Riding a motorcycle comes with serious injury risks in Colorado. In a perfect world, all motor vehicle drivers would be careful and safe behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in Colorado; motor vehicle drivers cause fatal motorcycle accidents all the time. If you are mourning the recent loss of your loved one due to a deadly motorcycle accident in Colorado, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the responsible party through a wrongful death lawsuit. Working with our Aurora wrongful death attorneys can help you recover financial compensation and hold the negligent party responsible for damages.
Fatal Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Colorado
Motorcyclists are more at risk of sustaining fatal injuries in traffic accidents than motor vehicle drivers. One statistic that illustrates this is that while motorcycles only make up 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, they account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. In Colorado, dozens of motorcyclists lose their lives in car accidents each year. Sadly, the number of motorcyclist fatalities has increased steadily over the last several years. Here are the latest statistics from the Colorado Department of Transportation:
Year: Colorado Motorcycle Fatalities:
A closer look at Colorado’s crash data finds that the most common first harmful event across all traffic accidents is a front-to-rear collision (rear-end collision). The second most common event is a side-impact collision (T-bone accident). These accidents can be fatal for a motorcyclist even if they don’t injure the driver of a motor vehicle. Motorcyclists are naturally more vulnerable to serious and life-threatening injuries in accidents due to their lack of protection in a crash.
Most Common Causes of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in Colorado
Despite common biases against motorcyclists for their supposed recklessness, it is motor vehicle drivers who statistically cause the highest number of fatal motorcycle accidents in Colorado, according to statewide statistics. Data found that the vast majority of motorcycle accidents were not caused by any contributing action by the motorcyclist. This means that the other party was to blame, such as a driver who commits one of the following errors:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drowsy driving
- Reckless driving
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Failing to keep a proper lookout
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Making illegal left-hand turns or U-turns
- Making unsafe lane changes
Another common cause of fatal motorcycle accidents is road hazards. Unsafe road conditions, such as potholes and loose gravel, pose a high risk to motorcyclists. In this scenario, rather than blaming a driver, the deceased motorcyclist’s family may be able to sue the government for failing to maintain a safe road. Determining the cause of a fatal motorcycle accident is a necessary step before a family can understand its legal options.
What if the Motorcyclist Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
Helmet use is a major factor in fatal motorcycle accidents in Colorado. Motorcycle helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41 percent to their passengers. In Colorado, however, wearing a motorcycle helmet is optional for those over the age of 18. Therefore, the decision to wear a helmet typically cannot be used as a defense against liability for a motorcyclist’s death.
What to Do if a Loved One Dies in a Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Colorado
If you recently lost a loved one in a tragic motorcycle accident in Colorado, consult with a motorcycle accident attorney in Aurora about your right to seek justice through a civil action. Your family may be entitled to financial compensation for funeral and burial costs, outstanding medical bills, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and more. The party responsible for paying for the wrongful death depends on the case.
An attorney from Manning Law can carefully investigate your loved one’s fatal motorcycle accident to determine causation. Then, if we believe your case has merit, we can help you go up against one or more defendants to demand justice and accountability for your loved one’s death. To learn more about the legal side of a fatal motorcycle accident in Colorado, contact us today for a free consultation.