Denver Failure to Share Lane Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Did you suffer injuries in an accident because another motorcyclist failed to share the lane with you? If so, contact The Bourassa Law Group, and our Denver motorcycle accident attorneys will help you hold them accountable for your resulting damages.
It’s illegal for a motorcyclist to share a lane with a car, but they can share the same lane with another motorcycle. If one of the riders is negligent in providing enough space for the other rider and it leads to an accident, they could become liable for the injured party’s expenses.
Lane sharing can be dangerous, especially if one of the motorcyclists becomes distracted or makes an error. It’s crucial that you always pay attention to your surroundings to prevent getting hurt. Most people will share a lane with someone they know as they travel to a common destination. However, if you find yourself riding alongside an unknown party, proceed with caution.
If a rider’s careless actions cause your injuries, The Bourassa Law Group can represent you in your insurance claim or lawsuit. We’re highly experienced in motorcycle cases, and we know how to secure the maximum compensation you’re due. Call us at (800)870-8910 today for a free consultation.
Why Do Accidents Occur When Motorcyclists Share Lanes?
The most common reasons accidents occur with any type of vehicle is driver error or inattention. If you’re sharing a lane with someone, one wrong move can lead to devastating damage. Common behaviors that can cause a motorcycle crash include:
- Riding too close to someone else
- Suddenly swerving into the other motorcyclist’s path
- Driver distraction, such as texting
- Road rage
- Driving too fast for weather or road conditions
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals
If you suffered any injuries because of the other motorcyclist’s actions, you have the right to pursue compensation. Various factors, such as the amount of traffic and how fast you were traveling, could contribute to the accident’s severity.
Since motorcycle riders and passengers don’t have safety features to protect them from the force of an impact, the injuries are often severe and can lead to permanent damage. Common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Road rash
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken or fractured bones
- Psychological trauma, such as PTSD
- Lacerations, puncture wounds, and burns
- Internal bleeding
- Crush injuries from the motorcycle or another object landing on the victim
- Dismemberment or disfigurement
Determining If You’re Eligible for Compensation From the At-Fault Motorcyclist
If you have proof that the other motorcyclist failed to share the lane and caused the accident, you can file an insurance claim for compensation of your damages. Economic damages are the costs associated with injuries, while non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as physical pain experienced after an accident.
Colorado has a legal requirement for motorcycle owners to purchase liability insurance with minimum limits for bodily injury and property damage. When someone gets hurt in a crash, they can use that insurance to get compensation for their losses.
The damages available in a liability claim include:
- Medical bills
- Repair costs
- Pain and suffering
- Out of pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Since non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are difficult to calculate, insurance companies will review factors, such as the following, to determine a fair settlement:
- Type and severity of the injury
- Duration of the recovery period
- The total cost of economic damages
- Permanent disfigurement, impairment, or disability caused by the accident
- Inability to return to work or perform duties to full capacity
- Total lost wages
- Availability of evidence proving fault
- The estimated cost of future medical care
You also have the option of filing a lawsuit. Typically, you can reach an insurance settlement agreement if there’s clear evidence of fault. However, some insurance companies will look for excuses to deny the claim or provide a low settlement offer. When that happens, you can sue them for damages.
In any lawsuit, you must use a legal theory to hold the other person liable. Negligence is a standard theory that injured victims use. It’s the failure to act or not act in a way a reasonable person would under similar circumstances to prevent someone else from harm. You must show that the five elements of negligence existed to win your case:
- The at-fault motorcyclist did not behave as a reasonable person would to prevent your injuries;
- They breached their duty;
- If it wasn’t for their actions, you wouldn’t have suffered harm;
- Their breach was the direct cause of your injuries; and
- You incurred damages.
There’s a strict deadline within the civil court system you have to follow if you want to sue someone. It’s known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for motorcycle accidents is three years. That means you have three years from the crash date to file, or you’ll lose your right to compensation.
Besides seeking economic and non-economic damages, you can also request punitive damages. You must include it in your original filing of documents and have clear and convincing evidence that the other motorcyclist acted with:
- Willful or wanton conduct;
- Malice; or
You Can Still Seek Compensation If the Other Motorcyclist Doesn’t Have Insurance
There are situations where the person who caused an accident doesn’t carry liability insurance. When that happens, you can file a claim with your insurance company. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage isn’t a legal requirement, but all insurance companies must offer it to their policyholders. It provides compensation to accident victims when the at-fault party doesn’t have liability coverage, or their limits aren’t high enough to compensate you for all of your damages.
If you chose to purchase UM coverage, you could file a claim for compensation of the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Repair costs
- Out of pocket expenses
- Medical bills
A great feature with UM insurance is you can choose to stack your limits. That can double or triple the amount of available coverage. To clarify, if you have $25,000 in coverage for your motorcycle and another $25,000 for your spouse’s vehicle, you can pursue up to $50,000 in compensation from a stacked policy.
Another optional coverage on your insurance policy is medical payments (MedPay). A $5,000 limit is automatically included when you purchase motorcycle insurance, but you can choose to reject it by signing a form. If you included it on your policy, you could use it to cover your medical treatment up to the limit you purchased.
MedPay works like health insurance. When you see your doctor for injuries related to the motorcycle accident, your medical bills will go directly to your insurance company for payment. This prevents you from paying upfront for expenses, such as ER visits, physical therapy, and surgeries.
Why You Should Never Admit Fault After An Accident
It’s important to never admit fault to anyone, including the other motorcyclist and the insurance adjuster. The motorcyclist’s failure to share the lane with you was the cause of your injury, and you should receive the maximum insurance settlement available.
If you need to answer questions about the crash, keep your answers brief and factual.
Under modified comparative negligence rules, your financial compensation will decrease in proportion to the percentage of fault you share. If you admit to fault, the insurance company could use that to reduce their settlement offer. As an example, let’s say your total damages were $100,000. If you’re 20% at fault for the accident, you can only recover up to $80,000 in compensation. However, if you don’t share any blame, you would be entitled to the full $100,000.
Proving the Other Motorcyclist Was at Fault
Unless there’s sufficient evidence proving the other party’s negligence or failure to safely share the lane led to your injuries, it will be challenging to convince an insurance company or jury that you deserve financial compensation. The Bourassa Law Group can help you build a strong case. We have the extensive resources needed to perform a thorough investigation and locate relevant evidence, such as:
- Motorcycle repair estimates and bills
- Accident scene photos
- Eyewitness statements
- Crash report written by the investigating officer
- Video surveillance of the collision
- Copies of your medical records
- All available insurance policies
If you try to handle the legal process alone, you could face major roadblocks. Most people don’t understand the state laws and the deadlines they must follow when filing an insurance claim or lawsuit. You could do or say something that ruins your chance of winning the maximum financial award. Sometimes insurance companies will take advantage of claimants who didn’t hire a lawyer.
We’ll protect your rights and ensure fair treatment throughout your case. We know how to deal with insurance companies, and we’ll use aggressive tactics to recover a fair settlement that covers your damages.
Contact The Bourassa Law Group Today
Motorcycle accidents can cause debilitating injuries and fatalities. When you’re trying to recover, the thought of pursuing a legal case is overwhelming. You don’t want the additional responsibility but deserve compensation for the suffering you endured. At The Bourassa Law Group, we take care of everything for our clients. Our Denver motorcycle accident attorneys will work hard to hold the other person liable and make sure their insurance company pays you what they owe you.
If you have questions or need legal advice, we’ll be happy to meet with you for a free consultation. Call us at (800)870-8910 if you were the victim of a motorcycle accident.