In many motorcycle accident cases, the other driver and their insurance company may try to blame the accident on the injured motorcycle rider.
The driver may try to claim that they “didn’t see” the motorcycle rider, or they may try to rely on stereotypes about “reckless” motorcycle riders by claiming that the rider was speeding or weaving through traffic right before the accident.
Because Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence rule in motorcycle accident cases, the greater the share of fault that the other driver and their insurance company can shift onto you, the less money they have to pay you. If they can transfer the majority of fault onto you, they can even avoid having to pay you altogether. The other motorist and their insurance company have a significant incentive to prove that you bear some, most, or all the fault for the accident that resulted in your injuries.
Our Colorado motorcycle accident lawyers at Earl & Earl, PLLC, recognize how important it is to have extensive, persuasive evidence in a motorcycle accident case. Types of evidence we may rely on in your case to prove the other driver’s fault for the crash include:
- The police accident report, which will note if the other driver was cited or arrested for the accident and may include the officer’s opinion on fault for the accident
- Accident scene photos, which may reveal details such as skid marks in the road that show that the other driver bears all the responsibility for the accident
- Dashcam or helmet cam footage, which can show what happened in the crash
- Eyewitness statements which can provide an independent observation of how the accident occurred
- Vehicle damage/repair reports that can establish the extent of your property damage
- Medical records from the treatment of the injuries you suffered in the accident
Our experienced legal team won’t back down when insurers try to blame the accident on you. We know what it takes to persuasively show that the other driver was at fault for the motorcycle accident.
What to Do to Protect Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you can take the following steps to protect your legal rights and options for pursuing financial compensation from the negligent driver or another at-fault party that caused the accident and your injuries:
- Get information at the crash scene. Do your best to collect the names, contact information, vehicle information, and insurance information for each motorist involved in the accident. If any bystanders happened to witness the accident, ask them to provide a short statement or their contact information if you later need to reach out to them for a statement.
- Take photos of the accident scene. You should try to get details like vehicle damage, skid marks on the road, traffic controls at the location, and the lighting/weather/traffic/road conditions at the time of the accident.
- Schedule a physical exam with your primary physician or another doctor. Promptly documenting all the injuries that you have suffered in the accident will help strengthen your claim that the accident caused those injuries, in case the at-fault parties try to argue that your injuries arose from pre-existing or degenerative causes.
- Keep a diary or journal throughout your recovery from your injuries. Jot down as many details as you can remember from the crash so that you can refresh your memory throughout your case. Document what impact your injuries and medical treatment have on your life, as this can help support your claim to compensation for pain and suffering and lost quality of life.
- Avoid discussing your accident on social media. Also, you should not post any photos or videos of yourself while you are still undergoing treatment for your injuries. Insurance companies and defense law firms often monitor accident victims’ social media accounts for any postings they can point to as contradicting the victim’s official statements and allegations in their case.
Finally, you should speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer at Earl & Earl, PLLC, as soon as possible following your crash. We will help you understand your rights and go over your next steps in pursuing a legal compensation claim.
Why You Need an Experienced Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney
You don’t have to try handling your motorcycle accident case on your own. At Earl & Earl, PLLC, our experienced Colorado motorcycle accident attorneys can help you to seek the compensation you need and deserve by:
- Offering a free case evaluation to discuss your goals and needs so that we can prepare a personalized legal strategy targeted at getting you the results you want
- Investigating the accident and securing all available evidence, including police accident reports, accident scene photos, dashcam/helmet cam/surveillance camera footage, and vehicle damage/repair reports
- Working with accident reconstruction experts to help us develop a compelling argument showing how your accident occurred and how the other party or parties were at fault
- Documenting your losses, including by working with medical, vocational, and financial experts to calculate your future losses
- Determining the extent of available insurance coverage and filing claims on your behalf
- Negotiating for a fair and full settlement of your past, ongoing, and future losses and expenses
- Preparing your case for court if we cannot reach a fair settlement in your case
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary, and advocating for you before the judge and jury to try to obtain a judgment in your favor
With Earl & Earl, PLLC, you have no risk in pursuing compensation for your injuries and losses. We only get paid when we obtain a financial recovery for you.
Time Limit for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Colorado
If you decide you want to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation after being injured in a motorcycle accident, Colorado’s statute of limitations usually requires you to file suit within three years of the date of the accident. If you file your lawsuit after the limitations period has expired on your claim, the court can dismiss your case.
Suppose someone driving a vehicle owned by a state or local government or public agency caused your motorcycle accident, and you wish to bring a claim against the government. In that case, Colorado law requires you to give the agency notice of your claim within 182 days of the accident.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Unfortunately, a motorcycle rider has little protection in the event of an accident, especially in a crash involving another vehicle. As a result, motorcycle accidents tend to lead to severe injuries for riders. Examples of injuries commonly suffered by riders in Colorado motorcycle crashes include:
- Road rash or abrasions caused by contact with or sliding along the pavement or the ground
- Crush injuries caused by getting pinned underneath the motorcycle or between the bike and another vehicle
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Orthopedic injuries such as torn ligaments and tendons
- Neck and back injuries such as whiplash injuries
- Spinal column injuries like herniated or ruptured discs
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
- Burns caused by contact with hot engine parts
- Head injuries, including skull fractures and eye and ear trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, brain bleeding, and coma
Motorcycle accident injuries and their complications can easily lead to permanent disability or even loss of life expectancy and premature death.