Boulder, Colorado is a cyclist's paradise. With hundreds of miles of bike paths, access to world-class mountain biking trails nearby, and more than three hundred sunny days every year, there are few better places to bike in the U.S. This is one reason why we, as avid and competitive cyclists ourselves, call Boulder home.
Frequently topping lists as one of the best biking spots in America, this is an incredibly bike-friendly city.
That being said, that doesn't mean that Boulder is free from cycling accidents that leave bikers seriously injured or worse. Between 2014 and 2018, about 250 bike and pedestrian crashes happened each year.
Are you wondering what to do if you've been in a Colorado bike accident? Let's take a look at what you need to know.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Bike Accidents?
People can get into bicycle accidents that involve cars, other cyclists, pedestrians, and just themselves. The most serious of these types of accidents are those that involve motor vehicles.
Cyclists must follow the rules of the road when riding and should be respectful and reasonably fearful of the power of vehicles. There are a number of things that cyclists can do to help prevent cycling accidents from occurring.
That being said, many of these accidents occur due to the fault of the vehicle driver. Some of the most common causes of bike injuries include:
- Getting hit by a car (30%)
- Falling (17%)
- The roadway in bad condition (13%)
- Cyclist error (13%)
- Collision or crash with a fixed object (7%)
- Dog running out (4%)
As you can see, the most common way that bicyclists get injured is because they get hit by a car. There are a number of ways that a driver can be negligent that can lead to a cycling accident. These include:
- Distracted driving
- Not leaving an adequate buffer
- Weaving through traffic
- Changing lanes unsafely
- Turning without looking
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Driving impaired
- Driving while tired
- Failing to yield
- Opening a car door without checking mirrors
Many of these cases come down to a driver failing to see a cyclist. It also isn't uncommon for cyclists to fail to stop at stop signs or red lights.
What to Do If You Get in a Cycling Accident
If you get into a bicycle crash with a vehicle, one of the most important things to do is to stay calm. Let's take a look at nine steps you should take right away.
Get Out of the Road
It can be incredibly shocking to be in a bike accident. However, it's essential that you stay calm and get yourself out of the road immediately. This is absolutely crucial to ensuring that you and your bike aren't harmed any further.
Take Down Contact Information
You will want to get the phone number of the driver as well as any witnesses that happened to be at the scene of the crash. You can use your smartphone to either email or text this information to yourself to ensure it doesn't get lost in the shuffle. If you aren't able to get this information for yourself because of an injury, ask someone present to get the info for you.
Photograph the Driver's License Plate Number
With your phone, take a picture of the vehicle at the accident scene and make sure to get their license plate number. Make sure to take pictures of any injuries you might have sustained as well as your bicycle.
Don't Be Tempted to Negotiate With the Driver
When something like a cycling accident occurs, everyone is freaked out. The driver might accept the blame and be super apologetic at the scene, only to later deny that they were ever there.
Call the Police
Next, you will want to call the police and wait for them to show up. You can then file an accident report, which is important to do even if you don't think that you were hurt in the crash. Because of adrenaline and other factors, cyclists don't always realize that they were injured until a few hours after a crash.
When the police come, they should interview everyone at the scene, including you, the driver, and any witnesses. You can file an amended report later on if they don't take down your account at the scene. Sometimes police will give the driver of the car a ticket, which can be helpful when later dealing with the insurance company.
Write Down Everything
Memories of how events played out can fade surprisingly quickly. For this reason, you'll want to write down absolutely everything as soon as you get the chance to. Write down what happened and where you were.
Wait to Fix Your Bike
You will want to wait until the accident has been resolved before you fix up your bike, even if this is inconvenient. Also, hold off on cleaning the clothing you were wearing or throwing away damaged equipment.
Keep Records of Delayed Effects
Sometimes cyclists don't realize that they've been injured until several hours have passed or even days. For this reason, you'll want to keep track of any effects that you experience after the fact.
Consider Consulting With a Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you've been injured in a bike accident, you might consider consulting with a personal injury attorney that specializes in bike accidents. It isn't uncommon for cases of this kind to be settled without ever going to trial.
What Can You Do to Prevent Bicycle Accidents?
While many accidents are caused by vehicles, there are still things you can do to help prevent an accident.
First of all, you'll want to prepare before you head out on your bike. You can do this by:
- Riding a bike that fits you and works properly
- Wearing protective and visibility equipment
- Keeping both hands on the handlebars unless you are making a turn signal
- Tucking your pant legs and tie your shoelaces to avoid them getting caught in your chain
- Carrying all items strapped to the back of the bike or in a backpack
- Planning your route to find the safest path
- Be aware of bicycle laws in the place you are riding
Secondly, you'll want to ride defensively and stay alert and focused. Here are some tips:
- Obey street signs, road markings, and signals
- Ride in the same direction as traffic
- Assume other people on the road can't see you
- Look ahead for situations to avoid or hazards
- Don't listen to music, text, or perform any distracting acts
- Ride predictably
It is best to minimize riding on the sidewalk if you can't avoid it completely. Cars typically don't look for you when they are turning or backing out of a driveway and don't expect moving traffic on the sidewalks.
When Should You Get a Cycling Lawyer?
There are a number of occasions when hiring bike lawyers might be the right thing for you. If you have sustained damages or injuries due to an accident, it's recommended that you consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident has occurred.
Here are some circumstances where you will likely want to hire a cycling lawyer:
- You have been left with major injuries after a cycling accident
- Your insurance company is trying to reduce the amount of compensation you receive
- You need help identifying fault or liability for your accident
- Your claim was denied by your insurance company
- You have questions about your compensation or claim
An experienced and knowledgeable attorney will be able to help you in all of these scenarios. The sooner you contact them, the more likely they will be able to help you receive maximum compensation for your case.
Contact Us For a Free Initial Consultation
Getting into a cycling accident can be shocking and stressful. We can help protect your cyclist's rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve. At the Law Office of Stuart Mann, we, as Colorado bicycle accident attorneys, are well-versed in reconstructing bike accidents using a wide variety of tools and technology.
If you've been in an accident, it's essential that any and all evidence is preserved and documented right away. For this reason, it's a good idea to contact an attorney who can help you with your case.
Consultations are always free, and we don't get paid unless and until you do.
Contact Us For a Free Initial Consultation
In almost all the types of cases that we handle, contingent-fee representation is available. This means that we only get paid if and when you do. There is absolutely no cost or obligation to you for an initial consultation; we are here to help you.
Call our office at 303-991-2233 or use our online contact form to get in touch with us today.
What Our Clients
Stuart Mann worked so hard for me throughout my whole case and fought for the settlement that I deserved, not what was offered by insurance. They handled every facet of my case and made the whole process easy for me. I'm incredibly appreciative of his work.-Client
Having been the innocent victim of a head-on auto accident caused by texting while driving, I sought Stuart Mann’s legal counsel. From the outset he was fully dedicated to accompanying me through a lengthy recuperative process, using his skills, experience, and resources to achieve justice and adequate financial compensation on my behalf. His unconditional concern for my well-being and his involvement of time and effort on my behalf freed me from legal concerns and responsibilities, allowing me to focus my efforts and energy on physical and mental recovery. I strongly recommend Stuart Mann to anyone needing the legal services he offers.-Client
I was treated like a member of the family. They were always willing to answer my questions and help in any way they could. Best of all, they did a great job and we got a great settlement for my case.-Client