Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney
Serving Denver & the Greater Colorado Area for Three Decades
Colorado is home to some of the world’s most scenic high-altitude drives and byways, luring bicyclists to its hundreds of miles of scenic roadways.
A state with one of the lowest obesity rates in the nation as well as a strong outdoor activity culture, bicycle riding on Colorado’s public roadways is very common. Some of the state’s most scenic and popular biking routes include Mount Evans Road, Trail Ridge Road, Independence Pass, Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway, and Loveland Pass.
But those beautiful Colorado routes can turn deadly if motorists and cyclists don’t obey the law. There are numerous safety precautions in place that everyone sharing the road should follow. However, bicycle accidents are still all too common, and many cyclists don’t know their rights when in an accident. Before you talk with the other party’s insurance company, give me a call.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in Colorado, contact me for a free consultation at (303) 454-8000 or toll-free at (800) ROSEN-911, or by filling out the form on the right.
Colorado Bicycle Accident Facts & Resources
From the Eastern Plains to the Rocky Mountains, Colorado has beautiful weather and scenic roads and trails drawing avid bicyclists to the state. But if you are unlucky enough to be involved in a bicycle accident, the time for carefree recreation is over, at least for the moment. You need answers to some crucial questions.
If I’m Involved in a Collision While Riding My Bicycle, What Should I Do?
- Call the police.
- Get information from the driver involved in the collision.
- Locate and get contact information from any witnesses.
- Photograph any visible injuries.
- Keep any damaged clothing and bike parts.
- Create a detailed diagram to show the position and direction of all vehicles involved.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Can I Be Considered at Fault for My Bicycle Accident?
Yes, if you violate the law and cause an accident or operate your bicycle in a negligent manner, you can be held liable for a bicycle accident.
When you are bicycling on a sidewalk, you have all the legal rights and obligations of a pedestrian. If you are riding a bike on a street, you are then the equivalent of a vehicle, with the same rights and responsibilities of the driver of any other vehicle on the road. Bicycle riders must keep to the right, yield to pedestrians, and operate the bicycle in the same direction as travel on the roadway.
From Whom May I Recover Damages to Compensate Me for My Bicycle-Accident Injuries?
If you sustained injuries, you can potentially recover damages from a variety of negligent individuals and entities:
- Negligent drivers of automobiles, buses, or trucks, if a driver caused the accident.
- Negligent manufacturers or retailers of bicycles, bicycle parts and accessories, and/or vehicles, if a defective product caused the accident.
- The government entity that maintains the road, if unsafe road conditions caused the accident.
- Negligent repair shops or mechanics, if a negligent repair of a bicycle or other vehicle caused the accident.
A private property owner, if negligent design or maintenance of private property caused the accident.
What Types of Damages are Recoverable in a Bicycle-Accident Lawsuit?
You may be able to recover economic damages for the specific dollar amounts of medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages for pain and suffering or losses related to permanent impairment if you sustained a permanent physical injury.
Colorado Bicycle Safety Act
The Colorado Bicycle Safety Act went into effect in August 2009, helping to clarify the law regarding the responsibilities of both the motorists and the cyclists on the state’s roads.
- The first section of the statute addresses a safe passing distance, requiring motorists to allow at least three feet of space when passing a bicyclist, allowing motorists to cross the centerline to make sure that the required distance can be achieved.
- Another provision of the Act allows bicyclists to ride side-by-side, moving to single file when a vehicle is approaching.
- The law also permits bicyclists to ride as far right in the right-hand lane as is safe, taking care to avoid hazards like parked cars and potholes.
- The Act also allows cyclists to ride on the far left or far right on a one-way street, a safety measure especially important when cyclists are preparing to turn left and need to avoid crossing several lanes of traffic to make their turn.
- Section 5 of the Act makes it illegal for motorists to threaten, crowd, swerve at, or throw things at bicyclists.
Bicycle Helmet Laws
Bicycle helmets are the most effective protection of the head and brain when a cyclist is involved in an accident. According to one study, approximately 85% of all head injuries resulting from cycling accidents can be prevented simply by wearing a helmet when cycling. Although many cyclists believe that they are too experienced to require a helmet, the fact is that there have been 51,000 deaths related directly to bicycling accidents since the year 1932 in the U.S., and 95% of those cyclists were not wearing helmets at the time of the accident. A helmet is a simple, effective way to ensure that cycling stays entertaining and safe.
There is no federal law in the U.S. that requires bicycle helmets to be worn, and no state has a universal bicycle helmet law. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have statewide bicycle helmet laws that apply to young riders under 16. Fourteen states, including Colorado, have no statewide or local helmet laws.
Avoid Taking Risks When Bicycling
The risk of riding a bicycle depends upon many things, including time of day (night time is more dangerous than during daylight), the experience level of the rider, the location of the ride, other motorists on the road, fatigue, and alcohol/drug use.
The Bicycle Colorado website directs bicyclists to:
- Never ride against traffic
- Ride single file on curved canyon roads without bike lanes or shoulders
- Use hand signals to indicate right or left turns, slowing or stopping
- Use a headlight, taillight, and reflectors when biking at night
- Never assume that motorists see them or that they have the right of way
- Wear appropriate gear including helmet, glasses, and gloves
- Always expect the unexpected.
See our blog post for more ways to avoid bicycle accidents and stay safe while cycling.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in Colorado?
According to section 13-80-102 of the Colorado Revised Statutes pertaining to statutes of limitations, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Colorado, contact the Law Offices of Daniel R. Rosen online or call 303-454-8000 to schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney today.