Cars and trucks get regular safety updates to make driving safer for drivers and passengers. However, motorcycles still have very limited safety devices. The helmet is the only major safety measure riders can take. While motor vehicle fatality rates fall, the rate of motorcycle fatalities has not dropped significantly. Last year, the rate of fatal motorcycle accidents in Colorado actually increased.
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by careless or distracted drivers. If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced Denver accident lawyer to make sure you are compensated for your injuries.
Colorado Increase in Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the rate of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2020 increased 12% over the previous year. CDOT Director of the Office of Transportation Safety, Darrell Lingk, said, “Since January Colorado has seen a startling increase in motorcyclist fatalities and the state is expected to exceed the number of fatalities from last year.”
By September 2020, there were 100 motorcycle fatalities in Colorado, up from 89 at the same time in 2019. The counties with the highest number of fatalities included El Paso, Jefferson, and Adams. Motorcycles represent only about 3% of vehicles but account for 23% of traffic fatalities.
In 2019, CDOT announced a Whole System -- Whole Safety campaign to increase awareness. CDOT fleet vehicles carry motorcycle safety messages, like, “Look twice before turning left. You could save a rider's life.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
When a motorcycle and car collide in a crash, the rider often ends up with much worse injuries. A driver may be protected by airbags and seatbelts. A motorcycle rider has to rely on a helmet and little else. Some motorcycle accidents are caused by rider error. However, many motorcycle crashes are caused by dangerous drivers. Some causes of motorcycle crashes include:
- Distracted drivers
- Drowsy driving
- Failure to check blind spots
- Failure to signal
- Turning in front of a motorcycle at an intersection
- Tailgating a motorcycle
- Impaired driving
- Hazardous road conditions
- Road rage
After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
If a rider is injured in a motorcycle accident, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash. However, if the rider is killed, how can the family seek justice? A wrongful death lawsuit allows the family members to file a claim against the negligent driver for damages.
Under Colorado Revised Statute § 13-21-202, surviving family members can file a claim after the death of a loved one. This will help hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and could help save others from that person's dangerous driving. A wrongful death lawsuit will also allow the family to recover damages, including:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Loss of the decedent's service and benefits
If your loved one was injured in a fatal accident, you may still be able to hold the negligent driver accountable. Our attorneys have successfully represented injury victims and their families in Denver, Boulder, and throughout Colorado. Our experienced trial attorneys will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your losses. Contact us today for a free consultation.