Denver Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Fighting For Injured Victims to Get Fair Compensation
If you or someone you love was involved in a motorcycle accident in the Denver Metro Area or anywhere in Colorado, it is in your best interest to find a good motorcycle accident lawyer. You may think that your crash was fairly straightforward, but the truth is that motorcyclists get blamed for things they didn’t do all the time. There is still a bit of a stigma against motorcycle riders, the result of which is that they are more likely to be deemed “at fault” in an accident, even if they were actually the victims.
At Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C., we have extensive experience in this unique field. We have been helping motorcycle riders and their passengers protect themselves and maximize their recoveries since 2004, and we would love to help you get your life back, too. Put over 100 years of combined legal experience on your side!
It Is Important to Act Quickly
As soon as you can after your accident, call us. We can help preserve evidence that can prove your right to fair compensation. As your trusted Denver motorcycle accident lawyers, we will do everything we can to get the evidence needed to preserve your rights and help you prove your story. In Colorado, you only have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim before the statute of limitations runs out.
After the accident, it is important that you refrain from speaking to any adjusters from the other person’s insurance company, as they may utilize a variety of tactics to dispute or deny your claim. Even your own insurance company may end up working against you. Even though a lot of motorcycle accidents happen because auto and truck drivers weren’t paying attention to the motorcyclists around them, insurance companies often blame the rider. They may try to say the rider was speeding, not wearing a helmet (even though that’s legal in Colorado!), could have swerved or changed lanes to avoid the accident, etc.
When we can get our hands on evidence early in the process—or even see it as it is being gathered—we have a much better chance of helping you get the compensation you need. We know that our job goes above and beyond representing you in court or negotiating with your insurance company. A motorcycle accident can change your life, and not in a good way. That’s why we make it our goal to help you thrive once again. We want to see you living life to the fullest after your accident. Our Denver motorcycle accident attorneys will do everything they can to preserve evidence in your case, fight for your rights, and get you everything you need so that you’re taken care of after your motorcycle accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
What mistakes are causing motorcycle accidents in the average situation? As mentioned, motorists and insurance companies alike tend to blame motorcyclists for their wrecks, but this is misleading. Oftentimes, motorcyclists are injured due to the mistakes of the drivers around them, as well as some external factors.
Motorcycle accidents are commonly caused by:
- Unsafe left-hand turns: Motorcycle accidents always have the potential to cause the motorcyclist to suffer catastrophic injuries. But few motorcycle accidents are as extremely dangerous as when a driver turns left in front of an approaching motorcyclist. Left-hand turn accidents often happen at intersections when a driver turns left without assessing the speed and distancing of the motorcycle in the opposing lanes of traffic because they are not used to judging the speed of a smaller vehicle.
- Unchecked lane changes: Drivers who try to change lanes, turn, or merge without checking their mirrors and blind spots put motorcyclists in danger of a sideswipe accident. Drivers can become accustomed to looking for cars, trucks, and vans when checking blind spots and mirrors, but not smaller motorcycles. As such, it is possible for an inattentive or distracted driver to look right at a motorcyclist without really “seeing” them.
- Tailgating and speeding: Motorcycles brake quickly and sharply due to their lighter weights paired with strong braking systems. The short braking distance makes tailgating a motorcycle in a larger vehicle with a larger braking distance highly dangerous, especially if the driver is also breaking the speed limit. If the motorcyclist needs to slow down or come to a complete stop, then the driver tailgating them might cause a rear-end collision that bucks the rider right off their vehicle.
- Road defects: Problems with road conditions are rarely minor to a motorcyclist. A small pothole or puddle that might inconvenience a driver could endanger someone riding a motorcycle. If a motorcycle accident is caused by a road defect, then the defendant in the case could be a local agency in charge of road maintenance, which can complicate matters. To make sense of such a case, we recommend you call our Denver motorcycle accident attorneys right away.
Colorado's Comparative Negligence Rule
Most motorcycle accidents are not black and white; rather, there is often a lot of gray area when it comes to establishing blame for the crash. A jury may argue that because you were not wearing a helmet (even though this is legal in the state of Colorado), you were accepting a certain degree of risk. If you were traveling slightly higher than the posted speed limit when a distracted driver hit you, a jury might also decide that you share some portion of the blame.
However, being partly at fault for an accident does not bar you from recovering compensation in Colorado. Under the state’s modified comparative negligence rule, you are entitled to seek compensation for your damages as long as you were less than 50% at fault for the accident. If a jury does decide that you share some portion of fault, your total recovery will be reduced by your at-fault percentage. For example, if a jury decides you were 20% to blame for the collision, you can recover up to 80% of the total compensation you would have otherwise received if you were not at fault whatsoever.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
Getting into a motorcycle accident can be a confusing situation, especially if you or other people are badly hurt. However, there are certain steps you should try to take to protect your rights, including your future right to recover compensation.
Let our attorneys know if you managed to do any of these things after your motorcycle accident:
- Took photographs: The strongest evidence of liability in your motorcycle accident case might be the pictures and videos that were taken at the scene of the crash. Please allow us to view any photographs you took with your smartphone. If your helmet has a camera attached, then its footage can also be incredibly helpful.
- Identify the liable party: Exchanging contact and insurance information with the liable party is crucial. Don’t forget to also do the same with any eyewitnesses who saw your wreck. You don’t need to worry about talking with these parties, though, if you let our attorneys communicate with them on your behalf.
- Spoke with the police: Any accident that causes an injury or significant vehicular damage should be reported to the police. When they arrive, you should tell them what happened, and instruct them that the other motorist caused your crash. Later, the police report can be used to uncover further evidence of liability.
- Visited a doctor: You should see a medical professional for medical care as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident, regardless of how you feel. Seeing a doctor helps ensure you don’t have severe underlying injuries, and it establishes when your accident happened through the report of a trustworthy third party. If you think you can’t pay for medical treatments, then please talk to us. We can work with medical professionals throughout Denver to find a doctor who will see you through a medical lien. This is an agreement that they will treat you upfront for no cost or a reduced cost, but they will be repaid later through a settlement or award you get.
Afterward, it is important that you reach out to one of our motorcycle accident lawyers to get your case moving. We can request copies of all medical records, accident reports, and other documents related to your accident. When we sit down and talk with you, don’t leave out any detail. Small pieces of information can be vital in negotiating for compensation in your case paid through a settlement. If a settlement is not possible, then the same details can become valuable evidence in a lawsuit that goes to court.
Compensation in Motorcycle Accident Cases
Motorcycle accidents often result in severe, life-altering injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, friction burns (“road rash”), and broken bones. Because motorcyclists have relatively little protection compared to larger, heavier vehicles, they are the ones who tend to sustain the most serious injuries in a crash.
Due to the nature and severity of these injuries, many motorcyclists will require extensive, ongoing medical care. This means that they need financial compensation not only for their current medical expenses and lost wages but also for future medical care costs and lost earnings as well.
Depending on the specifics of your case, we can help you fight for the following damages:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Current and future lost wages/income
- Pain and suffering, including emotional trauma
- Property damage (repairs to your motorcycle)
- Lost earning capacity (disability)
- Costs associated with treating mental disorders (PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc.)
- Medications, medical devices, and equipment, including wheelchairs and prosthetics
- Wrongful death damages (if a family member died in a motorcycle crash)
Every case is different and, therefore, every case requires an in-depth evaluation and investigation. Our Denver motorcycle accident lawyers are ready to fight for the justice and recovery you deserve.
Colorado Motorcycle Laws
Important Colorado motorcycle laws that could affect your claim are:
- Helmet use: Motorcycle riders and passengers under age 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet. Motorcyclists age 18 and older can choose not to wear a helmet, but this is not recommended.
- Eye protection use: Motorcycle riders and passengers of any age must wear some form of eye protection like a visored helmet or goggles. A windshield is not eye protection under the law.
- Footrest use: Passengers must be provided with footrests and must use them while the motorcycle is in motion.
- Passenger positioning: Passengers cannot be seated in front of the rider on any motorcycle.
- Lane-splitting: Attempting to pass or overtake a vehicle – also called lane-splitting – is illegal in Colorado. You can share a lane with another motorcycle, though.
(To learn more about important Colorado motorcycle laws, you can click here to visit the Colorado Department of Transportation website.)
Get Started Today With a Free Consultation
The first step in your recovery is reaching out to an experienced Denver motorcycle accident attorney who knows how to navigate the legal process. At Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C., we have more than a century of combined experience and have secured over $250 million for injured individuals and the families of those wrongfully killed throughout Colorado. We aim to handle all of the legal aspects of your case so that you can focus on healing and moving forward with your life.
Your initial consultation is free and we provide most personal injury services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay unless we win. We are able and willing to travel to meet you in the hospital or at your home if you are unable to come into our office due to your injuries.