A traffic accident happened in the Overland neighborhood near Santa Fe Drive and Iowa Avenue where a motorcycle crashed into another vehicle. The report says the motorcycle ran a red light at high speed. Unfortunately, the motorcycle driver died, while the passenger sustained serious injuries.
If you were the passenger of the motorcycle, you likely want to know whether you can sue and whom you can sue. And the best person to guide you would be an attorney practicing motorcycle accident law.
In the meantime, here are some answers.
Can You File a Personal Injury Claim?
Like the drivers, you also have a right to recover personal injury damages after getting involved in an accident as a passenger. These claims are usually easier to litigate than other personal injury claims due to the rare possibility of finding the injured passenger as the at-fault party.
But who do you sue?
Your injury claim depends on the accident, whether it involves only the motorcycle or it involves two vehicles. If it’s only the motorcycle, your claim could be against the motorcycle operator. But you have to prove that the accident happened due to the negligence of the driver.
Your claim could be against the motorcycle operator and the driver of the other vehicle if two vehicles were involved in the incident. But if it’s clear who is at fault in the accident, your claim will be against one of them. It’s best to work closely with your attorney to help you file your claim accurately.
How Do You Determine Fault?
The at-fault party is determined by who was negligent when the accident happened. Although you can tell who acted carelessly during the incident, you may have trouble pointing out what law that party has broken.
You need sufficient evidence to support your claim that the other party is at fault. The following should help:
- Police reports – they usually contain an officer’s opinion stating that someone violated a particular traffic law, causing the accident.
- State traffic laws – look for listings applicable to your case in the index to the vehicle code, for example, “speed limit,” “right of way,” or “roadway markings.”
- “No-doubt” liability – this is applicable for accidents where the other driver is at fault 99 percent of the time, including rear-end collisions and left-turn accidents.
What Do You Need to File a Lawsuit?
Once the at-fault party has been determined, file your motorcycle passenger accident claim to the insurers of the at-fault party. Keep in mind the “statute of limitations” in Colorado when filing your claim, however. This statute refers to the time limit you can bring a lawsuit to court.
The state gives you at least three years to file an injury claim. It starts on the date the accident occurred. In case you missed the deadline, the person you’re trying to sue can request to dismiss your case. That’s why you should contact your attorney immediately to process your case on time.
Getting involved in an accident can impact your life. It can, at the least, put you out of commission from work for days, and at the most, injure you permanently. Fortunately, you have legal recourse to mitigate the effects of the accident.