Denver, CO, Motorcycle Accidents Lawyers Helping Clients With Their Motorcycle Crash Claims
Motorcyclists love the feeling of freedom they have on their bikes, but the open nature of a motorcycle means that the rider is more exposed than a driver of a vehicle. This makes them much more vulnerable to experiencing severe injuries in a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death. Many of these accidents are caused by negligent motorists who are careless or distracted. Often they claim they “did not see” a motorcycle, with disastrous results for the motorcyclist. While riders can improve their chances of survival in a crash by wearing helmets and using high visibility safety gear, inattentive car or truck drivers can still cause serious accidents that can significantly impact the victim. If you find yourself injured and facing overwhelming medical bills, loss of income, or constant pain after a motorcycle accident, you shouldn’t have to deal with your difficulties alone. Contact Genco Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation today with a skilled motorcycle accident attorney: 303-500-1376.
What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
A motorcycle accident can happen in a split second and change life as you know it for you and your loved ones. The moments after a crash can be chaotic and disorienting. Ensuring the safety of yourself and any passengers should always be your priority. If anyone is injured, call 911 to get medical help. Follow the directions and advice of any emergency personnel on the scene. If you have been hurt, whether it feels severe at the time or not, you should go to the hospital for further evaluation and care. Once everyone is safe and if you are physically able, these are some steps you can take:
- Contact the police: They will come to the scene and file an accident report. This critical document will likely be used later to prove what happened during the accident and who was at fault. Your statement to the responding officer(s) of how the accident occurred will also become part of the official record.
- Gather information: For the drivers of any vehicles involved, record their policy number along with the insurance company’s name and phone number. If there are witnesses, attempt to get their contact info.
- Take photos: Most people carry phones these days, which can be utilized to get images of the accident scene. If your phone is capable, try getting as many pictures as possible from different angles. If you are hurt and cannot take photos, see if there is a trusted person present who can. Videos can also be helpful.
- Do not sign any forms for the insurance or agree to any settlements: You could be signing your rights away without even realizing it. Consult with a lawyer before giving a statement or signing any documents, even for your own insurance company.
- Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer: Consulting with a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident is vital. They will advise you on any further actions you need to take and help you navigate dealing with the insurance companies.
You may feel lucky to have escaped the crash without any obvious injuries, but you should always seek a medical evaluation after an accident, even if you feel ok. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, especially damage to the back, neck, or internal organs.
Avoid telling the police or other drivers at the scene that you are ok or unhurt. You should also never discuss who might be at fault for the accident. Even something as innocent as apologizing to the other driver or the responding officers could be twisted into evidence of an admission of fault by an insurance company during a lawsuit. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can inform you about what you should and should not say while speaking to insurance adjusters and will help you ensure that you get the necessary medical care to begin healing.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Most motorcyclists love the thrill of being out on the road in the wind and the sun. Many are experienced riders who understand the risks of riding a motorcycle and take the necessary precautions while driving. The likelihood of a motorcycle accident increases due to certain factors, such as driving at night or operating your motorcycle during inclement weather. However, according to motorcycle accident statistics, other drivers on the road are the leading cause of motorcycle crashes. Typically these dangerous vehicle drivers are distracted, impaired, or simply fail even to see the motorcyclist. According to the Hurt Report, which was a safety study done on motorcycle accidents in the US, other statistics for motorcycle accidents include:
- 25% of motorcycle crashes were single motorcycle accidents, while 75% of accidents involved a motorcycle and a car or truck.
- The other vehicle’s driver caused the accident by violating the motorcycle’s right-of-way in two-thirds of accidents involving multiple vehicles.
- Less than 3% of motorcycle accidents are due to vehicle equipment malfunctions. The majority of these were single-vehicle accidents where a punctured tire caused the driver to lose control and crash.
- Wearing proper safety gear greatly reduces crash injuries and fatalities. The most helpful equipment included thick, durable protective garments and DOT-approved helmets.
- Nearly half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol use.
- The severity of the injuries caused by an accident increases with speed and motorcycle size.
A large number of motorcyclists are injured by vehicles merging into their lane unexpectedly. When this happens, they have to make a split-second decision to take evasive action in order to avoid a direct collision with a much larger vehicle. This might include swerving or laying the motorcycle down at speed, which can result in hitting the median or other obstacles. The injuries from these actions can be catastrophic and, at times, fatal. Motorcyclists do have some ability to improve their chances of being seen and noticed by other drivers by wearing jackets with high-visibility colors and using the motorcycle’s headlight during the day. However, it is still the responsibility of other motorists to stay aware of the motorcycles around them and drive safely to avoid potential accidents.
What Are Common Injuries for Motorcycle Accident Victims?
Motorcycles are very basic vehicles when it comes to safety equipment. They do not possess the advanced safety gear found in other motor vehicles, like seat belts, roll cages, and airbags. Without these essential protections, injuries sustained by a motorcycle driver are much more likely to be severe and life-threatening. Even recommended protective gear like DOT-approved helmets and thick leather chaps and jackets is generally no match for the destructive forces of a crash, and riders are still highly likely to be hurt. The injuries sustained from a collision can lead to chronic pain, disfiguring scars, permanent disabilities, and in the worst cases, death. Significant injuries that can occur during a motorcycle accident include:
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries, including internal bleeding or collapsed lungs
- Head injuries, including TBIs
- Severed or mangled limbs
- Road rash (lacerations, often on the arms and legs, caused by sliding across the pavement at high speed)
- Facial and eye injuries
- Spinal injuries, potentially causing complete or partial paralysis
- Wrongful death
What Kind of Harm Can a Head Injury Sustained in a Motorcycle Accident Cause?
Head injuries are some of the most common yet devastating injuries possible in a motorcycle crash. They are vastly more likely if the driver is not wearing a helmet. A head injury can be mild to severe and may cause permanent physical and mental disabilities for the victim. Recovery from even a mild head injury often requires lengthy and expensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, and bills may begin to pile up. If a driver is thrown from their bike during a crash, the resulting impact may cause skull fractures and other head trauma, damaging the brain and possibly leading to death. Other potential head injuries from motorcycle accidents can include traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, brain swelling, seizures, and coma. If anyone involved in a motorcycle accident exhibits symptoms of a serious head injury, including nausea, vomiting, dilated pupils, headaches, unconsciousness, convulsions, slurred speech, or loss of coordination, they need immediate emergency medical attention.
How Long Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Every state has a statute of limitations that places a cap on the length of time a victim has to file a personal injury claim. This can vary based on the type of accident or claim involved. For example, personal injury claims in Colorado that involve a motor vehicle, like a motorcycle, car, or truck, have a three-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident. However, if your loved one dies in a Colorado motorcycle accident and you choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit, then you only have two years from the date of their death to file your claim. If a hit-and-run driver caused the death, then the statute of limitations increases to four years.
If a malfunctioning part caused your motorcycle to crash, you might decide to file a product liability lawsuit. In that case, you would only have two years to make a claim. But if the part was initially sold ten years or more before the accident, then it is no longer eligible for a product liability claim because the law assumes that it was not a defective product because it functioned properly for that long.
As you can probably tell, keeping track of how much time you have left to bring a lawsuit against the person or entity that caused your motorcycle accident can be quite complicated. If you miss this window, your case will very likely be dismissed, and you will be unable to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. This is why it is in your best interests to contact a Denver motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident. Building a strong case takes time, and providing your lawyer with an ample time frame to investigate and document your claims can be very beneficial to your case in the long run.
What Information Is Needed to File a Claim?
For your lawyer to build the most robust possible case for you, it helps to complete certain actions after your accident and provide as much documentation as possible. As mentioned before, you should still get an immediate medical evaluation after an accident to check for any injuries, even if you feel uninjured. This provides proof of any damage you suffered from the accident, and the documentation from this exam will be critical if you choose to file a lawsuit for damages. Other documents that may be useful for the lawyer who is handling your motorcycle accident claim include:
- Eyewitness statements and contact information.
- Medical bills and receipts for expenses.
- Medical records of your injuries and any care you required.
- Name and insurance info for the other individual(s) involved in the accident.
- Photographs and video of the accident scene.
- Police reports.
What Damages Can Be Recovered After a Motorcycle Accident?
The time after a motorcycle accident can be incredibly difficult. You may find yourself stuck with mounting medical bills while trying to push through a difficult and painful recovery from your motorcycle accident injuries. You may lose your job if you are unable to work, which adds another level of stress. An experienced personal injury lawyer will fight to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable. Their job is to get you the maximum compensation you deserve so you can get back to your life. Depending on the details of your accident, you could receive one or more of these types of compensation:
- Medical expenses: Any bills for the treatment of your injuries caused by the motorcycle accident, including hospital and ER stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, follow-up visits with your doctor or specialists, medications, and other medical care. This may also include future medical expenses if you will need ongoing care.
- Lost wages: If you missed work or lost your job due to the accident, you may be awarded for your lost income. If you are permanently unable to work, the court may consider compensation for the loss of your earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: If you sustained a severe injury, you might be compensated for the pain and discomfort you endured.
- Punitive damages: If the other party in the accident is found to have been impaired, reckless, or negligent, then the court may assess punitive damages. These are meant to punish the offender for their actions and act as a deterrent to keep others from doing the same thing.
What Are the Advantages of Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
When you have a medical complication or a serious vehicle issue, you seek a trained professional’s help instead of trying to fix it yourself. So why would you attempt to tackle a legal problem on your own? An experienced Denver, Colorado, motorcycle accident lawyer can thoroughly investigate and examine the evidence to build a solid case in order to get you the most beneficial resolution to your claim.
The injuries you sustain in a motorcycle crash can affect you for the rest of your life. At Genco Injury Attorneys, we believe that those who were at fault for your suffering should be held accountable for their actions, so you can be made whole. You deserve fair compensation for what you have endured. Remember that our motorcycle accident attorneys work for you on a contingency basis, so if there is no recovery in your case, you will not owe us any legal fees. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation: 303-500-1376.