If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, Marathon Law is here to help.
As motorcycle accident lawyers, we know that a motorcycle crash can be a life-changing event. Medical bills can pile up. Insurance companies are constantly trying to low-ball your settlement. You don’t know whom to contact or even what a good phone number is. You don’t want to be at the mercy of the insurance companies. We get it. We at Marathon Law will represent you till you get justice and the compensation you deserve.
What happens when you are involved in an accident?
Needless to say that whenever a motorcycle accident occurs with another vehicle, the motorcyclist goes into a deep state of shock. You might be physically and mentally injured or your motorcycle could have been destroyed in the accident. You don’t know what to do next? How will you know as you had a frightening experience?
If you are not badly injured, then try collecting details of all parties involved in the accident. Should you want to later sue someone for negligence or their fault, these details will come in handy. If you have a mobile phone, then click the photos of vehicles involved in the crash and possibly their owners.
If any vehicle owner involved in the crash refuses to give his/her contact and insurance details, you can immediately call the police. It is the duty of the police to make a complaint and record the crash. If the police are involved, then it is easier for your lawyer to get the details of the other parties involved.
Is it worth hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer?
Yes, a good motorcycle accident lawyer will know what is a fair settlement and how to get one for you. Insurance companies will try every trick in the book
to reduce the value of your accident claims. A good attorney or law firm usually knows what strategies the insurance companies will use and then develop a counter-strategy that will help you secure the maximum compensation for your injuries.
With a good motorcycle accident lawyer, you will not feel wronged or cheated after you’ve completed the negotiation process. Typically, since the insurance company will eventually employ a lawyer to limit your claim, then you should hire a lawyer too. It can be difficult for you to argue with the insurance company and its lawyers on your own because it may require you to relive the trauma of the crash all over again, which can be stressful and make it harder for you to articulate your position.
What can a good lawyer or law firm do for you?
1) Help you in preparing the statement of claims and demand letters to insurance companies.
2) Negotiate and re-negotiate a settlement with the insurance company on your behalf.
3) Collect crucial pieces of evidence and getting witnesses on board.
4) Preparing all legal documents related to the crash.
5) Providing you with sound legal advice and forge a solid legal strategy.
6) Hiring experts to get you faster compensation for injuries sustained & examination of medical records of the victim.
7) Ready to go to trial, if the need arises.
8) Selection of the jury, presenting evidence and arguments in the trial.
9) Collection of judgment & appealing if the need arises.
Please hire a lawyer or law firm which has a proven track record of dealing with motorcycle accident claims. Ask other fellow motorcyclists about attorneys that they would recommend. When selecting a motorcycle accident lawyer for your claim, ask about their areas of practice or any previous cases they have handled and what relief they have obtained for their clients. If you are searching on the internet, please read reviews of that attorney/law firm. Hiring a competent attorney who can win your case is the most important step.
Who is at fault in motorcycle accidents in Colorado?
Motorcycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Another motor vehicle could be driving negligently and taking turns without looking, even loose gravel or a pothole on the road could drive the motorcyclist off-balance, someone could be negligently overtaking another vehicle from the opposite direction and can injure you badly, etc.
Colorado is an at-fault state, which means whoever is at fault is liable to pay compensation to the injured party. Determining who is at fault is crucial and this is where you need a good motorcycle accident attorney.
Even if you are at some fault, like going over the speed limit or not following some traffic rules, an insurance company will try to take unnecessary advantage of your fault by negotiating a low-ball settlement, which is against your interest. In Colorado, the law states that the person injured can recover from the party who was more at fault than you.
A good motorcycle accident lawyer knows that compensation can be reduced marginally; however, the right to recover from the at-fault party remains. It is your attorney’s job to play the facts in your favor and negotiate a settlement or make your case in front of a jury if necessary.
Can I sue after a motorcycle accident?
Yes, you or your loved one involved in a motorcycle crash have the right to sue the at-fault party. After the crash, you may become preoccupied with other things like undergoing medical treatment or counseling for that traumatic experience. It is very common that such accidents can be life-altering and can cause high levels of stress. It can take some time for families to recover and return to normal. That’s why it’s important for you to hire a motorcycle accident attorney who can handle your legal case while you focus on getting better and taking care of your family.
Statute of Limitations
You can easily find the statute of limitations for different states in the U.S. by simply doing a Google search. According to Colorado Revised Statutes, any
injury claim arising out of any accident involving any vehicle is to be filed within three years from the date of the accident. The same deadline applies for recovering any damage to any vehicle caused by an accident.
In case of death of a person resulting from a vehicle accident in Colorado, the family of the deceased person can file a wrongful death claim and the statute of limitations is two years from the date of wrongful death of the deceased.
Note- Please bear in mind that the date of accident and date of death can be different because in some cases the deceased may not die immediately after the accident.
The time provided for filing the case plays a very important role. If the time has passed, it is difficult to get your case admitted in the court, although not impossible. You can explain the reason why the claim was not filed on time but the reason should be valid and the burden of proof is strict.
It is a good practice to make damage and injury claims with the insurance company well in advance of the time provided. This allows you to negotiate effectively and keep all the doors open for possible relief from courts as well.
Can I sue someone personally after a motorcycle accident?
If liable for causing the accident and injury to the motorcycle rider, another person can be sued personally and made to pay for injured motorcyclists. Responsible parties or entities might include:
1) Driver who caused injury to the motorcyclist;
2) Other drivers who might be responsible for injury to the motorcycle rider;
5) The manufacturer of motorcycle parts, if the faulty motorcycle parts caused the crash.
From the above-mentioned list, anyone can be personally sued, provided they have contributed to the injuries of the motorist.
How to prove that driver is liable to pay?
To prove the case of personal injury, the injured person’s attorney needs to prove that the defendant (person who is sued) was negligent.
How to prove the negligence of a driver?
There are certain steps to prove the negligence of a driver:
1) The defendant (person who is sued) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
2) The defendant breached that duty;
3) The defendant’s breach of duty caused the injury;
4) The plaintiff suffered damages and injuries which need to be compensated monetarily.
If the plaintiff (injured person) can prove the above-mentioned points against the defendant, then the plaintiff can recover damages for their personal injuries.
Some instances where driver’s fault is proven by his conduct
A motor vehicle driver can be liable to pay damages for personal injuries resulting from that driver’s acts or omissions. The cases mentioned below are not exhaustive but are only some examples:
1) Driver is driving under the influence of alcohol
2) Texting while driving
3) Not following traffic rules
5) Driver driving a vehicle unfit to be on the roads
6) Driver is not paying attention
It is important to note that these instances apply where motorcyclists are injured in accidents caused by motor vehicle drivers.
What types of physical injuries can be caused in a motorcycle accident case?
Since a motorcycle is different from normal cars, physical injuries to a motorcyclist resulting from a motor vehicle collision can be much more serious than had the motorcyclist been in a car. In a motorcycle crash, the motorcyclist may be flung into the air and fall on the tarmac, which can cause serious injuries. Due to the direct impact on the motorcycle rider’s body, it can lead to serious physical injuries, such as the following:
1) Minor injuries
2) Road rash
3) Lacerations and abrasions
4) Spinal cord injuries
5) Broken bones
6) Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
7) Joint dislocation
8) Scarring and disfigurement
Motorcycle riders are most vulnerable to road accidents as they are more exposed to the tarmac and external conditions in comparison to a person in a passenger vehicle. The repercussions of a motorcycle accident can be brutal and long-term with a substantial increase in hospitalization expenses. Certain spinal cord injuries may translate to paralysis coupled with emotional trauma to the motorcyclist. Pain and suffering caused to the family of the motorcycle accident victim are also severe.
What damages/compensation can be recovered in cases of a motorcycle accident?
A motorcycle accident victim can recover various kinds of damages in law. As the victim is physically injured, it will take considerable medical expenses to reduce his/her pain and suffering. There are two major types of damages which can be recovered in a motorcycle accident:
1) Lost wages
2) Reduced earning capacity due to any disability
3) Existing medical bills
4) Future medical expenses, such as nursing & therapy
5) Movable property damage (motorcycle damage)
Non-economic damages cannot be easily ascertained and assigning a value is a subjective task (everybody will have a different opinion on the amount of compensation to be paid). Types of non-economic damages can include:
1) Pain and suffering
2) Loss of enjoyment of life by restricting use of all faculties of the body
3) Emotional pain and suffering
4) Loss of enjoyment of life
6) Loss of consortium
Motorcycle accident victims can be compensated for all of the above-mentioned injuries. As economic damages can be easily quantified in terms of how much money is to be paid, certain formulas can be derived to give an estimated value, whereas non-economic damages need to be calculated. This is where a motorcycle accident lawyer will help you to maximize your accident claim.
What if I was not wearing a helmet during a motorcycle accident?
The most common motorcycle accidents can become fatal if the rider is not wearing a helmet. In the state of Colorado, there is no requirement to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. But it may lead to a fatal accident injury and a jury reducing the award of damages due to fault on the part of the motorcycle rider, as well. Failing to wear a motorcycle helmet may result in a substantial loss in damages.
Insurance companies may also try to reduce settlement in an injury case if the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Your motorcycle accident attorney will have to face an uphill task to get the insurance company to not reduce the settlement amount to peanuts or a significantly lower amount of money.
An experienced motorcycle rider knows that there can be many causes of motorcycle accidents. It is important to understand the most common injuries involved in motorcycle accidents – firstly to protect against them, and secondly, to understand it from a personal injury standpoint.
What should I do when I am involved in a motorcycle accident?
1) Seek medical care for your injuries
It is important that you assess yourself for injuries. To ensure your safety, move away from the accident scene. Call 911 to seek medical help for the accident. Then if you need any help, or even if you don’t, it is good to be examined by a medical professional as the accident euphoria might not let you realize the seriousness of your injuries. If someone else is also injured in the accident, you can call 911 and ask for medical help for them, as well.
2) Collect the information of all people involved in the accident
If you have not sustained major injuries during the accident, then you can collect contact and insurance information of other parties involved in the accident.
If the other parties refuse to give his/her information (contact and insurance), then you can call the police at the same time. Clicking the pictures of the accident with your phone can also prove helpful in the trial or settlement.
Motorcycle accident injuries can range from minor to fatal. If injuries are nearly fatal or fatal, you cannot be expected to take any serious steps to gather the information of other parties involved in the motorcycle crash.
3) Contact the police
A motorcycle accident can be very dangerous and an accident injury can lead to death if first-aid help is not provided in time. Contacting the police is a good idea, whenever you are involved in an accident.
According to Colorado state law, every accident needs to be reported regardless of whether any injuries were caused, and even if there was only minor damage caused. A police report about the accident can be helpful to make your case at a later stage in recovering damages in accident cases.
4) Contact a motorcycle accident attorney
After the accident, you should call a motorcycle accident attorney who is experienced in handling motorcycle accident cases. Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney will help you to recover the maximum amount of damages, as your attorney will build your case from the start so that you recover the maximum amount on your accident claims.
You will also need a motorcycle accident lawyer who can advise you before you contact your insurance carrier. The insurance carrier can try to lowball your settlement claim as every penny saved is profit for the insurance company.
5) Contacting your insurance carrier
It is advisable to consult an attorney before making a statement to any insurance company but especially to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Making a statement for an insurance claim is no casual activity. What you say in your statement will have direct repercussions on the claim/compensation you receive.
Is it worth getting an injury lawyer?
Hiring a good motorcycle accident lawyer can be a major solution to many of your problems. Personal injury lawyers with experience in dealing with motorcycle accidents can help you in the following ways:
1) Building your case from the start can ensure maximum compensation for you.
2) Taking advice from a motorcycle accident lawyer can ensure a fair settlement of your claim.
3) Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer can help give you a rough estimate of how much your claim is worth.
4) A good motorcycle accident lawyer can help you to get a settlement quickly, as medical expenses may be piling up for your treatment.
5) Your lawyer should be ready to go to trial and should have trial experience if the need arises.
How do I choose a good motorcycle accident lawyer?
1) Ask for a free consultation
Any lawyer worth his or her salt who wants to take your case would be willing to provide you one free consultation. Tell him or her about your case and make sure you have all the relevant documents related to your case. Lawyers like clients who know their case (facts of the case) inside and out.
2) Ask about their practice areas
Whenever you meet a lawyer for the first time, ask about their practice areas. Try to ask about any previous cases which are similar to your case. Ask them about key pointers on what to do in a motorcycle accident case. This will enable you to judge the experience of the lawyer.
3) Ask them about what settlements they have won in their previous cases
Ask about the amount of settlement they were able to previously win in motorcycle injury cases. Ask them what claims can be made in your particular case. Also, get an idea of their fees and costs.
4) Choose among law firms located in your state or where the accident happened
As different states in the U.S. have different laws, it is important to choose a firm or an attorney from within your state or, if the accident did not occur in your state, then the state where the accident occurred. Your attorney needs to be conversant with the laws prevailing in the state where the accident happened. Even if you contact a law firm based on seeing their advertisement, they may refer the case to another firm if they are not licensed to practice in the state where the accident happened.
Discuss your case with a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Colorado
Speak to a Colorado motorcycle accident lawyer from Marathon Law about your motorcycle accident claim today. We offer free consultations through our office in Denver, Colorado, without any obligation to hire one of our motorcycle accident attorneys. Our goal is to educate you about your rights if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. Get a free case review from our legal team at Marathon Law by calling 303-704-1222 to reach our Denver, Colorado, office and seek legal advice.