Colorado Springs Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Clawson & Clawson, LLP – Helping Accident Victims Recover Compensation
Few types of accidents are as potentially dangerous as motorcycle crashes.
Whereas vehicle occupants have seat belts, air bags, and thousands of
pounds of steel chassis to protect against the impact, even the most safety-conscious
motorcyclist has little or no protection to shield against the violence
of an accident. The rider may be hit directly by the other vehicle, may
be thrown from the bike, run over, or even dragged along the road. He
or she may suffer broken bones, severe skin abrasions known as road rash,
traumatic brain injury, paralyzing
spinal cord injury, or can even be killed. If you were involved in a motorcycle collision,
get in touch with a
Colorado Springs personal injury attorney from Clawson & Clawson, LLP. We help accident victims in Parker, Pueblo,
throughout El Paso County and beyond!
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The largest portion of traffic accidents can be attributed to driver negligence.
There is a great size disparity between motorcycles and regular passenger
trucks. Drivers must be special attention to watch out for motorcyclists. Inattention
can result in serious accidents. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle
Blind Spots: The larger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. The size of motorcycles
can allow them to slip into a driver's blind spot. Before changing
lanes, drivers of passenger and commercial vehicles should check all mirrors
and over their shoulder before changing lanes or turning.
Lane Splitting: According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (DOT), lane splitting,
passing and overtaking are against the law. These practices describe when
motorcycles and other types of vehicles share the same spot in a single
lane. Only two motorcycles can share a lane.
Failure to Yield: When drivers fail to yield the right of way to motorcyclists at intersections
and when lanes are merging, serious accidents can result. Failure to yield
accidents are usually side-impact collisions.
Colorado Motorcycle Laws
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation's Motorcycle
Operator Safety Training program, 78 riders and passengers — including
15 in El Paso County — were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2011,
a figure that accounts for nearly one out of every five traffic fatalities
in the state. Below are various Colorado motorcycle laws that are enforced
to prevent these types of accidents.
Helmet & Protective Gear Law
Many injuries can also be caused or made worse because the motorcyclist
was riding without a helmet. In the state of Colorado, riders 18 and over
are not required to wear helmets. More than 60 percent of fatally injured
motorcyclists were not wearing helmets at the time of their crash. While
helmets are proven to save lives and prevent serious injuries, not wearing
a helmet cannot be used against you when determining liability in a motorcycle
accident. Some form of eye protection
is required by law.
Motorcycle Operator Licensing Requirements
All motorcycle riders must have a special motorcycle "M" endorsement
on their driver's license to legally operate this type of vehicle
on a public street or highway. Motorcyclists who are riding without a
valid M endorsement at the time of their accident may not be able to recover
full compensation as they could be seen as partially at-fault for their injuries.
Sometimes, motorcyclists ride in groups. The DOT suggests keeping these
groups small and it may also be a good idea to have a designated "leader"
who can give signals to the other riders. Less experienced riders should
stay closer to the front of the pack.
Keeping Your Distance
Motorcyclists must keep a safe distance around their vehicle at all times.
Sometimes, this is the best way to prevent an accident. More "buffer
room" allows a rider to get out of harm's way should another
vehicle suddenly swerve or change lanes. The DOT suggests that motorcyclists
use the "2 second rule" for following behind vehicles. Many
motorcycle accidents are caused by tailgating, so when a motorcyclist
feels they are being followed too closely from behind, they should move
over and let the vehicle pass. Read our blog to learn more about this
To learn more about Colorado motorcycle laws, visit the
Colorado DOT handbook. Following these regulations and safety suggestions are not only a good
way to reduce your risk of getting in an accident, but they can also improve
your chances of getting a full recovery in the event of an accident.
How to Recover Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Insurance could cover property damage (damage to your motorcycle) as well
as bodily injury, which includes accident-related medical expenses. You
may also have grounds to file a
personal injury claim in addition to collecting compensation from the at-fault driver's
insurance. In fact, the
Hurt Report, a landmark study of the causes of motorcycle accidents, found that car
drivers cause as many as two-thirds of all crashes with motorcycles due
to failing to yield the right of way to the motorcycle rider. If it can
be proven that the driver is responsible for causing your accident, then
you may be entitled to receive full compensation for your medical expenses,
lost income, and pain and suffering.
Contact a Colorado Springs motorcycle accident attorney from Clawson &
Clawson, LLP to discuss your case and how we can help you!