Filing a bicycle accident lawsuit in Colorado is an option if you have been hurt while riding a bike. Personal injury law in Colorado entitles you to compensation if you were injured by someone else's negligence or poor conduct. That compensation can cover:
- Lost wages,
- Reduced earning capacity,
- Hospital bills,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Your family's loss of companionship.
If you have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover compensation for your losses.
In this article, our Colorado personal injury lawyers explain:
- 1. When can you file a bicycle accident lawsuit?
- 2. What to do after a bike accident
- 3. What kind of compensation is available?
- 4. Wrongful death lawsuits if a loved one was killed in a bike crash
1. When can you file a bicycle accident lawsuit?
You can file a bicycle accident lawsuit if:
- You were hurt while riding a bike, and
- You were not at fault for the crash.
Who you file the lawsuit against depends on the situation. Most bike accidents are caused by drivers in motor vehicles. In those cases, you would sue the driver who hit you.
Not all bike crashes are cause by cars or trucks, though. You could file a lawsuit against anyone who caused the crash, including:
- A pedestrian who walked right into your path,
- The passenger in a car who opened their door in front of you,
- The owner of the dog that attacked you, or
- The local government that did not maintain the road.
1.1. Statute of limitations for bike accidents in Colorado
All bicycle accident lawsuits have to be filed before the statute of limitations has expired. If you do not file your lawsuit within this time period, the defendant can have it dismissed.
If your bike accident was caused by someone driving a car, you have three years to file the lawsuit.1
If the accident was not caused by a motor vehicle, you will have two years to file the lawsuit.2
It is important to discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer quickly, though. If you wait until the statute of limitations is about to expire, it can be difficult to put together a good case.
2. What to do after a bike accident
The first thing to do after a bike accident is get medical attention. In severe bike accidents, this means going to the hospital.
If you are able to, you should record as much information about the crash as possible. This includes taking photos or video of the scene of the accident.
If you were hit by a car, you should try to collect the following information:
- The driver's name, insurance, and contact information,
- Contact information of any witnesses,
- Details about the vehicle, including its make, model, year, and color, and
- The license plate number.
Your safety and well-being are your main focus after a bike crash, though. You should call the police and let them handle the situation if:
- The other driver left the scene,
- You are incapacitated or hurt, or
- The other driver is not cooperating, aggressive, or seems to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
One thing you should not do at the scene of the crash is admit fault. Determining who was responsible is for the insurance company and court. If you apologize or say it was your fault at the scene of the crash, it could hurt your case.
Once the dust has settled and you have received the emergency medical care you need, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer. You should always discuss your case with a lawyer before talking to someone else's insurance company. They will pressure you to settle your case quickly. They will only offer a fraction of what you deserve.
3. What kind of compensation is available?
A bicycle accident lawsuit aims to recover compensatory damages from the person who caused your injuries. You can also demand punitive damages, as well.
Compensatory damages aim to compensate your for all of your losses that stem from the crash. These include:
- The medical expenses you have already had to pay,
- Medical bills that you are likely to accumulate in the future,
- Wages you have lost while you recovered,
- Future professional setbacks from the accident, like a reduced ability to earn an income,
- Compensation for your physical pain and mental anguish, and
- Loss of consortium for your family's troubles.
Punitive damages aim to punish the person who caused the crash. They are rare in personal injury lawsuits. However, if the other person was behaving especially badly, or if they hurt you on purpose, the court can make them pay you punitive damages.
Some of these damages could be subject to damage caps in Colorado.
4. Wrongful death lawsuits if a loved one was killed in a bike crash
If a loved one was killed in a bicycle accident in Colorado, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.
In Colorado, only specific people can file a wrongful death claim. They are the victim's:
- Children, or
- Designated beneficiary.3
All wrongful death lawsuits have to be filed within two years, even if the crash was caused by a car.4
Call us for help…
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a bicycle accident in Colorado, a lawyer can help. Our Colorado personal injury lawyers can legally represent you and pursue your interests. Contact us online for the help you need. For cases in California or Nevada, please visit our pages on bike injury lawsuits in California and bike injury lawsuits in Nevada.
C.R.S. § 13-80-101(n).
C.R.S. § 13-80-102.
C.R.S. § 13-21-201.
See note 3.