When a traffic collision occurs between a bicyclist and a motorist, the cyclist is often the one who sustains the most injuries. According to statistics from the Colorado Department of Transportation, 16 bicyclists died from a motor vehicle crash in Colorado in 2017. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by another person's negligence, it is imperative that you hire an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney immediately to protect your rights and help pursue compensation for your injuries.

At Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, our experienced personal injury attorneys are dedicated to providing outstanding legal services and compassionate representation to bicycle accident victims. As your legal counsel, we will evaluate and investigate the details of your unique situation and explore all possible legal options to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Our team can fight vigorously to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation to cover medical expenses, future medical treatment, lost wages, and damages for any additional pain and suffering.

Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley proudly serve clients across Durango, Colorado, and the surrounding areas of Cortez, Pagosa Springs, Telluride, and The Four Corners.

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident

The first few moments following a bicycle accident can be confusing to sort through. However, what you do or what you do not do can have a significant impact on your injury claim. When involved in a bicycle accident, you should follow these steps:

  • Remain calm and never let your emotions take control

  • Carefully exit your bicycle and get to safety

  • Help any other victims to safety if you can

  • Call 911 to get immediate medical assistance and treatment for your injuries

  • Report the incident to the police or law enforcement

  • Collect relevant details, including the other driver's name, license, phone number, address, and insurance information

  • Retain important documentation, such as police reports, witness statements and testimonies, and accident scene photos

  • Document all of your medical treatments, medical bills, and doctor's appointments.

  • Record your personal account of the incident and how it has affected your daily life              

  • Notify your insurance carrier about the accident

  • Hire an attorney to help negotiate a settlement with the insurer or file an injury claim on your behalf



Colorado Laws Affecting Bicycle Riders

In the state of Colorado, certain laws have been put in place to ensure the safety of bicycle riders. According to Colorado Revised Statute section 42-4-1412:

  • A person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle has all of the rights and duties applicable to other motorists.

  • No bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped.

  • No person riding upon any bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall attach the same or himself or herself to any motor vehicle upon a roadway.

  • Any person operating a bicycle or an electrical assisted bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic shall ride in the right-hand lane.

  • Every person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall signal the intention to turn or stop.

  • A person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, crosswalk, pathway, or across a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian.

  • A person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.

  • A person shall not ride a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or pathway where it is prohibited by official traffic control devices.

How to File an Injury Claim in Colorado

Colorado is considered an "at-fault" state. That means that the at-fault party (the person who caused the accident) will use their insurance to cover any injuries or damages suffered by the victim from the collision. The injured victim can recover damages by:

  • Filing a claim with their own insurance company.

  • Filing a third-party claim against the insurance provider of the at-fault party.

  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the negligent party.

Statute of Limitations

Colorado's traffic accident statute of limitations states that an injury claim resulting from any form of negligent accident, whether by the bicyclist, driver, passenger, pedestrian, or motorcyclist, must be filed within two (2) years from the date that the accident occurred (Colorado Revised Statutes section 13-80-102(1)(a)). However, it is extended to three years under section 13-80-101 if it involves a motor vehicle.

Modified Comparative Fault in Colorado

Furthermore, Colorado uses the "modified comparative fault" rule, with a 50% bar. This means that under this system, an injured victim will only be allowed to receive compensation if it has been determined that the other party was found to be 50 percent or more responsible for the accident. However, the amount you're able to recover will be reduced by your fault percentage (Colorado Revised Statutes section 13-21-111).

For example, if the jury awarded $100,000 for your injuries and damages, but decided that you were 10% responsible for the accident, your damages will be reduced by 10% ($10,000). In the end, you will only be able to recover $90,000. However, you will forfeit your right to recover any compensation for your injuries if you are found to be 50 percent or more at-fault for the accident.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help 

Getting injured in a bicycle accident can bring about devastating, long-term consequences to your physical, financial, and emotional health. Luckily, you don't have to face these challenges on your own. If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident, it is important that you speak with an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney who can protect your rights and help you pursue fair financial compensation.

At Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, our attorneys have devoted their careers to protecting the rights of bicycle accident victims and their families. As your legal counsel, we will:

  • Fight compassionately to protect your rights and represent your best interests

  • Review the details of your case and conduct a comprehensive investigation

  • Gather all necessary information, evidence, and required documentation

  • Seek to establish fault and liability

  • Determine the full impact of your injuries and estimate case-value

  • Handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance provider

  • Help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company

  • File a personal injury claim, if necessary

Our attorneys will fight vigorously to ensure the right people are held accountable. With our team of experienced attorneys on your side, you can rest easy knowing your case is in good hands. Our firm will do all that we can to help you pursue a successful outcome in your personal injury lawsuit.


If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident involving a negligent party, you have the right to pursue compensation. Call Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley today to schedule a free one-on-one consultation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will review your case and help you in your pursuit of fair compensation for your injuries. We proudly represent clients throughout Durango, Cortez, Pagosa Springs, Telluride, and The Four Corners, Colorado, so call or reach out today for help!