How To Handle A Colorado Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can be traumatic and life-changing events. Victims can suffer catastrophic and permanent injuries and be left with significant medical expenses. Colorado recently enacted C.R.S. 42-4-1405.5 that classifies motorcyclists as vulnerable road users. This law provides for additional penalties for drivers that cause motorcyclists serious bodily injury.
If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident in Colorado, knowing what to do and what not to do after the accident is important. If you have questions about what to do after a motorcycle accident, contact our Colorado motorcycle accident lawyers at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. In the meantime, read on for some helpful tips to handle a motorcycle accident that will help you protect your rights and help you when pursuing a claim for damages.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident in Colorado
Call for Medical Assistance
First and foremost, if you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured, call 911 immediately. Paramedics can provide medical assistance and transport anyone with severe injuries to the hospital. The police will also respond to the scene to prepare a report and investigate who is at fault.
Move Your Motorcycle to the Side of the Road
Next, if you’re able to do so without causing further injury, move your motorcycle to the side of the road to avoid blocking traffic. If you cannot move your bike, put on your hazard lights and warning triangles or flares (if you have them) to alert other drivers.
Exchange Information with Other Parties
You must exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident. Be sure to get their name, contact information, insurance information, and the make and model of their vehicle. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. Don’t assume the witnesses will remain at the scene until the police arrive.
Take Photos of the Accident Scene
If you can do so safely, take photos of the accident scene. Include pictures of the damage to your motorcycle, any other vehicles involved, and any injuries you may have sustained. Include photos of the surrounding area, debris, skid marks, wet road, etc. These photos can become evidence during the injury claims process.
Avoid Making Statements about the Accident
Avoid making any statements about the accident to anyone other than the police or your insurance company. However, be cautious about what you say to the police officer too. Something as simple as “I’m sorry” can be construed as admitting liability. Even if you feel you had some fault in the accident, it’s best to wait until you’ve spoken with an attorney before making any admissions of fault.
Seek Medical Attention
One of the most critical steps to take after a motorcycle accident is to get medical treatment. If your injuries don’t require emergency medical assistance, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries, such as head or internal injuries, may not be immediately apparent but can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Keeping records of all medical treatment you receive after a motorcycle accident is also essential. That can include doctor’s appointments, medical bills, and other related expenses. This documentation will be necessary if you file an insurance claim or take legal action.
Contact Your Insurance Company
In Colorado, motorcyclists have to carry insurance. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident to report the claim. Provide all the necessary information and documents to the insurance company. You’ll likely receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company. The adjuster will ask you to provide a recorded statement. Do not agree to a recorded statement without speaking to a lawyer first.
Take Care of Yourself Physically and Emotionally
After a motorcycle accident, take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Make sure to follow any medical advice you receive and take time to rest and recover. Seek counseling if you’re struggling emotionally.
Avoid Signing Any Documents or Accepting Settlement Offers
It’s important to avoid signing documents or accepting settlement offers from the other driver’s insurance company without consulting an attorney. These documents may waive your rights to seek further compensation or legal action.
Hire a Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Hiring an attorney is crucial in severe injury accident claims, such as a Colorado motorcycle accident. Navigating the legal process after a motorcycle accident is complicated. Our attorneys can explain your rights and fight to help you get the full compensation you deserve. We will handle all negotiations with the insurance companies for the at-fault parties in the accident.
When choosing an attorney, you want someone with experience successfully resolving similar cases. Motorcycle accident cases can involve complex legal issues. Hiring an attorney without experience representing injured motorcycle accident victims means you could lose out on the compensation you deserve.
Don’t Miss the Statute of Limitations
Like other types of personal injury claims, you only have a limited time to resolve a motorcycle accident injury claim before filing a lawsuit. The usual statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years in Colorado. For auto accidents, the law extends the filing deadline by a year. In most situations, you must file a lawsuit three years from the accident date in Colorado. It’s best not to wait years to hire a lawyer. The longer you wait to hire a lawyer, the harder it is to preserve evidence, track down witnesses, and keep you from inadvertently jeopardizing your claim.
Contact Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover
Motorcycle accidents are traumatic, and the aftermath is stressful. If you have questions about what to do after a motorcycle accident in Colorado, please contact Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover. We have years of experience assisting injured victims, including victims of motorcycle accidents. Knowing the steps to take after a motorcycle accident can help protect your rights before you hire a lawyer.
When you hire our firm to represent you, we’ll be there every step of the way. We are passionate about helping our clients to recover the maximum compensation possible. You should be focusing on your recovery, not fighting with an insurance company for money to cover your medical expenses and other damages. Schedule an initial consultation with our Colorado motorcycle accident attorneys to learn more.
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