Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Denver, Colorado (CO)
Motorcycle riders bask in the thrill of the open road and benefit from extraordinary gas mileage, but bikes lack stability and crashworthiness. Motorcycles have characteristics that increase the risks of involvement in a collision and more severe injuries than those experienced by occupants of passengers cars. The relatively diminutive size of motorcycles makes riders more difficult to see and allows bikes to squeeze into spaces where motorists do not expect a vehicle. Motorcycles also have handling limitations because of their two-wheel design that make bikes less stable. This compromised stability can interfere with a riders ability to engage in a sudden stop or extreme evasive maneuvers. Along with the increased risk of collisions involving motorcycles, riders tend to endure more serious injuries because motorcycles lack the basic safety equipment of passenger cars like seatbelts, airbags, and a fortified passenger compartment.
Understanding the Heightened Risk of Serious Injuries in Denver Motorcycle Accidents
The potential risk of injury or wrongful death among motorcyclists becomes apparent when a few relevant statistics are considered.
- While the fatality rate for motorcyclists is 25.38 per 100,000 miles traveled, the rate is a mere 0.89 for passenger cars and 0.72 for light trucks.
- Fatal motorcycle accidents claimed the lives of 5,286 people in a recent one-year period.
- Approximately, 88,000 more people suffered an injury in motorcycle accidents during the same period.
- The risk of dying in a motorcycle accident exceeds that of passenger vehicle occupants by 25 times.
Forms of Negligence Causing Motorcycle Collisions
The legal theory of negligence constitutes the most common basis of liability in motorcycle accident lawsuits. The doctrine of negligence imposes a legal duty on individuals to exercise ordinary care to prevent foreseeable harm to others. When drivers or other parties cause injuries and fatalities in accidents because of a breach of this duty of care, they can be financially responsible for their actions. Forms of conduct that cause motorcycle accidents include:
Drivers Making Unsafe Left Turns: This type of motorcycle accident constitutes the most hazardous scenario for riders, accounting for 42 percent of collisions involving a car and motorcycle. In most cases, a driver that collides with another motorist while executing a left turn will be determined to be at-fault. However, the other driver’s insurance company or attorney will often accuse a motorcyclist of speeding or traveling in the wrong lane, which could result to a reduction in the damages received according to Colorado law.
Drunk and Drug Impaired Drivers: Drivers impaired by an intoxicating substance constitute the leading cause of traffic fatalities. While occupants of all motor vehicles are vulnerable to injury by drunk or drugged drivers, motorcyclists are particularly susceptible to severe injury or wrongful death.
Motorcycle-Car Head-On Collision: Head-on motorcycle accidents account for 78 percent of fatal riding accidents that involve a passenger car and a motorcycle.
Lack of Attention: Because motorcycles are smaller than passenger cars and fit in spaces that cannot accommodate a passenger car, distracted drivers are even more likely not to notice motorcycles when dividing their attention between the road and other activities.
Cars Changing Lanes into Motorcyclists: When a car suddenly veers into the space a motorcycle is occupying in an adjacent lane, motorcyclists often have limited options for avoiding a dangerous accident. Distracted drivers might drift into an adjacent lane, or motorists executing a lane change might not notice a motorcycle in their blindspot because they are not psychologically programmed to notice motorcycles.
Motorists Opening Doors without Looking: When a motorcycle maneuvers between a line of stationary active traffic and parked vehicles on the side of the road, drivers all too often swing their car door right in front of an approaching motorcycle.
Tailgating: Drivers who fail to observe a proper following distance compromise their ability to stop when an interruption in the flow of traffic occurs. Fortunately, rear-end collisions only account for five percent of motorcycle accidents.
Unsafe Road Design and Maintenance: Although motorcycle riders are more susceptible to unsafe road design and careless maintenance practices than drivers of other vehicles, virtually no roads are designed with motorcycle safety in mind. Roadway flaws that might have no impact on the driver of a passenger car can significantly disrupt a bike’s maneuverability, braking, and stability. The smaller surface area of contact between a bike tire and the road surface makes a high friction and solid road surface essential. While motorcyclists injured by an unsafe road might have the right to pursue a legal claim for damages, special procedures and deadlines apply when pursuing a claim against a government entity. Prompt legal representation becomes especially important because of short time limits and the need for special pre-litigation procedures.
Speed Related Motorcycle Accidents: When drivers violate the speed limit or fail to adequately modify their speed to account for adverse conditions, the result includes diminished handling and greater stopping distance for the high speed vehicle. The force generated in a collision with a motorcycle also increases when the passenger car driver violates the speed limit.
Unsafe Intersection Motorcycle Collisions: Traffic signals and stop signs are designed to keep vehicles and pedestrians safe when moving through intersections. When drivers disregard these important traffic controls, the limited ability of riders to engage in emergency braking and maneuvers often means tragic consequences.
Aside from these forms of negligent behavior, skilled and experienced motorcycle accident lawyers in Denver explore other legal theories and factual grounds to seek compensation for an injured rider. When a motorcycle accident occurs because of a defect that causes excessive steering “wobble” or brake failure that leads to a collision, for example, the corporations that designed and/or manufactured the defective component or vehicle could be financially responsible.
Difficult Issues That Necessitate a Proven Denver Motorcycle Collision Attorney
Many people assume that establishing liability in all vehicle-related personal injury claims involves similar legal and factual issues. This misconception can lead motorcycle accident victims to assume that their legal claim does not require a legal advocate well-versed in motorcycle accident litigation. Some of the complex issues an experienced and knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer in Denver can handle include:
Shifting Blame to the Motorcyclist: Although the defense strategy in a motorcycle accident lawsuit will depend on the specific facts, defendants routinely employ a strategy blaming the motorcyclist’s conduct for causing his or her own injuries. The insurance company and attorneys for the defendants often attempt to accuse the rider of driving at an unsafe speed or engaging in other imprudent riding practices.
Unfavorable Law Enforcement Accident Reports: When law enforcement officers conduct investigations at a motorcycle accident scene, the officer will analyze the physical evidence like skid marks, vehicle damage, and the position of the vehicles. The report often favors the driver of the other vehicle. This lack of balance in motorcycle accident reports prepared by Suffolk County police officers stems from the tendency of motorcycle riders to experience much more severe injuries than occupants of passenger cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. This disparity in the seriousness of injuries often means the driver of a passenger car and other occupants of the vehicle provide their version of the collision to the investigating officer while emergency responders rush the motorcyclist to the hospital. Although the physical evidence might seem objective, this evidence frequently will be open to multiple interpretations that will be filled in by witness accounts. Passenger vehicle occupants more often than not will be the only witnesses at the scene, so the report will be unfavorable to the motorcycle rider.
Anti-Rider Bias: Although a larger cross-section of people now rides motorcycles, traditional stereotypes about riders linger among many people. Both witnesses and jurors can have their perception affected by preconceived biases, and experienced motorcycle accident attorneys in Denver recognize this potential credibility issue. Insurance companies routinely employ a defense strategy that involves accusing the rider of speeding. Witnesses and jurors that harbor preconceptions that motorcyclists are prone to high risk or illegal activity could overestimate the speed of a bike. Your attorney must closely probe for such biases and take steps to neutralize this type of inaccuracy.
Experts Needed to Communicate Handling Limitations: Many people that serve as jurors and judges in civil litigation have limited or no experience with motorcycles. Because these two-wheeled vehicles have unique handling, turning, and braking characteristics and limitations, experts usually will be needed to explain these challenging issues to the court and to analyze the collision.
Alhasoon, Glidden & Glidden, LLC – Nationally Renowned Law Firm in Denver, Colorado (CO)
The law firm of Alhasoon, Glidden & Glidden, LLC has earned a national reputation while fighting for injury victims in Denver and throughout Long Island. Although the facts and circumstances of each case will be unique, our law firm has obtained millions of dollars in judgments and settlements for injury victims. Our law firm has received the highest ratings from a multitude of prestigious legal publications and portals:
- 2017 “10 Best for Client Satisfaction” by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys
- 2018 “Lawyers of Distinction”
- 2016-2017 “Best Female Attorney for Client Satisfaction” by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys
Use of Safety Equipment to Mitigate Injuries in Denver Motorcycle Collisions
Although riding enthusiasts have limited safety equipment options, certain items can provide some level of protection. While Colorado law requires riders to wear an approved motorcycle helmet and eye protection, certain other riding gear might limit injury, such as:
Airbag Vest: This type of protection can prevent internal injury to vital organs and mitigate the risk of broken ribs, fractured collarbones, spinal injuries, and other fractures.
Leather Jackets: Many leather jackets incorporate colors that enhance rider visibility and reflective inserts that make riders easier to see at night.
Pants: This item also often comes with features that increase rider visibility while incorporating armor and kevlar to provide protection from impact and road rash. These pants can prevent fractured hips, and injuries to other critical areas of the lower extremities, such as the knees, thighs, shins, and the tailbone.
Gloves: This form of hand protection frequently incorporates materials and padding that reduce the risk of broken bones in the hands and fingers while also reducing abrasion to the back of the hand and palm.
Knee/Elbow/Shin Guards: Special reinforcement can be added to the high-risk impact areas of riding pants that include the knees, shins, and elbows.
Eye Protection: Motorcycle goggles, unlike conventional and commonly worn sunglasses, offer impact protection to prevent eye injuries and loss of vision.
The Role of Motorcycle Helmets in Preventing Motorcycle Injuries and Fatalities
Motorcycle helmets that are designed to protect the head, face, and brain constitute the most essential form of safety equipment. Although head trauma constitutes the most prevalent cause of rider deaths, helmet use significantly reduces the risk of potentially fatal brain injuries. According to the NHTSA, wearing an approved motorcycle helmet can decrease brain injuries by 67 percent and deaths by 37 percent.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Denver, CO pursue the fullest compensation in lawsuits involving collisions that result in exceptionally significant injuries. Our attorneys work with economists, actuarials, medical experts, vocational counselors, and others with specialized knowledge to determine the appropriate kinds and amount of damages (financial compensation) clients are entitled to pursue. Depending on the specific circumstances of your motorcycle collision, our motorcycle injury attorneys in Denver might seek some or all of the following:
- Expenses related to hospitalization, medical treatment, physical rehabilitation, prescriptions, medical appliances/devices, and home disability adaptations
- Costs of repair/replacement of the motorcycle and other property
- Past lost wages & diminished future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disability & disfigurement
- Burial and/or funeral expenses (Wrongful death lawsuits)
- Punitive Damages (cases involving particularly egregious behavior by the defendant)
Our Denver motorcycle injury law firm provides a free consultation to injured motorcycle enthusiasts, so we can determine the viability of a rider’s legal claim and address any concerns or questions. Alhasoon, Glidden & Glidden, LLC has become one of the few elite national law firms for seriously injured parties, which includes motorcycle collision victims.
Our attorneys know well that individuals in motorcycle accident frequently experience life-changing injuries, so we tenaciously fight for our clients’ interests by conducting a thorough investigation of the facts, analyzing collisions often with the assistance of respected experts, skillfully negotiating with insurance companies, and employing persuasive legal arguments in and out of the courtroom.
If you or a a close family member experience injury while riding, our motorcycle accident lawyers in Denver tenaciously pursue the best results for our clients. Call us at 1-720-487-1050 today.