Answers To Your Questions About Motorcycle Accident Claims in Colorado

Colorado has some great places for motorcycle riders to explore. Whether you’re hitting one of the state’s scenic and historic byways like the Sun Juan Skyway or simply using your motorcycle to commute to work, you love the feeling of the wind on your face.

Riding a motorcycle can be a liberating experience but it also comes with risks. Motorcycle accidents can occur and injuries are often severe. However, before you can file for compensation, you must show fault in your case. Proving liability in a motorcycle accident claim isn’t always easy and there’s a good chance you also have plenty of questions.

To help provide a bit of general advice that may help point you in the right direction, here’s a look at some common questions about motorcycle accident claims, and yes, we’ll cover proving liability.

Who Can I Name in a Motorcycle Personal Injury Claim?

You can’t just name random individuals in a personal injury claim, which applies whether it’s a motorcycle or passenger vehicle accident. You can only name the individual or entity responsible for your injuries.

This typically includes other drivers, motorcycle riders, pedestrians, and cyclists. If your accident is caused by a government-owned vehicle, you can usually name the department or agency in your personal injury claim.

If the accident is caused by a defective part on your motorcycle or the other involved vehicle, your claim may be against the manufacturer. Every motorcycle accident is unique and this affects who’s responsible for your damages.

How Does Negligence Affect Liability?

A key element of proving liability is showing negligence. In other words, you must prove the other driver is negligent before you can claim they’re liable for your accident. Negligence is comprised of four key aspects, duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

So, in simple terms, You must prove the other driver owes you a duty of care, which typically means all drivers have a duty to follow all traffic laws to help ensure the safety of other motorists. Not following these laws is a breach of duty and the cause of your accident. Your damages listed in the claim are a direct result of the accident.

If you can show the at-fault driver wasn’t following all traffic laws and this caused your accidents and damages, you can usually move forward with your injury claim.

Can I Claim Both Economic and Non-Economic Damages?

The answer to this question depends on your accident. Every accident is different and this affects the damages you can claim. However, most motorcycle accident victims can claim both economic and non-economic damages.

Your economic damages are things like your medical bills, property repair, or replacement costs. You may also be able to claim lost income if your injuries are severe enough to prevent you from returning to work. If you need ongoing medical care, this can also be considered economic damage.


Non-economic damages are a little harder to calculate but this doesn’t mean you want to omit them from your personal injury claim. Non-economic damages typically include pain, suffering, and loss of life enjoyment, to name a few examples.

Your attorney can help you calculate your non-economic damages using either the multiplier or per diem method.

Who’s Liable If Poor Road Conditions Cause the Motorcycle Accident?

Even though Colorado works hard to keep up with road maintenance, it’s impossible to fix every pothole and asphalt lift the second it occurs.

However, if poor road conditions cause your motorcycle accident, you may be able to file a claim against the entity responsible for road maintenance. This can include the county, city, municipality, or state.

Some roads are the responsibility of the state’s Department of Transportation (CDOT); however, this only applies to highways and interstates. Before you can file an accident claim, you need to know who’s responsible for road maintenance.

How Does Premise Liability Law Affect My Motorcycle Accident Claim?

Colorado’s premise liability laws require property owners to provide a safe environment for all of their visitors.

They must inspect and maintain their property and repair any potentially dangerous conditions, like large potholes in the road leading up to their property. They are also legally required to post notices warning of the hazards.

If your motorcycle accident occurs on a poorly maintained road, the property owner is often liable for your damages.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim If My Spouse Is Killed in the Motorcycle Accident?

You’ve probably seen a husband and wife team riding a motorcycle. One spouse steers and the other rides on the back seat or even in a sidecar. If your motorcycle accident results in a fatality, in this instance, the death of a spouse, you should be able to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver.

Under Colorado’s wrongful death laws, families can recover damages after losing a loved one in an accident when the at-fault party is negligent.


Some of the damages you may be able to recover are funeral and burial expenses. You may also be able to receive compensation for your family member’s lost wages and the loss of their support and companionship.

What If I’m Partially Responsible for the Motorcycle Accident?

If you’re partially responsible for your motorcycle accident, you may still be able to recover damages. Colorado follows comparative fault rules, so as long as you’re not more than 50% responsible for the accident you can file a personal injury claim.

The amount of your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of blame assigned to you. Who assigns blame? Typically, fault for a vehicle or motorcycle accident is assigned by either a judge or jury.

Does It Matter If I’m Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet?

You aren’t legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet in Colorado, although it is strongly recommended for your safety.

While not wearing a protective helmet doesn’t affect your ability to file an accident claim, it can impact your compensation amount. Your decision to forego a helmet may be viewed as a contributing factor to your injuries and a judge or jury may decide to recommend a reduced settlement amount.

Hopefully, the answers to these questions will make it easier for you to navigate the claim process after a motorcycle accident. If you have additional questions, contact a personal injury attorney.