Motorcycle Accident FAQ
Top questions about Colorado’s rules, risky roads and accidents
The Longo Firm, LLC, has been successfully representing Central Colorado motorcycle accident victims for so many years, people often come to us with all kinds of motorcycle-related questions.
Many of the questions are about the state’s laws and insurance requirements, but sometimes people just want to know about where the most dangerous local roadways are or how many people get in motorcycle accidents each year.
The legal team at The Long Firm, LLC, has put together a list of our most frequently asked questions for your information.
Not all heroes wear capes … Some wear suits
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you will likely have far more questions than we can address here. Attorney Stephen A. Longo offers free consultations to accident victims and their loved ones. We will listen to what happened, answer your questions, and develop a winning strategy with you design to get the maximum payout on your insurance claim.
- Who is at fault in a motorcycle accident?
- What are the most common types of motorcycle accident injury?
- Which Central Colorado roads are the most dangerous for bikers?
- Should I ride in all types of Colorado weather?
- What are Colorado’s motorcycle laws and insurance requirements?
- How many motorcycle accidents happen in Colorado every year?
- How many people die in motorcycle accidents every year?
- Are there any local motorcycle regulations?
Most bikers are fun-loving, safety-conscious, responsible people, but you’d never know that if your only experience with motorcycles is from TV and movies. The media often portrays bikers as reckless outlaws. This image has led to some people assuming all motorcycle riders are dangerous. Too often, when there is a car vs. motorcycle accident, people assume the biker must be at fault.
The truth is when more than one vehicle is involved in a motorcycle accident, it is usually the driver of the car or truck’s fault.
Colorado is a comparative negligence state, meaning that even the accident victim can be found somewhat at fault in a crash. Final settlements and verdicts are reduced by the victim’s fault percentage. So, for example, let’s say you win a settlement of $100,000 after being rear-ended on I-25. In negotiations, you are found to be 10 percent at fault for the accident because you forgot to use your blinker. In this case, your final payout would be $90,000. If you are found more than 50 percent at fault, you cannot seek damages.
Every motorcycle accident is different, but the injuries tend to be similar. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s carelessness, you are most likely eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills, treatment, lost wages and pain and suffering. Some of the most common types of injuries people sustain in motorcycle accidents include:
- Scrapes, cuts, lacerations
- Broken bones, including legs, arms, wrist
- Biker’s arm
- Internal bleeding
- Knee trauma
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injury
Central Colorado has a higher motorcycle crash rate than the rest of the state. One of the most dangerous roads in all of Colorado cuts through Colorado Springs, I-25, and we have some intersections here that are known for serious accidents.
The following are some of the most dangerous roads and intersections in Central Colorado and El Paso County:
- US-24 in Falcon
- Route 96/4th Street in Pueblo
- Lake Avenue in Pueblo
- US-50 in Montrose
- I-70 in Grand Junction
- The intersection of US-24 and US-285 in Buena Vista
- I-25 (especially in Colorado Springs, Fountain, and Denver)
- N. Academy Boulevard as well as S. Circle Drive, both in Colorado Springs
Technically, yes, you can ride in any weather, but it is not recommended. Rain and snow make roads slick and unpredictable, which can lead to serious accidents. Riding in the severe cold is also not advisable, at least for long periods of time. The freezing temperatures numb your fingers over time, reducing your motor skills and dulling your ability to ride safely.
The state has a handful of rules specifically targeting bikers, including:
- Helmets: Department of Transportation-approved helmets must be worn by anyone age 17 or younger who is operating or riding a motorcycle in Colorado. Riders and passengers ages 18 and older can choose whether to wear helmets. Wearing helmets has been shown to save lives.
- Eye protection: All bikers and passengers must wear some form of eye protection. The state DOT recommends wearing a visor on a helmet for best protection. A windshield does not count as eye protection.
Lane splitting is permitted at two bikes per lane. A motorcycle cannot share the same lane with any other vehicle.
Bikers are required to buy a minimum of liability insurance, as well: $25,000 for bodily harm per individual; $50,000 for all people injured in one accident; and $15,000 for property damage in any one accident.
There are about 200,000 motorcycles registered in Colorado and the number is rising all the time. On average, the state sees around 2,000 motorcycle accidents per year. When two or more vehicles are involved in a crash, it’s usually the person driving the car or truck who is at fault, not the motorcyclist. The most common errors that lead to motorcycle crashes include:
- Left turns
- Failing to stop
- Changing lanes
About 100 people die each year in motorcycle accidents on Colorado’s roadways. El Paso County often leads the state in the most motorcycle crash fatalities.
Most cities and towns don’t have their own motorcycle rules or bylaws, but Colorado Springs makes a few additions to the state code. In the city, motorcyclists cannot carry packages, bundles, or other articles that prevent the rider from keeping both hands on the handlebars. The city also requires motorcycle passengers to sit properly on bikes. They cannot ride in any manner that could hinder the driver.
The lawyer you want fighting for you
In motorcycle accidents, bikers are often the ones most frequently and severely injured, but that doesn’t mean they’re always the victims in a crash. The Longo Firm, LLC, has represented pedestrians, other motorists, bicyclists and property owners who were injured or had items damaged by negligent bikers.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident – whether you were riding around the Rockies or cruising along Main Street – you need to file an insurance claim if you hope to recover money for medical bills, lost wages and property damage. You have the right to have an experienced attorney on your side throughout the claim process.