Of the more than 190,000 motor vehicle accidents in Denver since 2013, only about 1% involve bicycles. This is good news for cyclists who share the roads in Colorado, to commute, for recreation, or for exercise. However, it does not include the high number of close calls that cyclists experience. Many drivers cut off cyclists, do not leave room to pass, open doors in front of riders in the bike lane.
A bike accident with a car can cause serious injury. It may be difficult for the cyclist to recover the full amount of their losses, including medical bills and lost wages. If you have questions about getting help after an accident in Colorado, talk to an experienced Denver accident lawyer for advice.
Cycling Injuries in Denver
According to a report by KDVR, Denver bicyclists are less likely to be in crashes but more likely to be seriously injured. This may not be surprising because of the vulnerability of cyclists on Denver roads. When the driver of a vehicle is in an accident, they have many safety protections, including:
- Seat belts
- Side airbags
- Crumple zones
The only safety equipment available for most cyclists is a helmet. A helmet can greatly reduce the risk of serious brain damage and head injuries but it does not do much to prevent broken bones, internal injuries, and road rash.
Most bike accidents in Denver happen in the core of the city, including the neighborhoods of Highland, Baker, Congress Park, Capitol Hill, Five Points, Union Station, and the Central Business District. Only a small percentage of those accidents are fatal but about 12% cause serious injury. Since 2013, there have been about 20 bike accident fatalities, and 289 accidents involving serious injury in Denver.
Causes of Bike and Car Accidents
There are many common causes of bike accidents involving a vehicle. Many of these are the same causes of other accidents with other drivers, pedestrians, and motorcycles. Car and bike accidents include:
- Hazardous weather conditions
- Impaired drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Drowsy drivers
- Failure to yield right of way
- Road rage
- Improper passing
- Failure to signal
- Doored cyclists
- Medical emergencies
Cyclists At Fault for Some Accidents
In some cases, cyclists share some fault in a serious accident with a vehicle. Drivers should always watch out for cyclists and leave bicyclists with plenty of space. However, cyclists can sometimes engage in negligent riding that puts them and others at risk of an accident. Some bike accidents are caused by impaired riders.
Many people who live and work near downtown Denver have seen plenty of tourists and some locals riding B-Cycles in a questionable manner. These visitors may think that it is okay to hit up a couple of breweries and then get on a bike after. Unfortunately, many are not used to Denver's altitude, which can increase the effects of alcohol. Impaired cyclists may not only pose a risk to themselves but can injure pedestrians, especially when riding through busy areas like the 16th Street Mall
Filing a Claim for Damages After an Injury
If you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, the driver may be liable for your damages. The driver's auto insurance policy should cover your losses, up to the maximum policy limit. However, if the driver was not insured, it may be more difficult to collect damages. Many uninsured drivers do not have much in the way of assets to pay for expensive medical bills or lost income.
Talk to your Denver auto accident lawyer about ways to recover compensation. Contact us today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation.