Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Falls are a common occurrence for bicyclists and usually require minimal recovery. Unfortunately, however, collisions with motor vehicles are also common. These accidents tend to cause the most severe injuries. At the end of the day, a cyclist is no match for a two-ton machine, even when it’s traveling at a fairly low speed.

A bicycle accidents lawyer can attest that all kinds of factors are attributed to these devastating crashes. There are some causes, however, that are more prevalent than others. These include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Following too closely 
  • Speeding
  • Changing lanes or turning without looking 
  • Ignoring traffic signals
  • Failing to yield to the cyclist’s right of way
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving while fatigued

What to Know Before Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim in Colorado

Statute of Limitations

If you get hurt, it’s important to prioritize your immediate needs. That means visiting a doctor, tending to the psychological impact of the trauma you experienced, and devising a plan for staying afloat financially if you’re unable to work while recovering. It’s important to remember, however, that the clock started ticking on the day of the accident.

In Colorado, bicycle accident victims have a limited amount of time to sue those who are liable for their damages. The standard statute of limitations for personal injury plaintiffs who were hurt in auto accidents is three years. After this deadline has passed, you’ll likely be unable to secure compensation if a settlement has not already been reached, since you can no longer take the responsible party to court.

Because there are some exceptions to this statute that can shorten the amount of time a victim has to sue, it’s advisable to call a bike accident lawyer in Colorado as soon as possible. Your attorney can get your case underway while you continue focusing on your health.

Comparative Fault

Colorado is considered a modified comparative fault state. This means an injured party can recover enough compensation to cover another party’s negligence but not their own. If a bicycle accident victim is found to be 25% liable for the crash, for example, then they are limited to seeking just 75% of the total damages they incur. If they’re deemed 50% or more at fault, however, they are barred from recovering anything at all.

Recoverable Damages in Boulder Bicycle Accident Cases

As long as your accident was due to another party’s negligence, a bicycle lawyer in Boulder can help you file a claim for damages. Damages can be either economic or non-economic in nature.

In seeking compensation for damages, the ultimate goal is to restore your quality of life so it’s as similar as it was prior to the accident. With that in mind, Colorado tort law allows for the recovery of:

  • Hospital bills
  • Ongoing rehabilitation costs
  • Lost income
  • Loss of earning potential and future income 
  • The cost of repairing any property damage 
  • The cost of reasonably necessary replacement services
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Permanent injuries


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Lost earning capacity is the earning potential lost due to an accident-related disability or impairment. Disability or impairment can result in lower productivity or the inability to work altogether.

Pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages since they are intangible and cannot be quantified. Examples include psychological impacts such as anxiety or depression, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment in life.

The number of fatal injuries from bicycle accidents is highest during the summer months. Also, nearly 1 out of 3 bicycle accidents occur between dusk and dawn due to the reduced visibility.

A skilled bicycle attorney in Boulder will use their resources to help you file a claim in pursuit of the damages you wouldn’t have incurred had you not gotten hurt. This includes performing a thorough investigation; tracking down compelling evidence of fault; consulting various experts, like medical specialists and economists; and negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf. If the insurance adjuster refuses to settle, your lawyer can also prepare your case for court and then help you navigate the subsequent trial. 

Evidence may include but is not limited to police reports, witness statements, medical records, social media posts, photos of the scene, helmet cam videos, and expert opinions.