After checking your tires and grabbing your helmet, you can explore Boulder’s scenic Rocky Mountains vistas or maneuver around the bike-friendly city. However, even if you are using caution in traffic, accidents can still happen due to negligent drivers on the road.
If a negligent motorist crashes into you while you are riding your bike and it results in injury, a Boulder bicycle accident lawyer could help you get the financial compensation you deserve. The qualified attorneys at Mac Hester Law are skilled in building personal injury cases that could get you the outcome you desire.
State and City Bicycle Laws
The Travel Channel has named Boulder one of America’s best cities for bicycling. The city has installed hundreds of miles of bike paths, and trails all around. However, a robust cycling culture also means more accidents are likely to occur.
The first duty a cyclist has is to know the rules of the road and follow them. Colorado’s Department of Transportation published The Official Bicycling Laws in Colorado to inform cyclists of some of their obligations. Among other responsibilities, bicyclists are expected to:
- Carry only the number of people for which the bicycle was built and is equipped to handle
- Cycle in the right lane or a paved shoulder if available
- Ride single file except for in designated areas or if traffic will not be impeded
- When riding on sidewalks, yield to pedestrians and give audible signals of an approach
- Use appropriate turn signals
- Keep at least one hand on the handlebars when the bicycle is moving
Colorado state laws and Boulder city laws do not require cyclists to wear helmets unless they ride electric bicycles. Even if a bicyclist follows all the rules and wears a helmet, that is no guarantee that a reckless motorist will not hit them. A local bike collision representative can sift through the facts of the accident and build a case to get the cyclist appropriate compensation for their injuries.
How Does Negligence Cause Bike Accidents?
Unfortunately, cyclists are often at the mercy of motorists, hoping that those behind the wheel will act responsibly. Drivers are not always responsible, however. A driver may fail to yield the right-of-way, try to pass less than three feet from the cyclist, drive impaired, or fling a driver’s side or passenger door open, knocking a person from their bike.
These examples point to motorists’ negligence as the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. Motorists are expected to operate their vehicle with caution, as any reasonable person would. If the driver is reckless and causes an accident that injures a cyclist, a local bicycle injury lawyer could step in to help.
Damages Available for Bicycle Crashes in Boulder
When a motorist strikes a bicyclist, chances are the person on the bike will be badly hurt as there is nothing to buffer the impact. Victims of a bicycle accident will likely incur extensive medical bills and will not be able to work for a while. After the incident, individuals may suffer from excruciating pain and lose their enjoyment of life because of it. Their bicycles and other property they had on them at the time are likely mangled beyond repair.
All these issues can be addressed by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the reckless motorist. A Boulder injury legal advisor can ask for compensatory damages, both economic and non-economic for the plaintiff. Economic damages are those that can be calculated, such as medical bills, while non-economic damages cannot be, such as pain and suffering. If certain conditions are met, plaintiffs may also be eligible for punitive damages.
Punitive Damages for Bicycle Accident Victims
A plaintiff does not have the option to initially ask for punitive damages. They can only receive punitive damages if a judge decides whether the defendant’s actions warrant them, and then instructs the jury to consider them. Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages because they have nothing to do with making the plaintiff whole again. They punish a wrongdoer who acted willfully, wantonly, egregiously, or intentionally to harm the plaintiff.
A Boulder Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help
Boulder is proud to be a cyclist-friendly city, and you may have chosen to live here because of the extensive trails, paths, and events celebrating cycling. But if a reckless motorist has caused you injury, you could be devastated by injuries, pain and medical expenses.
A Boulder bicycle accident lawyer could review your situation and help get you compensation for the losses you have suffered from the crash. Call the attorneys at Mac Hester Law today for your initial consultation.