In early Aug. 2012, a bicyclist riding alone in the Roaring Fork Valley fell on Highway 82 and broke his hand. The avid cyclist is retired and was visiting Colorado on vacation at the time. When unexpected and unmarked road conditions exist, bicycle accidents can result in serious injury. In this instance, the injured cyclist has filed a personal injury lawsuit making that claim.
The lawsuit was filed against two construction companies as well as the Colorado Department of Transportation. It alleges that each defendant was negligent with respect to road work on the highway, causing the rider to fall from his bicycle and hurt himself. The claim demands monetary damages in excess of $100,000.
According to the lawsuit, CDOT entered into a contract with a construction company to modify the elevation of an iron drainage grate. The construction company, in turn, hired a subcontractor whose trucks were observed at the site following the crash. It is alleged that the defendants negligently left a gap between the roadway and the grate. It is also claimed that the work site was not marked in a manner that gave adequate notice to those using the highway.
Bicycle accidents in Colorado are perhaps more frequent due to the popularity of cycling here. When a serious accident is caused by the negligence of another party, an injured party has the right to turn to our civil court system for relief. While it remains to be seen what the result of this lawsuit will be, the plaintiff will now have the opportunity to establish in court that his injuries were caused due to the negligence of the named defendants. If liability is proved to the satisfaction of a court, claims for specific items of damages will be adjudicated.
Source: Aspen Daily News Online, "Road cyclist sues over his Highway 82 wreck," Chad Abraham, Feb. 6, 2013