This is the next article in our series on the handling of Hartford, Connecticut motorcycle accident cases. Our last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing and also stressed the need to speak with an attorney if you or a loved one have been injured. It is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to ensure that your rights remain fully protected. In this article, we will discuss the application of Connecticut’s comparative fault laws in the context of motorcycle accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
We have previously discussed how Connecticut’s comparative fault laws apply to car accident cases. The concepts we discussed in that article also apply to motorcycle accidents. Many people operate under the misconception that they will not be able to recover damages if they were partially responsible for a crash. Under Connecticut law, however, a victim may recover damages as long as the jury does not find them to have been fifty-one percent or more responsible for the wreck. Any damages awarded by the jury will be reduced by the victim’s share of any blame. If, however, the jury finds that the victim was more at fault than was the defendant, then the victim will recover nothing.
Consider the following example. A motorcycle rider is hit by a car after quickly changing lanes without using a signal. The driver of the car was texting at the time of the accident and speeding. Also, suppose that if the driver of the car had been paying attention, the accident could have been prevented. There is a chance, under these facts, that a jury would find that the driver of the car was more responsible for the accident than was the rider of the motorcycle. If the jury found that the motorcycle rider suffered $100,000 in damages, and was 30% responsible for the wreck, then the rider’s damages would $70,000 ($100,000 minus 30%). It is important to understand, however, that the jury’s decision in any given case will depend upon the facts of the specific situation.
Comparative fault is often an issue in motorcycle accident cases. Defense attorneys often argue that a victim is partially responsible, claiming that erratic driving led to the crash. In these instances, juries will be presented with complicated factual and legal theories. It is important, therefore, to retain an attorney with jury trial experience with the ability to present your case effectively and in understandable terms. Our firm has over 50 years of experience with personal injury cases, including jury trials, in Hartford, Connecticut. Call us today to speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer. We also service the areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, East and West Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.