Cycling Accidents in Colorado
Cycling is a common pastime in Colorado. It is a great way to stay fit while enjoying our beautiful natural scenery. Unfortunately, biking accidents are on the rise in Colorado. The number of cycling fatalities has significantly increased since 2002, and even the most experienced cyclists are at risk of injury when sharing the road with vehicles. Former Olympic cyclist Dale Stetina, for example, was critically injured in 2013 when trying to avoid a car in Boulder.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be wondering what to do next.
Get to Safety
If possible, move to a safe location out of oncoming traffic. If you are severely injured and have lost consciousness or cannot move, you will need to await medical assistance and pursue legal action once you are well. The police will document any pertinent information at the scene of the accident and assist you in filing a report later on.
In the event that you are able to move and communicate, get to a safe spot and continue with the following steps to help facilitate your legal claim.
Call 911 as soon as possible. Inform the dispatcher that you were hit by a moving vehicle while riding your bike. Tell him or her your location, whether or not you are hurt, and if the car that hit you is present or if they fled the scene.
If the at-fault vehicle is still there, get their insurance and vehicle information. Ask for and document the following:
- Name and phone number
- Insurance company and policy number
- Driver’s license
- Model, make, and year of their vehicle
- License plate number
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Avoid Communicating with the At-Fault Driver
If possible, avoid direct communication with the driver who hit you. They may be sincerely apologetic, which can provoke a response from you that may later be used by an attorney to lower your settlement amount. Phrases like, “I’m all right” or “I wasn’t being careful” can ultimately be used against you. These qualify as “admissions against interest” and are used by lawyers and insurance companies to trivialize what happened to you.
Look for Witnesses
If anyone witnessed the accident, be sure to point them out to the police. You can ask them to write a brief statement on your behalf or, if they are willing, to share contact details with you to communicate at a later date.
As soon as you can, write down your own recollection of events, including any admissions of guilt by the at-fault party. It is best to do this while the incident is still fresh. However, if you are not able to do this for some time, you can refer to the police report and witness statements to help you.
Consult with a Bicycle Accident Attorney
In Denver, Colorado, you have up to two years to file suit against the person who hit you. However, you will want to begin the process as soon as possible to avoid delays and while details are still fresh. While you can certainly file a claim on your own, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the claims process. She or he will perform all communications and negotiate on your behalf. This will ensure you get the highest settlement possible as quickly as possible.
Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Roth Milne
Roth Milne is a Denver-based personal injury firm that has experience in bicycle accident litigation. We are a compassionate, dedicated team that has earned a reputation as some of the most trusted personal injury lawyers in Denver. If you or a loved one has been injured in a cycling accident, we are here to advise you on your next steps. Call our office today to schedule a consultation.