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Who's At Fault? Connecticut Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits

Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Aug 21, 2014 in Motorcycle Accidents

When a motorcycle and passenger vehicle collide, no matter the circumstances, it is likely that the motorcyclist will be injured, simply because a motorcycle does not provide as much protection as a car does in a crash. In an attempt to reduce the severity of an imminent crash, some motorcyclists may throw the bike or "lay it down," but that actually can be harmful to the biker in more ways than one, especially if he or she files a personal injury lawsuit for the accident.

Statistics show that the number of fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents has been increasing since the 1990s. Although the statistics for 2012 are not yet finalized, the Governors Highway Safety Association projects that the number motorcycle accident fatalities will have increased again in 2012, marking increases in 14 of the past 15 years.

Because of motorcyclists' increased exposure on a bike, being in an accident can cause serious injuries, including:

  • Brain injury
  • Broken bones
  • Partial or total paralysis

When a collision with a car, truck, van or bus seems inevitable, some people have advocated that a motorcyclist lay down the bike to try to have more control and avoid hitting another vehicle. However, this maneuver is also dangerous for the motorcyclist.

In addition to risking serious injury when throwing the bike, if the motorcyclist collides with the other driver anyway and then sues the other driver for negligence in a personal injury lawsuit, the other driver may claim that the motorcyclist was already having an accident before the driver hit the motorcyclist. Under Connecticut law, if a judge or jury determines that an accident victim was 51 percent or more at fault for the crash, such as already having caused a crash when the collision occurred, the victim will not be able to obtain compensation for his or her injuries, medical expenses or property damage through the lawsuit.

Modern motorcycles have antilock brakes and better traction that make it safer to use the brakes to try to avoid a collision and that make throwing the bike nearly obsolete. Not only do motorcyclists run the risk of seriously injuring themselves when trying to lay down the bike, that action also may be used against them if they pursue a lawsuit.

If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident - whether you threw the bike or not - contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. If another driver negligently caused your crash, a lawyer knows how to best make a claim and defend against any assertion that you contributed to the crash.