Colorado is a beautiful place to enjoy bicycling. While many people in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado enjoy bicycling for transportation and recreation, the activity puts you at risk of a personal injury. The bicycle accident attorneys at Hadfield Stieben Doutt are here for you if you’ve been involved in a bicycle crash. Bicycling has many benefits, allowing you to exercise and do your part for the environment. More Colorado communities have been integrating bike lanes and bicycle awareness programs, but the interactions between motor vehicles and bicycles are still a concern. Accidents between bicycles and cars happen every day. Bicycle accidents can also occur as a result of dangerous conditions, issues with streets and parking lots, signage, debris, and more. Cyclists can also be injured by at-large animals, including vicious dogs.
Bicycle Accidents Caused by Negligent Motorists
Motor vehicle accidents between bicyclists and motor vehicles often occur because the driver of the car does not see the cyclist. This tends to happen even if the cyclist is riding legally on the street, sidewalk, or in the bike lane. Some examples of negligent vehicle operation leading to bicycle injuries include:
- The negligent crossing of the vehicle through a bike lane
- Distracted driving
- Failure to see a cyclist crossing the intersection
- Failure to see a cyclist riding on the sidewalk
- Failure to see a cyclist in the bike lane while opening a car door
Cycling Accidents Caused by Dangerous Conditions
If you are injured on your bicycle on someone else’s property, you may have a claim against a landowner. Landowners often fail to maintain roadways and parking lots. Common types of surface hazards include:
- Poor signage
- Failure to remove ice or snow
- Blind corners
- Unmarked hazards or drop-offs
- Poor design of a road or parking lot
What Types of Injuries Result from Bicycle Accidents?
Bicycle accidents can cause serious injuries, even if riders are wearing a helmet. Some common types of injuries resulting from bicycle accidents include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – A serious bicycle accident can result in traumatic brain injuries, with symptoms that may include headaches, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, disrupted sleep patterns, depression, and more. Seek medical attention right away if you experience any of these symptoms after a bike accident.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – Spinal cord injuries occur as a result of trauma to the vertebrae. Spinal cord injury symptoms may include extreme back pain, pressure in the back, neck, or head, weakness, incoordination or paralysis, numbness, loss of bladder or bowel control, or more.
- Broken Bones – Broken bones commonly occur from a bicycle accident. These injuries may require medical hardware to be installed to heal the bone.
- Rotator Cuff Injuries – It’s not uncommon for cyclists to experience a torn rotator cuff after an accident due to flying over the handlebars and landing on their arm or shoulder.
What Is the Colorado Bicycle Safety Act?
The Colorado Bicycle Safety Act took effect in August 2009. The Act was constructed to help clarify the relationship between cyclists and motorists on Colorado roadways. The Act includes the responsibilities of both parties, which are:
- Motorists must allow at least three feet of space when they pass a bicyclist
- Bicyclists who are riding side by side should move into a single file formation when motorists approach
- Bicyclists are permitted to ride as far right in the right-hand lane as possible
- Motorists shall not threaten, crowd, swerve, or throw things at bicyclists
Who Is Liable in a Bike Accident in Colorado?
Colorado bicycle accidents can be just as complicated as motor vehicle accidents. Determining liability often requires an attorney by your side. The Colorado tort system states that an injured bicyclist may file a claim for damages against an at-fault driver’s insurance company if a variety of conditions were met. As an injured bicyclist, you may file if the driver owed you a duty of care, violated their duty of care, and committed negligence, their negligence proximally caused your injuries, and you suffered harm as a result. Our bicycle accident lawyers can help you navigate through these complex matters.
Why Do I Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
As a cyclist, you may think you have an open and shut case if you’ve been the victim of an auto accident. However, an experienced bicycle injury attorney can dramatically increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. All motor vehicles owe a duty of care to other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians sharing the road. Accidents involving bicyclists can involve high claim amounts because bikers are more likely to have higher medical bills and longer periods of recovery and time off work to recuperate. Even so, insurance companies often employ tactics to avoid paying out claims. When they do pay, they try to settle for as little as possible. Having a personal injury lawyer represent you helps you obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering.
Fighting for Bicyclists’ Rights
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you may have several ways to obtain compensation. If you were injured due to the negligence of a motor vehicle driver, you might have claims against their insurance as well as your own uninsured or underinsured motor vehicle insurance. In some cases, homeowner’s policies or general liability policies can apply to your claim as well. The accomplished injury attorneys at Hadfield Stieben Doutt serve injured bicyclists and their loved ones in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. We produce results, and you don’t owe us any legal fees unless we recover money for you. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.