Bicyclists are held to a legal standard based on Colorado Revised Statute §42-4-1412. This statute lays out the law in Colorado for the operation of bicycles, electric scooters, and other human-powered vehicles. The local law enforcement enforces the standard and violations of the law related to cyclists.
Under this law, bicycles are recognized as vehicles and are provided all the rights and responsibilities of other vehicles on the road. The laws for bicyclists in Colorado Springs could impact a civil claim for damages in the event of an accident. Therefore, if you suffered injuries while riding your bike, you should speak with an attorney who is knowledgeable about these laws and regulations.
One bicycle law in Colorado Springs is that an electrical-assisted bicycle or electric scooter should not be used to carry more persons at one time than the number it is designed for, which means that a person cannot have two people riding on a one-seated bicycle. Additionally, a bicyclist should travel in the right-hand lane and keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times. Vehicles must give at least three feet of space when passing a bicycle.
Generally, cyclists are not required to carry insurance. However, their auto insurance may cover them if they are injured while riding a bike. Their uninsured or underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage may cover them for injuries sustained while riding a bicycle. Additionally, in 2019, a company called Buddy Insurance announced a partnership with advocacy group Bicycle Colorado to offer insurance for bicyclists.
While there are no laws that require bicyclists in Colorado Springs to wear helmets, these individuals should try to wear protective headgear any time they get on their bike. Helmets protect cyclists from head injuries, including concussions and brain damages.
Additionally, some bicycle helmets come with a visor to protect the rider from glare from the sun or vehicles. Wearing a helmet also can make a bicyclist more visible to motorists. Individuals should check their helmets to determine if the interior or exterior is deteriorating or cracked, if the strap is loose, if the lock is failing, or if it has been exposed to chemicals or liquids.
While there are no legal ramifications to not wearing a helmet, it could impact the outcome of a civil claim. The defendant could make an argument that a cyclist could have prevented certain injuries, specifically head injuries, by wearing a helmet.
Colorado Springs is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. State law provides that a person may recover damages in proportion to the degree of negligence of each party. The judge or jury first must determine the amount of damages that would be awarded if there were no negligence on the injured party, then assign fault to each party.
The amount of damages awarded is the total amount of damages minus an amount equal to the degree of fault assigned to the injured party. If the jury finds that the injured party is 50 percent or more at fault, they will receive nothing, the rationale being that a person should not be able to recover damages if they were equally or mostly responsible for their injuries. Therefore, a defendant may try to argue that the bicyclist is partially at fault for their injuries because they failed to wear a helmet. If the jury agrees, this person may not have to pay as much in damages. As a result, it is important to wear a helmet, even if it is not required.
If you were involved in a collision while riding your bike, reach out to one of our experienced attorneys. Our team of legal professionals could review your case and determine if any of the laws for bicyclists in Colorado Springs may apply to your case. To get started on your claim for damages, call today.