Bicycles are a familiar sight on Aurora roads, both as a means of transportation and recreation. However, bicyclists must share the roads with those driving much larger motorized vehicles and in the case of a collision, the bicyclist is far more likely to suffer injury, possibly of a catastrophic nature.
Because bicycles differ so greatly from other vehicles that use the roads such as trucks, buses, and cars, Colorado law provides special rules for bicyclists as well as specific rules other drivers must follow when sharing the road with cyclists.
If you have been injured in a bicycle collision, it is wise to consult with an Aurora bicycle accident attorney familiar with these laws. An injury lawyer in Aurora can advise you how to proceed to protect your rights and help you recover compensation for injuries and other harm suffered in a collision.
Responsibilities of Motorists
In addition to the general responsibilities of motorists to drive in a safe manner, Colorado lawmakers have added some specific requirements with respect to motorists sharing the roadways with bicyclists.
In 2009, the legislature enacted a statute now codified as Section 42-4-1003(1)(b) which requires drivers of motor vehicles passing bicyclists on the road to allow at least three feet between the right side of the motor vehicle and the left side of the rider.
This three-foot allowance is measured from the widest point of the motor vehicle, including mirrors and anything else projecting from the vehicle. To best understand such nuances, an individual should consult with an Aurora bicycle accident lawyer immediately.
Responsibilities of Bicyclists
As users of public roads, bicyclists also have legal responsibilities. In addition to following general traffic laws, Section 42-4-1412 of the Colorado code sets forth a number of specific requirements for those operating bicycles. Among other things, the statute requires bicyclists to:
- Ride as far to the right as possible
- Keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times
- Ride single file when necessary to avoid impeding traffic
- Use appropriate lights and reflectors when riding at night
- Signal turns in advance
- Carry only the number of riders for which the bicycle is equipped
Common Causes of Accidents
While a collision between a bicycle and motor vehicle can be caused by any number of factors and can be the fault of either the bicyclist or the motorist, there are some scenarios that frequently result in collisions causing injuries. Some of the more common include instances in which the motor vehicle driver is:
- Driving while distracted
- Turning without looking for cyclists
- Opening a car door
- Operating at unsafe speed
- Failing to allow sufficient space when passing a bicyclist
- Driving recklessly or under the influence of alcohol
No matter the cause of the accident, a bicycle accident lawyer in Aurora can help pursue just compensation.
Aftermath of a Bicycle Collision
As can be imagined, in a collision between a heavy motorized vehicle and a light bicycle with a rider protected only by a helmet, the bicyclist is far more likely to suffer harm.
In addition to medical bills, an accident may cause a cyclist to lose time from work and could result in long-term physical and psychological effects.
An insurance company may offer compensation, but it can be difficult to know if the offer is fair under the circumstances.
Benefit of a Lawyer
An Aurora bicycle accident attorney with experience handling claims involving bicycle collisions will know how the laws fit with the situation of your case. A lawyer can help you determine whether you might be entitled to compensation and whether an offer from an insurance company may be sufficient to compensate for future expenses.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, your time to file a claim is limited, so time is of the essence. Contact a bicycle accident lawyer in Aurora as soon as possible.
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