Personal Injury Attorneys Helping Injured Bikers
Motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured in an accident than a passenger riding in a car. For obvious reasons, a motorcycle rider is more vulnerable in an accident than someone riding in an automobile. The number of fatal motorcycle deaths has been going up in recent years. Motorcycle accident fatalities increased by more than 50% from 2001 to 2008. According to statistics from 2011, nearly one in five traffic deaths was a motorcyclist. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2008, the number of crash-related deaths involving cars reached an all-time low in the United States. At the same time, however, the number of crash-related deaths involving motorcyclists reached an all-time high.
Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents
Automobile drivers often do not pay attention to motorcyclists in the same manner that they pay attention to other vehicles on the road. This can lead to motorcyclists being suddenly cut off by automobiles, resulting in serious auto accidents. A motorcycle can end up being in the blind spot of another vehicle. When the other vehicle changes lanes without looking, the motorcyclist can be injured. Many automobile drivers harbor a misperception that motorcycle riders are reckless and are usually the ones at fault when an accident occurs. The statistics, however, indicate that just the opposite is true. A motorcycle safety study initiated by the Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration examined over 900 motorcycle accident scenes. The authors concluded that two-thirds of accidents between an automobile and a motorcycle occurred when the automobile driver failed to see the approaching motorcycle and violated the motorcycle rider’s right of way. This same study also found that the use of helmets significantly reduced the risk of brain injury and death.
Serious Injuries Caused In Motorcycle Accidents
Because motorcycles provide less protection than riding in an automobile, motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to sustaining serious injuries in an accident. Motorcyclists are at increased risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or a spinal cord injury when they are involved in an accident. Although using a helmet does decrease the risk of sustaining a TBI in a motorcycle accident, even riders who wear helmets often sustain severe brain injuries. Other common injuries that motorcyclists suffer when they are involved in an accident include broken bones, severe lacerations and road rash.
Personal Attention To Your Motorcycle Accident Case
Your case will get the attention it deserves. We do not take dozens of cases like other personal injury law firms. Nor do we advertise on television or the radio. We believe that the best results are achieved by only accepting a limited number of cases and giving those cases the attention that is warranted. When you call us, your call will be returned by an attorney, not a paralegal or a secretary. Once your case is filed, all the attorneys in our firm will be intimately familiar with the status of your case, and we will keep you informed about what is going on. You will not get lost in the shuffle.
Call us today at 303-800-3168 to discuss whether you have an injury case.
Steps To Take If You Have Been Injured In A Motorcycle Accident
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, there are certain steps that you can take to help your case against the negligent driver who caused the accident:
- Write down important information regarding the accident. Make sure to get the name, address, telephone number and insurance information of the other drivers involved in the accident. You should also obtain contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident as well as from any paramedics or police officers who come to the accident scene. You can also obtain a copy of the accident report once it is processed.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your first priority is your health. Make sure that you are seen by a qualified health care provider and that you do so without delay. Depending on the type and severity of your injuries, you may need to be seen by an orthopedic surgeon, a neurologist, a neurosurgeon or a pain medicine specialist. Make sure that you go to all your follow-up appointments and listen to your doctor’s advice and instructions. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy in order to treat your injuries, and it is important that you attend your physical therapy sessions so that you can make as complete a recovery as possible.
- Do not sign anything before you talk to an attorney. Insurance company representatives may try to get you to sign documents when it is clearly not in your best interest to do so. In order to protect your rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated, you should contact an experienced Colorado car accident attorney before signing anything. In addition, insurance company representatives may ask you to give a recorded statement to them. Do not do so unless you have consulted with an experienced personal injury attorney first.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Motorcycle insurance policies require that you notify your insurance company in a timely manner. Make sure that you contact your insurance company soon after the accident and tell them that you were involved in an accident.
- Contact an experienced attorney who specializes in personal injury cases. There are a lot of attorneys out there, but only a small percentage of those attorneys specialize in the personal injury field. You want a lawyer who has obtained large settlements and has tried cases and achieved successful verdicts. The attorneys at The Mahoney Law Firm, P.C., are all experienced in the field of personal injury. They have all been included on Colorado Super Lawyers lists for multiple years. We have the experience to obtain the best possible outcome for your case.
The Mahoney Law Firm, P.C., Works On A Contingency Fee Basis
You do not have to pay The Mahoney Law Firm, P.C., unless we obtain a settlement or judgment on your behalf. We do not bill you by the hour. You do not pay any attorney’s fees unless and until a recovery is made on your behalf. Contact us for a free consultation. You can call us at 303-800-3168 or feel free to fill out the online email form on our contact page.
Motorcycle Accidents In Colorado
With its growing population, the number of motorcyclists in Colorado continues to increase. In 2010, the number of registered motorcycles in the state had grown to 180,000. With more and more people owning and riding motorcycles in Colorado, the number of accidents involving motorcycles has naturally increased as well. Colorado roads can be more challenging for motorcyclists to navigate because of our mountainous terrain and our climate. The weather changes quickly in Colorado, and snowstorms can be followed by sunshine, which causes the snow to melt and turn into ice on the highways. Many motorcycle accidents in Colorado occur because of snow-packed or icy road conditions.
Motorcycle Accidents In Wyoming
The number of motorcycle fatalities in Wyoming reached an all-time high in 2010. During that year, 30 motorcyclists lost their lives on Wyoming’s roads. This number was more than triple the number of deaths for the previous year. Most of the fatalities were men (23 out of 30) and two of those who died were minors. Alcohol or drugs were contributing factors in one-third of the fatal crashes, and 80% of the riders who died were not wearing helmets. More people than ever are riding motorcycles in Wyoming, which is one of the reasons that the number of deaths continues to rise. Wyoming is also known to be one of the most scenic states to ride in with its varied terrain that includes open grasslands as well as winding mountain roads. Statistics from Wyoming show that the number of motorcycle-related deaths spikes in the northeast corner of the state at the time of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in early August.
Colorado Motorcycle Laws
Motorcyclists in Colorado must obey the same traffic laws as other motor vehicle drivers. In addition, in order to ride a motorcycle in Colorado, one must obtain a special license (class “M”). This requires the applicant to pass a written examination as well as a riding test. Anyone over the age of 18 in Colorado is not required to wear a helmet, but helmets are required for minors. All riders and passengers are required to wear protective eye gear. Passengers must ride on the seat behind the driver or to the side, not in front of the driver. All motorcycles in Colorado must be equipped with footrests, and passengers are also required to use them. It is illegal for a motorcyclist to pass a vehicle in the same lane (i.e., no “lane splitting” with cars). However, two motorcycles are allowed to share a lane and ride side by side.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
In order to reduce your chances of being injured in a motorcycle accident, you should always follow these safety tips:
- Inspect your bike. Do this regularly to make sure that the brake lights are working, fuel levels are adequate and tire pressure is appropriate.
- Wear appropriate clothing. This can provide some protection from “road rash” to your arms, legs and torso. It is also a good idea to wear bright colors or reflective materials so that other motorists can see you more easily.
- Do not ride if you have been drinking. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that about 30% of motorcycle riders who died in accidents had a blood alcohol concentration of above 0.8.
- Do not speed. More than one-third of motorcyclists who are involved in fatal accidents were speeding at the time of the accident.
- Never share a lane with a car. Many accidents occur because motorcycles are smaller visual targets and motorists fail to take extra caution to look for motorcycles in their vicinity.
- Wear a helmet. A study from the Governors Highway Safety Association concluded that wearing a helmet was the single most effective way to prevent motorcycle accident fatalities. According to the study, wearing a helmet reduced the death rate by about 40%.
Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Are motorcyclists required by law to wear helmets?
It depends on the state. There are 19 states that mandate that all motorcycle riders and passengers must wear helmets. In 28 states (including Wyoming and Colorado), anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet but those over the age of 18 are not. These are called “partial” helmet states. Finally, there are three states (Illinois, New Hampshire and Iowa) that do not require helmets.
What is road rash?
Road rash is the slang term for severe abrasions and friction burns that can occur to the skin when a motorcyclist is in an accident and slides along the pavement. Road rash can be a very serious or even life-threatening injury, especially if the wounds become infected. The best way to guard against road rash is to wear protective clothing.
Will I have to go to court in order to get a fair settlement?
Statistically speaking, most cases settle before they go to trial. However, you will usually have to file a lawsuit and proceed with litigation before you will be offered a fair settlement by the insurance companies. Moreover, even in cases where the other driver was clearly at fault, it is not uncommon for the insurance company to refuse to offer a reasonable settlement without going to trial.
What if the insurance company is disputing the extent of my injuries?
In virtually every case, the insurance company will take the position that your injuries are not as severe as you believe. Indeed, insurance companies will often accuse you of outright faking your injuries or “malingering.” The insurance company will usually hire a medical doctor of their choosing to examine you and then testify that your injuries are not as serious as you are claiming them to be. Insurance companies are in business to make money. They do not make money by being fair to injured people. Rather, they make money by trying to settle claims for as little money as possible.
Do I need a lawyer?
Yes. In particular, you need an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases and who has experience fighting insurance companies. You are likely to be unwittingly taken advantage of by the insurance company if you do not have someone with legal training advising you.
Should I be seen by a doctor if I don’t think I have been hurt?
Yes. It is not uncommon for people to feel OK immediately after an accident but then begin to notice an injury days or weeks later. If you have just been in an accident, you will be full of adrenaline, which can mask the full extent of the injuries that you have sustained. Also, signs of a concussion cannot be easily diagnosed by a layperson. Only a health care provider is qualified to test you for signs and symptoms of a concussion.