The Complete How to GUIDE for Making a Motorcycle Accident Claim
You have been hurt due to no fault of your own in a motorcycle accident. You’re thinking about a slew of questions:
- Will I get compensated for the time missed at work?
- How will my medical expenses be covered?
- What can I do if the individual who struck my motorcycle is underinsured or does not have insurance at all?
- Who is going to fix my bike? How much will I get once everything is added up?
- What if my injuries make it impossible for me to ever return to work?
- What compensation will my insurance company provide for my injuries?
- How will I determine if the insurance settlement is reasonable?
- How will I know whether a skilled attorney represents me?
The list goes on and on. Here are some straightforward responses:
Several sorts of claims are available to individuals involved in a motorcycle accident in Colorado, but the two most prevalent are motorcycle repair and damage claims and physical injury claims.
Nothing is surprising about this, is there? Unfortunately, it quickly becomes much more difficult. In both forms of claims, certain concerns must be addressed.
I shall outline the procedure for submitting these claims in this book. You’ll discover solutions to many frequently asked questions, as well as those you may not have considered. They may have a significant impact on your success, depending on your circumstances.
Regrettably, under our legal system, you only have one chance at your claim. That’s all! Once you accept a check and sign a release, you’re done! You cannot then say, “Wait a minute, I forgot about this,” or “Oh no, I didn’t consider that.”
You must comprehend the guidelines and the procedure. Knowledge is a kind of power. Self- determination enables you to prevent possible issues.
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Introduction – A Few Basic Facts
In 2010, there were 4,502 motorcycle fatalities, a modest rise from the 4,469 fatalities in 2009. In 2010, there were 82,000 motorcycle accidents, down from 90,000 in 2009.
Motorcycle riders accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities, 16% occupant deaths, and 4% occupant injuries in 2010.
Motorcycles accounted for 3% of registered cars in the United States in 2010, but just 0.6 percent of car kilometers driven. Motorcycle riders were about 30 times more likely than passenger car passengers to die in a motor car traffic collision in 2010 and five times more likely to be wounded.
In 2010, the death rate for motorcyclists was six times that of passenger car passengers per registered car. Motorcycle riders had nine times the number of injuries as passenger car passengers.
Motorcycles Are Frequently Involved in Crashes
In 2010, 2,351 motorcyclists (51 percent) were involved in fatal collisions when they collided with other motor cars.
75% of motorcyclists involved in two-car collisions were hit in the front. Only 6% were attacked from behind.
Motorcycles are more likely than other cars to be involved in a deadly accident with a fixed object. In 2010, 24% of fatal motorcycle collisions included fixed objects, 18% for passenger cars, 13% for light trucks, and 4% for heavy trucks.
There were 1,999 fatal two-car collisions in 2010 involving a motorcycle and another sort of car. In 39% (770) of these collisions, the other car made a left turn while the motorcyclist continued straight, passed, or overtook another car. In 446 collisions, both cars were traveling straight (22 percent ).
Motorcycle accident deaths climbed by 41% between 2001 and 2010. Among such increases, the 40 and older age group accounted for 39% of motorcycle fatalities in 2001, rising to 56% in 2010. Over ten years, mortality climbed by 100% among this age range. The average age of motorcycle riders killed in road collisions was 42, according to data.
On roads and highways, rebar protruding from the concrete has grown increasingly prevalent. Numerous motorcycle riders have been struck by misplaced rebar through no fault of their own.
Utilization and Effectiveness of Helmets
According to the NHTSA, helmets saved the lives of about 1,550 motorcycle riders in 2010. If every rider had been equipped with a helmet, an extra 706 lives might have been spared.
Helmets are projected to be 37% more effective than non-helmets in reducing fatal motorcycle injuries and 41% more effective in preventing fatal motorcycle passenger injuries. For every 100 motorcycle riders killed in collisions while riding without helmets, 37 may have been rescued if they had been wearing helmets.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Occupant Protection Use Survey, a nationally representative observational study of a motorcycle helmet, seat belt, and child safety seat use, 54 percent of motorcycle riders wore DOT- compliant helmets in 2010, down from 67 percent in 2009.
Helmet wear rates for fatally wounded motorcyclists were 58 percent for riders and 49 percent for passengers in 2010, down from 57 percent and 43 percent in 2009.
All motorcycle helmets sold in the United States must comply with Federal Motor Car Safety Standard 218. This standard specifies the minimum amount of protection that helmets must provide to each user.
In 2010, twenty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico required all motorcycle riders to wear helmets, while 27 states enforced helmet usage for a subset of riders (typically those under age 18). Three states (Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire) do not mandate motorcycle riders of any age to wear helmets. In 2010, 66 percent of motorcyclists murdered in these states were not wearing helmets, compared to just 10% in states with universal helmet regulations.
Failure to wear a helmet does not invalidate a solid personal injury case in and of itself. Failure to wear a helmet is relevant only if it can be shown that the harm was caused or considerably aggravated due to the failure. For instance, if you break your leg in a motorcycle accident, it makes little difference whether or not you wear a helmet.
Three variables contributed to 59 percent of motorcycle collisions: hazardous speed, inappropriate turning, and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
The Colorado Motorcyclist Safety Program’s website is located at http://www.ca-msp.org/.
Another useful resource is Colorado’s Motorcycle Handbook, which may be found at the following address: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/pubs.htm.
Wearing the Proper Equipment
If your riding gear protects you, it is “correct.” When you wear the following, you have a far greater chance of avoiding major harm in any collision:
A motorcycle safety helmet that has been certified by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).
Protection for the face or eyes.
Protective clothes, such as leather or long-sleeved jacket, long heavy slacks worn over ankle boots, and leather gloves with full fingers.
Facts About Motorcycle Insurance
The financial responsibility provisions of the Colorado Car Code apply to all owners and operators of two-wheel cars.
If you, as an operator, are involved in an accident that results in more than $750 in property damage to any person, including yourself, or results in any person, including yourself, being wounded, even slightly, you (or your insurance agent, broker, or legal representative) must notify the DMV. The CHP or police cannot file this report on your behalf.
You must submit this report within ten days using the Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in Colorado (SR1) form, accessible at any DMV or CHP office or online at www.dmv.ca.gov. For further information, see the Colorado Driver Handbook. Consult your insurance carrier on your coverage before purchasing or riding a motorcycle.
It is critical to have your own uninsured/underinsured driver insurance. Many drivers on today’s highways are uninsured or underinsured. We suggest that you carry at least $100,000 in uninsured/underinsured coverage per person or more if you can afford it. Thus, if you are an innocent party to an accident, you will have $100,000 available to pay medical expenses and lost income due to missed work. You must ensure that your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy covers coverage for your motorcycle. Certain insurance plans expressly prohibit motorcycle coverage.
A frequently asked issue is whether it is allowed in Colorado to go across lanes of traffic, a maneuver dubbed “lane splitting.”
Although lane splitting is inherently risky, it is permitted in Colorado but must be done safely and prudently.
Before you hit the road for a ride, there are a few critical safety elements to consider. Attending safety training, wearing protective clothes, helmets, and other protective equipment are just a few examples. Others exist.
Motorcycle Safety Training
After completing this course, you will get an instruction permit that will enable you to practice riding a motorcycle. You are not permitted to drive at night, on the motorway, or with passengers.
To apply for a motorcycle Class M1 or an M2 license, one of the following must be completed:
Suppose you are under the age of 21. In that case, you must finish a motorcycle rider training course certified by the Colorado Highway Patrol (CHP) and submit a Certificate of Completion of Motorcycle Training (DL 389) to the Colorado Department of Transportation (DMV). If you presently have a Colorado Drivers License, you will not be needed to take the motorcycle driving test at the DMV.
If you were covered by uninsured driver coverage at the time of the accident — or if you were protected by your own insurance or the insurance policy of a domestic family member ou may still be able to receive compensation for your personal injuries. Numerous plans feature wording that protects policyholders’ family members or housemates. If in doubt, get a copy of the policy from the insurer and review the wording. Bear in mind that you have just two (2) years to seek arbitration in writing (through certified mail) or to pursue litigation against the uninsured driver on an uninsured motorist claim.
What about if the at-fault party has little or no insurance coverage?
Often, the at-fault party provides just basic, insufficient insurance coverage. Whatever the severity of the injuries or the magnitude of the medical expenditures, if they have only
There is a limit of $25,000.00 in bodily injury insurance coverage available. It is improbable that significant assets will exist.
Carry at least $100,000 in under-insured/uninsured motorist coverage via your personal motorcycle insurer (or more if you can afford it).
What is a suit for wrongful death?
Damages for wrongful death may be payable to the dead person’s wife, spouse, parent, and child, as well as to the deceased person’s estate. The claim is brought against the person that is at fault. If the other driver and/or owner of the car were not insured, and Uninsured Motorist Claim may be made if this coverage is available.
The decedent’s family members may claim for loss of companionship, services, income, and other damages. Typically, family members split the settlement; the division is agreed upon or determined by the court.
Do I have to go to court in order to get compensation for my injuries?
Most likely not. Numerous situations are resolved without the need for a lawsuit with the insurance company.
Is it necessary for me to repay my health insurance when my lawsuit is resolved?
Yes, in many circumstances. If you are covered by your employer’s insurance or get Medi- Care or Medi-Cal benefits, you may be required to repay Medi-Care, Medi-Cal, workmen’s compensation, or your private insurer. Credit may be granted for a portion of the lawyers’ fees and other expenditures associated with
Reclaim the property. There may be no repaying requirement in uninsured/underinsured cases. If a wrongful death action is pursued, nearly seldom is there a repayment provision.
Your attorney must be familiar with the statutes and case judgments that govern the amount of money you are expected to repay under the law and contractual terms. A knowledgeable attorney will try to minimize – if not eliminate – your reimbursement obligations.
A qualified attorney may save you enough money – in the form of reduced health insurance reimbursement obligations – to cover their fee. The attorney you choose must be current on this subject since laws, regulations, and court judgments often modify insureds’ reimbursement needs; yesterday’s rules on these concerns may be out of date. If your attorney is not up to date on current events, it might cost you a lot!
CLAIM FOR MOTORCYCLE DAMAGE
Who is responsible for repairing my Motorcycle?
Who pays depends on the level of coverage held by the other driver or drivers, your own collision policy, if any, and whether the car is a complete loss, among other things.
We suggest that you negotiate with your own insurance company for repairs or complete loss of your car under any collision/comprehensive coverage you may have.
It is often preferable and quicker to go with your own carrier since your carrier will not care who you are.
At-fault. Instead of worrying about responsibility, the emphasis will be on restoring the motorcycle. Your carrier is required by Colorado law to operate in good faith. Without a doubt, the other insurance provider will attempt to lower your award.
If you do not have your own insurance, you may get your motorcycle repaired via the at-fault party’s insurance. This may be the only option available to you. In this instance, the opposing party’s insurance company will very certainly try to establish liability. The process of obtaining statements from parties and witnesses to establish fault may cause the repair to be delayed by many days or weeks.
Is it possible to fix my motorcycle at anybody’s shop?
Yes. Our office can provide you with a list of reputable/high-quality stores.
My motorcycle has been declared a complete loss. How much will I be compensated?
This is decided by your car’s fair market value (or “actual cash value”), not the price you paid for it or the balance on the loan. The motorcycle’s value, when summed, is equal to the price at which an equivalent motorcycle might be sold in today’s market.
The Blue Book does not provide all of the necessary information. We propose that you use Cycle Trader to find the asking price of comparable bikes in your region. This will provide you with some context.
Additionally, you may call dealerships to inquire about the price they would charge for a motorcycle identical to yours. If the insurance company’s offer is equivalent to what you discover via your own comparable investigation, we suggest you take it. If not, we may increase the value by presenting the carrier with comparable and negotiating a reasonable price.
Is the insurance company required to pay the full worth of the motorcycle if it is a complete loss?
True; however, if the car is subject to a lien (e.g., a bank loan), the insurance provider will cover the debt.
First, any remaining funds are distributed to the registered owner.
A motorcycle loan sum may exceed the motorcycle’s fair market value.
This often occurs when consumers are involved in an accident while riding a fully funded, brand-new motorcycle. Once you leave the dealership with a high-end motorcycle, the fair market value plummets dramatically! As a result, the car owner may find themselves still paying on a motorcycle they are unable to ride.
If you suspect you may be in this scenario, you may choose to get “gap insurance” to cover the remaining amount of the loan. Discuss this with your insurance provider, especially if you want to acquire a brand-new car with little or no money down.
Am I eligible for a rental?
The negligent party who caused you to lose the ability to drive your own car is legally obligated to either (1) provide a rental car or motorcycle during the time it takes to resolve the car’s total loss; or (2) pay the reasonable rental value (also known as “loss of use”) for each day your bike is not repaired, as long as that time is reasonable.
Even if you choose to use a private car while your motorcycle is being serviced, you are still entitled to payment for the time you spent away from your bike. We have been successful in obtaining hundreds (and in some instances, thousands) of more cash for clients in circumstances when property damage claims need additional time to resolve.
We suggest that you utilize your rental car coverage if you have it. You may request that your carrier establish a “direct billing” relationship with the rental car business. What is the advantage? There is no expense to you! You may either employ this strategy or opt-out of renting a car and claim “loss of usage.”
Loss of Utility
Suppose the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to pay for a rental car while your car is being repaired. In that case, you are entitled to “loss of use” damages, which are the fair cost of providing a replacement car in the interim.
The term of loss of use begins on the date of the accident. It ends when the car owner gets a settlement payment (a few further days may be permitted to purchase a replacement motorcycle) or until the repair is completed.
The carrier may argue that the “loss of use” term begins on the date of the loss and ends on their first settlement offer. Do not trust a word of it: you, as the car owner, cannot replace the motorcycle until you get the replacement monies.
What if my insurance company and the insurance company of the other motorist disagree on property damage issues?
You are using the other motorist directly, not his insurance company. If the driver’s carrier is unreasonable, takes an unreasonable amount of time, treats you unjustly, refuses to do an inspection, refuses to provide a rental car, and refuses to pay tow billings, storage expenses. So on, your only recourse is to bring action against the responsible party.
If you seek damages of less than $7.500, you may have greater success advising the at-fault party’s insurance that you plan to file your claim in small claims court. However, contact an expert attorney before proceeding in this direction since such a claim may restrict you from recovering from your physical damage.
Is it possible to retain my motorcycle even if it is totaled?
Yes, you may keep the motorcycle if you “retain salvage.” Still, you will be required to accept a lower settlement offer based on the motorcycle’s salvage value — for example, if the carrier believes the motorcycle’s salvage value is $500.00, they will deduct that amount from the actual cash value settlement — and (2) you, or the carrier, will be required to notify DMV that the motorcycle has been salvaged. The pink slip on the motorcycle will read “salvaged title” (in other words, the motorcycle is worthless even if it has been repaired).
I was at blame for the collision. If you are at fault, whether entirely or partially, you will need to fight any claims brought against you via your own insurance company.
If you have “Property Damage Liability Protection,” your insurance company will defend you against claims for damage to other people’s cars. If you have “Comprehensive” or “Collision” coverage, you will contact your own insurance company to have your car replaced or repaired. If you lack either, you may be forced to repair or replace the cars involved at your own cost or defend yourself if a claim for reimbursement is lodged against you. Although Colorado requires a bare minimum of $10,000.00 in property damage coverage, we recommend that our clients carry at least $100,000/$300,000 in liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
We suggest that you get the maximum amount of property damage liability insurance that you can afford. A simple accident, particularly if it involves a costly car, may quickly
wipe out basic coverage. Every day, many car collisions occur in which one car is accused of causing damage to several other cars. If your policy limits you to $10,000 and the total damages exceed $90,000, you will be liable for the difference.
Even if you share some of the blame for an accident, you may still be able to seek and get compensation. A legal principle is known as “comparative blame” may come to your rescue under Colorado law.
It stipulates that you may still bring a claim even if you are partly culpable.
Depending on the nature of your claim, you may not need the services of an attorney. For minor, easy cases, an attorney is not economically beneficial, as any competent attorney can affirm.
Why should I retain the services of a personal injury attorney?
the attorney’s skill, experience, and knowledge can increase the value of your claim (the net recovery you ultimately receive), and
the attorney can handle all insurance and legal meetings, paperwork, telephone calls, negotiating, and court appearances required to resolve your case, as well as any medical liens you may have, thus saving you a great deal of time and hassle. A competent attorney will take care of all insurance and legal formalities essential to settling your claim while avoiding the various roadblocks put in the way.
If your claim is somewhat complex, resolving it on your own is comparable to doing an at- home appendectomy. It will not endanger your life – just your finances. A straightforward personal injury claim is a “hangnail” claim, as it is easily “clipped” by the typical individual.
Your injury attorney can help you maximize the value of your claim by providing all pertinent medical and legal evidence that bolsters your case. Perhaps the motorist who collided with your motorcycle was intoxicated and was later discovered to have a history of drunk driving convictions; might this add value to your claim? While your doctor may think the accident resulted in merely a slight strain damage to your neck, you believe it resulted in a flare-up of arthritis you’ve been suffering from for years; can you be reimbursed for this? A skilled personal injury attorney will hunt down each of these legal and medical facts and present them in such a manner that your claim is maximized in value.
A skilled personal injury attorney will work closely with you throughout your case. They will attentively listen to you and your family members and friends to ascertain the many ways in which an injury has damaged different elements of your life. Ascertain that you feel at ease dealing with the attorney you pick.
According to studies, those represented by an attorney obtain three times the reward as those not represented.
NOT ALL ATTORNEYS ARE EQUALLY CREATED
The fact that Attorney Ernie authored your uncle’s will or that Lawyer Linda managed your cousin’s divorce does not qualify them to pursue a motorcycle accident lawsuit. Numerous lawyers who profess to be motorcycle accident experts are unaware of the complexities of these rules.
While several attorneys may volunteer to represent you, choosing an attorney with considerable expertise with catastrophic motor car accident injury claims is critical. An unskilled attorney may be unable to handle your case properly. This may result in the loss of your benefits and your ability to secure a settlement.
The seven pitfalls to avoid when hiring a motorcycle accident attorney can be found at:
So how do you go about locating an experienced, sympathetic, and skilled personal injury attorney?
To begin, please visit our page on AVVO, the leading website in the United States, for locating a qualified attorney in any subject. Enter the kind of accident you’re searching for (auto or motorcycle accidents, dog attacks, etc.) and the city and state in which the event occurred.
By using the search button, you’ll be presented with a list of attorneys rated by Avvo’s editors on a scale of 1.0 to 10.0. They consider the attorney’s expertise, reputation in the legal community, client feedback, the judgments and settlements obtained, and whether or not the practitioner has faced past disciplinary action.
Unrated or with a rating of less than 8.0 on Avvo should be rejected as a personal injury attorney.
If the attorney you’re considering has an Avvo rating of at least 8.0 and a proven track record on the Million Dollar Forum, you’re on the right road.
When you first enter the workplace, spend a few moments glancing around and get a sense of the space. Are you greeted with respect, served coffee or tea, and are you seen immediately, or are you kept waiting? How is the office’s décor?
Is it worn and shabby, or does it seem well-maintained and professional? Following that, arrange for a free meeting with that attorney. A personal injury lawsuit may easily cost an attorney $100,000 or more, particularly if the matter proceeds to trial. If the attorney cannot afford to outfit his office appropriately, he may lack the financial resources necessary to try your case efficiently.
Is the attorney you’ve picked approachable, professional, and caring? If not, use caution while making a selection. In a severe case, you may be in contact with this attorney and his or her team for an extended time.
Ascertain that your inquiries are addressed. If not, just go on to the next qualified attorney on your list. Finally, peruse the attorney’s website for any previous verdicts or settlements. You’ll want to know about previous outcomes. If there is no track record, you must also be aware of this.
Inquire about the attorney’s publications and speaking engagements in her specialty. Determine if she adheres to philosophy in her dealings with clients. Certain lawyers like to peer down on you from a high chair and spend time explaining how they would handle your case, their competence, and reputation, and on and on clearly, they care little or nothing about you. To them, your case is simply another file.
Other lawyers take the time to get to know you and your family on a personal level. They’ll ask inquiries to ascertain the true nature of your existence. A smart attorney may be more knowledgeable about your prior medical history than your doctor; she may go into parts of your life that your spouse and/or children are unaware of. Why? Because a competent attorney strives to humanize his or her client. She cannot effectively sell your case unless she develops a genuine relationship with you.
Is the attorney of record seeing accidents as unfortunate catastrophes devoid of redeeming value, or does she urge her clients to utilize this misfortune to better their lives? We have a slogan at my office: “From breakdowns to breakthroughs.” We make a concerted effort to assist our clients in deriving some positives from what seem to be significant setbacks.
We urge our clients to join trauma support groups and provide them with free courses. These programs cover various topics, including coping with chronic pain, anxiety, and the strain on relationships that may result after a traumatic injury.
As a client, your only responsibility is to focus on recovering, speak honestly and completely with your attorney, and attempt to utilize this accident to bring more benefits to your life than drawbacks.
The bottom line is critical in every firm. That is what you seek if you or a family member has been gravely wounded due to another’s carelessness. Your attorney should be willing to demonstrate their achievement to you.
Your attorney should be willing to spend money on your case and make an investment in you and your case. A competent attorney will advance all required expenses. If you are requested to pay the fees, proceed with caution. You should not have to worry about financial concerns while attempting to recuperate.
How are personal injury lawyers compensated?
The normal industry standard is 33.33% of the total settlement amount if the claim is resolved without filing a lawsuit and 40% of the gross settlement amount if a lawsuit is filed. An attorney who prioritizes your interests will not charge you more than you earn.
Individuals and Entities Involved in a Personal Injury Claim
The “parties” to the case are the individuals who were hurt and anybody else who may submit a personal injury claim. These individuals are referred to as “claimants” before filing a lawsuit; they become “plaintiffs” if and when a lawsuit is filed.
On the other hand, people who directly caused the injuries, their employers, those who owned the cars that caused the injuries, and those who owned or controlled the property where the injuries happened, are on the other side. In general, they are referred to as the “insureds” in an insurance claim — that is, the individuals and organizations against whom the claim is being made. They will become “defendants” if a case is brought to court.
Your attorney’s responsibility includes identifying all possible parties. If a claimant is excluded from recovery, their entitlement to compensation may be permanently lost. If a defendant is omitted, a potentially lucrative source of settlement payments is lost.
Adjusters and Counselors
As soon as an insurance company receives the notification of an accident injury, an “adjuster” (sometimes known as a “claims adjuster”) is appointed to handle the claim. Generally, but not always, the adjuster is a direct employee of the insurance firm. If many insurance companies are involved in a single occurrence, each will send at least one adjuster to the case.
Suppose a lawsuit is required and the defendants are issued with legal documents. In that case, they or their insurance company will retain the services of a “defense attorney” (sometimes known as an “insurance defense attorney”). When an injured party retains an attorney in writing, the attorney becomes the claimant’s legal representation (s).
We have seen throughout the years that certain insurers have little interest in properly settling disputes. If any of these corporations are involved in your case, you can anticipate a tough battle — you will need the assistance of a very skilled personal injury attorney.
Insurance adjusters factor in a variety of factors while determining the value of your claim. Often, a computer program determines the value of your claim without any human intervention. One such tool, which is utilized by hundreds of insurance firms, has the
foreboding moniker Colossus. Regrettably, these few elements do not often reveal the whole narrative of your story.
The Legal Team: No attorney can handle all facets of a client’s case, nor is any attorney a specialist in everything. A strong legal team will usually include private detectives to locate witnesses and physical evidence, paralegals to manage day-to-day paperwork and legal intricacies, and consultants and specialists to filter through difficult medical, engineering, and economic data.
Because each claim is unique, the particular members of the additional legal team will differ in each case. Selecting team members who will best serve the interests of a specific client is a fundamental responsibility of the personal injury attorney.
YOU’VE ENGAGED AN ATTORNEY…NOW WHAT?
You should have a long and comprehensive interview with your attorney early in the process. Kindly be candid about your medical history, work history, and driving history. The more details you supply and the more inquiries your lawyers make, the better. A successful interview enables your attorney to represent you more effectively.
Your attorney will next notify the appropriate insurance companies that you have legal representation. This accomplishes two objectives:
it initiates communication between your attorney and insurance agents, and
it stops insurance adjusters from harassing you for information protected by your right to privacy.
Whether you are pursuing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company or your own (as in the event of an underinsured/uninsured driver claim), insurance companies will make every effort to settle your claim swiftly. If you concur, you will almost certainly discount your claim. Additionally, you have one and only one chance to resolve your case. Consider this carefully since you cannot reopen your claim once you settle and accept a settlement cheque.
Nor should your attorney pressurize you to settle before the conclusion of your medical treatment. Before discussing a settlement, your attorney should be patient and ready to wait for the conclusion of your medical treatment. If you do not have medical insurance and need treatment, your attorney may help you.
After notifying the involved insurance companies of your representation, your lawyer will begin gathering property damage photographs, repair shop estimates, traffic collision reports, witness information, and/or statements – any existing evidence that supports your claim that the collision was not your fault and caused you harm.
As your medical care progresses, your lawyer should call you frequently to ascertain how you feel if any new medical concerns have arisen, the physicians you are seeing, and whether your medical therapy is appropriate. Your attorney should record your medical treatment completely and regularly to ensure that all critical details are included.
It is critical for your attorney to be aware of any prior medical history, prior accidents or insurance claims, and any prior criminal background. Your attorney cannot perform his or her work effectively unless mutual trust and honesty on both parties.
Once your health has stabilized, and your treatment has concluded, your attorney will gather all necessary medical documents and billings to verify that your care and associated expenses are accurately represented. Additionally, your attorney will acquire proof of any time missed from work to file a claim for lost income.
Negotiations Before Filing a Lawsuit
After assembling the essential documents, a “Demand Package” is created. A Demand Package is issued to the at-fault party’s insurance company, requesting a certain total sum in settlement of all your claims. The optimal Demand Package will give you a comprehensive view.
The motorcycle accident details and evidence gathered as detailed above will be attached as exhibits, as well as medical and billing records from all of your providers. If necessary, your Demand Package should include a statement indicating that you will need future medical treatment. Payroll records, pay stubs, and similar documents should be submitted to demonstrate how much work you missed.
The Demand Package informs the insurance company about the ordeal you’ve been through due to the motorcycle accident and the amount of compensation you’ll need to pay you appropriately for your losses. It is critical that your attorney properly characterize the impact of your injuries on you and your loved ones to maximize your general damages (pain and Suffering).
After reviewing your Demand Package, the insurance company should contact your attorney with a settlement offer. This is the maximum amount that the insurance company is prepared to pay to settle your claim fully. You then have the option of accepting the offer, instructing your attorney to negotiate with the insurance company to increase the offer, declining the offer, or filing a lawsuit. Your attorney will advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of each option, but the final decision is yours.
Suing is a hardball approach. Many individuals despise the prospect of litigation since it may be hazardous, time-consuming, and expensive. Nonetheless, a skilled attorney will file if it would guarantee your rights are protected. With several injuries, bringing a suit is not only the best but the only means to secure a fair conclusion. Computer-assisted case review (see Colossus, above) has resulted in several unjust offers, leaving many claimants with little option but to file lawsuits.
Suing – The Litigation Process
Once you and your attorney agree that litigation is the appropriate course of action, your attorney files a Summons and Complaint on your behalf within two years of the accident. Otherwise, you may be barred from pursuing a claim. If you are engaged in a collision with a government body, you must complete specific papers within six (6) months after the occurrence. You must keep these critical dates in mind. Other states may follow a different schedule.
Now is your turn on the court. Before scheduling your case for trial, the court will need you to complete particular stages in the litigation process to settle your case, depending on the
county in which you filed your complaint (usually the county in where the accident happened or where the defendant resides). (Different counties may have different deadlines and restrictions.)
Most courts provide a specific amount of time for discovery at the outset of litigation. Discovery is a formal procedure in which your attorney and the attorney representing the at- fault party (defense counsel) exchange information about the case. The purpose of this procedure is to apprise defense counsel of each claim contained in your Demand Package or that you plan to bring at trial.
You will very certainly be served with Form Interrogatories (relevant questions), Requests for Production of Documents (requests for documented proof to corroborate your allegations), and a Notice of Deposition by defense counsel and/or your attorney (your required appearance in front of defense counsel to answer questions about your claims, under oath).
Additionally, defense counsel may compel you to attend a Defense Medical Examination, particularly if you are currently experiencing medical concerns and/or anticipate receiving treatment throughout the litigation process. In such a situation, Colorado law authorizes defense counsel to compel you to submit to a medical examination conducted by a doctor of their choosing.
Most courts need your attorney to appear in court within a few months after filing a lawsuit to speak officially with the judge assigned to your case. There, you will choose your planned course of action and time needs.
Arbitration — similar to a trial but without a jury and conducted before a court-appointed arbitrator — or mediation may be planned (a meeting between the parties and a court-ordered mediator to try to settle your case). Arbitration might be set up to be binding or non-binding. Binding arbitration concludes the case when the arbitrator issues an award that becomes the judgment. In non-binding arbitration, each party has the right to challenge the arbitrator’s decision.
If the lawsuit does not resolve via arbitration or mediation, a trial date will be established. Trial – The Final Frontier
Most courts attempt to resolve matters within 18 months of the date the lawsuit is filed. However, this sometimes takes longer owing to the backlog. If your injuries have not yet stabilized, your counsel may petition the court to extend your trial date.
Your attorney will present your claim to a jury at trial. You will testify, as will witnesses to the collision, and your doctor(s) about your injuries. The defendant, as well as any opposing experts, may testify.
After all, testimony has concluded and all evidence has been presented to the jury, it is up to them to render a judgment (i.e., what they believe to be the value of your case). The jury’s decision then becomes a judgment, and in most situations, your case is over, and you and your attorney are satisfied with the outcome (fingers crossed).
Unless an appeal is filed, the trial is the last stage.
This is a very basic overview of the procedure. I’ve omitted several things for the sake of brevity. However, you should now have a better knowledge of the procedure. I give more information and a timeline graphic outlining the process from the day a case is filed, to arbitration or mediation, and finally to trial if arbitration or mediation fails:
PERSONAL INJURY DAMAGES – Amounts recoverable
Colorado law permits you to claim a variety of damages from your carrier, including the following:
Suffering and Suffering (also known as General Damages): The most critical part of any bodily injury claim is your entitlement to compensation for past and future physical pain and mental anguish. In addition to and may exceed, these general damages are the compensation for lost wages and medical expenditures.
There is no standard method for determining the worth of Pain and Suffering in any particular situation. Because each instance is unique and contains multiple circumstances, the monetary worth of pain and Suffering varies. For example, a person who has lost a leg will experience far more pain and Suffering than someone who has broken a toe.
Medical Expenditures: Reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred, and certain to be spent in the future, are recoverable, as are costs associated with care and treatment, including hospitalization, medical treatment, therapy, nursing, diagnostic tests, surgery, and physical therapy. An attorney may hire a “Life Care Planner,” such as Vocational Economics, Inc., to ascertain the expense of acceptable and required future medical demands. Typically, life care planners are nurses or medical professionals who predict an individual’s future medical requirements.
An attorney’s responsibility is to assess if a life care planner is necessary for the case and comprehend and explain medical facts to the planner accurately.
Earnings Loss: You are eligible to recover lost wages as a result of your injury. All earnings and fringe benefits, including wages, commissions, bonuses, and other compensation, are recoverable. Additional information about this subject is included in a different part of this book.
Future Earnings Loss: If your injuries permanently impair your capacity to earn, you may be able to recover the monetary loss caused by a pay decrease for the duration of your working years. (more information is available in a different part of this book). A vocational rehabilitation specialist may be hired to ascertain how an injured person’s restrictions may affect their ability to work and make a living throughout their lives. An attorney must be knowledgeable about the kind of work performed by such an expert and how to use the specialist’s skills in a client’s case.
A case study on vocational rehabilitation may be found at:
The experts in vocational analysis and disability research.
Disfigurement: If your accident results in scarring and/or other unpleasant markings, you may be compensated for the humiliation/embarrassment caused by the disfigurement, as well as the expense of any required surgery.
Serious Injuries Can Affect the Marriage Connection: Serious injuries can harm the marital relationship. If this happens, you and/or your spouse may be entitled to compensation for the loss of social interaction, love, help, conjugal fellowship, and loss or impairment of sexual relations. These assertions for “Loss of Consortium” are examined in further detail in a different part of this book.
Punitive Damages: In some circumstances, such as where the accident was caused by “criminal negligence,” such as driving while impaired by alcohol, you may be entitled to punitive damages in addition to other damages.
Death: Economic loss, mental agony, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, marital care, parental care, filial care, attention, advice, counsel, training, direction, and/or education may all be recoverable as damages for “wrongful death.” Additionally, damages may be possible for the decedent’s estate.
LOSS OF INCOME AND REDUCTION IN EARNING CAPACITY
Am I entitled to compensation for missed wages? Yes. Wage/income loss refers to the entire amount of money lost from the accident date to the day you return to work – tax-free.
Your employer must certify that you were unable to work throughout the time you were unable to work. Your medical practitioner will issue you a “prescription” for time off work in the form of a work release. Without the release, the insurer may challenge your ability to work.
You will need to demonstrate that you lost earnings as a direct consequence of the injury. Apart from the work release verification, you will want a letter on your employer’s letterhead and/or copies of your pay stubs confirming the length of time taken and the gross compensation. If you utilized sick or vacation days, they are also recoverable since you would not have been required to do so in the absence of the injury.
Can I recoup future income losses?
Yes, assuming you can establish the loss’s fair worth. This is referred to as a claim for “loss of earning ability.” Earning capacity refers to the capability to earn revenue, as opposed to income loss itself. It is not required that you have prior job experience. You do not need to be working at the time of the accident.
For instance, suppose you are 45 years old, and your injuries are serious enough that you cannot return to work. If your usual work-life expectancy increases by twenty years, you may be entitled to compensation for those years.
You must be able to demonstrate that your demand is fair about your earning potential. You cannot recover revenue lost due to an injury that prevents you from playing professional tennis unless you can demonstrate that you would have competed in professional tennis tournaments had you not been injured.
If feasible, you owe it to yourself to lessen or minimize the income loss caused by your injury. While a professional tennis player may be unable to join tournaments and compete due to an injury to the left eye, he or she may be able to make money training others on how to play.
You are expected to take reasonable precautions to avoid the future aggravation of injuries. If
If compensating for damages via other labor aggravates your injuries, you should not be required to do such a job or any other activity that exceeds the physical restrictions prescribed by your doctor.
How might vocational specialists assist me in determining the extent of my loss? Forensic economists are vocational specialists who consider characteristics such as age,
physical or mental disabilities, work experience, job skills, education, and earnings history when estimating future earning capacity loss. The specialists use work-life expectancy tables, wages of those with your degree and experience levels, inflation, social security, and other benefits, as well as other statistical data, to calculate potential income loss.
Can I be paid for income lost as a self-employed person?
Yes. Self-employed individuals can claim lost income as a result of their injury. A self- employed individual may be compensated for expenses spent due to being required to engage extra and/or replacement personnel to maintain the firm in the absence of the injured individual.
Self-employed claims are more sophisticated than wage loss claims, often need the assistance of a forensic economist (an expert in establishing economic losses), particularly if the alleged losses are significant.
If you are self-employed, you may be entitled to damages for lost income, lost earning capacity, lost profits, missed business possibilities, and loss of goodwill.
How is self-employment income loss calculated?
You may be required to provide previous income tax returns – the more years, the better – to demonstrate what you earned in the past. Tax information from previous years is often utilized to quantify past and current losses. If you do not have copies of your prior tax returns, you may get them by visiting the IRS website at www.irs.gov.
Your appointment schedule and letters from prospective employers might help to bolster any future lost income claim. While establishing lost opportunities might be challenging, letters from prospective clients and/or partners may benefit.
What if my doctor clears me to return to work, but I continue to have excessive pain?
Compensation for extended time off after a doctor’s authorization to return to work is highly dependent on your ability to demonstrate that the additional time off was reasonable and required.” — the accepted practice.
Assume you were rear-ended while riding your motorcycle and had mild whiplash. After a few weeks, your doctor advises you to return to work whenever you feel ready. You remain stiff and painful. You choose to remain at home for a few further days and take an over-the- counter medicine. Was it appropriate to take those extra days off? Probably. Was it necessary? That is a harder topic to answer, although conversations between you and your attorney may yield fruit.
Assume you did not take any pain medication and went water skiing throughout your “recovery” from your neck injury. Is that a realistic assumption? Most likely not. Nor is it required.
Calculating historical pay is a question of logic and evidence. Calculating future loss of earning capacity is more challenging and may need the assistance of a vocational rehabilitation expert and an economist.
DAMAGES FOR CONSORTIUM LOSS
Your spouse may also be entitled to compensation. Colorado law provides for the recovery of damages for “loss of consortium” by spouses and wives.
The undamaged spouse often sues the defendant for damages arising from their inability to enjoy the same degree of love, affection, and companionship as they enjoyed previous to the spouse’s injuries.
Damages for loss of consortium include those sustained due to diminished or restricted sexual intercourse between couples, among other things. These damages compensate the undamaged spouse for the impact of the accident on other pre-existing marital duties, such as:
Services, such as home duties and child care and transportation; * Love and devotion; * Society; * Companionship; * Emotional support and care; * Comfort.
Damages for loss of consortium are classified as “non-economic” losses. They are not quantifiable in terms of monetary loss or objective financial worth. An award for loss of consortium is often left to the judge or jury’s discretion in a courtroom situation. Legal experts estimate that these damages are most often given in situations involving catastrophic injury.
A valid marriage license must accompany any claim for loss of consortium at the time of the accident.
Juries and Compensation for Consortium Loss
In situations involving married individuals who have had very mild injuries, attorneys may be hesitant to seek loss of consortium damages for fear of provoking resentment against the undamaged spouse.
MEDICAL BILLS, INSURANCE COVERAGE, AND OTHER CONCERNS
Am I entitled to reimbursement for my medical expenses?
Yes. All reasonable and necessary medical expenditures are recoverable. These medical expenses include emergency hospital visits, hospitalization, medical treatment, and prescriptions; routine care from a chiropractor, physical therapist, or doctor of osteopathic medicine; surgeries; medication; medical appliances such as a wheelchair, walker, or brace; and transportation to and from your medical appointments.
At the very least, the irresponsible person is financially accountable for any reasonable and necessary medical expenditures. However, in the absence of large assets, the total amount accessible is restricted to the other party’s insurance coverage. Colorado law requires a minimum bodily injury insurance coverage of $25,000.00 per person/$30,000.00 per occurrence.
What is Medical Payment Coverage and what are the associated benefits?
The negligent party’s insurance company will not cover your medical bills until you have received all necessary care and treatment and have agreed to permanently resolve the matter. The treating physician may not want to wait so long for payment, especially if you lack health insurance. Med-Pay can assist you in paying your expenses, preventing you from being compelled to settle early.
Med-Pay insurance coverage pays for medical expenditures as they occur, up to a predetermined limit and often within a certain time. This coverage is offered for injuries caused by the insured driver and any passengers in their car, regardless of who is at fault.
If you already have medical insurance, you may believe that Med-Pay is superfluous. However, if your coverage limits you to particular physicians, Med-Pay allows you to seek care from a doctor not on the limited list. Med Pay insurance typically covers up to
$5,000.00, they may vary from $1,000.00 to $100,000.00. A minimum of $10,000.00 in medical costs coverage is recommended.
How long am I eligible for Med-Pay?
It’s critical to understand that medical payments coverage is limited in duration, often one to three years from the date of accident. Insurance companies impose time limits on medical payments for two reasons: (1) the insurer needs to know how much money will be paid in a reasonable amount of time, and (2) after several years, it may become difficult to determine whether the treatment requested is for the covered injury or a subsequent uncovered injury.
Med-Pay is a kind of insurance that you acquire. It is not needed by law, and possessing a liability insurance does not automatically entitle you to Med-Pay coverage.
How can I pay for medical care before resolving my claim if I do not have health insurance or Med-Pay insurance?
In such instance, other methods for covering medical expenditures before getting a settlement are available.
Self-Pay: Payment for medical services made out of pocket. Due to the significant expenditures involved, this is often not a viable choice for most individuals.
Liens Against Physicians. Certain physicians will treat a patient and withhold medical services until you get compensation from the at-fault motorist. This process is referred to as rendering treatment on a “lien.” The doctor will ask you and your attorney to sign a declaration providing them a lien on any monies earned from the guilty driver’s insurance company in settlement or through judgement.
A lien is a legal arrangement in which they agree to wait for payment rather than pursue collection against you. In exchange, you swear that if you are awarded a settlement, you would pay them first, before pocketing a dime. In this situation, you will be forced to pay the doctor after your case, even if your claim is unsuccessful. This technically complex procedure necessitates collaboration between a physician’s office and an attorney.
TIP: A qualified attorney will know which physicians in your town may be prepared to treat you on a “lien.” When interviewing potential attorneys, enquire about their experience with local physicians. If the attorney is unfamiliar with local physicians, consider bringing your case elsewhere.
Protection Against Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (UM/UIM)
These critical advantages safeguard you and/or any passengers in your car by paying for damages caused by a careless driver who does not have liability insurance, hit-and-run drivers, or any motorist who does not carry adequate insurance to cover your expenditures.
There are two distinct forms of coverage: Coverage for Uninsured Motorists
This extra coverage is available via your motorcycle insurance provider. It protects you in the event of a hit-and-run accident or if the other driver does not have insurance or has insufficient insurance.
How much do I need to obtain?
Although Colorado does not compel drivers to get this coverage, it is usually prudent to do so. Your insurance company and you will agree on the quantity of coverage. If you acquired
$25,000 in uninsured coverage, you may only receive up to that amount, regardless of the size of your medical expenditures. We suggest that you carry a minimum of $100,000 per person and $300,000 or more per occurrence.
How long am I eligible to get uninsured benefits?
While there are no time constraints on the duration of your uninsured insurance benefits, you must bring action or seek arbitration with your insurer no later than two years from the date of the accident. If you do not follow these steps, you may be permanently banned from pursuing the claim. If you incur a life-threatening injury that requires emergency treatment, severe critical care, or hospitalization, your uninsured coverage may suddenly run out. An injury that necessitates a long rehabilitation programmed may entitle you to benefits indefinitely, but only up to the insurance maximum.
How can I make an uninsured benefits claim? You must file the claim to your insurance carrier (see Insurance Code Section 11580). Again, there are time constraints for filing suit.
Coverage for Uninsured Motorists. This policy complements your uninsured motorist protection. If the negligent party’s insurance policy is insufficient to pay you for your injuries, you may be entitled to extra coverage under your policy. For instance, if the individual who caused the accident has a liability limit of just $25,000, the maximum amount you may recover from their insurance company is $25,000.00 per person. If you have suffered severe injuries and have incurred substantial medical bills, the value of your case may surpass $25,000.00.
If you have $100,000/$300,000 uninsured motorist coverage, you may seek an extra
$75,000.00 in coverage from your underinsured motorist insurance to make up the difference. Additionally, a Personal Umbrella Insurance Policy may be beneficial.
How can I make an uninsured/uninsured benefit claim?
Within two years and by Insurance Code Section 11580, the claim must be made to your insurance carrier.
Notice: You cannot obtain additional uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage over the amount of your liability policy. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance is mostly based on your liability coverage. Thus, if you maintain the state-mandated minimum liability policy of $25,000, you cannot get coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists over $25,000.
There are other sources of funding available to cover your medical bills before resolving a personal injury claim. You may be qualified for financial assistance via some state and federal programs.
Maintain receipts for any prescriptions and drugs purchased, as well as any other out-of- pocket spending. Additionally, keep note of miles for trips to medical providers, especially if you are compelled to travel long distances. Certain of these expenditures may be reimbursable after the case.
Nursing Care/Attendant Care in the Home
Costs associated with in-home nursing care/attendant care are recoverable. You must establish that such treatment is reasonable, necessary, and directly related to the motorcycle accident injuries.
Household Chores/Replacement Services that the wounded person formerly did but is unable to do due to their injuries, such as cooking, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning, washing, or mowing the lawn, are recoverable.
Modifications & Accommodations to the Home
In rare instances, accidents may necessitate the building or remodeling of one’s living quarters. If you become paralyzed in an accident and are confined to a wheelchair, steps or stairs may need to be removed or doorways expanded. You may need rebuilding of unique bathing facilities or kitchens, or you may require a particular bed. These expenses may be recouped.
Colorado Springs Motorcycle Helmet Laws: What You Need to Know
As a motorcycle rider, whether you ride locally or traverse state borders on tour, you must be aware of the helmet legislation in the areas where you ride. Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet if you ride in Colorado Springs? What may happen if you don’t wear a motorcycle helmet and are stopped by the police?
All motorcycle riders should wear helmets at all times. Failure to wear a helmet may result in traumatic brain damage, facial injuries, and neck injuries, among other things. Understanding Colorado Springs legislation can help you navigate the city’s roadways safely while riding your motorcycle.
Helmet Requirements in Colorado Springs
All Colorado Springs motorcycle riders are required by Colorado law to wear helmets at all times when driving a motorcycle. Unlike several other states, Colorado mandates all motorcyclists, regardless of age, to wear a helmet. Riders over the age of 21 in Colorado Springs must meet the same conditions as younger riders. To provide high-quality protection, riders must purchase a DOT-approved helmet.
Riders in Colorado Springs should use a shatter-resistant plastic face shield on their helmets or goggles. Colorado Springs motorcyclists require eye protection, especially if their motorcycle does not have a glass or windscreen, which might capture any road dangers. A motorcycle helmet provides the maximum level of protection with a face shield.
A face shield has several benefits. To begin with, it shuts out part of the wind whistling about you as you bike through Colorado Springs’ streets, which might cause your eyes to tear up. If you have trouble looking around, you may have difficulty seeing everything that happens on the road, making it more difficult to avoid possible accidents.
Due to the heavy traffic in the Colorado Springs region, having a complete vision is essential for avoiding accidents. During rush hour, inattentive drivers and drivers in a hurry to go somewhere may have difficulty keeping track of motorcycles around them, making complete visibility of the motorcycle all the more crucial to limit the chances of being involved in a serious accident.
Face shields also reduce the chances of anything blowing into your eyes, such as an insect, road debris, or even precipitation. You may naturally take one hand from your motorcycle to control it if anything is in your eye. This maneuver is often fatal since you may lose entire control of your motorcycle. Many forms of traffic accidents may be reduced with the use of a basic face cover.
The Advantages of Wearing a Helmet
Because wearing a helmet minimizes the chance of major head, neck, and face injuries, Colorado law requires Colorado Springs motorcycle riders to wear one at all times. Motorcycle riders who do not wear a helmet risk serious injuries that may last a lifetime.
TBI stands for traumatic brain injury (TBI)
In the event of a motorcycle accident, a helmet is the only way to protect your head from impact. A motorcycle collision might result in you striking your head with tremendous force against the
pavement, another car, or other hard objects. You might be stuck in the head by the car that collides with you.
If you don’t wear a helmet, the force will be absorbed only in your skull. On the other hand, wearing a helmet may absorb part of the impact, meaning you may have a less severe TBI or perhaps escape brain damage completely.
TBI might hamper many elements of your everyday life. TBI sufferers frequently display significant indications of disorientation and bewilderment shortly after waking up following an injury. They may even seem inebriated as they roam about the accident site if they can move at all. The full effects of TBI become clearer as time passes.
Many TBI sufferers have persistent gaps in their long-term memory or have difficulty with short- term memory. Victims with short-term memory problems may find it difficult to follow basic instructions, recall why they entered a place, or complete a simple activity. Victims may also have difficulties with attention and concentration, making it difficult to fully participate in job or leisure activities.
Injuries to the face
Most DOT-approved helmets extend beyond the user’s face, creating a barrier that may protect you from hitting your head on the ground in the case of an accident. A motorcycle crash may result in serious facial injuries, particularly if the victim is not wearing a helmet if the helmet does not provide appropriate facial protection.
Scraping against the pavement alone may cause serious scars and infections, fatal to a motorcycle rider. Broken bones in the face are common among victims of facial injuries, which may entail a lengthy healing time and a permanent change in appearance. While cosmetic surgery may help patients regain a part of their former look, many victims find that their appearance never fully recovers.
Injury to the neck
In a serious accident, your motorcycle helmet may assist in protecting your neck in addition to your head and face. Whiplash to spinal cord damage is all possible neck injuries. Whiplash spinal cord injuries may have long-term repercussions, including paralysis, even if they just affect movement and create discomfort when you move or tilt your head.
Not only may sufferers of spinal cord injuries lose movement below the damage site—either partially or completely, depending on the severity of the injury—but they may also lose organ function below the injury site. A victim’s total life expectancy may be shortened as a result of a spinal cord injury.
Can I File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Colorado Springs Even If I Didn’t Wear a Helmet?
You were injured in a motorcycle accident because you opted not to wear a helmet, failed to correctly attach your helmet, or used a helmet that the Colorado Department of Transportation did not authorize. Who is responsible for the accident?
Even though not wearing a helmet contributed to the number of your accident injuries, failing to wear one in a Colorado Springs motorcycle accident does not exclude you from filing a claim.
However, if you were injured in a motorcycle accident without wearing a helmet, you should contact an expert motorcycle accident attorney to learn more about your legal rights.
If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, assigning blame to others may be more difficult. However, it is achievable with the aid of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
What was the reason for your accident?
You may not have grounds for a personal injury claim if your negligence caused the accident—for example, if you were distracted and suffered injuries in a single-car accident, or if you pulled out in front of another car while not having the right-of-way and the other driver did not have time to avoid you.
In a Colorado Springs motorcycle accident caused by another driver’s carelessness, you may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries, regardless of whether or not you wore a helmet. Assume the other motorist opted to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and drifted into your lane, leading you to collide with the dividing wall. Even if your injuries were worsened due to your failure to wear a helmet, you might still be able to pursue a personal injury claim.
Consult an attorney to see whether and how your refusal to wear a helmet may influence the amount of money you may obtain in a personal injury lawsuit. Regardless of whether or not you wear a helmet, a motorist may be held liable for his activities on the road. However, since you did not wear a helmet, you may have some responsibility for your injuries, and the other driver may not be liable for the entire degree of your injuries.
When Riding in Colorado Springs, Wear a Helmet
Operators of smaller personal cars, such as motorcycles, powered bicycles, mopeds, and scooters, must wear helmets in Colorado Springs. Smaller cars often move at a slower pace.
In reality, powered bicycles are not permitted to go faster than 25 miles per hour on Colorado Springs’ roadways. Drivers of these cars must also have a current driver’s license or permit. These riders, as well as their passengers, must wear certified helmets.
Failure to Wear a Helmet Has Serious Consequences
In Colorado Springs, it is mandatory to wear a helmet whenever you ride a motorcycle. If you don’t wear a helmet, you might face legal consequences. For motorcycle riders, the first infraction of not wearing a helmet may result in a fine of $35. Failure to wear a helmet charges $25 for users of smaller motorized cars such as motorized bicycles, scooters, and mopeds.
However, after your first transgression, the fee will increase. A fine of $75 to $100 may be imposed after the second infraction.
You may also incur additional charges as a result of your choice not to wear a motorcycle helmet. First, the officer who stops you may order that your motorcycle be hauled away from the accident site or recovered by someone else since you cannot lawfully and safely drive it without a helmet. You may waste a lot of time, particularly if there’s a lot of traffic in Colorado Springs.
You may also see an increase in your insurance premiums as a result of not wearing a helmet. Because you may experience more serious injuries and pay greater medical bills due to such actions, Colorado insurance companies consider it an additional obligation to ensure a motorist who does not wear a helmet. You may wind up paying substantially more for your insurance as a result of these difficulties. After a second or third infraction, insurance premiums may rise more quickly.
The biggest danger of not wearing a helmet is, of course, suffering serious injuries in the case of an accident. Suppose you were struck while riding a motorcycle or other personal car, regardless of whether or not you were wearing a helmet; call an experienced Colorado Springs motorcycle accident attorney. Even if you are partially to blame for not wearing a helmet, you may be able to recover some compensation from the other motorist.