Bicycles are environmentally friendly options for local transportation; they can also be used for exercise and leisure. Whatever your reasons for riding your bike in Colorado, it’s important to know what you can do to stay safe while riding near motor vehicle traffic. It’s also essential to know your rights and responsibilities under state law.
While many US states enforce helmet laws, requiring bicyclists to wear appropriately fitted helmets, the state does not. There is no legal obligation for a bicyclist to wear a helmet, but doing so significantly reduces the chances of the rider suffering a fatal head injury if a bicycle accident occurs.
Determining Fault for a Bicycle Accident
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, it’s important to know the value of legal counsel you can trust as you seek compensation for your losses. Bicycle accidents happen for many reasons, including:
- Distracted driving, which is the top reported cause of all vehicle accidents throughout the country each year.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, which is illegal and likely to lead to serious criminal penalties for the defendant alongside their civil liabilities to the victim.
- Speeding, which not only increases the chances of accidents happening but also the severity of resulting damages.
- Moving violations or any actions that disrupt the flow of traffic. Running red lights and performing illegal turns are common causes of bicycle accidents in metropolitan areas.
- Poor visibility. Bicyclists should wear reflectors and bright clothing to make themselves more obvious to passing motorists, but all drivers should use extra caution whenever visibility is limited.
No matter how your accident happened, an experienced attorney is an ideal asset for proving fault and establishing liability. Once you have proven who is responsible for your bicycle accident, your attorney will advise you of the next steps to take in the recovery process.
Why You Should Wear a Bicycle Helmet
Wearing a helmet while riding your bicycle is ultimately a personal choice. However, if you are unsure whether doing so is really necessary, it is essential to understand the risks you face when you do not wear a helmet. Even an accident that occurs at low speed has the potential to cause a life-threatening brain injury, and even seemingly mild head injuries can cause a host of medical complications to the victim. For example, a concussion may be the mildest brain injury a person can suffer, but almost every concussion entails some level of long-term or permanent harm.
Traumatic brain injuries can easily cause permanent disabilities. The victim could suffer long-term symptoms, including persistent headaches and migraines, sensitivity to light and sound, diminished sensory capability, and memory loss. Over time, symptoms may alleviate, or they may become worse. Some head injuries cause symptoms that do not immediately manifest, only appearing months or even years after the injury occurred. Ultimately, wearing a helmet may not prevent head injuries entirely, but it can mean the difference between suffering a head injury you can survive and one that causes catastrophic or fatal damage.
FAQs on Bicycle Helmet Laws Colorado
Can I Still File a Lawsuit if I Was Not Wearing a Helmet in a Bicycle Accident?
If another party is responsible for causing your recent bicycle accident, you have the right to seek accountability for your damages. Your recovery may entail an auto insurance claim as well as a personal injury case against the at-fault driver. If you are unsure whether you have grounds to file legal action against the driver who hit you, contact a bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
What Type of Bicycle Helmet Is the Best to Wear?
There are countless options when it comes to buying a bicycle helmet, but if you want the best head protection, it is essential to do your own research and find one that’s right for you. Narrow your search to bicycle helmets with the highest impact safety ratings. These helmets are designed to cushion against the strongest impacts and typically offer multiple layers of protection. The helmet should fit snugly on the rider’s head and stay in place with an appropriately fitted chin strap.
How Do I Prove Fault for a Bicycle Accident?
If you were seriously injured in a bicycle accident and do not remember exactly how it occurred, you could face a difficult road to recovery without an attorney. An experienced legal representative can help you secure the evidence and testimony you need to maximize your recovery. For example, traffic camera recordings, driver cell phone records, and eyewitness statements can all come into play to help you prove liability.
Should I Hire an Attorney After a Bicycle Accident?
There may not be a legal requirement for you to hire legal counsel if you wish to pursue any form of legal recourse against the driver who hit you, but doing so significantly increases your chances of maximizing your recovery. The right attorney can help determine the scope of your recovery options, which may include an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver followed by a personal injury suit.
How Much Compensation Can I Obtain for a Bicycle Accident Case?
If you can prove another party is responsible for your recent bicycle accident, state law allows you to hold them accountable for the entire scope of economic losses they caused, as well as your pain and suffering. An experienced bicycle accident attorney can help determine the scope of damages you can seek from the defendant, potentially assisting you in securing more compensation than you initially expected.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has the experience and resources you need on your side to recover as fully as possible from your recent bicycle accident. The sooner you secure legal counsel you can trust, the sooner you can recover from your accident with peace of mind. Contact us today and schedule a consultation with an experienced bicycle accident attorney who can provide the legal counsel you need for your impending civil case.