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Proving Negligence After a Colorado Motorcycle Accident

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November 15, 2023 Motorcycle Accidents

When other people drive recklessly and carelessly, they may collide with a motorcycle, resulting in serious property damage and personal injuries.

In a motorcycle crash, the motorcyclist usually sustains the more significant injuries – especially if they fall on the ground or another vehicle.

The injured motorcyclist has the legal burden of proof to recover monetary compensation and damages. Specifically, they must establish several legal elements to qualify for monetary recovery.

When it comes to proving the legal elements of your case, you need a skilled Denver motorcycle accident attorney advocating for you every step of the way and answering all of your legal questions.

Your attorney can handle every step of your case. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer in your area can retain the necessary experts who can draft reports, testify as witnesses at a deposition or civil jury trial, and establish the legal burden of proof in your case.

Your lawyers will do everything they can to maximize your financial recovery through a favorable insurance company settlement offer or a successful litigation result court.

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Common Motorcycle Accident Causes and Types

Proving Negligence After a Colorado Motorcycle Accident

One common cause of motorcycle accidents is distracted or inattentive driving. Distracted drivers fail to pay sufficient attention to the road.

The many common driver distractions in today’s society include:

  • Texting or emailing
  • Browsing the internet or social media
  • Looking at a smartwatch
  • Talking on the phone, even with hands-free technology
  • Programming or following GPS directions
  • Paying attention to passengers
  • Reaching for items in other parts of the car
  • Personal grooming
  • Eating or drinking
  • Daydreaming

Any of these distractions can lead drivers to hit motorcyclists, causing severe and sometimes irreversible injuries.

A serious motorcycle accident may also happen when another driver exhibits road rage or engages in reckless driving. Other drivers may exhibit road rage when they hurry to get to their final destination. As a result, they may tailgate or speed around the motorcyclist.

They may also fail to use their turn signal or cut a motorcyclist off in busy highway traffic (such as near a highway exit or merge lane), negligently colliding with the motorcycle.

In addition to reckless driving, some motorcycle accidents happen because other drivers violate standard traffic laws and traffic laws.

For example, they might fail to yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist traveling on an intersecting road.

Finally, some motorcycle accidents result from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In Colorado, most passenger vehicle operators are legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration – or BAC – reaches a level of 0.08 percent or higher. When a driver receives a DUI conviction, they face criminal penalties and civil fines.

Colorado law severely penalizes intoxicated driving, or DUI, because impaired drivers cannot drive safely and carefully.

For example, an intoxicated driver can experience poor coordination, lack of concentration, impaired judgment, delayed reflexes, delayed reaction time, impaired vision, and the inability to judge distances between vehicles.

Consequently, an intoxicated driver might fail to see a motorcycle, or they cannot stop their vehicle in time to avoid hitting a motorcycle.

When other drivers deviate from the standard of care, motorcycle accidents can materialize, including:

  • Sideswipe accidents, where another vehicle strikes the side of a motorcycle that is traveling in an adjacent lane
  • Tailgate accidents, where the front of another vehicle hits the back tire of a motorcycle, often dislodging the cyclist from their bike
  • Head-on collisions, where the front of another vehicle strikes the front of an oncoming motorcycle
  • Broadside or T-bone accidents, where another vehicle strikes the side of a motorcycle, and the motorcyclist has the right-of-way on an intersecting road

If you suffered injuries in one of these types of motorcycle accidents, you need to consult a Colorado motorcycle accident attorney as quickly as possible.

Your lawyer can retain an expert to investigate your accident, review the police report, and file a personal injury claim on your behalf with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident

Since motorcycle riders have very little protection between their bodies and the ground, with the possible exception of their helmets, they may suffer serious injuries in an accident.

If a motorcyclist strikes the ground, they may suffer bone fractures, road rash injuries, traumatic head and brain injuries, spinal cord damage, or paralysis.

Other injuries that a motorcyclist may suffer in an accident include internal bleeding, internal organ damage, soft tissue injuries, facial contusions, mouth and teeth injuries, eye injuries, or death.

If you or a person you love suffered one or more of these injuries in a recent motorcycle accident, seek prompt medical treatment as quickly as possible.

If you delay your medical treatment for too long, your injuries and symptoms may significantly worsen. Always complete your prescribed medical treatment regimen and attend all of the necessary medical appointments, increasing your chances of making a full recovery.

For example, you may need to undergo surgery or other medical procedures, consult a medical specialist, or attend follow-up physical therapy sessions to recover your full range of motion in an injured body part.

During this time, a Colorado motorcycle accident attorney can handle the legal components of your case, retaining experts, gathering documents, and putting together a settlement demand package for the insurance company to review. Your attorney can then begin negotiating with the insurance company adjuster for favorable settlement compensation on your behalf.

The Legal Elements of a Motorcycle Accident Case

legal burden of proof in a motorcycle accident case

In a personal injury case involving a motorcycle accident, the injured motorcyclist has the sole legal burden of proof of all elements.

First, the injured accident victim must establish that the other driver owed them a legal duty of care. All drivers owe other drivers, including bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians, a duty to exercise reasonable care and to follow all traffic laws and regulations while operating their vehicles.

The injured motorcyclist must also demonstrate that the other driver breached or violated this duty of reasonable care. For example, a distracted, intoxicated, or reckless driver might have caused the accident.

The injured motorcyclist also needs to show that the at-fault driver’s breach was both the actual and the foreseeable cause of the motorcycle accident that ultimately occurred.

Finally, the accident victim must demonstrate that they suffered one or more physical injuries as a direct result of the motorcycle accident that the negligent driver caused.

Ordinarily, the accident victim may have also incurred medical expenses, lost earnings, inconvenience, pain, and suffering.

To establish the necessary legal burden of proof in your case, your attorney can retain several experts who can testify at a discovery deposition or during a civil jury trial.

For example, if the at-fault driver’s insurance company disputes fault for the accident, your lawyer may retain a certified accident reconstructionist who can speak with witnesses, visit the accident scene, review police reports, and employ other forensic techniques to determine how your motorcycle accident happened and who caused it.

Additionally, a medical expert can examine you and may state the following to a reasonable degree of medical certainty:

  • That your claimed injury or injuries directly resulted from the motorcycle crash
  • As a direct and proximate result of the motorcycle accident, you suffered injuries

Pursuing a Favorable Settlement Offer From the Insurance Company in a Motorcycle Accident Case

A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer in Colorado can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf. Your attorney can also handle all settlement negotiations for you and directly deal with insurance company adjusters.

Insurance companies are never on your side in an accident case. Instead, they are your direct adversary and will do everything they can to pay you as little monetary compensation as possible.

Insurance companies have only their own interests at heart, and their primary interest is keeping their money to themselves.

A qualified motorcycle accident attorney can aggressively negotiate on your behalf, highlight expert reports and medical records in your case, or initiate litigation if they do not increase their settlement offer to a reasonable number.

If your case must proceed to litigation in the court system, your lawyer can represent you at depositions, settlement conferences, jury trials, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings, and pursue the maximum monetary compensation you deserve.

At a jury trial, the jury will decide what, if any, monetary compensation you may recover for your injuries, while at an ADR proceeding such as binding arbitration, a neutral, third-party arbitrator will make that determination.

Recovering Monetary Damages for Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcycle accident victims may receive monetary damages, depending on the cost of their medical treatment, the specific treatment that they underwent, and the nature and extent of their physical and mental injuries.

First, motorcycle crash victims may recover compensation for their medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and lost income. Additionally, an accident victim can recover compensation for their non-economic or intangible damages.

Those damages include monetary recovery for loss of spousal consortium, lifetime care costs, permanent disability or disfigurement, loss of use of a body part, loss of life enjoyment, physical pain and suffering, inconvenience, and mental anguish.

Your attorney can determine the likely value of your case – depending on your case circumstances – and will work hard to maximize your overall monetary award.

Speak to a Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney About Your Legal Matter Right Away

If you suffered injuries in a Colorado motorcycle accident, time is of the essence. This is because victims of motorcycle crashes must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years of their accident date, absent exceptional circumstances.

If they fail to take legal action in the required time period, they will forever waive their right to recover any monetary compensation for their accident-related losses.

Keith Fuicelli, Attorney for Motorcycle Accident in Colorado

Keith Fuicelli, Colorado Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

When you hire an attorney to represent you in your accident case, you ensure that, as long as you didn’t wait too long already, you can recover compensation for the damages you suffered and that you will recover the most you possibly can.

A knowledgeable Denver personal injury lawyer in your area can immediately start investigating your accident circumstances and filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Your attorney can also retain experts to satisfy your required burden of proof. Finally, your lawyer can handle every step of the settlement or litigation process for you, ensuring that you maximize your monetary recovery to the greatest extent possible.

An attorney can only begin protecting you once you schedule your free case evaluation and formally hire them, so seek legal help today.