Frequently Asked Questions on Motorcycle Injury Claims

Motorcycle Injury Claims

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

January 21, 2023

What Should I Do If I’m in a Motorcycle Accident in Colorado?

Motorcycle accidents may range from simple accidents to major collisions in which a rider has serious injuries or even dies due to the collision. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to dealing with the issues that arise in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, just as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with the challenges that arise in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident.

However, certain basic guidelines or suggestions may be applied to almost every circumstance. It should be emphasized that contacting and hiring a Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney as soon as possible is the finest and safest course of action to follow to get the guidance, counsel, and legal representation.

Of obviously, the wounded motorcyclist’s medical requirements should take precedence above anything else. As a wounded motorcyclist or the family of an injured motorist coping with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, here are some things to keep in mind.

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What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?

Call the cops. That’s correct. Ascertain that the police arrive at the collision site to collect testimonies, draw diagrams, interview the other motorist, interview witnesses, evaluate property damage, get automotive insurance information, record the highways and road conditions, and issue a penalty at-fault driver.

Firefighters should be called. If the wounded motorcyclist requires urgent medical assistance, dispatch fire rescue to the scene to conduct an assessment and, if necessary, transfer the biker to a nearby emergency facility.

Go to the ER or seek medical attention as soon as possible. Suppose a biker is in pain or merely feels strange after an accident. In that case, they should seek medical attention in an emergency room or from a certified medical professional in the community. It’s preferable to undergo an examination that finds no severe harm than to miss a latent injury that increases over time due to delayed treatment.

Take pictures of the car and the road. Take photos of the relevant cars and any evident damage to fixed items such as guardrails if it is safe to do so. Take pictures of any skid marks and debris (if any) on the road as well. Photographs showing the motorcyclist’s point of view and the other driver’s point of view as each neared the place of contact are also useful. Photographs of relevant road signs, traffic signals, and landmarks may be useful as well.

Take pictures of any physical injuries you may have. Physical and visible injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident demonstrate the power of the impact on the motorcyclist’s body. Bruises, lacerations, and other injuries may diminish or heal over time. As a result, it’s critical to keep track of these injuries from the start.

Allow friends or family members to photograph your hospital stay and rehabilitation at home. Take pictures of your wound dressings as well as the injured site below them. Photograph any modifications to your house that were necessary, such as toilet seats, shower benches, or special beds or chairs. Take images every few days to see whether there has been any healing or degradation. In front of a jury, these images are invaluable.

Insurance companies should not be given statements. Following a motorcycle accident, this clause pertains to an act to abstain from rather than an act to do. The motorcyclist will be required to provide a statement to their own insurance company at some point in the future to cooperate with the terms of the policy; however, it is best to provide this statement only after it has been prepared by an experienced attorney and in the presence of their attorney hired to handle the motorcycle accident case.

The request for a statement is usually made by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, which is looking for contradictions in your story so that they may reject their driver’s guilt. Under no circumstances should you talk with the at-fault driver’s insurance company without first contacting a lawyer.

Many motorcyclists believe it is self-evident that the accident was not their fault and that no one could disagree. Insurance companies, after all, gain billions of dollars by doing precisely that.

Their driver is not at blame, and they are not obligated to pay your claim. Consult a Colorado motorcycle accident attorney after an accident to avoid falling into their trap.

Leave Facebook alone. Another thing to avoid is this. Many individuals use Facebook to keep family and friends up to date on good and bad news in today’s world of continuous 24/7 social media.

When an accident is reported, insurance companies often examine Facebook to see if there are any postings linked to the accident and to see if there are any posts that might be used against the motorcyclist in the future. Facebook and other social media are seldom, if ever, utilized to bolster or support an injury case. Stay off Facebook, or at the very least abstain from posting anything related to the accident or doing anything that might damage the case or claim in any way.

Take advantage of medical follow-up. In an emergency room visit, the emergency room’s services  are temporary and restricted in scope. Following a short-term emergency department visit or a more involved hospitalization, follow-up treatment should be sought.

Make contact with a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer. Even during the initial few hours or days after a motorcycle accident, acts and words may be made that impair the case or claim. As a result, it is generally preferable to hire an attorney to assist you in navigating the problems and barriers that arise in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

When a person suffers significant bodily injuries in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver’s carelessness, the injured sufferer and their family confront several hurdles. First and foremost, the wounded victim’s medical requirements must be treated.

Firefighters, emergency department workers, orthopedists, neurologists, surgeons, therapists, and other medical specialists may be involved in the treatment. After the patient’s initial medical demands are fulfilled, the accident victim and family are often left with how to pay for their follow-up treatment. An injured victim is often called by investigators, insurance adjusters, and others seeking information about the event shortly after it occurs.

It is frequently beneficial to have the guidance, counsel, and representation of a Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney during these trying times. Medical costs, medical treatment,                        insurance coverage, insurance claims, legal rights, compensation, damages, possible crashworthiness or product defect claims, and other problems that may arise are all things an experienced personal injury attorney can counsel the sufferer and family about.

On a contingency fee basis, certain legal claims/cases are addressed. This implies that if a settlement is reached, the attorney will receive a percentage of it. Assuming the attorney cannot settle the case, they will not be paid anything other than the expenses of investigating the claim if that is feasible.

The amount an attorney may charge in a motorcycle accident lawsuit is regulated by the Colorado Bar. In most situations, the Colorado Bar permits an attorney to receive 33% of the recovery before filing a lawsuit and 40% after filing a lawsuit. As the recovery grows into the millions, the  percentages decrease. Injury victims may retain the services of a skilled Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney without having to pay for the investigation or representation until and unless they win since the attorney does not charge any money “up-front.”

No other profession offers its services for free if they are unsuccessful. Consider your accountant returning your fee if you do not get a refund from the IRS at the end of the year. Consider your doctor reimbursing you if the medication he recommended does not work. It just does not happen in any other field. Injured riders are lucky that there are lawyers like the authors who will devote their time, money, and effort to winning your case without putting you in danger.

Immediately after a collision, insurance carriers, investigators, managers, supervisors, risk managers, insurance adjusters, and lawyers are sent to advise, defend, and protect the at-fault driver’s interests. As a result, you should have a team of advocate lawyers and support workers in place to assist you and guarantee that your legal rights are protected.

What are the Three Fundamental Issues in Every Motorcycle Accident Case in Colorado?

In any Colorado motorcycle accident lawsuit, there are three main elements to consider:

Liability. This refers to the phase of the lawsuit when there is a dispute over who is at blame. Colorado has enacted a series of comparative fault statutes. To put it another way, the accident victim’s counsel does not have to show that a specific motorist was 100 percent at blame. Even if the victim is somewhat to blame, a personal injury case/claim may still be pursued. The police report  and accident site may be reviewed as part of the inquiry to determine guilt, blame, and accountability for a specific accident or event. Physical evidence at the site and from the cars might be important in reconstructing an accident to establish blame if there were witnesses to the collision.

While it is beneficial if the police officer issues a traffic ticket to the suspected at-fault motorist, Colorado doesn’t need to pursue a claim for bodily injury. The issuance of a citation is, in reality, inadmissible in court proceedings.

Many victims claim that the officer failed to issue a ticket to the at-fault motorist, although it does not influence their case. Because the question of guilt in motorcycle accidents may be somewhat convoluted and involved, hiring a Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney to evaluate the facts and specifics of the accident is often beneficial.

Damages. This usually refers to the victim’s injuries as a consequence of the motorcycle accident. The value of a lawsuit is typically determined by the extent and severity of the damages. The length of medical treatment, type of medical treatment, diagnostic test results, permanency of the injuries, how the victim’s life has been affected or disrupted, the need for future care, the need or performance of surgery, the extent of scarring, the extent of disfigurement, and other factors are all factors that may be considered. A case requiring a year of therapy by multiple experts is appraised substantially different than a one-time emergency department visit.

Simply said, the more evidence you have of your injuries and the more care you get for it, the better the insurance company will be able to assess the worth of your claim. Without treatment paperwork, the insurance company is more likely to conclude you were not severely injured, lowering the value of your claim.

They are generally unable to dispute the reality of a major injury if there is overwhelming proof and documentation of an injury, such as MRI films, x-ray films, and CT scan findings. As a result, it’s in your best interest to follow your doctor’s orders and get the diagnostic testing and treatment you need to recover from your injury. Without it, your injury claim is likely to be paid very little by the insurance carrier.

Liability insurance for cars, motorcycles, and other cars. If guilt is proven and the losses or injuries justify legal action, practical concerns must be considered. The availability and quantity of car liability insurance coverage and the capacity of the at-fault party to fulfill a judgment are two key practical considerations.

While Colorado has regulations requiring car owners to have auto insurance, the basic or lowest standards are sometimes inadequate to adequately recompense damage victims. As a result, determining the amounts and kinds of insurance coverage in your policy and the at-fault driver’s policy for a specific injury or accident is critical. The car owner, driver, and/or business/company owner may have acquired a policy in addition to the minimum requirements. Thus all possible insurance plans should be investigated to see whether they cover a specific accident. A Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney can assist in reviewing the available insurance and advising the injured victim on the viability of a certain claim or case.

Who is Responsible for Personal Injuries and Damages Caused by a Motorcycle Accident in Colorado?

The at-fault motorist is legally accountable for the injured victim’s damages. In jurisdictions that follow the Dangerous Instrumentality Law, the car owner is accountable to the injured victim in addition to the at-fault driver. The use of a car or truck has been deemed the employment of a hazardous instrumentality under Colorado law.

As a result, both the driver and the car owner (even if the owner was not present at the time of the car accident) are responsible for bodily injuries and associated damages under Colorado law. In addition to the car’s owner and driver, an insurance company may be liable for damages resulting from a motorcycle accident. Additionally, the corporation that employs the driver and the motor carriers engaged in the driver’s employment and/or dispatching may be held accountable.

The at-fault driver’s/insurance owner’s company cannot usually be sued directly for accident-related damages; nonetheless, the insurance company is liable for paying any settlement or judgment within the policy limitations. Under some situations, however, the biker’s or passenger’s Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist insurance carrier might be sued directly for accident-related damages.

Car insurance and liability rules may be perplexing and difficult to understand. Concerns about culpability (blame), damages, and insurance coverage should be discussed with a Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney. A firm or business that employs a person working within the course and scope of employment might be held accountable for the injured victim’s damages and losses in addition to the car owner and the driver.

In conclusion, when a motorcycle accident occurs, multiple people or organizations may be held accountable for the injuries incurred by the victim. Depending on the facts and circumstances, and in general, the following parties may be held accountable for the accident victim’s injuries: at-fault driver, at-fault owner, at-fault driver’s employer, at-fault driver’s auto insurance company, at-fault owner’s auto insurance company, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist insurance company for the biker and passenger, and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist insurance company for the motorcycle owned by the injury victim or a resident relative.

Why is a Motor Car Owner Responsible for Personal Injuries Caused by a Colorado Motorcycle Accident?

In Colorado, the at-fault driver and the car owner are equally legally accountable for bodily injuries caused by the driver’s carelessness in a motorcycle collision. Because Colorado has adopted the Dangerous Instrumentality Law for Motorcycle Accidents, even if the owner was not present at the accident or in the car at the time of the accident, the car owner was driven by a negligent driver is still legally liable for personal injuries and related damages. “Vicarious responsibility” is the term used to describe this situation.

Some argue that the Harmful Instrumentality Law is unjust; yet, a motor car is deemed a dangerous instrumentality in many states, including Colorado. The state acknowledges that when a motor car is utilized in a negligent, careless, or reckless way, significant harm or death may result. Colorado law stipulates that the car owner who enables another person to operate the car is legally accountable for the driver’s carelessness or fault to emphasize the severity and high degree of duty an owner has to govern his deadly instrument.

When a person is hurt in a motorcycle accident, there are typical concerns with car insurance, medical expenses, medical treatment, medical specialists, previous medical treatment, future medical treatment, pain and suffering, and other things. These topics will be covered in later sections of the book.

There may be more than one person or party guilty when there is a motorcycle accident, as you can see from the explanation above. Any party’s guilt will be determined by various criteria, including, but not limited to, the determination of blame for the accident and the insurance plans in place.

Because multiple parties may be involved in or liable for an accident, and multiple policies or claims may be pursued for any given accident, it is often beneficial to seek the advice and representation of a Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney to ensure that the victim’s rights are upheld and that appropriate and fair compensation is sought from all available sources. After all, no one can erase the tragedy that frequently follows a motorcycle accident. Thus our legal system only allows a victim to get reasonable compensation for the losses he or she has incurred.

Is it still possible to pursue a case or claim on behalf of an injury victim if a traffic citation is not issued?

“Yes,” is the straightforward response to this question. The police attend many accident situations involving personal injuries. The investigating officer will analyze the evidence on the roadway and obtain statements from the drivers, bystanders, and injury victims at the accident site. There is no legal necessity in Colorado for a police officer to issue a ticket to any motorist at the site of an accident if the officer feels no traffic law was broken. Alternatively, the police officer may be unable to determine blame based on contradictory comments or facts offered to him.

When a person is hurt in a Colorado motorcycle accident, a traffic penalty is issued, an accident report is usually created. Even if a traffic ticket is not issued, the damaged victim’s lawsuit or claim may still be pursued. The police officer in Colorado does not have the jurisdiction to rule on insurance claims or civil proceedings. In other words, the pursuit of a civil action is not dependent on the police officer’s issuance or non-issuance of a traffic ticket.

Is it still possible to pursue a case or claim on behalf of an injury victim if there is no police report?

“Yes,” is the straightforward response to this question. Even if there is no police record of the motorcycle accident, a claim or action may still be pursued. When a Colorado motorcycle accident results in an injury that needs medical attention or treatment, the police are sent to the site and produce a police report detailing the accident inquiry.

A Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney representing the victim’s interests in a personal injury lawsuit might utilize the police report and the officer’s observations for documentation as part of the inquiry. In certain cases involving personal harm, the police are not summoned to the collision site for various reasons.

Even if there is no police record, a personal injury action or claim may still be pursued on behalf of the wounded victim. In collecting evidence and identifying pertinent information concerning an accident, a police report is typically beneficial to the parties involved. As a result, it’s preferable to summon the cops to the site to file a complaint.

In Colorado, there is no legislative necessity that a police investigation is completed or that a police report is provided to pursue a claim for motorcycle accident injuries. While having a police record and having the facts documented by a police officer is typically beneficial, the case may still be pursued without one.

Many individuals are unaware that even if the police investigate an accident and produce a police report, the report itself is not admissible as evidence or displayed to a jury in a civil lawsuit. The “Accident Report Privilege” under Colorado law protects the accident report from being used in court.

The privilege is justified by the state’s desire to encourage honesty in accident reports to police without punishing the people involved in the accident for making statements to the police. It’s like a shield against self-incrimination since whatever you say to the cops when filling out an accident report can’t be used against you in court.

What are the Obstacles for Victims of a Colorado Motorcycle Accident Dealing with Personal Injuries?

There are a variety of obstacles and concerns that occur when a person is wounded or killed in a Colorado motorcycle accident, including, but not limited to:

  • Obtaining insurance information;
  • Understanding insurance information;
  • Communicating with the insurance company and adjusters;
  • Dealing with bill collectors;
  • Collecting or pursuing damages for lost wages;
  • Transporting the patient for medical care;
  • Paying medical bills;
  • Reimbursing the patient for out of pocket medical bills, and
  • Compensation

What is the Colorado Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is the legal time restriction or deadline for an injured individual to bring a lawsuit for personal injuries experienced due to a specific occurrence. If the matter does not settle without going to court, a lawsuit may be brought to vindicate the injured person’s rights if the case’s fundamental components can be demonstrated.

It is required to file a lawsuit before the relevant statute of limitations has run out. Failure to do so may prevent the claim or lawsuit from being pursued in the future. Before bringing a lawsuit, each case should undergo a realistic analysis. This assessment by your Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney considers the amount of time required to present the case, the amount of money required to pay for the litigation, including expert witness testimony, reconstructions, and other costs, as well as the likelihood of success in trial.

Case Against At-Fault Driver, Driver’s Employer, Car Owner, and Driver’s Employer / Company

To comply with Colorado’s statutory statute of limitations, a negligence action must be filed within three years of the date of the Colorado Motorcycle Accident. The three-year time limit applies to claims involving the at-fault driver, the driver’s employment, and the car’s owner.

It should be emphasized that this is a general guideline since your case may have a limitation term that is less than three years. As a result, there are exceptions, and an injured victim should not wait until the statute of limitations has expired or is about to expire before taking action. A Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney will assist you in understanding the limitations periods that apply to your case.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance carrier is being sued.

To comply with Colorado’s statutory statute of limitations, a lawsuit against an accident victim’s insurance carrier to collect compensation under his or her policy must be filed within five years of the date of the Colorado Motorcycle Accident. It should be emphasized that contract clauses may also be used in circumstances of uninsured/underinsured motorists. Again, the general rule of law, subject to exclusions and other situations, requires an injury victim to bring a lawsuit against an Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance company within five years of the date of the Colorado Motorcycle Accident.

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