What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in Colorado
Knowing what to do after a bicycle accident is crucial to protect your personal injury claim rights. Some of the most important steps include contacting the police, taking scene photos, getting medical treatment, and contacting a Colorado bicycle accident lawyer.
At Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C., our experienced legal team can help. We know how devastating a bicycle accident can be. Our attorneys can answer your questions if you are searching for information about what you should do after a bicycle accident.
What to Do Immediately Following an Accident
One of the most crucial steps to take after a bicycle accident is to contact the police. A police report is an official accident record, which can be necessary for a future personal injury claim.
Exchange information with all involved parties, and if there are any witnesses, get their contact information. If you can do so safely, take photos of the scene, including pictures of the damage, debris, skid marks, etc. You want photos of everything that could ultimately be important during the claims investigation process.
Seek Timely Medical Treatment
Be sure to seek medical treatment, even if your injuries are minor. The adrenaline rush from the accident can mask pain, which often surfaces after the adrenaline subsides. Plus, immediate medical attention shows that your injuries happened as a result of the accident and not some time afterward. This can be crucial evidence for any future insurance disputes.
If you wait to seek medical treatment, the other party’s insurance will try to use that against you. The adjuster might claim that your injuries weren’t severe since you waited to see a doctor. Or, the adjuster will allege another incident that happened after the accident caused your injuries.
Filing a Claim to Recover Your Losses
If a driver is at fault for the accident, their liability insurance should cover any damages to your bike. After an insurance adjuster’s assessment, take your bike to a trusted bike repair shop to determine the extent of the damage. A professional evaluation can catch minor issues that an untrained eye might miss and assess your bike’s safety.
What if the accident involves a pedestrian? Accidents involving a bicycle and a pedestrian can be more complicated, but they follow the same general rules as an accident involving a bicycle and a car. Pedestrians and bicycle riders must obey traffic laws. And determining fault requires a thorough investigation.
Before recovering compensation in an accident, you must prove the other party is negligent. Proving negligence requires you to establish the following:
- The other party owed you a legal duty of care;
- The other party breached this legal duty;
- The other party’s breach caused the accident; and
- You suffered verifiable damages in the collision.
It’s important to note that Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state. That means you can recover some of your damages if you’re less than 50% at fault. If you are over 50% at fault, you’re barred from recovering compensation. And if you are less than 50% at fault, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you’re 40% at fault, you should receive 60% of your losses. If you are 50% at fault, you won’t receive anything.
Consult an Attorney
These kinds of accidents can present complex legal and insurance challenges. An established Colorado bike accident attorney at Sloan, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. can guide you through these intricacies and fight for the compensation you deserve. Even if you think your injuries are minor, it’s best to consult a lawyer to learn more about your legal options.
Safety Tips for Cyclists and Motorists
Bikes must adhere to the same traffic regulations as automobiles. Examples include abiding by traffic signals and traveling in the direction of traffic flow. Cyclists must respect pedestrian rights when using crosswalks assigned to pedestrians, even if dismounting and manually crossing the street is not necessary.
In many areas within Colorado, cycling on sidewalks is prohibited. The biking laws state that pedal-powered or electric-assisted bicycles cannot be used on sidewalks or pathways or along a crosswalk where local ordinances or official traffic control devices prohibit their use. You would need to get off your bike before entering a crosswalk where required by official traffic control devices or local ordinances.
Tips for Staying Safe When Riding a Bicycle
Everyone should familiarize themselves with Colorado’s bicycle laws. Motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians can all do their part to keep everyone safe and reduce the risk of accidents. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
- Even though the law doesn’t require you to use a helmet, wearing one can help prevent or reduce some injuries in a collision.
- Choose to use routes that are not busy streets whenever possible.
- Wear bright clothing, use a reflective vest, and ensure you have plenty of lights on your bike so you are easily visible to drivers.
- Use your hand signals and follow all traffic laws.
- Don’t use alcohol or drugs when riding your bike.
- Do not be distracted—don’t use your phone, text, or anything else that can divert your attention from the road.
Motorists can also do their part and respect bicycle riders. Drivers should pay extra attention to places pedestrians and bike riders could be. For example, drivers should look for pedestrians and bicycles before backing out of a driveway or parking spot.
Contact a Skilled Colorado Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you have questions about what to do after a bicycle accident, contact Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. today. Our dedicated team has the experience and commitment to guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and help you investigate all avenues of recovery.
With so many Colorado personal injury lawyers to choose from, you might be wondering why you should hire us. Here are a few things that set us apart from many other law firms.
- Our attorneys have decades of combined experience and have successfully handled many bicycle accident cases in Colorado. We have the knowledge and skills to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Our lawyers have a proven track record of obtaining favorable client outcomes.
- We take pride in our commitment to giving clients the personal attention they deserve. We’ll inform you about every step in the legal process and ensure you understand your rights and options.
- We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. You should be concentrating on your recovery, not worrying about legal fees.
Bicycle accidents can be devastating, and the claims process can feel overwhelming. Proper legal support can ease this process. When you need assistance after a Colorado bicycle accident, Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. is here to help. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
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