Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Serving Denver and All of Colorado
A motorcycle accident always needs to be taken seriously. Motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable in the event of a crash. Serious injuries and even fatalities are highly likely in motorcycle accidents.
Burg Simpson has extensive experience representing injured riders and the families of those who have been killed in motorcycle accidents throughout Colorado. Our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you and your loved ones recover the maximum compensation you deserve.
For a FREE and confidential case evaluation, call Burg Simpson at 303-792-5595 today. Our motorcycle accident lawyers serve clients in Denver and all of Colorado.
What a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
There are a number of reasons to hire an attorney after a motorcycle accident. First and foremost, the odds of fair compensation are stacked against you until you speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Drivers and other negligent parties often blame motorcyclists for crashes. Their insurance companies typically back them up, unfairly denying claims or offering to pay only a fraction of the damages to which you are entitled.
A motorcycle accident attorney can provide you with much-needed guidance and support in this challenging time. Reasons to entrust your motorcycle accident case to Burg Simpson include:
- Comprehensive investigation. Determining the cause of the motorcycle crash is essential for identifying who is at fault. Our lawyers pay close attention to every detail so we can take action against all liable parties.
- Thorough evidence collection. From inspecting the accident scene to speaking to witnesses to reviewing physical, documentary, and electronic evidence, our firm is unmatched when it comes to diligent collection of evidence.
- Advanced knowledge of complex injuries. Motorcycle injuries are serious. We review your medical records and consult your doctors and outside medical experts to gain a complete understanding of the injuries you sustained in the motorcycle accident and how those injuries impact your life, in the present and the future.
- Recovering the compensation you deserve. While the insurance company wants to pay you as little as possible, Burg Simpson seeks to maximize your compensation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers take into account all of the expenses you have incurred, anticipate future costs, and quantify issues like physical pain and mental and emotional anguish.
- Powerful and respected negotiators. Many personal injury cases are resolved through settlement agreements with an insurance company. Lawyers at Burg Simpson know how to negotiate with insurers and advance our clients’ goals. Often, this results in higher settlements than many other law firms are able to obtain.
- Taking your case to trial. Many attorneys never go to court. At Burg Simpson, our proven trial lawyers are passionate about preparing cases for trial and fight for our clients.
Motorcycle Laws in Colorado
Like all drivers, motorcyclists are required to obey the rules of the road. In addition, riders are subject to the following state laws:
- Motorcyclists are required to have a general motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license to operate a motorcycle in Colorado.
– See Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) § 42-2-103
- Protective eyewear (such as goggles or safety glasses) is required for motorcyclists and passengers.
– See C.R.S. § 42-4-232
- C.R.S. § 42-4-1502 sets forth the following regulations for motorcyclists:
- Motorcyclists may only ride in a seated position with one leg on either side of the motorcycle.
- Carrying a passenger on a motorcycle is not permitted unless there is a permanent seat designed to accommodate a second person.
- Riders must have both hands on the handlebars when operating a motorcycle; carrying or holding objects while riding is prohibited.
- C.R.S. § 42-4-1503 regulates the safe operation of motorcycles on laned roadways:
- Motorcyclists are entitled to a full lane of traffic (although motorcycles may be ridden two abreast within a single lane).
- Riders may not pass other vehicles in the same lane.
- Lane splitting (i.e., riding a motorcycle in between two lanes of traffic) is prohibited.
- Motorcycle riders are not allowed to cling or otherwise attach themselves to other vehicles.
– See C.R.S. § 42-4-1504
The mandatory insurance requirements in Colorado also apply to motorcycles. Riders are required to carry:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $15,000 in property damage coverage per accident
What Is the Helmet Law in Colorado?
Motorcycle riders and passengers who are under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets. For the broader population, however, Colorado does not require helmet use among motorcyclists.
Although riders are not required by law to wear a helmet, the risks of going without a helmet are significant. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of dying in a motorcycle accident by 37%.
What’s more, not wearing a helmet may limit the compensation you can recover for the accident. Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence standard (see C.R.S. § 13-21-111). Recoverable damages are reduced if it is determined that the plaintiff’s actions contributed to their injuries. If the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, the plaintiff is barred from recovering any compensation.
Although not illegal in Colorado, the decision not to wear a motorcycle helmet may be seen as contributory negligence (especially if the motorcyclist suffers a head injury). For your safety and to protect your right to maximum compensation in the event of a motorcycle accident, it is strongly in your best interest to wear a helmet when riding.
Who Is Responsible for Motorcycle Accidents?
Studies show that motorists (not motorcycle riders) are responsible for the majority of accidents in which motorcycles are involved. Although it is not uncommon for riders to get the blame, you should never admit fault for a crash.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers will fully investigate to determine who is at fault and ensure that liability is properly assigned. It is often the carelessness of a driver that causes the accident. Common issues that lead to collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles include:
- Failure to yield
- Lack of surveillance (e.g., not checking blind spots)
- Errors when making left turns
- Distracted driving
- Running stop signs and red lights
- Aggressive driving
- Drinking and driving
Even if no collision occurs, the drivers of motor vehicles can be held liable if their negligence causes a motorcyclist to crash. A motorcycle accident lawyer can investigate on your behalf and hold the careless driver accountable for causing the single-vehicle accident.
Depending on the circumstances, parties other than a motorist may also be responsible for a motorcycle accident. This may include the employer of a commercial driver, the manufacturer of a defective component on your motorcycle or another vehicle, and/or the government entity tasked with ensuring that the roadway is safe and maintained properly.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Riders may suffer multiple injuries in the event of a motorcycle accident. These injuries are often serious, resulting in significant medical expenses, time away from work, and potentially permanent, adverse effects on your life as a whole.
Burg Simpson can help if you or a loved one sustained any of the following in a motorcycle accident:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Injuries to the eyes, nose, mouth, and jaw
- Neck injuries, up to and including quadriplegia
- Back and spinal cord injuries, including paraplegia
- Cuts, gashes, and lacerations
- Fractured bones in the torso, pelvis, and/or extremities
- Road rash and burn injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Amputation injuries and lost limbs
Wearing a helmet and other safety gear significantly reduces the potential for serious injuries. However, even the most fully equipped riders can be severely hurt or even killed in a major accident.
At Burg Simpson, we understand the complex and long-term medical implications of catastrophic injuries. Our firm is committed to pursuing maximum compensation and justice for individuals whose lives have been irrevocably altered by the negligence of others.
We also understand the devastating emotional, psychological, and financial impact of fatal motorcycle accidents. Our attorneys can make a claim for wrongful death if your loved one sustained fatal injuries while riding a motorcycle.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Your health and safety should be your top priority after a motorcycle accident. If possible, you should move yourself and your motorcycle out of the road. You also need to dial 911 if you or anybody else has been injured.
The steps you take next depend on your injuries. If the paramedics determine that you should be transported to the hospital, that is what you need to do. If you are treated and released at the scene, there are steps you can take to begin building your motorcycle accident case:
- Document the scene. Take pictures of any and all notable details. This includes the condition of your motorcycle and any other vehicles, the injuries you have suffered, debris in the roadway, weather conditions, the other driver(s), and identifying location landmarks/signage. If you do not have a phone or it was damaged in the crash, take written notes instead.
- Talk to bystanders. Anyone who saw the accident can provide valuable testimony that may support your claim. Write down or record what any witnesses have to say, and get their names and contact information, as well.
- Exchange all necessary information. Record the name, contact information, and insurance information for any drivers involved in the crash. You will also need the license plate number and the year, make, and model of each vehicle.
- Make a statement to the police. If a police officer responds to the motorcycle accident, you may be asked to provide information for the crash report. Answer any questions truthfully, but do not say anything to suggest that you may have been at fault. Even if there is evidence that shows you are not responsible for the accident, it can be difficult to “walk back” any statements you make to the contrary.
- Seek medical attention. You should go to the emergency room or see your doctor as soon as possible once you leave the scene. This will allow for the prompt diagnosis of any injuries you suffered, as well as thorough and timely documentation of the aftermath of the accident.
Whether you had to be taken to the E.R. right away or you were able to complete all of the steps above, the next thing you should do is speak to an attorney. Legal guidance is crucial after a motorcycle accident, as you don’t want the liable parties or the insurance companies to take advantage of you.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at Burg Simpson can review your case for free. We are committed not only to obtaining the outcome you deserve but providing hands-on assistance at every point in your claim.
How Long Do I Have to Sue After a Motorcycle Accident?
In Colorado, bodily injury claims arising from the operation of a motor vehicle must be brought no more than 3 years from the date of the accident (see C.R.S. § 13-80-101). The statute of limitations applies to all legal actions involving motor vehicles, including motorcycles.
Three years might seem like a lot of time to resolve your motorcycle accident claim. However, it is never too early to speak to an attorney.
Burg Simpson will take steps immediately to collect relevant evidence. Our motorcycle accident lawyers will handle all communications with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and, if necessary, file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. If a settlement can’t be reached, we can also take your case to trial and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
The losses for which you can recover compensation after a motorcycle accident are known as damages. You may be entitled to economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the expenses you incur and the other financial losses you sustain as a result of a motorcycle accident. Meanwhile, non-economic damages refer to the more general effects of the accident on your life.
The motorcycle accident attorneys at Burg Simpson will review the evidence and enlist expert witnesses to prove every dollar of damages to which you are entitled. Potential compensation in your motorcycle accident claim may include:
- Economic damages such as:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Loss of earning capacity
- The cost of traveling for medical care, rehabilitation, and therapy
- Assistive devices
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Non-economic damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
In Colorado, non-economic damages are capped at $642,180 (originally $250,000 but adjusted for inflation) “unless the court finds justification by clear and convincing evidence” that a higher award is warranted (see C.R.S. § 13-21-102.5). The maximum non-economic damages that may be awarded in such a case is $1,284,370 (originally $500,000 but adjusted for inflation).
A third category of compensation, punitive damages, may also be recoverable in very limited circumstances. The court may award punitive damages if compelling evidence is presented at trial that the defendant(s) engaged in “fraud, malice, or willful and wanton conduct” (see C.R.S. § 13-21-102). Simple negligence on the part of a motorist or other party will not meet this standard; the evidence must show that the conduct of the defendant(s) was egregious and led to the motorcycle accident.
How Common Are Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents in Colorado are a serious concern for riders and motorists alike. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), motorcycle accident deaths accounted for nearly 22% of all Colorado traffic fatalities in 2020, even though motorcycles represent just 3% of the vehicles on our roads.
Motorcyclists remain disproportionately represented in traffic fatalities. According to national data from 2021, for every vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are approximately 24 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than individuals in passenger cars.
One of the main contributing factors to motorcycle accidents in Colorado is alcohol impairment. CDOT reports that alcohol is a factor in 37% of all traffic fatalities in the state. Other common factors in motorcycle accidents include excessive speed, distracted driving, and failure to yield the right-of-way.
As a rider or motorist, it is important to take steps to prevent motorcycle accidents. This includes following traffic laws, wearing proper safety gear, and remaining alert and attentive while driving. By working together, we can help to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities on Colorado roads.
How Can I Protect My Rights After a Motorcycle Accident?
If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident and have sustained serious injuries, collecting evidence at the scene can be difficult. However, there are several steps you can take to protect your rights and build a strong motorcycle accident claim.
- Prioritize your Health: First and foremost, prioritize seeking medical treatment and following all recommendations from your medical providers. This will not only aid in your recovery but also demonstrate the severity of your injuries to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- Use caution when dealing with insurers: It’s important to be cautious when dealing with insurance companies, including your own. You’re obligated to report the accident, but you don’t have to make a statement to an adjuster. If an adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, don’t answer any questions and consult a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
- Get a copy of the police report: Obtaining a copy of the police report is also crucial. The report includes essential details about the accident, such as the location, date and time, drivers’ names, witness statements, and preliminary fault conclusions. If you weren’t able to collect information at the scene, the police report can fill in many of the gaps.
- Contact Burg Simpson: It is critical to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer who can investigate the accident, determine liability, collect evidence, and negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If necessary, an attorney can also file a lawsuit and take your case to trial.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Burg Simpson have extensive experience helping the wrongfully injured recover the compensation they deserve after a crash. We are committed to helping accident victims move forward with their lives.
Where Is a Motorcyclist Most Likely To Crash?
According to data from the Colorado Department of Transportation, The top five counties with the highest number of motorcycle crashes are:
- El Paso (337)
- Jefferson (329)
- Denver (278)
- Arapahoe (217)
- Larimer (202)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that most motorcycle fatalities occur:
- In urban areas (61%)
- Not at intersections (65%)
- In clear/cloudy weather (97%)
- During the day (57%)
How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Motorcycle Accident?
The recovery time after a motorcycle accident can vary greatly depending on the severity of the injuries sustained. Some injuries may heal within a few weeks, while others can take several months or even years to fully recover. Some injuries are permanent.
Minor injuries such as cuts, bruises, and minor fractures may take a few weeks to heal, while more severe injuries such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and amputations may require months or years of rehabilitation and ongoing medical care.
The recovery time can also be affected by the age and overall health of the accident victim, as well as their access to medical care and rehabilitation services. In some cases, the emotional and psychological impact of the accident can affect a person’s recovery time.
It’s important to follow all medical advice and attend all scheduled appointments to aid in the recovery process. Additionally, seeking support from family, friends, and mental health professionals can also aid in emotional and psychological recovery.
How Do Motorcycle Accident Claims Work?
In Colorado, motorcycle accident claims typically work like other personal injury claims. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and you believe that someone else was at fault, you may be able to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages.
To file a claim, you will need to gather evidence that supports your case, such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, and photos of the accident scene and your injuries. You will also need to provide the insurance company with a demand letter that outlines the damages you are seeking.
The insurance company will investigate your claim and may make an initial offer to settle. If the offer is acceptable to you, you can accept it and the case will be closed. However, if the offer is not acceptable, you can negotiate with the insurance company or file a lawsuit in civil court to pursue further compensation.
It is important to note that Colorado follows a modified comparative fault rule, which means that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your damages may be reduced. If you are found to be 50% or more responsible for the crash, you lose your right to recover any compensation (see Colorado Revised Statutes 13-21-111).
There is a statute of limitations on personal injury claims in Colorado, which means that you must file your claim within a certain amount of time after the accident. In Colorado, bodily injury claims arising from the operation of a motor vehicle, including motorcycles, must be brought no more than 3 years from the date of the crash.
If you are unsure about how to proceed with a motorcycle accident claim in Colorado, it may be beneficial to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney at Burg Simpson. We can provide guidance and help protect your rights throughout the process.
What If I Am Blamed for the Motorcycle Accident?
In Colorado, motorcyclists are commonly labeled as reckless daredevils, which often hinders their chances of receiving fair treatment after an accident. Drivers, insurance companies, and law enforcement frequently place blame on the rider, despite the high incidence of severe injuries and fatalities in motorcycle crashes.
If you are wrongfully accused of causing a motorcycle accident in Colorado, it is essential to present compelling evidence to disprove the allegations. The most effective way to do this is by hiring an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer promptly.
What If I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet When the Motorcycle Accident Occurred?
In Colorado, motorcycle riders and their passengers who are over the age of 18 are not legally required to wear helmets; however, if you were not wearing a helmet and were involved in a motorcycle accident, it could potentially impact your personal injury claim.
The at-fault driver or their insurance company may argue that your failure to wear a helmet contributed to your injuries and seek to reduce or deny your compensation accordingly. Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence system, which means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages as long as you were less than 50% responsible.
That being said, if you were not wearing a helmet and suffered head injuries, it may be more difficult to prove that the accident was solely caused by the other driver’s negligence. It is essential to consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case and determine your legal options.
Can Motorcycles Split Lanes in Colorado?
No, lane splitting is not legal in Colorado. The state’s traffic laws do not allow motorcycles to ride between lanes or alongside vehicles in the same lane. Violating this law can result in a traffic ticket and fine; however, two motorcycles can ride abreast in a single lane. This means that two motorcycles can share a lane, but three or more motorcycles cannot ride side-by-side in the same lane. It is also important to note that riders should always exercise caution and use their judgment when sharing a lane with another motorcycle.
Contact a Denver Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Experienced motorcyclists know the risks they face when riding. No matter how careful you are on your bike, the negligence of drivers and other parties can result in serious motorcycle accidents.
Burg Simpson has the experience and resources to handle complex motorcycle accident claims. The main focus of our practice is representing individuals who suffer severe and catastrophic injuries through no fault of their own, as well as families who have lost someone in an accident.
Our attorneys have recovered billions of dollars in compensation for clients nationwide. We have represented motorcyclists harmed by reckless drivers, faulty motorcycle parts, dangerous roads, and more.
Call Burg Simpson at 303-792-5595 today for a FREE and confidential case evaluation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers serve clients in the Denver Metro and other areas of Colorado.