Colorado Motorcycle Accident FAQs

A guide to seeking legal compensation after being involved in a motorcycle accident in Colorado.

As the weather warms each year, motorcyclists from Colorado and around the country take to the roads to enjoy the breathtaking views of the state's mountainous landscape. While prized by many, the activity is also not without potential hazards. There are many factors to consider if involved in a motorcycle accident in the state of Colorado.

What are the legal requirements for operating a motorcycle in Colorado?

Before operating a motorcycle in Colorado, bikers must have the “M” designation on their driver's license to indicate that they are at least 16 years of age, have passed the written examination and have completed a motorcycle skills test. Bikers are also required to have motorcycle insurance and proof of coverage on your person while operating the vehicle. Failure to have insurance coverage carries the possibility of license suspension along with a monetary fine of up to $1,000.

Does Colorado have any restrictions pertaining to operating a motorcycle?

During the day, motorcycles are not required to use head or tail lights. At night, the bike must have a functional bright white headlight along with tail lights, which are to be visible for up to 500 feet. The state prohibits bikes from having colored or neon glowing lights.

Passengers must ride in an enclosed cab, in a sidecar or have their feet on safety footrests when seated on the seat behind the driver.

Two motorcycles may share the same lane. However, motorcycles cannot occupy the same lane as another vehicle or attempt to pass a vehicle in the same lane. Motorcycle passengers cannot hold onto another vehicle in an attempt to be towed by that vehicle.

What should I do immediately after being involved in a motorcycle accident?

Regardless of whether anyone incurs injuries or vehicle damage occurs, law enforcement must be notified. Calling the police is vital and a report must be filed. In the event of injury, notify the operator that emergency medical assistance is needed. All parties involved in the collision should be evaluated and transferred to a hospital if necessary. Contact your insurance company.

Denver accident attorney Mack Babcock suggests following these 10 steps after a motorcycle wreck.

What documents or information should I keep?

Have a copy of your accident report along with any documentation provided by a healthcare provider in the event of injuries that required treatments. If the collision involved more than one vehicle, you should get the names, addresses, driver's license number and insurance information from the other driver.

Should I contact an attorney?

After notifying law enforcement authorities, receiving medical care for injuries and contacting your insurance company, you might consider consulting with an attorney. A lawyer experienced in dealing with cases involving motorcycle collisions improves your chances of getting compensation for medical costs, vehicle damages, income loss or any other expenses you encounter secondary to the accident.

The accident was not my fault, but I was not wearing a motorcycle helmet. Will that hurt my chances of being compensated for injuries and damage?

Colorado does not have a law that requires the use of motorcycle helmets or other safety gear for drivers or passengers aged 18 and older. The states does require that individuals under the age of 18 wear a DOT-approved helmet.

However, all states recommend safety gear. With this factor in mind, the other driver's insurance company may resist paying all of the compensation you deserve if you were not wearing a helmet or other safety gear at the time of your accident. They may argue that any injuries could have been prevented or minimized if safety gear was worn.

How soon after the accident should I file a lawsuit?

In the state of Colorado, you can file a lawsuit within three years after the collision in hopes of gaining compensation. However, once a lawsuit is filed, it may take anywhere from weeks to years before the courts make a decision and possible compensation is awarded.

What happens if the driver who caused the collision is not insured? Do I still have a chance of receiving compensation?

As long as your vehicle insurance policy includes coverage for uninsured motorists, you can receive compensation for your accident-related expenses.

What if the accident was caused when my motorcycle malfunctioned?

Motorcycle mishaps may occur because of defective tires or mechanical malfunctions. Cyclists might suffer injuries when helmets fail to meet mandated standards. In that case, a liability claim is the means to compensation. An attorney will evaluate the circumstances behind the malfunction and advise you how to proceed with a course of action to redeem expenses.

If you require a personal injury attorney after being involved in a motorcycle accident,
contact The Babcock Law Firm for a consultation.

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