Here are some of the parties who might be found liable following a Colorado motorcycle accident.
Motorcycle accidents in Colorado are on the rise. According to one report, 103 motorcyclists killed were in Colorado in 2018, 30 percent more than in 2012. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, over 80 percent of all reported motorcycle accidents lead to serious injury or death to the motorcyclist.
Determining Liability for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Circumstances of an accident will vary, but the fault for a motorcycle accident in Colorado is usually assigned to one or more of the following parties.
A car driver. Because of their relatively small size, motorcycles are often difficult for automobile drivers to see, particularly at night, during bad weather, or in heavy traffic. These accidents often happen at intersections where drivers fail to yield the right of way to motorcyclists, particularly when motorists are in the process of making a left turn. Unless the motorcyclist was exceeding the speed limit, traveling in the wrong lane, or running a red light, the car driver will typically be held responsible for the accident.
A motorcyclist. The motorcyclist’s negligence can cause an accident. Speeding, aggressive driving, inattentiveness, fatigue, driving while impaired, or following other vehicles too closely can result in accident and injury when motorcyclists lose control and crash. Because motorcycles are harder to operate than the average passenger car, riders must be more alert at intersections and remain visible at all times. They must also have the proper licensing and training. Inexperience and lack of training can render a motorcyclist unable to control a bike properly when dealing with slippery surfaces, irregular pavement, and foreign debris on the road, especially in or near construction sites. That can lead to an accident.
A government. A government can be sued for damages in a motorcycle accident case. If the accident can be linked to poor road maintenance, the city, county, or state responsible for that maintenance could be held liable for damages. Evidence of inadequate maintenance includes such common hazards as potholes, faded markings, broken or absent traffic lights, improperly placed barriers, lack of rumble strips, and barriers that obstruct view.
A motorcycle manufacturer. If it can be proven that a motorcycle accident was caused by the bike’s defective design, manufacture, or assembly, the manufacturer may be found liable for the crash. When a type of motorcycle or its parts are subject to a recall, retailers must stop selling the faulty parts or the bike itself. If a defect in safety gear — helmets, goggles, or eye protection — is discovered and the flaw is shown to have caused or exacerbated the rider’s injuries, a gear manufacturer may be held partly or fully responsible for the damages.
Contact an Experienced Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Colorado, 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. With more than 30 years of experience handing personal injury cases and offices across the state of Colorado, Dan Rosen provides accident victims with unmatched attention and a settlement-first approach to claims.