Bicycles are environmentally friendly and healthy options for getting around the Aurora, CO, area. When the weather in the area is agreeable, cycling offers significant health benefits while cutting carbon emissions. Some people ride their bikes for pleasure and exercise, while others use them to get to and from various places in their local area. Whatever your reasons for bicycling may be, it’s essential to understand the risks you face when riding your bike around motorists and how to limit your risk of experiencing a bicycle accident. It’s also important to know your rights and options for legal recourse if someone causes a bicycle accident and injures you.
Legal Representation for Aurora Bicycle Accident Claims
The Law Firm of Jeremey Rosenthal offers client-focused legal representation to bicycle accident victims in Aurora, CO. If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries while riding your bike in the area, we can provide the legal counsel you need to hold the at-fault party accountable for your damages. We understand the stress and uncertainty that often follows personal injuries and want to help you approach your legal proceedings with confidence.
Why Should I Hire an Aurora Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
Working with an experienced attorney is the best way to ensure success with any personal injury claim. The average person with no legal experience who attempts to navigate a civil claim on their own is likely to make mistakes with their case proceedings. For example, missing a court filing deadline or submitting incomplete paperwork to the court can significantly delay the court’s handling of your claim. Additionally, handling the procedural requirements of your case while also managing the aftermath of a personal injury would be highly challenging.
An Aurora bicycle accident lawyer can not only manage your case proceedings on your behalf but also increase your chance of success with your claim. An experienced attorney will know how to gather the evidence and testimony you need to establish liability for your damages and help you prove the full scope of those damages. As a result, you are not only more likely to succeed with your personal injury claim when you have an attorney on your side but also more likely to maximize your total recovery.
How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?
Bicycle accidents can happen for many different reasons and often occur with little to no warning. Bicycles are smaller and more challenging to see than most passenger vehicles. While bicyclists have the right to take a lane and share the road with motorists, some motorists do not yield the right of way where appropriate or otherwise endanger bicyclists. Therefore, a personal injury claim is likely to follow any bicycle accident caused by a driver’s negligence.
Some of the most commonly reported causes of bicycle accidents in the Aurora, CO, area include:
- Distracted driving. All drivers must pay attention to their surroundings while operating their vehicles. Unfortunately, even a few seconds of distraction is enough to cause a devastating accident.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. Drivers who get behind the wheel while intoxicated can easily cause tragic accidents. DUI drivers will face criminal prosecution in addition to civil liability for bicycle accidents they cause.
- Moving violations. Running red lights or stop signs, illegal turns, and U-turns, and other moving violations can easily cause accidents with nearby bicyclists.
- Dangerous road conditions. Colorado has long winters, and snow, sleet, rain, and ice are typical during colder months. These weather conditions can make roads dangerous for cyclists and motor vehicle drivers. Drivers must use extra caution when driving during bad weather or on slick roads.
The determining factor when it comes to the right to file a personal injury claim for a bicycle accident is whether the accident could have been prevented with reasonable care. If a driver was negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful in any way that causes a bicycle accident, the driver is liable for the bicyclist’s damages.
Proving Liability for Your Damages
A bicycle accident claim will unfold under Colorado’s personal injury laws, and every personal injury claim hinges on the legal concept of negligence. Proving a defendant’s negligence is essential for success with any personal injury claim. The plaintiff must prove that a defendant failed to exercise reasonable care in the situation in question. Generally, there are four main components for proving negligence in any personal injury claim:
- Duty of care. The plaintiff must show the defendant owed a duty of care in the situation in question.
- Breach of duty. The plaintiff and their Aurora bicycle accident lawyer must provide evidence showing the defendant failed to uphold the duty of care the situation in question demanded of them.
- Damage. You can only file a personal injury claim if you suffered actual harm or a tangible loss from the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff’s attorney can help them calculate the full scope of their claimable damages from a bicycle accident.
- Causation. The plaintiff and their attorney must prove their claimed damages resulted solely from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
Establishing these four components of negligence is vital for success with a personal injury case. Your Aurora bicycle accident attorney can help you gather the evidence and testimony you may need to establish the defendant’s negligence and hold them accountable for your losses.
What Damages Can I Claim in a Bicycle Accident Case?
Whenever a motor vehicle driver hits a bicyclist, the bicyclist is likely to suffer extreme injuries such as traumatic brain damage, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and more. Colorado state law allows a personal injury plaintiff to recover compensation for all the economic damages they sustain due to a defendant’s negligence. These economic damages can include:
- Medical expenses. This includes both immediate medical costs such as the cost of hospital care and long-term medical expenses. For example, if a plaintiff requires ongoing treatment for a severe injury, the defendant is liable for any medical expenses incurred by the plaintiff.
- Lost income. A bicycle accident can leave the victim unable to work, including lost wages in their personal injury claim. Additionally, suppose a bicycle accident causes a permanent disability, and the victim cannot return to work in the future. In that case, their attorney can help them hold the defendant accountable for this lost future earning capacity.
- Property damage. The plaintiff in a bicycle accident claim can include the cost of replacing their bike and any other personal property damaged in the accident with their economic damages.
Colorado state law allows personal injury plaintiffs to seek compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Colorado’s personal injury statutes limit the amount of pain and suffering compensation a plaintiff can seek in most cases, but there is no limit when a plaintiff suffers any type of permanent harm from a defendant’s actions. Your Aurora bicycle accident lawyer can help you calculate a reasonable amount of pain and suffering compensation to include with your personal injury claim.
Bicyclists Accidents FAQs
It’s natural to have many questions about your options for legal recourse and what to expect from an Aurora bicycle accident attorney. The following are some of our clients’ most common questions about their bicycle accident claims.
Q: What Should I Expect From an Aurora Bicycle Accident Attorney?
A: Your attorney can provide several essential legal services throughout your case, from helping you meet court filing deadlines and proving a defendant’s liability to establishing the full scope of your damages. You can rely on your Aurora bicycle accident lawyer to provide ongoing support throughout every stage of your personal injury case.
Q: What Happens If I’m Partially Responsible for My Bicycle Accident?
A: Colorado upholds a modified comparative negligence law. If a plaintiff is partially liable for causing their claimed damages, they can still recover compensation as long as their fault is less than that of the defendant. The plaintiff loses a percentage of the case award to reflect their comparative negligence. However, if the plaintiff is more at fault than the defendant, they cannot recover damages.
Q: How Long Will My Case Take to Conclude?
Economic pressure from your damages and inability to work can cause desperation, and it’s understandable to want to obtain compensation as quickly as possible after your bicycle accident. Depending on the scope of your damages and how clear the defendant’s liability is, your claim could take several months or even more than one year to resolve. A good attorney can help clients secure fair settlements as swiftly as possible.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Bicycle Personal Injury Case
A bicycle accident victim is likely to have more questions about their unique circumstances. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal understands that no two victims are exactly alike, and we strive to provide client-focused legal representation to every client we represent. We will take time to learn as much as possible about your experience to help you maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible under Colorado state law. If you are ready to discuss your legal options with an experienced Aurora bicycle accident lawyer, contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal today to schedule your consultation with our team.