Bicycles are the vehicles of choice for many people in the Westminster area because they are environmentally friendly; others ride for pleasure and exercise. However, while most people who enjoy bicycling can do so without issue, bicycle accidents do happen in Westminster, and affected victims often sustain severe or even life-threatening injuries. When this happens, the victim is likely to have many pressing legal questions, and an experienced Westminster bike accident attorney will be the best resource for anyone in this situation.
Helping Bicycle Accident Victims Recover in Westminster
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has years of experience representing plaintiffs in all types of personal injury claims. We develop a comprehensive and individualized legal strategy for every case, taking time to address each client’s needs and the unique details of their situation. The sooner you reach out to a lawyer you can trust, the more likely you are to reach a favorable outcome to the legal proceedings ahead of you.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Westminster
Bicyclists have most of the same responsibilities and rights as other drivers in Colorado, but they are far more vulnerable to physical injuries in accidents than motor vehicle drivers. While bicycle accidents may occur for the same reasons as all other vehicle accidents, the damage is typically far greater. A few common causes of bike accidents in Westminster include:
- Distracted driving, which is the top-reported cause of all vehicle accidents throughout the US each year. A few moments of inattentive driving is more than enough to cause a devastating crash, and bicycles are much smaller than most passenger vehicles, leaving cyclists especially vulnerable to these dangerous situations.
- Speeding, a leading cause of fatal crashes. Any time a driver exceeds the speed limit, they significantly increase their risk of causing a crash. This is because speeding reduces the time and distance they have to slow or stop to avoid a collision. Catastrophic and fatal injuries are most likely when a motor vehicle driver hits a bicyclist at high speed.
- Reckless driving, which is illegal and likely to lead to criminal penalties for the at-fault driver. The term “reckless driving” is quite broadly applied to any intentional disregard for the safety of others while behind the wheel.
- Poor visibility. Bicyclists are encouraged to wear reflective clothing when driving at night, to use bike lanes wherever they are available, and try to make themselves as visible as possible to nearby drivers. Likewise, motor vehicle drivers are expected to use extra care and caution when they are driving in poor visibility conditions.
This is not all of the ways bicycle accidents occur, and it’s important for the victim to know their rights when it comes to seeking accountability for their losses. The aftermath of any bicycle accident can be devastating, and an experienced Westminster bicycle accident lawyer is very valuable for anyone in this situation.
Damages in Bicycle Accident Cases
When a driver hits a bicyclist, it is very likely for the victim to suffer severe injuries. Broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain damage, and soft tissue injuries are just a few examples of what bicycle accident victims might suffer due to the misconduct or negligence of motor vehicle drivers. However, once you have identified the driver responsible for your bicycle accident and proven they are liable for your injuries and economic losses, your attorney can provide detailed professional guidance for ensuring accountability.
Colorado’s personal injury statutes enable the plaintiff of a bicycle accident claim to seek compensation for all of the economic damages the defendant caused. In most personal injury claims in Westminster, plaintiffs seek compensation for their medical expenses immediately following their accidents as well as any long-term medical treatment costs they face due to their injuries. When a bicycle accident leaves the victim without the ability to work for any extended time, the defendant is responsible for their lost wages. A good attorney is an asset for a permanently disabled victim as it is also possible to recover money for future income the victim can no longer earn.
A bicycle accident can be traumatic and financially devastating for the victim, and a Westminster bicycle accident lawyer is the ideal resource for anyone who wants to ensure maximum recovery of their economic losses. Aside from your claimable economic damages, you can also seek pain and suffering compensation from the at-fault driver. Your attorney can help you determine an amount that is fair to include based on the scope of your injuries and whether you suffered serious long-term harm. State law limits pain and suffering compensation to $250,000 unless the plaintiff has clear and convincing evidence to support their case, which raises the cap on pain and suffering compensation to $500,000.
You should remember the state’s modified comparative negligence law if you plan to file a personal injury claim but suspect you are partially to blame for the incident in question. When a plaintiff is partially liable in a personal injury case, they lose part of their compensation equal to their percentage of fault for causing the accident. So, for example, if you bear 10% fault in a $200,000 claim, this would mean losing $20,000 of your case award.
What to Expect From Your Westminster Bicycle Accident Attorney
When you choose the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal to represent you in a bicycle accident claim, you will have a fierce legal advocate fighting for your recovery. It’s natural to feel stressed and uncertain about the future after another party has severely injured you, and your legal team can provide invaluable reassurance during this difficult time. Our firm excels at responsive, comprehensive, and compassionate legal counsel for a wide range of personal injury claims. In addition, we know how to gather the proof needed to substantiate clients’ claims and maximize their recoveries.
Time is an important consideration for anyone thinking of filing a civil suit for damages in Westminster, and the state enforces a two-year statute of limitations on most personal injury claims. However, if you intend to file an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver for some initial recovery, you face a much tighter window in which to do this. Reaching out to legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible after an accident on a bicycle offers the best chance of reaching a positive outcome for your recovery efforts.
Personal Injury Attorney Law FAQs
Q: Who Is Usually at Fault If a Bicycle Is Involved in an Accident?
A: While it is possible for a bicyclist to share fault for a collision, a motor vehicle driver always has a higher duty of care to prevent accidents with nearby cyclists. If there is any controversy concerning liability for your recent accident, it is vital to speak to an experienced Westminster bicycle accident attorney about your legal options as soon as possible.
Q: Will a Driver Face Jail Time for Hitting a Bicyclist?
A: When an accident occurs because of negligence, or a failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation, it is unlikely for the defendant to face jail time. However, if they caused the accident through an illegal act, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, or if they acted with intent to harm the bicyclist, they are likely to face criminal charges and severe penalties if convicted.
Q: What Happens if a Bicycle Accident Is Fatal?
A: In the event that a bicycle accident is fatal, the victim’s family has the right to seek accountability through a wrongful death claim. While this functionally replaces a personal injury claim the victim could have filed if they survived, there are specific laws in place pertaining to wrongful death actions, and this type of claim requires the attention of an attorney experienced with this type of civil claim.
Q: How Much Is My Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?
A: The potential value of any bicycle accident claim depends on the total amount of economic damages the victim suffered, the severity of any long-term or permanent harm done by the defendant, and whether the defendant acted negligently or intentionally. The best way to get an accurate estimate of your case’s total potential value is by working with a highly experienced Westminster bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after the incident.
Q: What Difference Can Hiring an Attorney Make for My Bicycle Accident Case?
A: While it may be technically possible to handle your claim on your own, hiring legal counsel you can trust offers the best chance of maximizing the results of a personal injury case. If you are unsure whether it would be worth the effort to pursue a personal injury case, remember that the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal accepts personal injury claims on a contingency basis, meaning there is no fee unless we win your case, and our fee is a percentage of your total case award.
Any bicycle accident can cause life-changing injuries and a host of economic difficulties for the victim and their family. If you are unsure whether you have grounds for a claim, need assistance identifying the driver who hit you and holding them accountable, or need legal assistance for a personal injury claim filed on behalf of an incapacitated family member, we can help. Contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal today to schedule your consultation with a Westminster bicycle accident attorney.