How Do Colorado’s Motorcycle Safety Laws Impact Your Accident Claim?
Colorado, like other states, has a number of laws that are designed to help protect the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers. From eye protection to lane sharing, these laws address a number of issues which can create dangers for riders and other motorists alike.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident while violating one of Colorado’s motorcycle safety laws, how will this impact your claim for financial compensation? Here is a brief introduction to what you need to know:
Colorado’s Motorcycle Safety Laws and Your Claim for Just Compensation
1. Traffic Violations are Not Complete Bars to Financial Recovery
Contrary to popular belief, if you are injured while violating a motorcycle safety law or other traffic safety law (i.e. if you were speeding at the time of the accident), this does not serve as a complete bar to financial recovery. While a safety law violation may be considered evidence of negligence, (i) your violation may or may not have contributed to your accident or injuries, and (ii) even if you were negligent, you may still be entitled to a partial recovery.
2. Colorado Follows the Rule of “Modified Comparative Fault”
This right to a partial recovery exists under Colorado’s law of “modified comparative fault.” In Colorado, as long as you are less than 50 percent at fault in an accident, you can still seek financial compensation for your injuries. However, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, for example, if you are deemed 25 percent at fault for passing within another vehicle’s lane, you would still be entitled to collect 75 percent of your accident-related losses.
3. Safety Law Violations are Not Necessarily Evidence of Fault
Let’s say you were riding your motorcycle without proper eye protection at the time of your accident. Let’s also say that you were relatively lucky, and your only injuries were road rash and a broken bone in your leg. In this case, you would likely have a strong argument that your failure to wear eye protection is irrelevant to your claim for compensation.
4. Colorado’s Motorcycle Safety Laws
We have already mentioned a couple of Colorado’s motorcycle safety laws; but, as a rider, it is important to be aware of all of the laws that govern your use of the public roads. Colorado’s motorcycle safety laws include:
- Helmets – DOT-approved helmets are required for riders under the age of 18.
- Eye protection – All riders must wear eye protection. Options include helmet visors, goggles, and glasses made with safety glass or plastic.
- Passengers – Passengers must always ride on a seat behind the driver and they must use passenger foot pegs at all times.
- Lane sharing – Colorado law does not permit motorcycle riders to pass a vehicle in the same lane (also known as “lane sharing” or “lane splitting”). However, up to two motorcycles may ride side by side in the same lane.
Contact the Denver Accident Lawyers at Levine Law
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in the Denver area, our attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and seek maximum compensation for your accident-related losses. To discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation, please call 303-333-8000 or submit your case online today.