Mintz Law Firm
Denver Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
In Colorado, motorcycles have become a highly popular alternative to four-wheel passenger vehicles. From fuel efficiency to the ability to navigate through heavy traffic, there are many benefits to motorcycle riders beyond just the thrill of the ride. However, despite these advantages, data suggests that motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of suffering a severe to fatal injury in an accident than a car passenger.
Because motorcycles lack the protections of other vehicles, such as airbags, steel frames, and crumple zones, motorcycle accidents often cause a great deal of pain and suffering and create significant financial difficulties for victims and their families. To make matters worse, responsible riders are put through extra scrutiny by insurance companies who try to portray them as reckless bikers.
The challenges that follow a motorcycle accident—which can include catastrophic injuries, irreversible damage to your vehicle, and expensive medical bills—can be even more frustrating when you’re not at fault. Fortunately, the trusted Denver motorcycle accident lawyers at Mintz Law Firm can help.
Why Are Motorcycles Crashes More Dangerous Than Car Crashes in Colorado?
No one is immune to being injured in an accident on the road. Drivers of all vehicles—from trucks to motorcycles and everything in between—suffer approximately three million injuries each year nationwide. However, the more safety features and protections you have in and around your vehicle, the safer you can be. That’s why drivers of semi-trucks and big rigs are less prone to injury than drivers of passenger vehicles.
The same logic applies to cars and motorcycles. Modern cars are equipped with various safety features designed to reduce the number of fatalities on the road, including anti-braking locks, rear- and side-view cameras, seat belts, airbag systems, tire pressure monitors, and collision warning systems. Motorcycles lack these safeguards, so injuries and fatalities are more common. In fact, 72 per every 100,000 motorcycles are involved in a fatal accident, versus 13 out of every 100,000 cars.
9 Motorcycle Accident Stats to Know
According to the Rockey Mountain Insurance Information, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and KKTV, here are nine important 2021 motorcycle accident stats that riders should keep in mind.
- There were 59 motorcycle accident-related deaths in Colorado between January and June of 2021
- Head-on and rear-end collisions make up 74% of all motorcycle accidents, making them the most common type of motorcycle crash
- 18% of motorcycle accident victims had an alcohol level above the legal limit at the time of the accident
- In Colorado, 17% of motor vehicle accident deaths are motorcycle-related
- 63% of victims in a motorcycle accident were not wearing a helmet
- In 2022, 140 motorcyclists were killed in Colorado
- During the first half of 2021, motorcycle fatalities were down by 18% in Colorado
- 2020 was a record year of motorcycle accident fatalities
- 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injuries
While motorcyclists account for only 3% of registered vehicles, they account for 23% of Colorado’s traffic fatalities in 2020. Furthermore, in 2020, of the 622 traffic fatalities in Colorado, 137 were related to motorcycle accidents.
Are You More Likely to Crash on a Motorcycle?
Based on research done by the NHSTA Motorcycle Safety Guide, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in the event of an accident than people in an enclosed vehicle like a car or truck. Additionally, motorcyclists are four times more likely to sustain injuries during an accident than others on the road.
Understanding the risk of riding a motorcycle means looking at the whole picture. Based on the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, here are a couple of accident stats for all vehicles on the road in Colorado.
- Compared to the national average of 11, Colorado averages 10.3 motor vehicle deaths per 100,000 population.
- The national average of death per 100 million miles traveled is 1.11, and in Colorado, the average is 1.09 motor vehicle-related deaths.
While Colorado stats are technically better than average for motorists, motorcycle riders should still be aware of the dangers of accidents. Riders involved in collisions tend to sustain greater injuries, property damage, and other losses. Accidents often happen because of driver negligence or things beyond the rider's or driver's control, such as weather conditions or under-maintained roads. When the accident results from negligence, motorcyclists can hold the reckless or careless driver accountable and recover monetary damages.
Most Common Injuries Sustained During a Motorcycle Accident
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, these are the most common injuries motorcyclists suffer in accidents.
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skin burns and bruising
- Fractures and broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Bleeding and bruising
- Traumatic brain injury
Most of these injuries result in expensive medical bills and leave the rider unable to work, thereby cutting off their source of income. Personal injury claims are a way for riders to hold the liable party responsible by holding them financially accountable for the harm they caused. A skilled Colorado motorcycle accident lawyer can help you build a strong claim and get you the compensation you deserve.
The Types of Motorcycle Injuries Mintz Law Firm Can Help With
Some of the most common injuries suffered by motorcyclists include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken ribs
- Broken or amputated limbs
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Facial disfigurement
In the worst cases, motorcycle accidents end in fatalities. Motorcyclists are at higher risk of injury and fatalities because they lack the coverage and protection that enclosed vehicles have. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders are 29 times more likely to die during a crash than those in an enclosed vehicle, such as a car or truck. Several factors contribute to the severity of injuries, including:
- The size of the motorcycle
- The size of the other vehicle
- The speed that both were traveling at the time of the accident
While some riders can recover from their injuries, they often require immediate hospitalization and rehabilitation for weeks or even months after the accident.
Motorcycle injuries can be broken down into two separate categories:
Injury to the Lower Extremities
Lower extremity injuries are injuries suffered below the waist. Most commonly, motorcyclists suffer injury to their legs or pelvis during an accident. Based on NHTSA research, these kinds of injuries are some of the most common sustained by motorcyclists.
While riding a motorcycle, the legs and pelvis are two areas that are vulnerable to withstand more of the impact from the collision due to their position on the motorcycle. Furthermore, severe injuries sustained in the lower extremities increase the risk of a rider becoming disabled, temporarily or permanently.
Injury to the Upper Extremities
As one can guess, upper extremity injuries refer to injuries that occur from the waist up. These kinds of injuries may include head, face, neck, thorax, and abdomen injuries. Typically, riders over the age of 40 are particularly vulnerable to these types of injuries, especially broken ribs.
Various factors contribute to why older motorcyclists may experience more upper extremity injuries. One factor is that older riders tend to ride larger and heavier motorcycles that offer more cover for their lower extremities but still leave their upper extremities exposed. Additionally, thoracic injuries are common in this age group because larger motorcycles can overturn more easily. Larger motorcycles take up more space on the road, creating a greater risk of the motorcyclists striking a highway structure such as a railing.
Here at Mintz Law Firm, we cover all forms of motorcycle accident injuries and are prepared to go to trial if it means obtaining the full and maximum value of your motorcycle accident claim. Our attorneys understand that motorcyclists are vulnerable on the road and during insurance negotiations. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to use bad faith tactics and negative biases against motorcycle riders to try and limit their payout as much as possible. At Mintz Law Firm, we are in your corner, ready to build a strong claim and work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Factors Determine How Much Your Motorcycle Accident Case Is Worth in Colorado?
While each motorcycle accident case contains a set of factors that make it unique, there are a few elements of your case that you can point to as you try to determine its worth. You’re entitled to compensation if you can prove the following:
- The other motorist had a duty to drive safely
- They breached their legal duty by driving carelessly or recklessly
- There is a direct link between their breach of duty and the motorcycle accident from which you suffered injuries
Understanding exactly how much compensation you may receive is a different story. Below, we’ve broken down the most common aspects that govern how much your motorcycle injury case is worth.
The Plaintiff’s Damages
Some personal injury damages, like medical bills and lost wages, are easier to evaluate because concrete costs like this will mostly be based on the amount the plaintiff demonstrates they’ve paid or lost.
Other damages are harder to determine and include all costs related to intangible losses, such as emotional trauma, PTSD, and psychological pain. An expert motorcycle accident attorney—with the help of medical, psychological, and economic professionals—will be able to help determine the amount of money you’re owed by the at-fault party for these types of non-economic damages.
Likelihood of the Defendant Being Found Liable
Of course, to receive any compensation at all, you must first have enough evidence to prove in a court of law that the negligent party was at fault. If you have little or no evidence substantiating that the defendant was at fault for your motorcycle accident injuries, the value of your case goes down considerably. Even if the potential damages are high, a defendant will be less willing to settle and more inclined to take their chances at trial when culpability is in question.
The Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Mintz Law Firm Can Help
At Mintz Law Firm, we believe that just because your vehicle is smaller doesn’t mean that your case is worthless. Victims of motorcycle accidents deserve the same level of care and treatment as those in other automobile accidents. Compensation should match the degree of injury, not the cost of damage to the motorcycle. It’s an unfortunate reality that far too many motorcyclists walk away from accidents with poor settlements. Sometimes, motorcyclists are even falsely accused of causing an accident because of the stereotype that they are reckless.
Ninety-nine percent of our cases are settled before trial, and our clients typically receive far more compensation than they would have from trying to negotiate with insurance companies on their own. Let our Colorado auto injury lawyers build an evidence-based case for you and win you the financial compensation you deserve.
Contact a Denver, Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney
At Mintz Law Firm, we understand how frightening it can be to suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident, especially if you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. Lawsuits of this nature can be tricky, which is why we want to make this process as easy as possible for you. After your injury, one of our attorneys will meet with you one-on-one to learn the specifics of your case and build a concrete defense against the at-fault party.
Our clients typically receive far more compensation than they would have from trying to negotiate with insurance companies on their own. Let our Colorado injury lawyers build an evidence-based case for you and win the financial compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, give us a call at (303) 462-2999 or complete our online contact form today.