do You Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Denver?
Motorcycle accident victims need to be aware that they have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in civil court. The Colorado personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date the injury occurred. If a motorcyclist fails to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver within this two-year timeframe, they will lose the ability to recover the compensation they are entitled to. However, please understand that insurance carriers in these cases will also have their own deadlines that are not subject to the statute of limitations. Most insurance carriers in Colorado require claims to be reported very soon after the incident occurs, and failing to do so could result in the claim being delayed or denied.
Compensation Available After a Motorcycle Crash
Victims of motorcycle accidents may be entitled to various types of compensation for their losses. At The O’Sullivan Law Firm, our attorneys strive to secure both economic and non-economic compensation on behalf of our clients. This can include the following:
Coverage of any EMS or hospital bills
The cost of any continuing doctor visit
Coverage of physical therapy and rehabilitation
Prescription medication and medical device coverage
Lost income if a victim cannot work
General household out-of-pocket expenses
Property damage expenses
Pain and suffering damages
Loss of quality of life damages
The total amount of compensation available to injury victims in these cases will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each situation. Our attorneys employ trusted economic and financial experts to help calculate the client’s total expected losses. Some of the factors that can influence how much a person receives for these claims include the severity of the injuries, the length of the recovery time, the level of pain and suffering the victim endures, and whether or not there was any shared fault for the incident.
Partial Fault for a Motorcycle Accident in Denver
It is not uncommon for situations to arise where a motorcyclist and another driver share responsibility for causing a crash. However, will this prevent a motorcycle crash victim from recovering compensation?
Colorado operates under what is called a “modified comparative negligence” system (CO Rev Stat § 13-21-111). This means that a crash victim will be able to recover compensation in some circumstances where they share responsibility. If a motorcycle accident victim is 50% or more responsible for causing the incident, they will not be able to recover compensation for their losses. However, if a motorcycle crash victim is 49% or less at fault for the injuries, they can still recover compensation. In these situations, the total amount of compensation awarded will be adjusted downward based on the motorcyclist’s percentage of fault, as decided by a jury.
For example, if a motorcyclist sustained $100,000 worth of medical expenses and other losses as a result of a crash, but they are found to be 20% responsible for the incident by a jury, they would receive $80,000 instead of the full $100,000. This partial fault reduction is a prime example of why an attorney is necessary for these claims – a lawyer can work to prove the liability of the other driver and push back against any accusations of fault made by the other party.
How The O’Sullivan Law Firm Helps Motorcyclists in Denver
At The O’Sullivan Law Firm, we see far too many injured motorcyclists. (And sadly, we meet the families of too many killed bikers.) In 2017, it became clear that we had to get proactive and stand up for bikers’ rights and their safety on our roads. We launched Rider Justice, the advocacy arm of The O’Sullivan Law firm. Through Rider Justice, we fight biker discrimination and promote safer roads for motorcyclists. If we’re successful, there will be fewer bikers hurt and killed on Colorado roads, auto drivers will be more aware of and respectful of bikers, and bikers won’t receive as many undeserved traffic tickets.
Rider Up! Game Created to Raise Awareness of Motorcycles
“I grew up playing Punch Buggy or Slug Bug, punching my sibling every time we spotted a VW bug,” says Scott O’Sullivan, founder of Rider Justice. “I’ve always wanted to create a game for kids that raised awareness of motorcyclists and even bicyclists on the road.” – Scott O’Sullivan Thanks to Scott’s inspiration, Rider Up! is born. Rider UP! challenges car passengers to be the first to spot a motorcyclist and yell its location in relation to the car. “Rider LEFT! Rider RIGHT! Rider BACK! Rider UP!” The player who spots and yells first is the winner.
Contact a Denver Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the actions of another driver in Denver, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At The O’Sullivan Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience handling these claims, and we are ready to get to work on your behalf immediately. Let our team investigate what happened, determine liability, and secure full compensation for your losses. When you need a Denver motorcycle accident attorney, you can contact us online or call us at (303) 388-5304 for a free consultation of your case
The O’Sullivan Law Firm Motorcycle Accident Case Results