While bicycles can serve as both a sustainable way to get around town and a good source of exercise, they also can cause significant injuries in the event of an accident. Compared to drivers and passengers in cars, bicyclists have little to no protection from impacts with other vehicles, meaning that even a low-speed impact could result in catastrophic losses.
Anyone struck by a motor vehicle while riding their bike should consider talking to a Fort Carson bicycle accident lawyer about their legal options. Guidance from our seasoned personal injury attorneys could be essential to your physical and financial recovery.
There are several regulations codified in Colorado state law that apply specifically to bicyclists in the interest of promoting bicycle safety and minimizing injuries from accidents. For example, Colorado Revised Statute §42-4-1412 mandates—among other things—that all bicyclists and electric scooter riders must stay as close to the road’s right shoulder as possible and cannot travel side-by-side with more than two people except in designated bike lanes.
State law also explicitly addresses how motor vehicle operators must behave while around bike riders. C.R.S. §42-4-1003, for instance, requires all drivers to leave at least three feet of space between their vehicle and a nearby bicycle at all times while passing them, and they must wait until they are entirely clear of the cyclist before moving back into their usual lane.
If a driver violates this law or any other pertaining to appropriate driving behaviors, a Fort Carson attorney may be able to hold them liable for any injuries and losses that result from an ensuing bike accident. Depending on the circumstances, a plaintiff may alternatively be able to base liability on actions that are simply reckless or careless rather than illegal, such as distracted driving or suddenly opening a car door into an oncoming bicyclist’s path.
In addition to proving liability, an experienced lawyer in Fort Carson could help a plaintiff ensure that their bicycle accident case proceeds smoothly from start to finish. One of the most common pitfalls a legal representative could work with a plaintiff to mitigate is the concept of comparative fault.
Under state law, a civil court may reduce a plaintiff’s recoverable compensation or even bar them from recovery altogether if they find that a cyclist is partially responsible for their own injuries. For example, while state law does not require bicycle riders to wear helmets and does not prohibit these individuals from using cell phones while riding, a defendant may argue that these kinds of behaviors indicate carelessness and justify a reduction in the claimant’s damage award.
Additionally, legal counsel could help a plaintiff prepare and pursue their case in a timely fashion, which can be especially important if the injuries they sustained are serious. Depending on whether a bike crash involves a motor vehicle or not, the applicable statute of limitations sets a filing deadline of three years or two years, respectively, following the date of the accident. Failure to abide by this deadline may result in the case being time-barred and a plaintiff having no legal recourse for their damages.
While there is little an attorney can do to help an injured bicyclist heal faster, there is a lot they can help with when it comes to financial recovery after the fact. Civil compensation may be crucial to ensuring you do not suffer the consequences of someone else’s negligence.
Protecting your future could be a lot easier with a Fort Carson bicycle accident lawyer by your side. Get in touch today to get started on your case.