Grand Junction Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Bicyclists take the brunt of the pain when they go up against 4,000-pound cars. Whether you were hit by a distracted driver, an aggressive driver, or a driver who just made an honest mistake, you should file a claim against that driver’s insurance company to get the money you need for your injuries, lost time at work, and other collision-related expenses.
However, the insurance company will not want to give it to you. In fact, they may try to prove you were the cause of the accident. Let’s be clear—in Colorado, even if you, the bicyclist, made a wrong move, you can still recover money from the other party. It’s a legal concept called “contributory negligence,” and it says that as long as you were less at fault than the other guy, you can recover money, but less money than if you were 100% blameless.
The best way to maximize your recovery? Working with a no-nonsense Grand Junction car accident lawyer. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, we’ve taken many bike accident cases all the way to trial to secure our clients’ future. We handle serious injury cases, and we do it very well. To request a free consultation, give us a call at (970) 243-4357.
If you live in Western Colorado, there’s a good chance you enjoy cycling. It’s one of the most popular recreational activities in our state, and more and more people are using it as a regular form of transportation. From the Colorado National Monument to Highway 65, Grand Junction is popular destination for many bike riders, both beginners and professionals. In fact, both Andrew J. Peters and Andrew J. Nolan are avid cyclists. So our team understand the risks, and the necessity of holding negligent drivers and bad faith insurance companies responsible following an accident.
According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, about two people are killed every day in bike-car collisions in the United States. That is over 700 bike riders a year. Of course, considering how devastating these accidents are, the costs associated with cycling injuries and deaths exceed more than $4 billion every year. That accounts for the surgeries, physical therapies, medications, and, of course, treatment of life-long disabilities. Sadly, many insurance companies want to place the blame on the bike rider to avoid giving out compensation. Never allow yourself to be tricked into thinking your accident was your fault. Drivers have a legal obligation to drive safely and responsibly. When they fail to do so, and people get hurt, it is the driver’s fault, not the cyclist’s.
Any kind of distraction, even if it’s just for a second, can quickly end with someone becoming paralyzed, or even losing a limb. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, we have seen just how dangerous a negligent driver can be. In our experience, the most common causes of bicycle collisions include:
Dooring: We see a lot of dooring on the Western Slope. This is when a cyclist in a bike lane or a regular lane, which runs alongside a parking lane, is struck by an opened car door that he didn’t have time to avoid. This can happen with no warning, and the cyclist may be going at full speed when he slams into the open door, leading to severe injuries and even fatalities.
Incorrect use of right-of-way: Many drivers assume that because they are in a car, they have the right-of-way, even if there is a bike rider in front of them. This kind of impatient behavior can lead to a driver simply plowing over the rider, causing serious damage.
Product defects: Mountain biking is a risky activity, so when accidents occur, it may seem like there’s no one to blame but bad luck. In fact, one of the contributing factors is faulty or defective equipment. If your tire pops or your brakes give out unexpectedly while going down a steep incline, it could send you out of control and result in serious injuries. In such cases, the manufacturer who designed or built the product, or the repair shop that was supposed to have repaired the bike, could be at fault.
Distracted or inebriated drivers: Bikes are smaller and quieter than cars. If a driver is inebriated or distracted, he may not notice a nearby bike rider. This could lead to the driver side-swiping the rider or completely running them over. In such an instance, the driver is always the one at fault, as he owes everyone on the road a basic duty of care, and should know to never allow himself to become distracted or get behind the wheel while drunk.
Cars have been modified and redesigned over the years to be safer. This makes perfect sense, as drivers and passengers are at extreme risk of injury during collisions. While cars were once death traps, these days drivers have the benefit of crumple zones, seat belts, and airbags, to protect them from the force of an accident. Bike riders are not so lucky.
Cyclists have almost nothing to protect them in the event of a collision. A rider may have a helmet on, but a helmet won’t protect him from the worst of the impact. When a car hits a bike, the rider takes the brunt of the force. Even worse, the force will likely send the driver slamming into the ground, where he once again takes on the extreme force of an impact, leading to even more severe injuries. The truth of the matter is that when a car and a bike meet, the car always wins.
At Peters & Nolan, LLC, we have worked with many unfortunate bike riders who have been struck by negligent drivers. In our experience, some of the most common injuries include:
- Organ damage
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain damage
- Broken bones
- Deep lacerations
- Severe burns
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limb
Following such injuries, you may find yourself requiring extensive surgeries. Treatments may last a lifetime, as a serious accident could easily lead to you suffering a disability, such as paralysis or limb loss. Whatever the case may be, one thing is certain: bike accidents cost a lot. And you should never be left to drown in debt from an accident that wasn’t your fault. That is why reaching out to an experienced lawyer and filing a claim against the at-fault driver is your best course of action.
Bicycles crash for different reasons, whether it’s due to a driver making an illegal turn or failing to yield, a suddenly opening door, or some other risky driving behavior. Unfortunately, when it comes time to pay up, insurance companies will do everything they can to limit how much they have to give.
There’s a good chance you will feel a lot of pressure to agree to a settlement right away. You could be hospitalized or trying to recover at home, and the last thing you want to worry about is insurance settlements or going to court. The initial offer from insurance may even seem fair. But until the recovery process has fully played out, you won’t know how much your medical expenses will be, and you may find that what seemed like a fair settlement is far short of what you need.
If you have been injured in an accident, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced Grand Junction bicycle lawyer who understands what you’re going through. The team at Peters & Nolan, LLC, is ready to help you.
Contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives today at (970) 243-4357 to schedule a free consultation.
- Information for Bicyclists - Colorado Department of Transportation
- Safety Tips for Bicyclists
- Bicycle Safety - CDC
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.