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Car Vs Bike Accident: How to Determine Fault in Colorado?

How to Determine Fault in a Car vs Bike Accident Colorado
To determine fault in a car vs bicycle accident, you need to present a claim to the other party’s insurance company. It’s impossible to answer who is at fault without a thorough investigation.

If you were involved in a bicycle accident with a car, contact our team of attorneys today for a free consultation: 303-447-1144 

Complex legal questions can arise with these types of collisions, which is why it’s essential to speak with an experienced Colorado bicycle accident lawyer. At Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C., we can help you present a claim to the other party and increase your chances of recovery.

How to Prove Fault in Car vs Bicycle Accident in Colorado

How do you prove who is at fault if a car hits a bicycle? It is surprising to some that this process starts immediately after the accident.

Under Colorado law, you must present substantial evidence to prove who the negligent party is before you can demand compensation for your losses. However, it’s common for more than one party to share some fault for an accident, so it’s best to collect as much evidence as possible to assist in an accurate assessment.

Nikki Nicholaou was incredibly helpful and responsive. I felt very comfortable with my case in her hands, which was a great decision because she won me a settlement before we had to go to court
Veronica Blake
Veronica Blake
Highly recommended.
Andy B
Andy B
One day in June, 2019, our world was turned upside down. My husband was nearly killed by a motorist while riding his bicycle. He was lucky to come away from the accident with “only” a neck broken in 5 places, facing surgery and a long two-year recovery period. His extreme pain, our anger, and the total shock of the event overwhelmed us. We decided to focus all our energy on his healing. Dealing with the insurance company was more than we could handle. So, a little investigation brought us to Sloat & Nicholson. During the first phone conversation, Randy Nicholson explained that we could not only file a claim against the driver’s insurance, but also against our Underinsured Motorist insurance. Randy also explained that it was likely that he would have to fight Mike’s health insurance which would certainly ask to be totally reimbursed for their expenses. We’d learned that it was a bigger issue than we’d expected, but we knew we had found someone who could help us, and that has a great relief. After that first call, and in the subsequent months of meeting with Randy and his team, we knew we’d made the best possible decision. Randy got the full claim against the driver’s insurance. He convinced our health insurance that they had no standing in filing a claim against us. We didn’t have to pay them anything. And he negotiated with our Underinsured Motorist insurance and got the full claim against them as well. It was not easy, and Randy worked hard. He completely relieved us of a ton of stress. He kept us informed each step of the way. Every time we worked with him and his team, we became more and more convinced that we’d made the right decision. We were so glad we found Sloat and Nicholson. After the accident, we felt like the world was against us. The court system totally dropped the ball, and we constantly had to fight back our anger at the driver and the judge. But we had Randy Nicholson and his team on our side, and we are forever grateful to all of them.
midge castillo
midge castillo
I was in a car accident and needed legal advice. Robert Hoover was both professional and informative! He was so helpful, and I would recommend him to anyone. I also appreciated his Christian perspective!
colleen G.
colleen G.
I was a case form many years ago Gerald handled everything completely professionally there is not one thing I would do differently My case was complicated but the end result was everything that I was entitled to! If your case is in his practice area I highly recommend a phone call consultation or visit to his office. You won't be disappointed his years of experience knowledge and fair treatment of his clients would not be more apparent!
Adam Townson
Adam Townson
Jerry Sloat and his staff treated our family with great respect and helped us to receive compensation for the injuries, pain and suffering we incurred during a car accident. We owe him so much and are truly grateful that we stopped trying to deal with the insurance company and allowed Jerry and his wonderful team of professional to take care of everything for us.
Leonard Romano
Leonard Romano
Gerry Sloat was amazing, after my car wreck I was at a loss on what was going on. I didn't know the process or what to even expect. I turned to him because he was the only one willing to take the time and speak with me to answer all my questions. My insurance company wouldn't even call me back to answer my question of what was happening. Gerry took quite a bit of time explaining the different aspects of the insurance and the other driver and the county issues that I didn't even know where separate, he really set my mind at ease with my mind running with all of the "what ifs" I now know where I stand and what to expect going further and can now make informed decisions on what I need to be prepared for what lies ahead! Thank you again Mr Sloat!
landa raddon
landa raddon
Gerry Sloat was a very skilled and helpful attorney when I needed one to negotiate a settlement for many, many medical bills resulting from a head on collision. What impressed me most was his fair handedness in dealing with us, but also with dealing with the other parties involved. Further, since the accident a half dozen years ago, he has been more than helpful in answering questions about all matters of the law, and seems to genuinely enjoy hearing from me when I call. A stellar human and an outstandingly thorough attorney.
Bonnie Carol
Bonnie Carol
Ever since I started working with with Robert Hoover it's been more like working with family he's taking the time to get to know me and my family on a personal level the office staff know by name and they are the best
Jason Swartz
Jason Swartz

Evidence to Examine

Car vs Bike Accident

Examples of evidence that can help your claim include the following:

  • Accident report;
  • Property damage estimates;
  • Physical evidence at the scene;
  • Photographs of the scene;
  • Video surveillance footage of the crash, if any exists;
  • Medical bills and records;
  • Expert witness reports; and
  • Witness statements.

Investigators look at all of these things when trying to ascertain fault. Let’s take a look at some of these in more detail.

The Scene

They will look at the scene to see if there are skid marks or other evidence that help recreate what happened. They will also look at the impact on the vehicle and bike for fault indicators. Some of the evidence might be at the scene even days later, but if possible, take photographs of the scene before the police clear the area.


If the driver or bicyclist got a citation from the police for violating any traffic laws, this helps determine who is at fault for the crash. If the driver violated any traffic laws, the fault will likely be placed on them. And witnesses are a great help as well. Much of this information is included in the police report, so be sure to call 911 after the crash so police respond to the scene.

Accident Reconstructionist

Finally, when you hire a lawyer, they may recommend hiring an accident reconstructionist to help determine the likely cause of the accident. This is not always necessary, but it can sometimes be very helpful. Accident reconstructionists are experts in collisions and use their knowledge and experience to create a report detailing who is most likely at fault.


So, who is at fault if a car hits a bicycle in the crosswalk? In this situation, the driver is most likely responsible. The driver owed the bicyclist a duty of care, which they breached by striking the rider in the crosswalk. If the accident caused the injuries, the bicyclist could claim damages against the driver’s insurance.

Comparative Negligence in Colorado

Notably, Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence rule. That means you could be partially at fault and still collect compensation. However, your percentage of liability reduces your potential settlement amount. If your percentage of liability is 50% or higher, you will not receive any compensation under Colorado law. For example, if you’re 20% at fault, you’ll receive 80% of your damages.

Your percentage of fault can make or break your ability to recover compensation. If you’re an injured bicyclist, the driver’s insurance company will undoubtedly try to attribute at least 50% of the blame to you. By arguing you’re at least 50% at fault, the insurance company won’t need to reimburse you for your damages. When investigating bicycle vs. car accident fault, the best way to protect yourself is to hire a Colorado personal injury lawyer.

Common Causes of Bicycle vs. Car Accidents

Many causes can contribute to a bicycle and car accident. Some of the most common causes include a driver who is:

  • Distracted and fails to see a bicycle that has the right of way;
  • Violating traffic laws, such as speeding or running a stop sign;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Not looking in their mirrors before opening the car door; or
  • Making an improper turn.

Bicyclists might contribute to accidents by:

  • Ignoring traffic signals,
  • Riding against traffic,
  • Failing to use the crosswalk, or
  • Not using designated bicycle lanes.

And it’s always possible that more than one cause contributed to the accident. For example, the driver might have been distracted and speeding when the crash occurred.

Contact a Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. for a Free Consultation

If you have questions about how to determine fault in a car accident with a bicycle, contact Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. We have years of experience fighting for injured victims in these types of collisions. Having a skilled lawyer representing you is crucial for maximizing your potential settlement. Please schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist.

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