Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
The period after a motorcycle accident can be very confusing to sort through. However, the next steps you take or do not take could significantly impact the outcome of your injury claim. When involved in a motorcycle accident, make sure to take the following steps:
- Get to safety and help others to safety
- Call 911 to get emergency medical help or adequate treatment for your injuries
- Report the incident to the law enforcement officer or police
- Collect relevant information from the other parties involved, including the driver's name, phone number, address, license number, insurance identification card, and insurance policy
- Gather necessary documentation, such as police report, witness statements, and accident scene photos
- Document all medical treatments and doctor appointments
- Document your personal account of the accident and its effects on your daily life
- Notify your insurance carrier about the incident
- Retain an experienced law firm to help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company or file an injury claim
The sooner you take these actions after the incident, the better. Over time, you may forget necessary details or misplace crucial information.
Colorado Motorcycle Laws
In order to prevent or limit motorcycle accidents, the government of Colorado has imposed stringent motorcycle laws to which all motorcyclists must adhere.
Lane splitting involves a traffic maneuver in which a motorcyclist drives between two rows of cars moving in the same direction. Under Colorado law, lane splitting or lane sharing with cars is illegal. The Colorado Department of Transportation explicitly prohibits motorists from riding between lanes of traffic.
In Colorado, motorcycles are allowed to share a lane or "co-ride" with one other motorcycle. However, you cannot attach your motorcycle to another motorcycle or vehicle.
- Helmet: In Colorado, motorcycle operators above 18 years of age are not required to wear helmets. However, riders and passengers who are below 18 years of age must wear DOT-approved helmets.
- Eye Protection: All riders and passengers are required to wear some form of eye protection. Acceptable eye protection includes a visor on a helmet, eyeglasses, or goggles with lenses made from plastic or safety glass.
- Footrests: All motorcycles must be equipped with footrests for passengers. All passengers are required to use the footrests provided.
Determining Fault in Colorado
Colorado is an “at-fault” state. This means that the at-fault party will absorb liability for injuries or damages sustained by accident victims. The available options to seek damages include:
- Filing a claim with your own insurance provider
- Filing a third-party claim with the at-fault driver's insurance carrier
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit in court against the at-fault party
Colorado uses the "modified comparative negligence" rule, with a 50% bar. Under the system, a victim's ability to recover damages is reduced if they are found to be partially responsible for their injuries. However, you can only recover damages if found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident. Nonetheless, your total compensation awarded will be reduced depending on your percentage of fault.
Work With Experienced Attorneys
Getting injured in a motorcycle accident can be an overwhelming and emotional situation. Such an incident can cause devastating, long-lasting consequences on your physical, financial, and mental health. Thankfully, you don't need to go through such challenges alone. It is important to retain knowledgeable Colorado personal injury attorneys as soon as possible to protect your rights and help you seek deserved compensation.
At The Law Offices of Daniel T. Goodwin, our attorneys have devoted their careers to protecting the rights of motorcycle accident victims and their loved ones. Our team can help you with the following:
- Fight to protect your rights and represent your best interests
- Review every aspect of your case and conduct a comprehensive investigation
- Gather important information, evidence, and documentation
- Work to prove fault and establish liability
- Determine the full impact of your injuries and estimate case-value
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance carrier
- File a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, where applicable
As your legal counsel, we can help hold the liable party accountable and pursue fair financial compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, future medical treatment, pain, discomfort, and suffering, or other losses. Reach out to our firm today to get the help you need.