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Motorcycle Accidents

We are experienced attorneys serving motorcycle accident victims in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado and we produce the results to back it up.

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Motorcycle Accident

$1m +

Our client was riding a motorcycle when he was hit by a car. He sustained serious injuries and we were able to recover over a million dollars without filing a lawsuit.

About Us We are a collaborative team with the ability to deliver for you.

All of our lead attorneys have extensive litigation experience against insurance companies. Our attorneys have secured multi million-dollar judgments and settlements. Many of our attorneys previously worked defending insurance companies. Now we use their experience and insight to advocate for our clients against those same insurance companies.

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We know how confusing it can be after an accident. Who will pay for your medical treatment? Should you talk with the insurance company? Here’s some common questions and answers as a starting point.

  • Dealing with a property damage claim is frustrating and time consuming. Sometimes insurance companies take too long to inspect your vehicle and provide you with an estimate. Ultimately, the at-fault person’s insurance should pay for your vehicle. However, there are times when you may want to use your own insurance, if you have coverage. For example, if the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance, you may need to use your insurance. Other times, the at-fault insurance may refuse to pay while they are investigating the crash and determining who is at fault (even if law enforcement has already cited the other driver). If you need a vehicle to get to work, you may not have time to wait for the investigation, so you may use your own insurance. In these cases, you may have a deductible, so your insurance will pay you the amount of the damage less the deductible amount. If the other insurance company eventually agrees its driver was at fault, then it will repay your insurance company and you will get a check for your deductible amount.

  • Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage, also called UM/UIM Coverage, is insurance coverage that you purchase to protect yourself from being in an accident with someone who has no insurance, or only very little insurance. UM / UIM Coverage is especially important in Colorado, where some liability policies only total $25,000 and there are many uninsured motorists. UM / UIM coverage must be offered to purchasers of liability insurance. The amount of UM / UIM coverage can range from $25,000 to over $300,000.

    UM / UIM typically works as follows. If a motorist with only $25,000 in insurance coverage causes you $50,000 in medical expenses, then you would first collect the $25,000 from the at-fault motorist. Once those funds were collected, you would then submit a claim under your UM / UIM coverage for the rest of your damages.

  • This is one of the most frequently asked questions. It can be answered, but the answer depends on the specific facts of your case. In meeting with many people over many years, we’ve often heard people say that they’ve read that their case is worth some multiple of the amount of their medical bills. They ask things like, “Should pain and suffering be three times (3x) the total medical bills?” or “What is the non-economic to economic damages ratio?”

    But determining the amount you are owed actually has nothing to do with any kind of multiplier or factor. The amount of your pain and suffering and changed quality of life are completely independent from the amount of your medical bills. Consider these two cases as examples.

    In Case 1, a person is in a high-speed crash. The car rolls several times and looks like a crushed tin can. The driver is immediately taken to the hospital by ambulance. The driver is shaken up, has some sore spots and is understandably in shock. Because of the powerful forces in such a crash, the emergency room doctor orders a full set of CT scans or MRIs to make sure there are no serious internal injuries. Fortunately, the driver has escaped any serious or lasting injury. She feels better and doesn’t seek any follow-up care. She takes it easy for a few days and continues to feel better. Within a week, she’s pain free and back to normal. We’ve seen folks in this scenario many times. Her medical bills are relatively high because expensive scans and emergency room care were provided. She also has a non-economic damages claim for pain and suffering, but how great is that compared to her relatively expensive medical bills? Her pain and suffering damages may be less than her total medical bills.

    In Case 2, a person suffers a severe, permanent injury that cannot be repaired, such as paralysis or traumatic amputation of a limb. He receives initial medical treatment, but the treatment is mainly to stabilize the condition. There are no long-term medical expenses because the injury cannot be healed. He must live with the permanent impairment for the rest of his life. He struggles to care for himself day-to-day. He cannot do the hobbies and other activities he enjoyed for recreation. His medical bills are relatively low compared to the severity of the injury. But his damages for permanent impairment, disfigurement, permanently changed quality of life and pain and suffering are immense. They will be many, many times greater than his total medical bills.

    An accurate determination of what your case is worth requires knowing the details of how your life was affected, the severity and duration of your pain, your long-term prognosis and medical needs, and whether you have any permanent impairment. The truth is, no one knows exactly what your case is worth unless you go through a trial and a jury decides it for you. But by applying our experience to the specific facts of your case, we can provide you with the likely range of outcomes.

Overview Here’s everything you need to know.

Colorado is a great place to ride motorcycles. Whether you’re cruising through winding mountain roads or commuting to work on the Front Range, Colorado’s scenery is amazing.  Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are common.  Motorcyclists must deal with distracted drivers and congested traffic.  Riding I-25 at rush hour is a nightmare and even surface streets get crowded with drivers who don’t give motorcyclists the distance and respect they deserve.

Because of this, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents is too high.  The U.S. Department of Transportation says you are 27 times more likely to suffer a fatal accident riding a motorcycle. Motorcycles make up about 3 percent of the vehicles on Colorado’s roads, but they are involved in 15-20 percent of the fatal accidents in Colorado.  We don’t want to scare anyone away from motorcycling.  Some of our lawyers are lifelong riders.  We get it.

We do want to make sure that motorcyclists don’t pay the high price of injury or death while the at-fault driver walks away without a scratch.  We work hard to give injured motorcyclists the respect they deserve and hold distracted drivers accountable.  Typically, injuries from a motorcycle accident are far more severe than those involved in car accidents.  We have helped clients involved in low speed motorcycle accidents, but who have suffered significant injuries to the head and spine.   Ride smart, and if you are injured by a careless driver protect your rights and call us immediately.

Common Injuries Sustained from Motorcycle Accidents

  • Head Injuries / Traumatic Brain Injuries:  Motorcycle accidents almost always lead to head injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injuries (“TBI”)
  • Back Injuries:  Motorcycle accidents can cause damage to the spinal cord.  Many spinal cord injuries are life changing.
  • Fractures:  Motorcycle accidents can lead to fractured bones, including broken legs , arms, ribs, and shattered pelvises.
  • Scarring:  Road rash is no laughing matter and can require surgery to repair. 
  • Permanent Disfigurement: Some scars remain and can’t be fixed through medical treatment.
  • Wrongful Death:  Since 2015, over 100 motorcyclists have been killed each year in Colorado.

Motorcycle Accident Without a Helmet

Colorado does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets. Even though you don’t have to wear a helmet, the insurance companies may try to hold it against you if you are in an accident and you were not wearing a helmet. They will argue that your injuries are partially because you didn’t wear a helmet. That’s right, even if a driver hit you because they weren’t looking where they were going, the insurance company may try to blame you for the injuries she caused.

Thankfully, Colorado courts are on the side of motorcyclists who don’t wear helmets. If you are trying to recoup some money for your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages, you cannot be penalized for not wearing a helmet.

Colorado courts say that evidence showing a motorcyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet is inadmissible. In other words, you can’t hold it against a motorcyclist if they weren’t wearing a helmet. If you aren’t wearing a helmet, you aren’t negligent, according to the courts. In lawyer speak: the evidence is inadmissible. The insurance company can’t argue that you would have been less injured if you were wearing a helmet.

Not wearing a helmet may not hurt your case but crashing without a helmet hurts.  We strongly encourage motorcyclists to wear helmets, gloves, riding boots, and armor.  According to a government study, helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing fatalities.  You are also less likely to get a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) if you are wearing a helmet.  In Colorado, 59% of motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets.  In other words, the only way to ride safe is to wear protective gear, especially helmets.

Your Motorcycle Injury Claim

Motorcycle accident claims can be more complicated than car crash claims.  Many insurance companies have special policies for motorcycle accident claims that they don’t have for car accidents.  For example, some insurance companies make you buy additional MedPay insurance for motorcycle coverage. 

Frequently, the insurance company for the at-fault driver will argue that the motorcyclist is also at fault.   They might argue that the motorcyclist was speeding or should have been paying more attention to avoid the crash.  We have been down this road before and know how to respond to the insurance companies’ arguments and get motorcyclists the compensation they are entitled to.

We are here to help. Contact HSD Law today to discuss your motorcycle accident claim.