What to Do If You Were Hit by A Car on Your Bike in Colorado
Call (800)-863-5312 to speak with Colorado Bike Accident Lawyers today
In 2019, 846 bicyclists were killed by a car across the US. A fun recreational activity or commute to work can quickly turn into a serious accident when bicyclists are hit by a car. Victims of these accidents may be left with significant injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
The attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience helping riders seek the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (800)-863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with an experienced Colorado bike accident lawyer.
Common Causes of Bike Injuries
A number of circumstances can lead to a bike accident. When bikers share the road with bigger vehicles, drivers may not see bike riders because of their small size. Drivers can injure riders when they take a corner too sharply, open a car door unexpectedly, or are otherwise unaware that a biker is riding alongside their car. While there are a number of factors that can contribute to a bike accident, some of the most common reasons that bicyclists are hit by cars include the following:
It only takes a few seconds for drivers to respond to a text on their phone, but those few seconds can be fatal for crash victims. If a driver’s eyes are on a phone, then they’re not focused on the road or the people around them. From 2012 to 2017, 222 bike and pedestrian crashes were caused by distracted drivers in Colorado.
Failing to Yield at Intersections
Drivers may be focused on other cars on the road at an intersection and fail to notice bike riders. When drivers fail to look twice, slow down, or respect the right-of-way, intersections can be deadly for cyclists.
Following Too Closely
Drivers who fail to give cyclists room on the road can cause accidents. When coming to a stop, drivers who do not give bikers enough space can rear-end them. Likewise, when drivers who want to pass cyclists do not have enough space to do so safely, they can hit cyclists and seriously injure them.
Intoxicated driving may result in weaving across lanes, quickly accelerating or decelerating, swerving, tailgating, or driving without headlights at night. Drivers may be unpredictable, making it difficult for bikers to swerve out of the way to avoid a collision. In Colorado, intoxicated drivers caused 2,780 injuries in 2019 crashes.
When drivers speed, they have less time to react. This means that a speeding car will have less time to avoid a bike rider and may hit them at a higher impact, causing more severe injuries.
Distracted Bike Riding
Just like drivers of automobiles, cyclists need to pay attention when they are riding a bike. Uneven surfaces, pedestrians, cars, lampposts, dogs, and a number of other obstacles can interfere with a rider in a split second. Accidents are more likely to occur when bike riders are texting, listening to music, or otherwise not paying attention.
Common Bike Injuries
Unlike a typical car accident, bike riders have little to no protection when they are hit by a car. The circumstances surrounding every accident are unique, but the impact of being hit by a car can leave riders with life-long injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries suffered by bikers who have been hit by cars include:
Head injuries can include concussions, whiplash, and comas, among many other head injuries. In Colorado, traffic accidents account for 14% of all traumatic brain injuries. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you believe you have a head injury, as untreated injuries can lead to serious, long-term, detrimental effects.
When bike riders flip over the handlebars, collide with a car, or hit a stationary object, the force generated can be enough to break their bones. Some of the most common broken bones for riders may include a leg, arm, skull, collarbone, back, rib, hips, pelvis, and thigh break.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries each year. A damaged or broken spine can have severe effects, including lifelong paralysis and the use of a wheelchair. The continued expense of specialists, loss of income, and pain and suffering that goes along with a spinal cord injury can be lifelong.
When a rider falls off their bike, they may skid across the concrete and suffer from scrapes, abrasions, or surface burns on the skin. These friction burns may occur in any part of the body, but these types of scrapes usually affect bony areas, such as the hands, forearms, elbows, knees, or chins. A road rash may be especially painful because such scrapes tear a larger area of skin and expose more nerve endings. Cuts and scrapes are especially susceptible to infection and should be closely monitored after an injury.
What to do after a Bike accident
When most riders hop on a bike, they commute to work, go for a recreational ride, or take a quick trip across town. However, few riders suspect that their ride will end in an abrupt crash. The below steps outline what you should do in the days and weeks following a bike accident in which you’ve been hit by a car.
1. Seek Medical Help
If you are seriously injured after being hit by a car, you should seek immediate medical help. If you do not receive medical treatment at the scene of the accident, it is always a good idea to be checked by a doctor. After you leave the hospital or doctor’s office, be sure to watch for any additional signs or symptoms that occur in the days following the accident. Don’t ignore any signs or symptoms, because you can experience the effects of a crash with a car several days after it happens.
2. Document Your Damage
As soon as possible, be sure to take photos of your injuries, the damage to your bicycle, and the scene of the accident, if possible. If any witnesses watched the accident occur, be sure to take down their contact information. You should also obtain the police report if an officer responded to your accident.
3. Keep Track of Your Expenses
In order to help you receive the compensation you may deserve after a bike accident injury, you will need to keep track of your expenses. This could include hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, or documented time taken off from work due to your injuries. It can also include the expense of repairing or replacing your bike.
4. Contact a Lawyer
A Colorado bike accident lawyer may help ensure you receive proper medical treatment, investigate the accident, interview witnesses, collect crash reports, negotiate with the insurance company, file a lawsuit, and go to trial if necessary. An attorney may also help you determine the damages you are entitled to, which will depend on factors such as the extent of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and damage to your bike, among other things.
How Does Insurance Work in a Bike Accident?
Most auto insurance policies include bicycle accident coverage. If the driver of the car involved in your accident is responsible for the collision, that individual’s insurance should cover the expenses related to your injuries and damage. Some bicyclists may also carry their own policy that offers coverage for bicycle accidents.
However, you should call an attorney before speaking with an insurance agent because insurance companies operate to pay you as little as possible. This means that they may offer an amount that is insufficient to cover your expenses and does not reflect the true the value of your case. An agent may also ask leading questions in order to find evidence that an accident was your fault, which can hurt your chances of recovering money from the other party.
What Compensation Can I Seek After a Bike Accident Injury?
After a bike accident injury, you may be able to seek compensation for medical and hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, time taken off work while recovering from your injuries, repair or replacement of damage to your bicycle, and pain and suffering. Each case is unique, but a Colorado bike injury lawyer may be able to discuss your case and help you determine the compensation you are eligible to seek.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
If you were injured in a bike accident and want to file a lawsuit against the other party, you need to be aware of the time limits, or statutes of limitations, that are in place. In Colorado, you have three years from the date of your accident to file a claim. However, it is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to help you navigate the filing timeline and help you receive the compensation you may deserve.
Contact a lawyer in colorado who handles Bicycle accidents
At Zinda Law Group, our Colorado bike injury attorneys have helped many crash victims get the compensation they deserved after being hit by a car. We understand that a bike accident can leave you with significant medical bills, bike repairs, and injuries and want to put you back on the road to recovery.
We believe an accident victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you were injured by a car while riding a bike, call Zinda Law Group at (800)-863-5312 to receive your free consultation with one of our experienced Colorado bike accident attorneys today.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.