Proving That Someone Else Caused Your Injuries
In 2018, 103 motorcycle riders were killed on Colorado roads. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, motorcycle fatalities rose 30 percent between 2012 and 2018, peaking at 125 in 2016.
Even when they wear helmets and protective clothing, motorcyclists are relatively unprotected. With no barrier between a rider and the road or another vehicle, their injuries from a motorcycle accident are often severe and even life-threatening. Motorcyclists are at much greater risk of sustaining an injury than persons traveling in an automobile.
Proving Fault in Colorado
As is true of any motor vehicle accident, the elements of negligence must be proven if a biker is to recover damages from an at-fault party. The biker must show that:
- A legal duty was owed to the injured person.
- The at-fault party breached that duty.
- The injured person suffered damages.
- The breach of duty was the cause of the injuries.
If a party had a duty to act and failed to do so, thereby causing an injury, or acted in a careless manner that caused an injury, the victim may have a basis for a personal injury lawsuit.
Parties Who May Be Held Responsible
Depending on the circumstances, a court may find one or more of the following parties to be at fault for a motorcycle accident in Colorado.
- Automobile drivers. Motorcycle accidents sometimes happen when the driver of an automobile breaks a traffic law by speeding, running a red light, or failing to yield. Distracted driving — driving while texting or talking on a cellphone, eating, talking to passengers, or daydreaming ‑‑ diverts attention from the road and puts other drivers at risk.
- Motorcyclists. When a motorcyclist is speeding or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he will probably be regarded as responsible for any ensuing accident. But if the rider can also establish that the driver of the other vehicle was erratically changing lanes, weaving, or distracted, that driver may be held at least partly responsible.
- Governments. A city, county, or state may be sued for damages for a motorcycle accident if the government entity can be linked to poor road maintenance. Some common hazards that a government must remedy to help ensure the safety of drivers and bikers include potholes, worn markings, broken or nonexistent traffic lights, misplaced or obstructive barriers, and lack of rumble strips.
- Motorcycle manufacturers. If a motorcycle is defectively designed or manufactured and causes an accident, the manufacturer may be found liable. If a motorcycle or any parts have been recalled, retailers have a responsibility to stop selling the motorcycle or to pull the defective parts from their shelves.
- Gear manufacturers. If defective motorcycle safety gear causes or aggravates a motorcyclist’s injuries, the gear manufacturer may be held partially or fully responsible for the damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact personal injury attorney Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.