Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in West Hartford
The number of motorcycle registrations in the state of Connecticut is nearly 100,000, meaning that there are tens of thousands of motorcyclists who could potentially be on the road, riding throughout the state. And with Connecticut’s many scenic areas that are ideal for motorcyclists, it is easy to understand why people enjoy taking to the open road.
But regardless of how safe a motorcyclist is, riding a motorcycle is dangerous. To be sure, in 2014 alone there were more than 1,200 motorcycle accidents reported in Connecticut with a large percentage of these crashes resulting in injuries, which were sometimes fatal. What’s more, those who are involved in a motorcycle crash are at an increased risk of suffering injuries when compared to people riding in a car. With few protections such as seatbelts and airbags, these injuries can be severe.
At The Upton Law Firm, LLC, we have represented numerous motorcyclists who have been injured in crashes in Hartford and surrounding areas, and we have seen how devastating these accidents can be. If you have been hit by a car while riding a motorcycle, please do not hesitate to contact our Connecticut motorcycle accident attorneys today to schedule a free consultation and learn how to recover compensation for your losses.
Why Motorcycle Accidents Happen
Like the majority of motor vehicle accident types, motorcycle accidents are nearly always preventable and occur due to the negligence, error, carelessness, or recklessness of one of the parties involved in the crash. While it is true that motorcyclists themselves can sometimes be to blame, engaging in risky behaviors such as intoxicated operation, lane splitting, or speeding, a significant number of motorcycle crashes are caused by the drivers of passenger cars. Behaviors that can lead to motorcycle accidents include:
- Aggressive driving;
- Illegal or improper lane change;
- Distracted driving;
- Texting while driving;
- Intoxicated driving;
- Driving while fatigued; and
- Other acts of negligence.
As noted above, the damages suffered by a motorcyclist are almost always more severe than the injuries suffered by a driver or passenger in a car when a motorcycle and car collide.
Extent of Losses Suffered by Motorcyclists
With no frame to absorb part of the force of a crash, no airbags, no seatbelts, and sometimes no protection for the head, eyes, or face, when a motorcyclist is involved in a crash, the losses can be significant. A motorcyclist may incur any of the following injury types (this list is not inclusive):
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI);
- Spinal cord injury;
- Scalp and facial injuries;
- Fractured bones;
- Internal injuries;
- Amputation or loss of use injuries;
- Severe road burn/road rash;
- Injuries to soft tissues; and
- Back and neck injuries.
Depending upon the amount of force involved, a motorcyclist who is injured in a crash may suffer fatal injuries. If injuries are not fatal, they could be permanently disabling and impairing, leaving the motorcyclist with permanent scarring and disfigurement, partial or complete paralysis, long-term brain injury, or a wide range of other losses.
Recovering Compensation After a Motorcycle Crash – Who Pays for Injuries?
The state of Connecticut requires all its drivers, including the operators of motorcycles, to carry liability insurance that pays for bodily injury harm and property damage in the event of a crash. Liability insurance is designed to pay for the harm sustained by the other party due to the actions of the policyholder.
As such, if you are involved in a motorcycle crash in Connecticut that was caused by the actions of another driver, you have the right to file an accident claim with that driver’s insurance company. You will need to prove that the accident would not have occurred if it were not for the actions of the negligent driver, as well as the extent of your injuries to recover your full compensation amount.
Typically, an insurance company of an at-fault party will offer a settlement, which an injured motorcyclist can accept or reject. Our motorcycle accident attorneys urge you to have your settlement reviewed by an attorney prior to accepting it; it is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to offer an unfairly low and unrealistic settlement, hoping that the injured party will accept it and sign a release of claim.
If the settlement that you are offered does not fully compensated you for your losses, you have the right to reject the settlement outright and negotiate for a different amount. Negotiations may go back and forth, and can take months to conclude. In the event a settlement cannot be reached via negotiation, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit and bringing your case to court.
Comparative Negligence and Your Motorcycle Accident Case
Again, the at-fault party in a crash is responsible for paying for damages sustained by the not-at-fault party. However, it is not always the case that fault is so cut and dry – sometimes, both parties are partially to blame for an accident.
If this is the case, the state’s rule of comparative negligence will apply. Under this rule, an injured party can still recover compensation for injuries and file a claim against the other party, so long as they are not more at fault for the accident than is the defendant. Further, the plaintiff’s damages will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault, i.e. if a motorcyclist is found to be 15 percent to blame for a crash, then they will only be allowed to recover 85 percent of their damages from the other party.
Protect Your Right to Recover Every Penny You Have Lost
Our Connecticut motorcycle accident attorneys at The Upton Law Firm, LLC understand the complexities of motorcycle accident cases and how much is on the line for claimants. If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, you can take steps towards protecting your right to recover every penny you have lost by working with an experienced lawyer. Do not wait to take action – visit our law firm today or schedule a free consultation by calling us at 860-893-0558. You can also send us a message requesting to be contacted using the intake form on our website.