Glastonbury Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Every time you get on the road in Glastonbury, CT, there is the real risk of getting injured in an accident. For motorcycle riders, the dangers are much greater. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that 6,084 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2021. That’s nearly three times the number of motorcyclist deaths recorded in 1997.
While vehicle drivers often blame motorcycle accidents on the cyclist, the drivers of other vehicles are most often to blame. Collisions often involve driving under the influence, speeding, and distracted driving. Many of these crashes happen at intersections where the motorcyclist is attempting to make a left turn. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact a Glastonbury motorcycle accident lawyer right away. All drivers on Connecticut roads have the legal duty to abide by the same laws.
Glastonbury Attorneys Holding Negligent Individuals Accountable
It’s important to hold other drivers accountable when they cause motorcycle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that motorcyclists are about 29 times more likely than those in passenger vehicles to die in a traffic crash. Even more concerning is that those numbers are climbing. There were more than 68 motorcyclists that lost their lives in Connecticut in 2021 – the highest number in more than 30 years.
As experienced Glastonbury motorcycle accident attorneys, we know that the city has its fair share of major highways and big roads that create dangerous situations for motorcycle riders, including Interstate 91, The 95, The 904-Glastonbury Express, Connecticut Route 2, Route 3 and Route 17. Some mistakes that cause minor accidents to passenger vehicles have a much greater impact on motorcycles. Some of the most common mistakes that cause motorcycle crashes include:
Most left-turn accidents occur when the driver of the turning vehicle doesn’t see the oncoming motorcycle. Regardless of the direction from which the motorcycle is coming, the turning vehicle crashes into the motorcycle.
Traveling at unsafe speeds decreases the likelihood of seeing a motorcycle and interferes with both drivers’ response time. The greater the speed the driver is going, the more likely they are to crash.
Cell phones have become such a distraction for drivers that 48 states have adopted laws against texting and driving. Missouri and Montana are the only exceptions. Distracted driving also includes other activities that divert attention from driving, such as talking on the cell phone or to passengers in the car. Drinking, putting on makeup, fiddling with the CD player, or adjusting the navigation system are distracting activities that interfere with safe driving practices.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Drivers that don’t signal and check for blind spots before changing lanes often fail to see a motorcycle.
Failing to slow down when approaching a traffic light, driving too closely to the car in front of you, and failing to signal are some of the reasons that you might stop suddenly. When there is a motorcycle behind you, a sudden stop could result in a serious crash. Determining fault in a sudden stop accident isn’t always easy. Talk with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Glastonbury to learn more about who is at fault for your injuries and damages.
The first thing you need to do after a motorcycle accident is to determine who is at fault. The only way you can get compensation is if someone else was at fault for your injuries and damages. You must also prove that you were injured due to the accident and that the accident occurred due to negligence.
There are multiple types of driver negligence in Connecticut, such as making illegal turns, speeding, reckless driving, or improper passing. A Glastonbury motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand who is at fault in your case.
Comparative Negligence in Connecticut
Connecticut is a comparative negligence state, meaning that you can seek compensation even if you are partially at fault. If you are no more than 50% to blame for the accident, you can pursue damages for the percentage that the other party was at fault.
For example, consider that you were driving 55 mph in a 45-mph speed zone when an oncoming vehicle crossed the center lane and crashed into the front of your car. Your damages were assessed at $100,000, but you are determined to be 15% at fault because you were speeding. Therefore, you can only receive 85% of the total compensation, or $85,000. This is the maximum compensation you can win if you can prove your case.
Important Evidence Which Will Help Your Case
A motorcycle rider has nothing to protect them in a crash except their helmet and clothing. The larger size and heavier weight of other vehicles put motorcyclists at a great disadvantage. Their injuries are more catastrophic, often leading to extensive treatment and lifelong disabilities. As a result, their claims are higher. The battle with insurance companies can become complex when there are higher payouts to consider. Collecting all of the evidence in your case is imperative if you or your motorcycle accident attorney in Glastonbury want to collect the maximum compensation for your case. Some critical types of evidence for your motorcycle accident case include:
Although the responding Glastonbury police officer’s opinion about the accident isn’t admissible in court, the information in the report can help you prove the cause of your crash. It will include things like witness statements, diagrams, any citations issued resulting from the accident, and a diagram of the accident scene.
Use your cell phone to take photos of the scene, the damage to any vehicles involved in the crash, your injuries, and anything that might have contributed to the crash. Take pictures of skid marks or areas where they should have been. Also, look for things like construction, traffic lights, or road damage that might have contributed to the crash.
This is your only chance to gather contact info and statements of witnesses who saw what happened. Get their statements now while the accident is fresh on their mind.
Get the other driver’s insurance information. Review your own insurance policy in case you need to file for uninsured or under-insured coverage.
Detailed Medical Records
Get immediate medical care after your accident. Make sure that your injuries are recorded and that all tests and results are documented. Keep all of your medical appointments and take your medications. Failing to maintain thorough medical records could make it look as though your injuries aren’t that serious.
An expert witness is a person who testifies at trial due to their experience or proficiency in their field. Depending on the type of disputes that arise with the insurance company, you may need to hire one or more expert witnesses to testify. This might include a medical specialist, accident reconstruction expert, or engineer.
Proof of Damages
You can’t throw a number out there and hope it sticks. You must prove how much compensation you deserve based on your damages. Evidence to collect includes:
- Copies of medical bills
- Pay stubs and other documentation proving your loss of wages and benefits from the time you missed at work
- Estimates and/or receipts for the cost of repair/replacement of your motorcycle and other property damaged during the accident
A Glastonbury motorcycle accident lawyer will help you collect critical evidence for your case. The right evidence will support your claim and give your attorney the tools they need to aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.
Understanding Motorcycle Laws in Connecticut
Motorcycle laws differ between one state and the next. If you are new to motorcycle riding in Connecticut, it’s imperative to know the laws in this state. Failing to abide by the laws could result in your being partially or totally at fault when a crash happens. Some of the most important Connecticut motorcycle laws include:
Driver’s License Endorsement
Before you can drive a motorcycle on Connecticut roads, you must get a motorcycle endorsement on your regular driving license. To do this, you must pass written and vision tests and take a motorcycle safety training course. Another option is to obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit so you can gain experience.
Minimal Insurance Requirements
Connecticut requires motorcyclists to carry auto insurance at a minimum of $25,000 per person in bodily injury, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability. While you must carry at least this much insurance coverage, you do have the option to get more coverage for your own damages or injuries that are your fault.
Section 14-1 of the General Statutes of Connecticut defines a motorcycle as a motor vehicle that has:
- or doesn’t have a sidecar
- no more than three wheels
- a saddle or seat for the rider to straddle or a platform on which to stand
- handlebars used for navigation
Due to their classification as motor vehicles, motorcycles are subject to the same traffic laws, rules and regulations, rights, and responsibilities as other motorists in Connecticut.
Motorcycles must have at least one headlight, a taillight, a brake light, and working turn signals. They must also have front and rear brakes, a horn, and two mirrors. Connecticut requires motorcycles to be correctly designed. You can only carry passengers on bikes designed for additional riders.
Head and Eye Protection
Section 14-289 of the state’s Vehicle Highway Use law states that motorcycle operators and passengers under the age of 18 must wear approved safety helmets while riding. Operators of any age with a learner’s permit must wear a helmet. When riding a motorcycle without a windshield, goggles, glasses, or a face shield are mandatory for operators and passengers.
Is Lane-Splitting Legal in Connecticut?
Lane splitting is when motorcycles drive between other vehicles either while traffic is moving or standing still. Lane filtering is the same as lane splitting except that it is only while vehicles aren’t moving. Some people believe that lane splitting prevents motorcycle accidents, while others remain skeptical.
Currently, lane splitting is only legal in California. Lawmakers have House Bill 629 on deck, which would legalize a regulated form of lane splitting. For now, splitting lanes is prohibited for motorcyclists under any circumstances.
Motorcycle Accident Claims Process
No one realizes the challenges of dealing with insurance companies until they file a claim. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing they are there to help you. In reality, the insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible.
The insurance adjuster knows how to use what you say and do against you. Instead of dealing with the insurance company directly, hire a Glastonbury motorcycle accident attorney who knows the tactics that insurance companies use.
Sometimes they try to settle your case quickly so that you sign documents reducing your compensation. They might also take a long time to provide you with information about your case. This results in a lapse of treatment that will negatively affect your claim.
It is common for insurance companies to try and blame the victim. They might say that you were all or partly at fault for the accident.
Never speak with the insurance company without the support of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Glastonbury. Your legal representative knows how to get the best compensation for your accident.
Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident
Compensation is determined by the types and amounts of losses and damages you incur. Some types of compensation you might pursue after a motorcycle accident in Hartford County include:
Most motorcycle accidents result in some level of damage to your motorcycle. The amount that you get will depend on how much it costs to repair or replace your motorcycle. This amount is based on the value of the motorcycle at the time of the accident – not the price you paid for it.
Loss of Income
Your injuries from the accident might interfere with your short-term earning capacity or prevent you from ever earning a living wage. Your injuries might require you to change careers, reducing your income potential. You can pursue damages for time lost working and for lost earning capacity in the future.
Unlike other types of damages, the emotional suffering you endured from your accident isn’t as easy to quantify. You might need to break your damages down into the specific losses you endured – for example, no longer having the ability to use a limb or you have a disfigurement that causes physical and/or emotional distress.
Punitive damages are not automatically awarded. They are used as a punishment for the person that caused the accident. If the person acted in an especially egregious way or has caused the accident deliberately, the court might award punitive damages to set an example.
When a person dies because of their injuries from a motorcycle death, someone close to them might be able to file a wrongful death claim. The laws about who can file a wrongful death claim and the statute of limitations vary from state to state. If you lost a loved one due to injuries from a motorcycle accident, talk with a Glastonbury motorcycle accident lawyer about your legal options.
The cost of treating your injuries from the motorcycle accident is figured into your damages. Injuries from motorcycle accidents are often severe and require treatment for years – or even for the rest of your life. Your claim should include all of your future medical requirements, such as any surgeries, medications, therapy, in-home care, and special equipment.
Glastonbury is located about 10 miles from Connecticut’s state capital of Hartford. As one of Connecticut’s oldest municipalities, the town is home to many historic sites, beautiful parks, and convenient access to the Connecticut River. Glastonbury also features many large and busy roads where motorcycle accidents can happen, including Connecticut Route 2, Connecticut Route 3, Interstate 91, and the 904-Glastonbury Express.
Motorcycle accident survivors often require professional medical treatment for their injuries. Some of the top businesses in Glastonbury include:
- Whole Body Wellness and Physical Therapy – Every accident is unique, and so are the injuries and best treatment plan for the individual. Whole Body Wellness and Physical Therapy offers individualized treatment designed for the individual.
- Select Physical Therapy – Select Physical Therapy provides physical therapy to improve mobility or alleviate aches and pains after an injury.
- Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care – Getting medical care after a motorcycle accident shouldn’t wait. Harford HealthCare offers on-demand urgent care 365 days a year, including X-rays and rapid diagnostic tests on the same day, evenings, and weekends.
- Brain Injury Alliance Connecticut – Brain injuries are very common after motorcycle accidents. BIAC offers individualized brain injury treatment to help those suffering from brain injury find their way forward.
Experienced Glastonbury Law Firm
The injuries from motorcycle accidents are often serious and getting the maximum compensation for your injuries is essential. Our team of attorneys has more than 350 years of combined experience. Our knowledge of Connecticut law and skills at negotiating make us the first choice for a motorcycle accident lawyer in Glastonbury. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.
Our Glastonbury motorcycle accident attorneys serve a number of locations in and around Hartford County including: Hartford, Simsbury, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, Manchester, Windsor, Farmington, Windsor Locks, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Avon, Bloomfield, Bristol, Enfield, Newington, South Windsor, Southington, Plainville and more.