Statistics show that motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to die in auto injury accident, and 5 times more likely to be seriously injured. Motorcycles lack crashworthiness and substantial barriers for occupant protection, and are much lighter and much less stable than a typical automobile. Due to the much greater potential for death or serious injury associated with a motorcycle accident, motorcycle riders must be more protective of their own safety and more aware of their legal rights and options than other motorists.
How are Motorcycle Accidents Different?
In addition to the much greater potential for serious injury and death, motorcycle accidents present special problems and considerations not typically associated with normal car accidents. Some of the unique problems faced by motorcycles on the road include:
- Visual Recognition Problems. Motorcycles are more difficult to see than other vehicles, especially at intersections, where most visual recognition accidents occur.
- Road Hazards. Road hazards that are small and unimportant to other vehicles, such as potholes, oil slicks, debris, uneven pavement, and railroad tracks can be major hazards for motorcyclists.
- "Wobble" Accidents. The front end of a motorcycle may become unstable and shake or "wobble," especially at high speeds, which can lead to an accident. This happens when the front and back tires aren't properly aligned. If this happens the manufacturer of the motorcycle may be liable. Contact an attorney experienced in motorcycle accidents and personal injury.
- Riding Skill Problems. Driving a motorcycle requires more coordination and skill than driving a car. Some accidents can be caused in part by the rider's lack of basic riding skills or failure to understand his or her own limitations
Colorado Motorcycle Helmet Laws
In Colorado, helmets are required by law for all motorcycle drivers and passengers under the age of 17. However, failure to wear a helmet can significantly reduce the amount that a motorcycle accident victim can recover in damages based the motorcyclist's contributory negligence, if it can be shown that the absence of a helmet contributed to the victim's injuries.
A helmet is by far the most important piece of equipment that a motorcyclist can wear. A helmetless rider is several times as likely to suffer a brain injury or die from trauma sustained to the head as a result of a motorcycle accident than riders who do wear helmets.
Defective Motorcycle Design or Manufacture
Although several factors can contribute to a motorcycle accident, a defect in a motorcycle's design or manufacture should be considered as a potential cause of an accident, especially one where only the motorcycle rider is involved. In some cases, the manufacturer may be held liable and pay damages for a defect in the design or construction of the motorcycle. An experienced attorney can help sift through these issues and determine whether or not a manufacturer could be liable.
Should I Hire a Colorado Motorcycle Attorney?
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the most important step in protecting your legal rights is to contact an experienced and skilled attorney. Issues with your potential claim, including compliance with traffic laws, motor vehicle regulations, medical treatment issues, and liability determinations, all require the expertise of an attorney who is experienced in the area of motorcycle accident liability and personal injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Colorado, contact a Colorado attorney experienced in personal injury and motorcycle accidents today to protect your rights and get you the compensation that you deserve.
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