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.