Denver Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you are not alone.
We know the frustration of suffering an injury through another person’s negligence, and how much it costs to get back on your feet again. Our trial lawyers at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. have faced and defeated the toughest opponents on behalf of motorcycle accident victims. When we take your case, we see it through and get you the resources you need to heal and move on with your life. For a free initial consultation, please call (877) 433-3906 today. The sooner our motorcycle accident attorneys can review your case, the better your outcome is likely to be.
Most motorcycle crashes - an estimated 55% or more - are caused by vehicle drivers, not motorcyclists, at-fault drivers and their insurance companies will still blame the biker. They know how high your medical bills will be, and they simply don’t want to pay. Insurance companies are in the business to make money, and they want to protect their bottom line.
After a motorcycle-vehicle collision, that driver’s insurance company may make you a settlement offer. Do not take it before talking to an experienced Denver personal injury attorney. We know that insurance companies want to settle your claim as quickly as possible, for as little money as possible. It is, quite frankly, offensive.
We at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. have decades of experience handling motorcycle claims and dealing with truculent insurance companies. We do not rest until our client has received just compensation for his or her injuries, pain and suffering, property damage, and more, whether that means negotiating a settlement or a full jury trial.
More than 80% of motorcycle collisions in the United States result in injury or death to the rider. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) calculated that a motorcyclist is 28 times more likely to be killed in a crash than the occupant of a passenger vehicle. In Colorado, there has been an upswing in the number of motorcycle crash injuries and deaths over the past few years.
There are countless ways that motorcycle crashes can happen. The roads can be a dangerous place, especially for motorcyclists, who are less protected than drivers of other vehicles. Here are the more common causes of collisions:
- Following too closely: When a car rear-ends a motorcycle, it can lead to catastrophic injuries, and even death.
- Distracted driving: Phones never seem to leave our hands these days, and, despite the dangers being well-publicized, there are many drivers who use their phones even when operating a vehicle. This often leads to tragedy.
- Speeding: The faster you drive, the longer it takes to brake safely. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to follow speed limits and, as a result, struggle to slow down, even when there’s a motorcycle right in front of them.
- DUI: Driving under the influence is well known to be illegal, but drivers still make poor decisions. While intoxicated a driver’s reaction time will be slower, and they might not notice a motorcycle at all.
- Fatigued driving: Driving while extremely tired can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Reaction times are slower, it’s hard to keep your eyes open, and it’s more difficult to notice what is going on around you.
- Road conditions: Motorcycles can be difficult to keep balanced. A crack or pothole could send a rider flying or flip the motorcycle completely.
- Left turns: It is incredibly common for a car to turn left in front of a motorcycle while at an intersection. Motorcycles are smaller and quieter than other vehicles, and so can be hard to spot if a car driver is not paying close attention. Left-turn collisions can be devastating, and often lead to extreme injury for the motorcyclists.
- Lane changes: When changing lanes, drivers are supposed to check their blind spots, but because motorcycles are smaller than cars, a driver may not notice one upon first glance. These lead to a car driving directly into a motorcycle, and often severely injuring or killing the motorcyclist.
Whatever the cause, it is usually the motorcyclist who ends up with more severe injuries that drivers of cars or trucks.
In 2018, there were 4,985 fatalities related to motorcycle crashes in the United States, and motorcyclists represent a large portion of those fatalities. While being a fun activity that many Americans love, it is important to understand the risks that come along with riding a motorcycle. Here is just a small list of possible injuries:
- Spine injuries: Even a mild injury to the spine can cause lasting side effects, such as paralysis (paraplegia or quadriplegia).
- Broken and fractured bones: These injuries are common in most vehicle collisions, but with how prone motorcycles are to falling over and on top of their drivers, breaks and fractures are even more prevalent in cyclists.
- Road rash: Road rash happens when skin is dragged along pavement, causing many small cuts and abrasions. It can range in severity, from mild to needing immediate medical attention.
- Blunt force trauma: When the body is hit by something hard, but the skin isn’t broken, it is considered blunt force trauma. This kind of blow can cause a lot of internal damage that may not be noticeable right away.
- Internal injuries: Trauma to organs and internal bleeding are usually caused by blunt force trauma. While the outside of the body may look fine, internal injuries are incredibly dangerous and often severe.
- Lower extremity injuries: The most common type of injury for motorcycle riders according to the NHTSA. A lower extremity injury includes areas such as the legs, ankles, and feet. The lower half of the body is unprotected in a motorcycle crash and can easily be crushed by a vehicle.
- Traumatic brain injuries: TBI can range from mild to severe, but often leaves the victim with permanent side effects and disability. Helmets can help prevent serious TBI, but it remains one of the most common injuries in motorcycle crashes.
Proper safety equipment, such as helmets and road leathers, can help prevent or lessen the severity of many of these injuries. However, they won’t stop other drivers from making mistakes that could land you in the hospital.
The first thing is to seek out medical treatment. Your safety and wellbeing come before anything else. If you can, however, you should get the insurance information of the other driver involved in the collision and take as many photos of the scene of the crash as possible. Be sure to report the incident as soon as possible. The police can help investigate the cause and determine who should be held liable. However, when speaking to them, make sure to provide only the facts and do not admit any liability. Afterward, notify your insurance company of the situation.
Do not speak to the liability carrier until after you have an attorney to help you and never sign anything without having your attorney examine it first. He or she will understand the collision process and should know the best way to help you. Insurance companies, on the other hand, will want to resolve the issue as soon as possible, not caring if it means you don’t get your dues.
Above all else, do not drive away from a collision, even if you believe you are at fault. In Colorado, it is illegal to leave the scene of a collision. The penalties will be far worse if you leave and are caught than if you stay and do your best to help.
When filing a claim for injuries sustained in a motorcycle collision, there are a few different areas that costs can be recovered from. The one that may come to mind first is costs related to past and future medical bills. A stay in the hospital can be expensive, especially if your injuries are severe. You should not be swimming in debt because of someone else’s negligence. With an experience collision attorney in your corner, you could be awarded compensation for your medical bills.
But staying in the hospital doesn’t cost you in medical bills alone. Often, it means missing work and losing out on wages. Many people live paycheck to paycheck, and even just losing one can flip someone’s entire life upside down. With severe injuries, your ability to do your job could also be impacted. If you work in a warehouse loading trucks and you injure your spine, chances are you won’t be able to pick up those boxes anymore. In this case, you can include lost wages and lost future earnings in your claim.
You don’t have to just claim economic damages. You can also be awarded for pain and suffering as well as a loss of quality of life. Injuries impact us on a phycological level, not just a physical one. If you were severely injured in a motorcycle crash, your life may never be the same. You deserve compensation for that mental anguish.
Colorado has specific laws for motorcyclists to keep them, and everyone else, safe on the road. Understanding and following these laws can minimize your risk of an accident and, if you are in one, decrease your liability during your personal injury claim.
If there is a passenger on a motorcycle, they must be sitting behind the driver and using footrests. This increases visibility for the driver and stability for the passenger. In addition, anyone riding a motorcycle must be wearing a helmet and protective eye gear. Both pieces of equipment help reduce fatality and severe injury in the case of a crash.
Other than California, all states outlaw lane splitting. Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of traffic. This can be incredibly dangerous because cars will often be switching lanes, doors may suddenly be opened, or cars may be closer together than the motorcyclist thinks. A collision from lane splitting usually ends in catastrophe for the motorcycle driver. In Colorado, lane sharing, when a motorcyclist rides next to another vehicle in the same lane, is also illegal. Lane sharing presents similar dangers to lane splitting.
Each motorist has a responsibility to look out for other drivers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. This is known as a duty of care. When drivers do not take reasonable measures to prevent harm to the people around them, they can certainly be held liable for their actions.
We know the pain and frustration you feel after an accident, and we want to make your recovery as easy as possible for you and your family. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a crash, please speak to an attorney right away. Each state has deadlines for filing a personal injury claim called statutes of limitations. The sooner we can start our investigation into your accident, the better.
When Leventhal Puga Braley P.C., is in your corner, you get a team of top-rated trial attorneys working on your behalf. Our Denver-based lawyers have diverse backgrounds in medicine, criminal justice, and more. Our firm works with medical experts and accident reconstructionists to provide the strongest possible evidence for your claim. If we go to trial, our unique strategies and deep experience tend to lead to very successful results for our clients.
There is no charge to speak to our motorcycle accident attorneys. If necessary, when we take your case, we will advance the cost of litigation if you cannot afford to pay. In addition, we will only take our fee after you receive a settlement or verdict. To speak to Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. please call (877) 433-3906.
- 2017 Motorcycle Data - NHTSA
- Motorcycle Safety - NHTSA
- Motorcycles - Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)