Denver Bike Accident Attorneys
A bicycle accident that’s caused by a vehicle such as a car, truck or bus can have devastating consequences on a rider. If you’ve been hit while riding your bike or if a loved one is recovering from such an accident, you should speak with a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible.
Bike accidents are serious issues. With little to no protection from another car and the road, injuries can be extensive and costly. It’s important to establish who was at fault, and get compensation so you can heal and, hopefully, return to a bike path someday.
The Lamber Goodnow injury law team, and our partner firms in Colorado have bike-accident attorneys with experience in cycling accidents — we’re cyclists ourselves — who know the Colorado bike rider laws and also know how insurance companies try to get out of paying for claims like these. Our experts will help determine who’s liable and will fight for you while you’re healing.
Investigating a Bicycle Accident
Bike accidents are like other types of accidents — like rear-end collisions or other fender-benders. In fact, cyclists have the same rights as other vehicles in almost every state in the nation. You have the right to be on the road, and simply saying “I didn’t see her” isn’t a justification for hitting you.
When we take your case, we’ll launch an investigation. If there’s a police report, we’ll review the report as well as get witness statements (if they’re not already available). We’ll also return to the accident scene so we can understand the road conditions, what you experienced, what the driver saw, and more. We’ll review your medical records, and talk to experts to find out about your short- and long-term prognosis.
Typically, as we investigate we’ll find that these issues come up:
- Sudden braking
- Failure to signal a lane change
- Infringing on the bike lane
- Failure to stop or follow posted signs
- Hit and run
You Have Bike Accident Questions – We Have Answers:
Does Colorado’s duty to report accidents when a person is injured include bicycle accidents?
Yes, each person involved with an accident in which a person is injured has a duty to report the accident to the police. This includes accidents where bicycles are involved.
If I am partially at fault in my bicycle accident, may I still recover damages for my injuries?
There are many reasons why a cyclist may be partially at fault for an accident involving a motor vehicle. For example, the cyclist could have been distracted, riding on the wrong side of the street, or not wearing a helmet. However, this does not mean that they will not be able to recover for their damages. Colorado employs comparative negligence, which will compare the plaintiff’s (injured person) fault with the defendant’s fault.
If the plaintiff is less than 50% at fault, they may recover damages from the defendant in proportion to their fault. Therefore, if a plaintiff is 10% at fault, and they have $100,000 in damages, they may recover $90,000 in damages from the defendant. However, if the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault they will be barred from recovery.
Can I hire a bicycle expert for my trial?
Yes. There are physicists, engineers, and other specialists who dedicate their life’s work to recreating bicycle accident cases, designing bicycles, and determining whether or not a bicycle was improperly manufactured, maintained, or repaired. These experts may testify in a trial to the design aspects that could have caused the accident or other safety features of the bicycle.
What if I was involved in a bicycle accident that was a hit and run and sustained injuries?
If you were involved in a hit and run where you sustained injuries it is very important for you contract medical assistance immediately. Many accidents involving cyclists and other motor vehicles may cause traumatic injuries; it is imperative to get medical help as soon as possible.
After you have called for medical attention try and locate the license plate or make and model of the vehicle that hit you. The vehicle is probably gone by this time, so look to see if any witnesses were in the area and have the information. It is also important to contact the police. They will create an accident report and will have better resources for you to try and locate the hit and run driver.
Unfortunately, in some situations the driver is never found. If this is the case you will be able to receive compensation for your damages if you have uninsured/underinsured insurance.
What if I was involved in an accident with more than one automobile and I think both drivers are at fault?
It is very common for cyclist to be involved in an accident where more than one automobile is involved. Examples include a motorist opening a door into a bike lane causing the cyclist to have to swerve and be hit by another vehicle, distracted drivers texting or on the phone and causing a cyclist to swerve and get hit by another vehicle, or automobiles not looking before they back up into a bike lane and pushing the cyclist into another vehicle.
Because Colorado uses the comparative negligence doctrine, each person involved in the accident will be apportioned an amount of fault. If the plaintiff (injured person) is less than 50% at fault they will be able to recover from the other people involved in the accident that were at fault. The plaintiff may choose to recover damages from both (in proportion to their fault) or only one of the defendants.
However, Colorado has also adopted the Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act, which created a right for the defendant to collect contribution from other defendants if they are at fault. An example of this would be a plaintiff sustaining $100,000 in damages from two tortfeasors (people that have committed a wrongful act) that were equally at fault, but only going after one to pay for their damages. The person that had to pay the full $100,000 may then collect a contribution from the other wrongdoer for half the expenses.
If I was hit while riding my bicycle and sustained injuries, how long do I have to file a lawsuit?
In Colorado, a person who has sustained personal injuries in a bicycle accident has three years from the accident to file a lawsuit. Col. Rev. Stat. 13-80-101(n). If the person is a minor (under 18 years of age) they have three years after they turn 18 to file a lawsuit. If the lawsuit is being filed against the city or any of their employees it must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. Col. Rev. Stat. 13-80-102(1)(h).
If I am injured in a bicycle accident what type of damages may I receive for my injuries?
The type of damages depends on the nature and extent of your injuries. If you have a minor injury you may receive damages that cover your medical expenses or property damage.
It is best to consult a personal injury attorney so that they may be able to guide you through your unique situation and obtain the correct amount of damages so that will be able to move on with your life.
Do cyclists have special duties and rights in Colorado?
In Colorado, bicycles have the same rights and duties as drivers of any other motor vehicle. This includes abiding by traffic laws, such as stopping at stop signs, yielding to pedestrians and having a heightened duty of care when pedestrians are in a crosswalk.
In Colorado, does a motor vehicle have to give a cyclist a certain amount of space when they pass them?
Colorado Revised Statute § 42-4-1003 states:
“(1) The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction:
(b) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction shall allow the bicyclist at least a three-foot separation between the right side of the driver’s vehicle, including all mirrors or other projections, and the left side of the bicyclist at all times.
(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.”
Are there any special laws I must follow when riding my bike at sunset or sunrise?
Colorado law requires that every vehicle (this include bicycles) that is on a highway within the state shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices during sunset or sunrise when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable conditions, persons or vehicles are not clearing discernable from a distance of 1,000 feet.
What are the bicycle laws in Colorado?
There are several laws that are specifically for cyclists in Colorado. The first is that every person riding a bicycle shall have all the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle. Col. Rev. Stat. § 42-4-1412(1).
Additionally, a bicycle shall be used to carry only the amount of people that it was designed or equipped to carry; Col. Rev. Stat. § 42-4-1412(3) and no person riding a bicycle will try to attach themselves to any motor vehicle upon a roadway. Col. Rev. Stat. § 42-4-1412(4).
If a person is riding a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic they shall ride in the right-hand lane; Col. Rev. Stat. § 42-4-1412(5)(a) and shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for exclusive use for bicycles. Col. Rev. Stat. § 42-4-1412(6)(b).
Furthermore, every bicycle, ridden during sunset or sunrise, shall be equipped with a lamp on the front emitting a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and a red reflector of a type approved by the department, which shall be visible for six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. Col. Rev. Stat. § 42-4-221(3)-(4).
The Lamber Goodnow Process
When a new client comes to us, we always explain our process — we can be a little different from other firms, and we think our approach to cases is innovative and gets results. First, it’s important to know that your initial consultation with us is completely free, and you’re not under any obligation to hire us. It’s like a first date — ask us some questions, tell us your story, and see if you like us. We’ll listen to you, offer our opinion, and probably ask you a few questions, too.
If you decide to hire us, you’ll benefit from what we call our No-Fee Promise. Under this, you won’t be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses while we’re handling your case. Even when we’re footing the bill for an investigation, you won’t be charged a penny. We won’t earn any money on your case until, or unless, we receive a settlement or a verdict in your favor. That’s how we work.
To find out more about us, and to learn your rights after being in a bike accident, please call us at (303) 800-8888. We look forward to talking to you.
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 42-4-1606.
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-210111(2).
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-50.5-101 to § 13-50.5-106.
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-107.
 Palmer Park Gardens, Inc. v. Potter, 162 Colo. 178, 425 P.2d 268 (1967), Heckman v. Warren, 124 Colo. 497, 238 P.2d 854 (1951).
 Thompson v. Tartler, 166 Colo. 247, 443 P.2d 365(1968).
 Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Ry. V. Petit, 37 Colo. 326, 86 P.121 (1906).
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-25-127.
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 42-4-1412(1).
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 42-4-204(1).
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