Colorado rear end bicycle accidents almost always take the cyclist by surprise. And largely due to this surprise factor, there is often an increased possibility of serious injury to the cyclist.
The risk factor for cyclists in bicycle accidents remains high because they have precious little protection in the event of an accident. A rear end accident will impact not only the bicycle, but also the cyclist, leading them to take a substantial amount of the force of the impact.
The plain truth is: if you are involved in a Colorado rear end bicycle accident, there is an excellent chance that you will get seriously injured.
At Malman Law Firm, we believe you should not have to suffer such injury without recourse to compensation. We are experts at handling personal injury cases and have distinguished ourselves as the foremost personal injury law firm in Colorado. Our experienced lawyers know all about bicycle accidents and they know just what facts to emphasize to show the fault of the other party.
In this article, you will learn all about the causes and implications of a Colorado rear end bicycle accident. You will also learn how to determine fault in such accidents.
What causes rear end bicycle accidents?
Although in many situations, rear end bicycle accidents cause injury due to unintentional acts, it can be a result of carelessness. Drivers are expected to treat cyclists as another vehicle on the road, with the same rights and obligations.
But due to a number of reasons, including the following, it can be easy to miss bicycles in traffic and hit them from the rear:
- Inattention: This is the single most rampant cause of car accidents generally. Due to the fact that drivers may be preoccupied with their phones or a conversation with a passenger, it can be easy for them to miss bicycles in traffic.
- Reckless driving: Recklessness does not necessarily mean carelessly weaving in and out of traffic. It simply means that the driver has failed to handle their vehicle according to the standards of care and safety imposed by the rules. So, a driver that is eating at the wheel or doing any other thing that makes them take their eyes off the road may cause an accident recklessly.
- Night time conditions: Under Colorado law, cyclists are required to use reflectors that can be seen from 500 yards away when riding at night. Failing to use reflectors can cause drivers to miss a bicycle riding ahead of them in traffic, leading to an avoidable accident.
- Overtaking: The accident could also be caused because the driver was trying to overtake the bicycle and nudged it as it went past. This can occur because the driver momentarily lost sight of the bicycle as he zoomed past or it could be down to sheer road rage.
- Intersections, Red Lights, Stops: Due to the small profile of a bicycle, drivers can miss them as they slow down at a stop sign or red light. Accidents can also happen at intersections where the vehicles veers either to the left or right, without taking into account the bicycle that is riding alongside.
Bicycle rear end accidents can lead to serious injury
A Colorado rear end bicycle accident just might be the most dangerous accident that a cyclist can be involved in. In a rear end accident, you simply do not have the luxury of seat belts, air bags or a crumple zone that keeps you cocooned in safety.
The only things likely to crumple in the event of an accident are the cyclist’s bones, when they feel the impact of the vehicle.
In rear end accidents, even a light impact crash can increase the possibilities of severe injuries. Due to the fact that bicycles are much lighter than vehicles, the impact from behind will likely throw the cyclist off the bicycle and onto the next vehicle. Even worse, it can throw them into the path of another vehicle and then onto the pavement.
A more serious impact will impact heavily on the cyclist and may even result in their being run over. Some of the injuries that may result include brain injury, spinal cord damage, facial fractures, damage to internal organs and broken bones.
Legal implications of a Colorado rear end bicycle accident
In car accident cases, responsibility for the accident is often determined by the facts of the case. The facts would usually point to who is at fault, especially when one considers the peculiar circumstances.
In car and bicycle accidents, a rear end crash would often imply that the person coming from behind was at fault. The fact that the impact was from the rear makes it more likely that the person doing the hitting was at fault. This would especially be the case when the person that was rear ended did nothing wrong.
How do you prove fault in a rear end accident?
In order to establish that the other driver was at fault, you would have to show that they were negligent. This proof of negligence will involve showing that the other driver owed you a duty of care, that they breached the duty and the breach has led to injury on your part.
Duty of care
A duty of care simply means a responsibility to abide by the rules of road and respect the rights of other road users. It implies a duty to desist from any acts that will be harmful to other road users.
Every driver owes every other road user the duty to drive carefully, paying proper attention to the road.
Under Colorado law, bicycles have equal rights to use the road, just as much as any car, truck or SUV. This implies that every driver owes you a duty of care as an equal road user.
Breach of the duty
The duty of care is breached when the party at fault does something they are not supposed to do. For instance, when a driver operates their vehicle under the influence of intoxication or when they over speed, there is a breach of the duty.
The duty will also be breached the responsible driver fails to do what they are legally obligated to do. For instance, all drivers are expected to pay careful attention to the road. They should keep their eyes on the road and avoid distractions.
If the driver that rear ended your bicycle was using their phone at the time the accident occurred, there is proof of breach.
Injury caused as a result
Apart from the breach, you must also show that you have suffered property damage or personal injury as a result. If your bicycle is written off due to the impact of the vehicle or as a result of that impact, you can clearly show damage.
It is important to note here that you must show a causal connection between your injury and the breach of the duty. This means that if there is an alternative explanation for your injuries apart from the accident, you may not be able to claim compensation.
Contact first rate Colorado rear end bicycle accident lawyers
If you have been injured in a Colorado rear end bicycle accident, it is important for you to retain quality legal counsel if you are to get the positive resolution you desire.
At Malman Law Firm, we have the skill and experience to ensure that you obtain fair compensation for your injuries. We will explain your rights to you and help you understand the best way to exercise them.
Call us on (303) 733-7900 or click here to book a free consultation today.