Mintz Law Firm
Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Boulder, CO
Bicycling is a wonderful way to stay healthy, reduce your carbon footprint, and enjoy the outdoors. However, despite the many benefits of cycling, it can also be a dangerous activity, especially when drivers fail to share the road responsibly. Unfortunately, many cyclists experience accidents and injuries due to the negligence of motorists, which can have devastating consequences for their health, finances, and quality of life.
When you’ve been involved in a serious bicycle accident, it's important to seek the help of an experienced Boulder, CO bicycle accident attorney who can protect your rights and advocate for your best interests. At Mintz Law Firm, we understand the unique challenges that cyclists face and are committed to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve. Our skilled and compassionate Boulder bicycle accident lawyers have a track record of success in representing injured cyclists and holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions.
Important Differences Between Car Accident and Bicycle Accident Claims
It's important to understand the key differences between a car accident and a bicycle accident claim. While both types of accidents involve personal injury and property damage, there are several factors that can affect the legal process and the potential outcome of your case.
Liability and Negligence
In car accidents, liability is typically determined by the fault of the driver or drivers involved. Colorado is an "at-fault" state, which means that the person who caused the accident is responsible for any damages or injuries that result.
In bicycle accidents, however, liability can be more complex. Cyclists are considered "vulnerable road users" and are often subject to more strict rules and regulations than drivers. However, in some cases, a driver's negligence may be the primary cause of a bicycle accident. An experienced bicycle accident attorney in Boulder can help determine the extent of each party's liability in a bicycle accident case.
Another important difference between car and bicycle accidents is the severity of the injuries that can occur. Since bicycles provide less protection than cars, cyclists are at a higher risk of serious injury or death in the event of an accident. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, in 2019, there were 20 bicyclist fatalities and 1,101 injuries in the state. In contrast, there were 462 fatalities and 27,360 injuries resulting from car accidents. As a result, bicycle accident claims often involve higher damages than car accident claims.
In Colorado, drivers are required to carry liability insurance with a minimum of $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $15,000 for property damage. However, this coverage may not be enough to fully compensate a cyclist for their injuries and damages. In addition, cyclists may be covered under their own insurance policies or the policies of a family member.
Negotiation and Litigation
Finally, the legal process for resolving car and bicycle accident claims can be different. Car accident claims are often settled through negotiation between the parties or their attorneys, while bicycle accident claims may require litigation in court. Bicycle accidents can involve more complex liability issues and higher damages, so it's important to work with a bicycle accident attorney who has experience in both negotiation and litigation.
Does Not Wearing a Helmet Impact a Bicycle Accident Claim?
If you're involved in a bicycle accident in Colorado, not wearing a helmet can have a significant impact on your claim, even if the accident was not your fault. While Colorado law does not require adults to wear helmets when riding a bicycle, failing to do so can affect the damages you may be able to recover in a personal injury lawsuit.
In Colorado, the legal doctrine of "contributory negligence" applies in personal injury cases. This means that if a person is injured due to the fault of another party, but their own negligence also contributed to the injury, the damages they can recover may be reduced.
If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of a bicycle accident, the other party's insurance company may argue that your failure to wear a helmet contributed to the severity of your injuries. This argument may reduce the amount of damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit.
Alternatively, Colorado follows the doctrine of "modified comparative negligence." This means that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your damages may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault for the accident because you were not wearing a helmet, your damages may be reduced by 30%.
Impact on Damages
The failure to wear a helmet can also impact the damages you can recover for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Insurance companies may argue that your injuries could have been less severe or avoided altogether if you had been wearing a helmet. As a result, your damages may be reduced, and you may not be able to recover the full cost of your medical treatment or lost income.
However, it's important to note that even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, you may still be able to recover damages for your injuries. An experienced bicycle accident attorney can help you navigate the complex legal issues involved in bicycle accident cases and advocate for your best interests.
Contact an Experienced Boulder Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
Being involved in a bicycle accident can be a traumatic and life-changing experience. The physical, emotional, and financial toll can be overwhelming. At Mintz Law Firm, we understand the challenges that our clients face and are dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal representation. Our experienced bicycle accident lawyers in Boulder, CO have a deep understanding of Colorado law and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Don't wait to get the help you need. Contact Mintz Law Firm today by calling (303) 462-2999 or complete our contact form for a free consultation with one of our experienced bicycle accident attorneys. We'll listen to your story, answer your questions, and help you understand your legal options. With our help, you can focus on your recovery while we fight to get you the compensation you need to move forward with your life.