Connecticut Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle accident scene in ConnecticutRiding a motorcycle is a unique experience. Unfortunately, so is being injured in a motorcycle accident. While insurance covers motorcycle accidents, insurance companies routinely blame riders for their own injuries. And in situations involving fatal accidents, they routinely try to deny grieving families just compensation.

At Berkowitz Hanna, our Connecticut motorcycle accident lawyers are committed to helping riders and their loved ones secure the financial compensation they deserve. While we are familiar with the insurance companies’ tactics, we also know that the common perceptions of motorcycle riders are grossly misguided. Yes, some riders push the limit; and yes, some riders do make regrettable mistakes. But, more often than not, it is inattentive, distracted, or reckless drivers who are to blame for serious and fatal motorcycle collisions.

Who Is Responsible for Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries?

A motorcycle wreck can change your life in an instant. Connecticut motorcycle accidents frequently cause serious, lifelong injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Road rash
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Internal organ damage

Determining which parties are potentially liable for your injuries is one of the first steps in the recovery process. Most motorcycle accidents are the result of another driver’s negligence. One typical example is a driver who doesn’t see a motorcyclist because they were distracted or not paying attention to the road. If you were injured due to another motorist’s recklessness or negligence, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

When figuring out who is liable for your injuries, an experienced Connecticut motorcycle accident lawyer knows to look beyond the other drivers involved. In some situations, other parties might have contributed to the accident. For example, the state or local government may be responsible for your injuries if the accident was partially caused by poorly maintained roads or a lack of signage. Similarly, if a defective part on your motorcycle caused you to get into an accident, the manufacturer may be held responsible.

Common Questions after a Motorcycle Accident

After suffering serious injuries in a Connecticut motorcycle accident, it is common to have many questions. The personal injury recovery process is not always straightforward, and insurance companies often try to take advantage of accident victims when they are at their most vulnerable. A few of the more common questions include:

Question #1: Can I recover damages after a motorcycle accident if I was not wearing a helmet?

Yes, however, the insurance company will likely try to argue that you should receive less compensation because you were not wearing a helmet. Connecticut is a modified comparative fault state, meaning the court will reduce an accident victim’s total recovery amount by their own percentage of fault. In a way, this is good news because it means even injury victims who share some responsibility for causing an accident can recover for their injuries. However, insurance companies try to take advantage of this by unfairly shifting blame onto accident victims. Of course, helmets cannot protect against all injuries. At Berkowitz Hanna, our Connecticut motorcycle accident attorneys are familiar with the insurance companies’ tactics and can help you pursue maximum compensation.

Question #2: I was injured as a passenger in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident, what are my options?

If you were hurt as a passenger in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident, you can file a claim against the driver, with your own insurance company, or in certain situations, against another third-party. The most common claim in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident is against the driver. Maybe the driver was going too fast around a corner and laid the bike down? Or perhaps the driver lost control of the bike, and it veered off the road and into a ditch? In either case, the operator of the motorcycle may be responsible for your injuries.

It is important to keep in mind that a claim against the driver won’t mean the driver has to pay for your injuries out-of-pocket. If the driver has insurance, the insurance company will be on the hook.

Serious and Fatal Motorcycle Accidents: Know Your Legal Rights in Connecticut

If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your legal rights. The same is true if you have lost a loved one under circumstances in which someone else may have been to blame. In Connecticut, injured motorcycle riders’ and families’ basic legal rights are as follows:

  • You Have the Right to File an Insurance Claim – Like other types of accidents, most motorcycle accidents are the result of driver negligence. This means that securing just compensation involves filing a claim under the at-fault driver’s insurance policy in most cases.
  • You Have the Right to Pursue Claims against NonDrivers That May Be Legally Responsible – In addition to pursuing a claim against the driver, you also have the right to pursue claims against any other parties that played a role in causing the crash. Depending on the circumstances involved, this could include companies ranging from the driver’s employer to your motorcycle’s manufacturer.
  • You Have the Right to Secure the Evidence You Need to Prove Liability – In many cases, the evidence you need to prove your claim will not be readily available. And in order to obtain it, you will need to submit a request through formal legal means. The law allows for this, and parties can face significant consequences if they improperly withhold evidence.
  • You Have the Right to Recover Economic and NonEconomic Damages – When it comes to recovering your losses, you are entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. This means that you are entitled to compensation for all of the current and future effects of your injuries or your loved one’s death.
  • In Egregious Cases, You May Have the Right to Recover Punitive Damages – In cases involving gross negligence or malicious acts (e.g., road rage), punitive damages may also be available. In Connecticut, punitive damages can be awarded in an amount equal to the costs of the litigation plus the plaintiff’s legal fees.
  • You Have the Right to Be Treated Fairly – When dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company (or your own insurance company) and seeking relief in the courts, you have the right to be treated fairly. Bad-faith insurance practices are prohibited (and can entitle you to additional compensation), and court rules establish clear standards for litigants’ conduct.
  • You Have the Right to Decide When (and Whether) to Settle – If you receive a settlement offer, should you accept? Ultimately, this is up to you. You get to decide when (and whether) to settle, and part of our job is to provide you with the information you need in order to make your decision.

What Should You Do After a Serious or Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Connecticut?

So, those are your basic legal rights. What do you need to do in order to protect them? If you have been seriously injured, your first step is to see a doctor. Once you do so, you should follow your doctor’s advice carefully (or seek a second opinion if you feel that one is necessary). It is also a good idea to record as many details as you can remember, and you should be sure to keep any evidence (e.g., photos on your phone and your damaged riding gear) that you have in your possession. Of course, you should also speak with an attorney.

Speak with a Connecticut Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

For more information about protecting your legal rights after a motorcycle accident in Connecticut, contact us to schedule a free initial consultation. Our dedicated legal team could work to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.