Every driver owes a duty of reasonable care to others on Colorado’s roadways, requiring them to act responsibly, pay attention and otherwise adhere to safety regulations. In some ways, those in passenger vehicles owe an enhanced duty to motorcycle riders who navigate the state’s highways, byways and streets at the same speeds, but without the same protections. When reckless drivers fail to do so, these individuals often pay the ultimate price.
Few would disagree that driving through Colorado’s passes in the summer months can be a breathtaking experience. Beautiful landscapes run through the mountains with winding roads to get travelers from one side of the state to the other. However, even when the passes are not covered in snow, drivers must remain vigilant of their surroundings.
For instance, police believe a 69-year-old woman decided to get behind the wheel of her vehicle impaired. As she traveled eastbound on Highway 60 through Monarch Pass, she crossed over the centerline and struck a motorcycle occupied by two individuals. One of them died at the scene while the other made it to the hospital only to die later.
These motorcycle riders suffered the consequences for the woman’s seemingly reckless and negligent behavior. Their families must now deal with the fallout in the aftermath of their deaths, which often includes substantial financial losses. Even when drivers do not face criminal charges in such tragedies, families may pursue restitution through the civil court system, which could lead to a monetary judgment for documented financial losses recognized by applicable laws.