Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
There is little that compares to the exhilaration and the sense of freedom you feel when riding your motorcycle. When you add in Colorado’s beautiful backdrop, scenic roadways, destinations, and the 300 days of sunshine, not surprisingly, our state is one of the most coveted places for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, as motorcycle accident lawyers, we know our mountain roads and busy streets don’t come without danger, regardless if riders are obeying the laws or not.
Most motorcyclists involved in accidents are not the at-fault driver, but the victim. Yet many victims of motorcycle accidents believe they have their backs against the wall when it comes to the law. Motorcycle riders are protected under Colorado law just like any other driver or passenger. And although motorcyclists often have a poor reputation for being reckless and traffic law violators, we know this is not justified.
Why Choose Chalat Law?
The attorneys of Chalat Hatten & Banker have represented victims in every type of roadway accident, and with every type of injury or circumstances of wrongful death. Deep experience, insight, and compassion are required to successfully represent a motorcycle accident victim.
We know that riding a motorcycle differs from driving a car. We understand the implications of those differences when reconstructing a motorcycle accident and presenting the case to the jury. And, like every roadway accident, careful investigation and research is crucial to a successful claim for a motorcycle accident.
As the victim or as the bereaved family, you are likely facing many months of painful physical and emotional recovery. We’d like to be the experienced legal ally on your side, letting you focus on the difficult process of healing and closure. Our Denver motorcycle accident attorneys will help you understand your rights, answer your questions about who’s responsible, how you will pay for medical expenses and loss of income, and whether you may have a potentially successful case.
Other Benefits of Working with Our Firm:
- No case is ever the same. We create a tailored, individualized strategy for every case we handle and use innovative trial and legal techniques to achieve the best outcomes for our clients and their families.
- We have over 30 years’ experience successfully representing motorcycle collision victims. Our settlements and verdicts surpass tens of millions of dollars.
- Our lawyers are your point of contact. We believe in hands-on case management and a direct line of communication. We work diligently to ensure our clients understand what we are doing on their behalf, from the start to the very end.
- At our firm, you are never a case number. Your recovery and future are always our priority.
- Cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. You do not have to pay any legal fees unless we secure a settlement on your behalf.
Why Do I Need a Motorcycle Lawyer?
“Do I need a personal injury attorney?” is one of the most common questions victims ask following an accident. In severe motorcycle accident cases which caused major damages and severe injuries, the answer, almost always, is yes. However, you may not need a motorcycle accident lawyer to help handle your claim if the accident resulted in only minor or minimal damages to your vehicle.
The next most common question we get asked is “why do I need a personal injury attorney?” First, the legal process is packed with confusing language and piles of frustrating paperwork. Hiring counsel makes it possible for you to focus on recovering while the motorcycle accident attorney takes on the legal matter.
We also like to position the answer like this: if your air conditioning is broken, you call an HVAC repairman. When your pet is sick, you take it to the vet. If your roof is leaking, you call a roofing professional. We are motorcycle accident attorneys who are not only proficient in the relevant laws, procedural rules and the medicine that may affect a case but are also undeniably effective at negotiating with insurance companies. This is our trade. This is what we do every day, year-round.
Consider the additional reasons why it is a good idea to hire a Denver motorcycle accident lawyer:
Though insurance companies have a duty to handle each claim honestly and fairly, they are not on your side. They are for-profit corporations. It is common practice for insurance companies to offer unreasonably low settlements, or to outright deny a valid claim; they will work hard to minimize their own financial liability. In addition, they have virtually endless resources at their disposal, plus an army of attorneys working for them. Without legal knowledge, you are at the mercy of the insurance company and their settlement tactics.
Most personal injury cases – around 95% – are settled before trial. However, when you hire a motorcycle accident law firm with a successful history of taking cases to court, this can provide a big advantage. Insurance companies keep records of the attorneys who will take cases to trial and those who settle at a discount. This is important because insurance companies do not want to go to court. Working with an attorney with a great reputation in the courtroom and favorable jury verdicts immediately strengthens negotiating power. Thus, increasing your chances of receiving the best outcome.
Liability & Medical Knowledge
A motorcycle accident injury claim requires the management of many complex details. A credible motorcycle accident lawyer is skilled at compiling, preserving and presenting evidence and proving the other party’s liability for the accident, subsequent injuries, economic damages such as future lost earnings, and other non-economic losses such as pain and suffering and emotional stress.
A reputable motorcycle accident lawyer has a large legal network and access to resources such as expert witnesses and accident investigators. This can be remarkably advantageous for recovering maximum compensation. Studies show claimants with legal representation typically walk away with about three times as much compensation, after legal fees, compared to those who handle their own matter.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
As Colorado motorcycle collision attorneys, we understand the many challenges and dangers motorcyclists face on the road. We have also seen just how serious a motorcycle accident can be. Whenever a motorcyclist hits the road, they are statistically in more danger than a typical motorist. Common causes of motorcycle wrecks include:
42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and car happens when a car makes a left-hand turn in front of a motorcyclist. This is the most common type of motorcycle accident and the most dangerous situation for motorcyclists.
Defined as a traffic maneuver in which a motorcyclist drives between two adjacent lanes of motor vehicles traveling in the same direction. Lane splitting is illegal in Colorado.
Motorcyclists are more susceptible to road hazards because motorcycles are lighter and less stable than other passenger vehicles. Defective roads and hazardous conditions such as debris, loose rocks, gravel, potholes, or roadkill can lead to devastating injuries for a motorcyclist. These hazards become even more dangerous in poor weather conditions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly a third of motorcycle riders killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes were alcohol-impaired (BAC of .08 g/dL or higher)
Speeding/Time to Stop
Speeding caused 32% of motorcycle crash deaths in 2017. Driving too fast reduces the chance of seeing other drivers in time to prevent a collision and increases the time required to stop. The higher the speed, the greater the impact and the more severe the consequences.
Damaged tires and brake failure are common forms of defective equipment that can cause a motorcycle rider to lose control. Defective motorcycle parts that caused an accident can also be grounds for a product liability claim.
Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles lack any structural protection and have fewer high-tech safety features than cars. Because of this, motorcyclists are far more likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries when involved in a collision. On average, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and are over five times as likely to be injured. Riders may suffer from these injuries after a motorcycle crash:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Back injury
- Neck injury
- Loss of limb
- Soft tissue
- Blunt force trauma
- Internal injuries
Colorado Motorcycle Laws
Motorcycle drivers must not only obey all the same traffic laws as other motor vehicles on the roadways (e.g. signaling before making a turn, yielding to the right of way, coming to a complete stop), but they also must abide by a specific set of motorcycle laws to legally operate their vehicle in Colorado. As outlined by the Colorado Department of Transportation, the minimum safety standards for motorcycles include:
Helmets: Colorado law allows motorcyclists to decide for themselves whether or not to wear a helmet. To legally not wear a helmet, a motorcycle rider must be at least 18 years old.
Eye Protection: Some form of eye protection, like a visor on a helmet or goggles or eyeglasses with lenses made from safety glass or plastic, is legally required for all riders-drivers and passengers in Colorado
Footrests: Motorcycles must be equipped with footrests for passengers; passengers must utilize them.
Riding Position: Passengers cannot ride in front of the driver; they must ride on the seat behind the driver or to the side.
Passing or Overtaking: Passing or overtaking a vehicle in the same lane is illegal in Colorado; lane sharing and lane splitting with cars is also illegal. However, motorcycles can share a lane or “co-ride” with one other motorcycle.
Clinging: Motorcyclists cannot attach their motorcycle to another vehicle, i.e. grab onto another motorcycle or vehicle (i.e. towing).
Our experience and knowledge extend to insurance questions and details. This includes: primary auto coverage, under-insured and uninsured policies, stacking, excess and umbrella coverage, permissive driving coverage, family car doctrine, bad-faith and excess claims. If you have a motorcycle accident with complications in insurance coverage, we have the experience to assist you.
Establishing Fault in a Colorado Motorcycle Accident
Like all motor vehicle accidents, negligence must be proven for a motorcyclist to recover damages from the at-fault party. The motorcycle accident lawyer must prove the following to establish a basis for a personal injury lawsuit:
- A legal duty was owed to the injured person;
- The at-fault party breached that duty;
- The injured person suffered damages;
- The breach of duty caused the injuries
Compensation in Motorcycle Accident Cases
Motorcycle accidents usually result in life-changing injuries. We have represented victims who were airlifted and hospitalized for Level 1 care. Therefore, we understand the implications of complex, multiple and high-trauma injuries, related surgical procedures, and rehabilitation. Our experience has involved every Level One hospital, and pediatric facility, in Colorado. We have a solid reputation for ethical and informed relationships with the medical staffs in these hospitals, and with the rehabilitation community including Craig, Spalding, and other rehab/TBI/SCI institutions.
The nature of the severe injuries suffered when a rider or motorcycle passenger crashes often means expensive treatment and rehabilitation are needed over a long-term period. Other expenses which arise include future medical expenses. This is often coupled with losing income if the victim was employed. In addition, it is common for other family members lose time away from work. The injured victim may seek compensation from the negligent party for all expenses.
Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Chalat Law
The personal injury attorneys at Chalat Hatten & Banker understand that a motorcycle crash can turn your life upside-down. For over 30 years, we’ve protected the rights of victims and will fight to do the same for you. Contact our Denver motorcycle accident law firm to discuss your rights.
How We Help
- Offer a 100% free, comprehensive initial consultation;
- Explain your rights and help you understand Colorado motorcycle laws;
- Answer any questions about your case;
- Fully investigate the motorcycle accident;
- Carefully assemble all relevant evidence;
- Provide legal resources and experience to build a strong claim;
- Consult with experts;
- Assess and pursue the full extent of your damages;
- Negotiate with the insurance company;
- If necessary, represent you in court
How This Works
A careful case review will be performed by your lawyer to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Then the conclusions of this review are presented to you in a thorough, understandable manner.
For more details: Litigation Process.