If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Colorado, you may be entitled to recover compensation for all expenses and losses arising from the accident, including:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation of your injuries
- Lost wages or income from missed work
- Lost earning potential if disabilities resulting from your injuries affect your ability to work
- Pain and emotional distress brought on by your accident-related injuries
- Lost quality of life due to scarring/disfigurement or disabilities from your injuries
- Property damage, including the cost to repair or replace your bicycle
Turning to Your Own Insurance Coverage After an Accident
If you are hit on your bicycle by a negligent motorist, you may come to find that the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage won’t cover the full extent of your expenses and losses from the accident. Or worse, you may discover that the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance at all. Or you may have been hit by a driver who immediately fled the scene.
In these situations, you may be entitled to turn to your own auto insurance policy for coverage of your accident losses. If you opted to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) when you bought your insurance, it could be triggered in accident cases such as these.
You can use uninsured motorist coverage if you are involved in an accident caused by another motor vehicle where the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. You can also seek uninsured motorist coverage when you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident. A fleeing, unidentified driver is presumed to lack insurance coverage under Colorado law.
Underinsured motorist coverage acts to fill in the gap between the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage and the total extent of your losses. To claim underinsured motorist coverage, you generally must be offered the full extent of coverage available from the at-fault driver. The limit of your underinsured motorist coverage must also exceed the limit of the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
Time Limits for Filing a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in Colorado
In Colorado, the statute of limitations places a time limit on filing a lawsuit to pursue compensation following a bicycle accident. The statute of limitations for personal injuries is typically two years from the date of your injuries.
However, suppose the bicycle accident you were involved in was caused by a negligent driver or otherwise involved another motor vehicle. In that case, Colorado’s statute of limitations gives you three years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit after the statute of limitations on your claim expires means that you run the risk of the court permanently dismissing your claim.
When you work with Earl & Earl, PLLC, one of our knowledgeable attorneys will take the time to review your case with you. Your lawyer can determine whether the statute of limitations has expired in your case and what steps we can take to pursue all compensation that you deserve.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Bicycle Accident
When you are injured in a bicycle accident, you should try to take the following steps to help preserve your right to seek accountability and compensation from the parties at fault for the crash:
- Get the contact and insurance information from all drivers involved in the accident.
- Get contact information from any bystanders who witnessed the crash and ask them for a brief statement if you need that information later in your case.
- If possible, take photographs or video of the accident scene, damage to your bicycle and other vehicles in the crash, and any visible injuries you suffered.
- Get medical attention and see a doctor soon after the accident to get examined for injuries. Promptly documenting your injuries can help if the at-fault driver or party tries to argue that your injuries arose from a pre-existing condition or some other cause.
- Keep copies of bills, invoices, and receipts, which will help to establish your losses.
- Document your recovery in a diary or journal, writing down the impact that your injuries and treatment have on your life.
Finally, make time to speak to a bicycle accident attorney at Earl & Earl, PLLC, as soon as possible after the crash. Doing so can help you fully understand your rights and options and what steps to take next if you wish to pursue a legal claim.