Biking has become such a popular way to get around Aurora that the city is updating its bicycle master plan for the first time in nearly a decade to account for the growing number of cyclists utilizing city roads. Unfortunately, with more and more people biking to school and work, not to mention for exercise and recreation, the risk of bicycle accidents has also gone up – especially because not all motorists exercise the care it takes to safely share the road with bicyclists.
If you have recently been hurt in a bike crash that was (at least partially) someone else’s fault, an Aurora bicycle accident lawyer from Lee, Myers & O’Connell, LLP can help you demand the compensation you’re owed for your losses. Our firm is dedicated to helping injured Coloradans like you get the justice they deserve from those who have hurt them. We’re proud to represent clients from diverse backgrounds and walks of life. Our staff speaks Spanish, French, and Korean in addition to English, and we have represented many clients whose first language is different from our own.
When you work with our firm, you can expect your attorney to take the time to explain what to expect from the processes involved in taking legal action so that you know what to expect at each stage of your case. You can also trust that your lawyer will advocate for your interests with the attention to detail and zealousness that you deserve.
If you have been injured while riding your bicycle, the team at Lee, Myers & O’Connell, LLP is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Aurora bicycle accident lawyer from our firm to learn more about our approach to representation and about your rights and options under the law.
Common Causes and Types of Bicycle Accidents in Aurora
We will need to thoroughly investigate your case to accurately determine exactly what caused your crash. Some of the most frequent causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Speeding motorists
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers
- Reckless driving, including driving too fast for conditions or swerving in and around traffic
- Drivers who tailgate or follow too closely
- Drivers leaving insufficient space when passing a bicyclist
- Drivers failing to signal or check mirrors when turning or changing lanes
- Drivers running red lights or stop signs
- Drivers not yielding the right of way
- Inexperienced drivers
- Poor vehicle maintenance, including maintenance of tires and brakes
- Vehicle or bicycle defects
- Defective design or negligent maintenance of roads, bike lanes, or intersections
Injuries Frequently Suffered by Bicyclists in Crashes
During a crash or a collision with a motor vehicle, a bicyclist often has little in the way of protection from injury, aside from a bike helmet. As a result, they are at serious risk of injury. Some of the most common injuries resulting from bicycle accidents include:
- Road rash/abrasions
- Crush injuries
- Broken bones
- Ligament sprains and tendon/muscle strains
- Soft tissue tears
- Herniated disc injuries
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
- Facial injuries
- Hearing or vision loss
- Traumatic brain injury
- Traumatic amputation
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Bicycle Accident?
While many bicycle accidents are caused by the actions of a careless motorist, other parties may also be liable, such as:
- The employer of an at-fault driver, if the bike accident occurred while the driver was working
- A manufacturer of a bicycle, motor vehicle, or their component parts, if design or manufacturing defects contributed to a crash
- State or local governments, which may be held liable for defective or otherwise dangerous road or intersection design
Potential Compensation for Injuries Suffered in a Bicycle Accident
You could be entitled to pursue financial recovery for the injuries and losses you sustained in a bicycle accident that either wasn’t your fault or was only partially your fault. Compensation that may potentially be awarded for the harm caused by your bicycle accident includes:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses for any injuries you suffered
- Costs of long-term healthcare or personal care if you are permanently disabled by the injuries you sustained in the accident
- Loss of past and future wages if you cannot work or return to full-time employment because of your injuries or disabilities
- Physical pain and emotional distress/trauma
- Lowered quality of life due to disabilities or permanent disfigurement and scarring
Do I Have Cause to File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
You might have grounds upon which to file a bicycle accident lawsuit if a negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous motorist hit you while you were riding your bike. A negligent motorist is one who failed in some way to take reasonable care to prevent a collision, such as running a stop sign or not giving you enough space to safely ride your bike. You could also have cause to file a lawsuit if you crashed due to some design or manufacturing defect of your bike or due to dangerous or hazardous road design or road conditions.
For your bicycle accident claim to be successful, you will need to prove that the accident caused you losses for which you can be financially compensated by the party liable for the crash. These losses might include medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering, to name just a few examples.
Does UM/UIM Coverage from an Auto Policy Apply to Bike Accidents?
If you were hit on your bicycle by a driver who does not have liability insurance or whose insurance policy limit is not enough to fully compensate you for the losses you suffered, you might have the option of turning to your own auto insurance company if you have purchased optional uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In most auto insurance policies, UM/UIM coverage applies to any accident that involves an “auto” or “motor vehicle.” If the vehicle that hit you qualifies as an “auto” or “motor vehicle” under your insurance policy, you could be entitled to file a UM/UIM claim if the at-fault driver lacks insurance or has insufficient insurance coverage.
Statute of Limitations on Bicycle Accident Lawsuits in Aurora
The statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits governed by Colorado law imposes a deadline for filing suit for a bike accident. If the accident was caused by a motorist, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. If the accident had some other cause, you have only two years from the accident to file suit against the liable party or parties. Filing suit after the applicable statute of limitations has expired on your claim will likely result in the dismissal of your case and the loss of your right to recover compensation for your injuries. You’ll want to act quickly regardless of how much time the law affords you, though. Acting quickly to explore your legal options can help to ensure that important evidence is swiftly preserved.
Colorado Bicycle Laws
Under Colorado Statutes 42-4-1412, bicyclists riding on the street or road must follow all the same laws and rules as drivers of motor vehicles. There are also specific rules applicable to bicycles under Colorado law, which state:
- A bicycle may not carry more persons than it was designed for by the manufacturer.
- A bicyclist may not attach their bike or themselves to any motor vehicle.
- Bicyclists must ride in a designated bike lane or paved shoulder intended for bicycles whenever available. Otherwise, riders should stay in the right-hand lane of the road, as close to the right-hand shoulder as possible, except when overtaking another vehicle, making a left turn, or avoiding a hazard.
- Bicycles should maintain single file while on the road unless riding two abreast does not impede traffic or when riding in an exclusive bike lane. When riding side by side, bicycles should stay within the same lane of travel.
- Bicyclists should always keep at least one hand on the handlebars.
These laws may or may not impact the ultimate outcome of your case. No two bike accidents ever unfold under exactly the same circumstances.
Benefits of Hiring Our Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If you have been badly injured in a bicycle accident, your immediate priority should be treating and recovering from your injuries. But because you have limited time in which to pursue a claim for compensation against the driver or other party at fault for the accident, you also need to seek out experienced legal representation who will advocate for your rights while you focus your time and energy on healing.
By working with the Aurora bicycle accident lawyers of Lee, Myers & O’Connell, LLP, you will give yourself the time and space to focus on your physical and emotional recovery from your injuries. Meanwhile, our firm will get to work on your behalf by:
- Recovering evidence from the crash to determine what happened and identify the party or parties at fault for the accident and your injuries
- Determining applicable insurance coverages, including coverage under your own insurance policies
- Calculating your past, ongoing, and future expected losses to make sure we pursue full financial recovery in your case
- Preparing your legal claim, including working with experts in accident reconstruction, medicine, vocational training, and finance where necessary
- Vigorously pursuing fair compensation in a negotiated settlement, or by taking your case to court and trial if necessary
Contact Our Aurora Bicycle Accident Lawyers for Help Now
Turn to our Aurora bicycle accident lawyers for help getting the financial recovery you deserve for injuries and losses that weren’t your fault or were only partially your fault. Contact Lee, Myers & O’Connell, LLP today for a free, no-obligation consultation to find out what our firm can do for you.