Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation for many people, especially in warm weather. Although it allows for a certain degree of freedom, there are unique risks associated with riding a motorcycle. A person riding a motorcycle, as opposed to being in a motor vehicle, is statistically more likely to be injured or die in a traffic accident even while obeying all traffic laws.
In the State of Connecticut, in order to operate a motorcycle, a person must have a motorcycle license per Connecticut General Statutes §14-40a.
Motorcyclists who are not at fault for an accident can receive compensation for the injuries and losses suffered with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you sustained injuries or losses in a motorcycle accident you should consult with Bridgeport motorcycle accident lawyer, George W. Ganim, Jr.
Motorcycle Accidents in Connecticut
While motorcycle accidents often occur under similar circumstances to other traffic accidents, motorcyclists generally face more safety risks due to the exposure of their bodies and the lack of protection against the impact of a motor vehicle. These accidents commonly occur when another driver misjudges a motorcycle’s speed or fails to see them as they are traveling on the road. Other collisions may happen when a motorist opens a car door in front of an approaching motorcyclist or changes lanes without noticing a rider. Those are only a few examples of negligence that can cause injury to a motorcyclist.
The State of Connecticut has a partial helmet law under CGS § 14-289g, which states that any motorcycle rider or passenger under 18 must wear a helmet or else pay a fine.
Although studies have proven that the use of helmets reduces injuries and death, adults are not required to wear one, and the lack of wearing a helmet in an accident cannot be used against the motorcyclist to argue that the injuries would not be as severe had he or she been wearing a helmet.
A person who suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident should seek the assistance and help of a lawyer in the area who works on motorcycle accident cases and can explain their rights under the law.
The Growing Risk of Motorcycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle fatalities have been on the rise for the past several years. In 2018, 4,985 people died in motorcycle accidents – a five percent increase from 2017 and an 81 percent increase since 1997. Furthermore, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than car occupants to die in a crash per mile traveled and account for three percent of all vehicle crashes. Recent statistics further emphasize the need to take safe riding seriously, as motorcyclists remain some of the most vulnerable roadway users.
Common types of motorcycle accidents include:
- Collisions with another vehicle
- Single-vehicle collisions (such as overcorrection or swerving)
- Lane splitting
- Low visibility due to weather conditions
- Defective parts on the motorcycle or other vehicle
- Unsafe road conditions, including potholes or debris
- Driver distraction or impairment due to alcohol, drugs, or other substances
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
A person involved in a motorcycle accident who files a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death may pursue economic and non-economic damages with the help of Bridgeport lawyer George W. Ganim, Jr.
Economic damages cover quantifiable losses such as medical expenses and lost earnings.
Non-economic damages are meant to make up for emotional losses, pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life and life’s activities. The amount of compensation an injured claimant may be able to recover typically depends on the severity of an individual’s losses and damages. Other factors that determine the amount of compensation include whether the injury(s) are permanent and the age of the injured person.
How Could Comparative Fault Impact Civil Recovery?
Although failing to wear a helmet does not qualify as a comparative fault on the part of the injured motorcyclist, there are other factors that could reduce recoverable compensation. For example, a motorcyclist who is speeding when they are struck by a driver merging without the right of way can be partially at fault for the accident. This is because the motorcyclist could have avoided a collision if they were following the speed limit.
According to Connecticut General Statutes §52-572h, any injured person found partially to blame for their own injuries may have their final damage award reduced by whatever percentage of fault they bear. Furthermore, any person more than 50 percent at fault is barred from seeking any compensation at all.
What Are the Minimum Insurance Requirements for Bridgeport Drivers and Motorcyclists?
Under Connecticut State law, the same minimum insurance requirements apply to both motorcyclists and motor vehicle drivers. All licensed drivers in the state of Connecticut must maintain at least $25,000 of coverage for property damage per accident, $25,000 per individual accident victim for personal injuries, and $50,000 for total personal injuries per accident.
Additionally, virtually all insurance companies offer underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage for an additional fee, which can play a crucial role in the aftermath of a serious motorcycle wreck. If the at-fault party does not have sufficient insurance coverage to compensate an injured person for all of their losses then the injured person’s underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage may be their only means of seeking comprehensive recovery.
Filing Deadlines for Motorcycle Crash Claims in Connecticut
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash in Connecticut, it’s important to understand the filing deadlines put in place to protect your rights and maximize your chance of receiving compensation for any damages incurred.
In general, Connecticut state law requires that personal injury claims must be filed within two years from the date of the incident. This timeline applies to all cases involving physical injury or property damage caused by another person’s negligence. If a wrongful death claim is being filed due to a fatal motorcycle accident, then legal action must be taken within two years from the date of death.
It’s crucial that you don’t wait too long to file your claim as these time frames are strictly enforced by the courts – if you fail to act before the deadline, then you could lose your right to pursue compensation for damages related to the incident.
Reasons to Hire Ganim Injury Lawyers for Your Motorcycle Crash Claim
If I have been the victim of a motorcycle crash in Connecticut, then it’s essential to find experienced legal representation like the Ganim Injury Lawyers. Our attorneys specialize in this area of law and have vast experience representing motorcycle accident victims. We are dedicated to helping individuals who have been injured by another driver’s negligence to receive fair compensation for their damages, including medical expenses, loss of wages, and other losses associated with the crash.
At Ganim Injury Lawyers, we understand the complexities of filing a claim after a motorcycle crash and will work hard to prove that the other driver was negligent or reckless during the incident. Don’t hesitate, contact us today and get a free, no obligation consultation.