In 2020, motorcycles made up only 3 percent of active vehicles in Colorado. However, motorcycle-related deaths represented 22 percent of all traffic fatalities. The numbers outline the importance of knowing what to do if you’re a victim of a motorcycle accident.
A motorcycle accident lawyer in Denver can give motorcyclists the legal advice they need to get compensation for severe injuries. Read on to find out what an experienced attorney from a trusted law firm can do for you.
What’s Causing the Increase?
It is no secret that vehicular accidents continue to be a big problem in the state. A quick look at the 2021 data from the Colorado Department of Transportation will prove the severity of the issue.
According to the agency, impaired driving of passenger vehicles is one of the factors contributing to the increase.
In Colorado, the standard procedure for fatal motor vehicle accidents is to test the driver for drugs and alcohol. Drivers must take the test if the police officer believes that they are driving under the influence. If they refuse to take the optional test, they may face consequences related to their driver’s license.
In non-fatal car accidents, the cop’s opinion of alcohol or drug involvement is the only data available on police reports.
Another factor contributing to the increased vehicle accidents on the road is marijuana-impaired driving, which is one of the common causes of motorcycle accidents. Cannabis, like alcohol, has physiological effects that can compromise the safety of drivers when on the road. It impairs their ability to react to critical conditions when driving.
Aside from slowing the motorists’ reaction time, marijuana can make it difficult for someone to stay in their lane. It also causes reduced focus, which can be dangerous on the road.
Marijuana also impairs a motorcyclist’s cognitive performance and executive functions. This disadvantage leads to poor decision-making and route planning.
Traffic laws in Colorado allow those with at least five nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their system to be prosecuted. This unique compound is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
However, law enforcement officers do not have any roadside devices that test for THC. Instead, state police arrest motorists based on observed impairment.
A Denver motorcycle accident lawyer can help drivers who sustain serious injuries in an accident. They can help with personal injury cases and filing wrongful death claims against negligent drivers.
Common Types of Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
When thinking of preparing a personal injury claim for a loved one who was injured, you must keep a record of all crucial information. One crucial factor to take note of is the severity of the injury.
There are common types of motorcycle accident injuries. Read on to find out what they are and what records you should keep for each injury.
Road rash and burns
Road rash is one of the most common forms of motorcycle injuries, which can range from minor to extremely severe.
It is a type of painful skin abrasion that occurs when motorists are thrown from their vehicles. The motion drags the driver’s skin against the uneven pavement, which causes rashes and burns. Severe road rash can cause severe complications, including infections or nerve damage.
Motorcyclists may also suffer from thermal burns, whereby hot metal parts, fire, and chemicals can cause this injury. It can be painful, as it penetrates layers of muscle and bone.
A second-degree burn can break down the entire dermis, which leads to permanent scarring. Meanwhile, a third-degree burn discolors the skin.
This injury can be serious, especially if it involves visible muscle and fat tissue. If your skin is burnt after a motorcycle accident, you need to immediately get to a doctor.
Some burns can heal on their own within a few weeks. However, patients with more severe injuries will need to undergo surgery for a skin graft.
The patient could file a personal injury claim if a negligent driver caused the motorcycle accident. Doing so can reimburse the victim for their medical expenses.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help build your case if you want to file a claim. If you are uncertain about the legal steps you have to take, your lawyer can help. They ensure you understand your legal rights and the crucial details of your case.
Fractures and broken bones
Fractured or broken bones are common injuries drivers can sustain in motorcycle accidents. Injured motorcyclists can fracture their femurs, forearms, shins, and pelvis.
The impact of a motorcycle crash can throw the rider off their bike. When this happens, the drivers will instinctively try to cradle their bodies using their arms and legs. Since they do so, they’ll fracture or break their bones when they hit the ground.
Although broken wrists, arms, hips, and legs are more common injuries, motorcycle riders can also break their ribs.
It is crucial to see a doctor after a motorcycle accident. This way, the drivers will know early on if they have any fractured or broken bones.
You should also work with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can help you understand confusing insurance jargon. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company if you want compensation for your injury.
The insurance company will review your request when you file an insurance claim. They might respond with an offer, but the initial amount might not be enough to cover the economic damages. The insurer might even try to make it seem like the first offer is a good deal. However, with a compassionate and experienced attorney on your side, you’ll know better.
With professional help, you can easily go through the legal process. They’ll ensure that the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you. They can give you legal advice about settlement offers and ensure that every step you take can help your case.
Head, brain, and neck
Motorcycle drivers must familiarize themselves with the warning signs of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which include the following:
- Blurred or tunnel vision
- Persistent headache
- Slurred speech
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light and sound
However, these signs don’t always appear immediately after a crash. Therefore, motorcycle riders should always seek medical attention after any accident.
You should still consult a medical professional even if you don’t feel the symptoms. They can help determine whether you have head injuries and provide medical care.
Injured motorcyclists who don’t experience the symptoms right after the crash may notice the signs in the days or weeks following the vehicle accident. Motorcycle accident victims should watch out for the following longer-term signs of TBI:
- Moodiness or difficulty regulating emotion
- Periods of disorientation
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulties in motor coordination
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Short- and long-term memory problems
- Impaired speech
- Difficulties in language comprehension
A motorcycle helmet can help protect the driver during an accident. Helmet laws in Colorado require motorcycle riders under 18 to wear helmets when on the road.
If you sustained a TBI from an accident, you could file a compensation claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, before you can file a claim, you must gather evidence to prove the following:
- The motor vehicle accident occurred, and you got injured because of the crash
- Negligence caused the accident
- You suffered injuries because of the motorcycle accident
To help in this effort, you can work with a motorcycle accident lawyer. They will know what data you need to establish a strong insurance claim.
You can get them to help collect pictures from the scene and obtain copies of crucial reports. They can also help take eyewitness statements and get medical records.
With their help, you can prove that the motorcycle accident happened and who was at fault. You can also prove why the at-fault party is responsible for your injuries.
Your personal injury lawyer can also suggest the best time to make a claim. They can wait until you have achieved maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is the point where the victim has recovered as much as possible with medical treatment.
Waiting until you have reached MMI allows lawyers to accurately calculate total damages, including past and potential medical costs. Your attorney will compile all evidence to establish a strong case when they have all the data they need.
All areas of the spine are vulnerable to injury in a motorcycle crash. However, the thoracic area is one of the most commonly damaged parts in accidents.
When a driver injures their spine in a crash, there will be a chance the injury could be permanent. Spinal cord injuries can lead to nerve damage, chronic pain, paralysis, and, in extreme cases, death.
When a driver lands on their neck or back after a crash, they can damage their spine. They may also hurt their spine if they get crushed between objects.
Medical bills can be expensive after you get injured in a motorcycle accident. You will need a lawyer who can get you the financial compensation you deserve. With their help, you can ensure that the negligent party compensates you for your injuries.
Let Motorbike Accident Attorneys Make a Strong Legal Decision for You
A personal injury attorney can create a strong case for your compensation claim. They can also provide the best legal advice so you can take the right steps that can help your case.
They can help you understand Colorado laws relevant to your case. With their guidance, you will know which motorcycle laws can affect your claim.
If you want to know more about how Denver motorcycle accident attorneys can help you, visit malpracticecenter.com. We provide valuable information on how personal injury victims can get the compensation they deserve.
FAQs on Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Denver
The statute of limitations for car accident personal injury claims in the state is three years. You also have until then to file a motorcycle accident claim to get compensation for your injuries and property damage.
Generally, an accident occurring within the state will be handled according to Colorado’s insurance rules. The same rule applies even if the negligent driver is from another state.
Not all motorcycle accident cases have to go to trial. The parties involved can settle matters outside the court through their legal representatives.