Injured In A Colorado Motorcycle Accident?Get the help you need today.
Experienced Motorcycle Lawyer
Serving Denver & the Greater Colorado Area for Three Decades
As an avid motorcycle rider, I know that Colorado is a favorite among fellow riders, with amazing motorcycle ride destinations like Durango, Rocky Mountain National Park, Aspen, and many more. But Colorado’s magnificent scenery can also be dangerous for motorcycle riders, regardless of whether or not you’re abiding by the rules of the road.
Motorcycle riders often get an unjustified reputation for being reckless and violating traffic laws. But I don’t believe that’s the case.
A major study from the Traffic Safety Center at the University of Southern California found that approximately 3/4 of motorcycle accidents involved a collision with another vehicle, usually a passenger automobile. It was also found that in 2/3 of these accidents, the driver of the other vehicle was at fault, rather than the biker. Drivers often fail to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic. And that’s a common cause of motorcycle accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, before you talk to the other party’s insurance company, talk to me. Contact me today for a free consultation at (303) 454-8000 or toll-free at (800) ROSEN-911.
Safety Guidelines for Colorado Motorcycle Riders
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident in Colorado, you have questions. Here are some answers, along with other helpful guidelines to keep yourself and others safe on the road.
Do I Have to Wear a Helmet and Other Protective Gear While Riding a Motorcycle in Colorado?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that as of November 2016, 19 states and the District of Columbia had universal helmet laws, 28 states had a partial helmet law, and three states had no helmet law at all.
According to a recent CDC study:
- A total of 14,283 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in the U.S. during 2008–2010, including 42% who were not wearing a helmet.
- In the 20 states with a universal helmet law, 12% of fatally injured motorcyclists were not wearing a helmet, compared with 64% in the 27 states with partial helmet laws and 79% in the three states without any helmet law.
In Colorado, there are specific laws and guidelines that riders should be aware of:
- Colorado is a partial helmet law state, meaning that riders (drivers or passengers) under age 18 are required to wear a Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)-approved helmet. According to CDOT, almost two-thirds of the motorcycle riders killed during 2010 in Colorado were not wearing a helmet or were not wearing it properly, and at least 19 riders could have survived if they had been wearing helmets.
- Colorado law requires that all motorcycle operators and passengers wear some sort of eye protection, such as goggles worn outside of the helmet or eyeglasses equipped with safety glass or plastic lenses. A visor on a helmet qualifies as eye protection; a windshield does not.
- Proper clothing can help protect a motorcyclist’s body when involved in an accident. Suitable gear includes full-fingered gloves, over-the-ankle boots, long pants (not shorts), and long-sleeved jackets made of leather, nylon, or Kevlar with heavy padding on the elbows, spine, and shoulder areas. Bright colors help increase visibility.
Does Colorado Have Traffic Laws That Pertain Specifically to Motorcycles?
Yes. For example, although motorcycles may share or split a lane with one other motorcycle, they may not share a lane with a car. Passing a vehicle in the same lane is illegal in Colorado. It is also illegal to attach your motorcycle to another vehicle—i.e., to tow another vehicle or be towed by one.
I Was Just Involved in an Accident While Riding My Motorcycle. What Should I Do Now?
You should call the police, seek medical attention (even if you don’t think you were injured), and contact your insurer. Also contact a personal injury attorney experienced in motorcycle collisions. What you don’t want to do is admit fault or sign anything before you can get legal advice.
A Car Turned Left in Front of Me While I Was Riding My Motorcycle and Caused an Accident. Who Is Liable?
When a car making a left turn collides with a vehicle traveling straight ahead in the other direction, the driver of the car is almost always the one at fault. There are exceptions, though; for example, if the vehicle traveling straight ahead has been speeding or running a red light.
I Was in an Accident While Riding My Motorcycle and the Driver Left the Scene. Do I Have Any Recourse?
Unfortunately, many motorcyclists are injured in accidents where the driver flees the scene of the accident. But if and when an at-fault driver leaves the scene or lacks liability insurance, you can pursue an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company to recover damages.
How Much Will It Cost Me to Get Legal Representation in My Colorado Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Most Colorado motorcycle accident attorneys, including Daniel R. Rosen, offer a free initial consultation and will handle your case on a contingency basis. This means that you pay no fees unless you receive a reward for your injuries.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or have questions about Colorado motorcycle law, contact the Law Offices of Daniel R. Rosen online or call 303-454-8000 today.
Colorado Motorcycle Licensing & Safety Training
To operate a motorcycle in Colorado, you must have the proper endorsement on your driver’s license, specifically an “M.” The M endorsement will allow you to ride a two- or a three-wheel motorcycle. Scooters and vehicles under 50cc or that do not have the ability to travel at a speed of more than 40 mph do not count as motorcycles in Colorado, but a basic driver’s license is necessary to operate them. One way to get the motorcycle endorsement in Colorado is to pass a written exam and riding test at your local driver’s licensing office.
Another option: The Colorado DOT administers a Motorcycle Safety Foundation approved program known as MOST — Motorcycle Operator Safety Training. Those who successfully pass a MOST exam can take their completion card to a Colorado state driver’s license office to get their M endorsement, no further testing required.
Other benefits of MOST:
- Provides high-quality, low-cost training
- Offers a variety of course levels, from basic to advanced
- Qualifies riders for discounts at local retailers and insurance companies
- Gives motorcyclists training that will enable them to ride safely in almost any situation
Tips for Riding Safely in Colorado
To ensure the safety of riders and passengers, Colorado has specific rules to motorcyclists must abide by before, during, and after riding:
- Passing a vehicle in the same lane is against the law, as is sharing a lane with a car, although splitting a lane with another motorcycle is legal.
- “Clinging,” or attaching a motorcycle to another vehicle (towing), is also illegal.
- Motorcycles must have footrests for passengers, and they are required to use them.
- Passengers must ride behind the driver or in a sidecar, not in front of them.
- An obvious yet often overlooked tip: keep your motorcycle in safe operating condition at all times.
For a more in-depth look at safety techniques for motorcyclists, read our blog on avoiding motorcycle accidents.
Colorado Motorcycle Accident Resources
Recovering after a severe motorcycle injury is overwhelming enough. Navigating the legal process doesn’t have to be. We’re here to guide you every step of the way.
What’s My Motorcycle Accident Case Worth?
Learn the key factors that go into calculating damages in an auto accident case — a critical process that can greatly impact your settlement.
Helmets Optional for Colorado Adults, but Smart Choice for Everyone
A helmet is the most important piece of apparel for motorcycle riders and is approximately 37 percent successful in preventing fatalities for motorcycle drivers and 41 percent for passengers. Read more about how helmets are saving lives.
Guide to Motorcycle Accidents and Safety
Check out our comprehensive guide to laws, safety precautions, motorcycle endorsements, and common causes of motorbike accidents.
Common Mistakes Made by Rookie Motorcyclists
New motorcyclists often make rookie mistakes, but there’s no need to learn the hard way. Learn what to avoid as a beginner motorcyclist.
Motorcycle Laws in Colorado
Motorcyclist in Colorado? This guide on Colorado’s motorcycle laws will help ensure you’re driving legally and following the most up-to-date traffic regulations in our state.
Determining Fault in a Motorcycle Accident
Were you involved in a motorcycle accident? Fault can rest with different parties. Learn how fault is typically determined in motorcycle accident claims.