Q: Can multiple parties be liable in a bike accident claim?

Yes, it is possible that multiple parties could be liable in a bike accident claim. It would need to be proven that all parties had contributed to the accident as a result of negligence, and therefore hold bike accident liability. This may require assistance of a Denver bicycle accident lawyer.

Types of Bicycle Accidents

Collisions tend to be the most common types of accidents, with many occurring at intersections. It is often the result of a motorist failing to yield the right-of-way to the bicyclist, or a driver making a turn into the path of a bike.

But crashes aren’t the only type of bicycle accident. Another scenario that may lead to an accident and ultimately a bike accident claim is when a vehicle passes too closely. In Colorado, there should be at least three feet of space when a motorist is attempting to pass someone on a bike.

Bike Accident Liability Involving Multiple Parties

One example in which more than one party could be found at fault for a bicycle accident is when there is a chain reaction crash in which multiple parties demonstrate negligence that contribute to or extend the accident. This could involve any number of vehicles. But if it results in a bicyclist getting injured, it may mean filing a bike accident claim against several drivers.

Another scenario in which bike accident liability may lie with several parties is if a reckless motorist recklessly pulls out in front of a bicyclist, but the brakes are defective and the cyclist is unable to stop in time.

This may involve negligence on behalf of the driver who cut off the bicyclist and the brakes manufacturer for the defective brakes that prevented the cyclist from stopping or slowing his or her speed. No matter how many parties are involved, a Denver bicycle accident lawyer and the victim will need to prove that the careless or reckless actions of others were the cause of the accident.

Establishing Liability in a Bicycle Accident

In order to show which parties were negligent, there must be proof. In Colorado, for a bicyclist to receive any compensation, he or she must have been 49 percent at fault for the crash or less. This is because of the modified comparative fault system that the state follows.

To prove bike accident liability, a Denver bicycle accident lawyer may collect evidence such as:

  • a police report;
  • photographs;
  • statements from witnesses; and
  • other documentation or information that is relevant to the bike accident claim.

If more than one party is responsible, a percentage of fault will be assigned to each one. If a bicyclist’s fault in an accident is 50 percent or more, no damages can be recovered.

But even if this isn’t the case, it could still result in a reduction of compensation. Let’s say the bicyclist is found to be 20 percent at fault, another motorist is 30 percent responsible and a second motorist is 50 percent responsible.

Whatever the total damages, it will be reduced by 20 percent because of the bicyclist’s liability. So if the damages total $25,000, the bicyclist would be entitled to $20,000.

Hiring a Denver Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Filing a bike accident claim involving multiple parties can be complicated, especially when it comes to establishing who holds bike accident liability. Consulting with a Denver bicycle accident lawyer can help injured victims learn what legal options may be available and the types of compensation that could be recovered in a bike accident claim.