Boulder motorcycle enthusiasts know there is nothing quite like cruising the open roads with beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains. Unfortunately, other motor vehicles that share the road could be reckless and cause accidents that result in severe injuries and property damage for motorcyclists.
If you have been injured by another motorcyclist, an auto or truck driver, or because your bike malfunctioned due to faulty parts, a Boulder motorcycle accident lawyer could review your case to determine who is liable. The qualified attorneys from Mac Hester Law are experienced in recovering compensation in personal injury lawsuits and can help you gain the financial relief you are owed.
Causes of Motorcycle Collisions in Boulder
Motorcyclist have a duty of care to keep their bike in good working condition and to operate safely on the road by wearing protective gear, paying attention to weather and road conditions, and following traffic rules. It is important for bikers to take these precautions for their own safety as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclists die in traffic crashes 28 times more often than automobile passengers. Some common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Inattentive motorists who are talking or texting on their cell phones, eating, drinking, or paying too much attention to their passengers
- Tailgating motorists who rear-end the motorcyclist
- Vehicles changing lanes or merging onto the interstate
- Faulty motorcycle parts that malfunction on the road
- Poor road or weather conditions
A Boulder personal injury representative could analyze the circumstances of a motorcycle wreck to determine if someone else’s negligence caused the accident.
Proving Driver Negligence
Motorists know to look for other cars and trucks in the vicinity when driving, but sometimes they do not see motorcyclists as quickly, or the biker is hidden in their blind spot. Even though bikers can be hard to spot, motorists still have the same duty of safety to motorcyclists as they do to those driving other vehicles. If they drive recklessly, injuring a motorcyclist, they could be liable for negligence if the injured party can prove that the driver had a duty to drive safely but did not, causing a motorcycle accident in which the victim was injured.
Negligence Per Se
Colorado recognizes the doctrine of negligence per se in personal injury cases. If the reckless driver who injured a motorcyclist broke a safety law, ordinance, or regulation, the courts could automatically presume the motorist was negligent.
For example, under Colorado Revised Statutes Title 42 § 42-4-703, municipalities such as Boulder may erect uniform stop and yield signs to best control traffic flow. Motorists are expected to stop at the designated line in the road before proceeding through an intersection with caution. If a motorist runs a stop sign and crashes into a motorcyclist, the courts will accept that the motorist was negligent in violating the state statute.
Other elements the plaintiff must show to prove negligence per se include proving that traffic laws are meant to prevent the injury that the motorcyclist sustained. The plaintiff must be part of a protected class, and the defendant’s violation of the statute needs to have caused the motorcyclist’s injuries for a compensation to be owed. A local motorcycle crash attorney could investigate whether a defendant’s traffic infraction amounts to negligence per se.
What if the Plaintiff is Partly at Fault for the Motorcycle Accident?
Colorado subscribes to the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, in which plaintiffs can still recover damages even if they are partly at fault for the accident.
After percentage of fault is determined for each party, the damages awarded to the plaintiff will be adjusted to the proportions assigned to the parties. Plaintiffs cannot recover damages if the court finds they are 50 percent or more responsible for the accident.
Plaintiffs who are 49 percent or less responsible for their injuries will receive financial compensation in the amount the defendant is liable. For instance, a $100,000 damage award will be reduced to $80,000 if the defendant is found to be 80 percent responsible for the harm and the plaintiff 20 percent.
A Boulder Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help Recover Compensation
Motorcycles offer freedom on the road, but for your safety, you must be vigilant when driving one. An accident can happen in an instant and be catastrophic to your health and future. If a reckless motorist crashes into and injures you, a Boulder motorcycle accident lawyer could help you get the compensation you need until you can ride again. Call Mac Hester Law today to schedule your initial consultation.