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As a motorcycle accident attorney, I know that riding can be pure bliss. Whether you are taking a joy ride through the country or spicing up your regular commute, traveling on two wheels can be exciting, invigorating, and just plain fun. Even though riding motorcycles comes with hazards, the vast majority of riders are conscious of both their vehicles and the law.
Nevertheless, accidents happen, oftentimes due to other drivers, poor road design, or road conditions. I understand that no matter how careful you ride, you cannot control how others on the road drive around you. As a result, thousand of people are injured and killed in motorcycle accidents. Specifically, for as many as 5,000 motorcyclists per year in the United States, the ride ends in an accident-related fatality. In fact, dozens of riders die in Connecticut each year.
Because of the nature and construction of motorcycles, motorcycle accidents can result in catastrophic injury, including traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is imperative that you understand the crash from a legal perspective to get the justice and compensation you deserve from the at-fault parties.
Insurance companies want to reach a quick settlement at an amount that suits their bottom line but not yours. These quick settlement offers happen to many motorcyclists, even those who have suffered severe injuries and deserve maximum compensation. Unfortunately, many folks end up accepting quick offers from insurers, not realizing they could fight for much more. It makes me angry and it should make you angry too. Don’t get taken advantage of! I am here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free and confidential consultation with me today.
Proving Liability in Connecticut Motorcycle Accidents
It is an unfair and dangerous misconception that motorcycle riders are brash, speeding thrill-seekers who do not follow the rules of the road – and that bikers are responsible for the vast majority of Connecticut motorcycle accidents. In reality, according to the Hurt Report, only about 25 percent of motorcycle accidents are of a single-vehicle nature and 75 percent involve a collision between the motorcyclist and another vehicle. Of the multiple vehicle collisions, two-thirds were the result of the automobile violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.
In other words, many Connecticut motorcycle accidents are the fault of automobile drivers. While others are the fault of another party, such as a trucking company or municipality. But how do you prove that in court? Traffic laws can be tricky, and chances are, the driver who caused the accident has an insurance provider committed to placing at least some of the blame on you.
CT motorcycle accident attorney, Lawyer Twillie, can help you prove liability by taking an aggressive, thorough approach to your claim. He will:
Carefully collect all evidence related to your case, including your medical history, the police accident report, and witness testimony.
Analyze the evidence with a fine-toothed comb, reconstructing both your accident and your injuries.
Apply the evidence showing the at fault person’s negligence.
Take the necessary steps to prove liability under Connecticut personal injury law.
Get an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side.
Common Causes of connecticut Motorcycle Accidents
Quite often bikers are not at fault for their accident or injury. Some of the most common causes of Connecticut motorcycle accidents in which a rider is not at fault include:
Someone turns left directly in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
A motorist parked on the side of the road opens their door in the path of an oncoming motorcycle.
While on a highway or interstate, someone changes lanes into the path of a motorcycle.
A driver following too closely rear-ends a motorcycle.
Not respecting a motorcycle rider’s right-of-way.
An accident due to a car speeding or breaking a traffic law.
A motorist texting or distracted in some other way.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
A road is not properly maintained by a state, city, or town, causing a motorcyclist to love control of his or her bike.
Connecticut specific motorcycle laws
Connecticut Motorcycle Endorsement
In Connecticut, riders do not have a separate motorcycle license. Instead, riders have a standard driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. Even though you do not have to get a separate license to ride, the process to obtain an endorsement can be very involved. Some of the steps involved are:
Paying to take the test and obtaining your permit;
The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles will issue regulations, in accordance with nationally accepted standards, concerning acceptable goggles, glasses or face shields.
Quick Safety Tips For Motorcycle Riders
Assume Other Motorists Don’t See You! Many accidents result from this sad truth: people on the road simply don’t pay attention to motorcyclists. As a result of that inattention, whether it be distracted driving, or something else, drivers rear-end us, turn left in front of us, or run us off the road. Keeping the above in mind, there are things you can do to ride defensively and hopefully avoid accidents.
Make Yourself More Visible. Whether its with your high beams on during the day, or with bright colored riding gear.
Don’t Ride In People’s Blind Spots.
Be Watchful When Waiting At Stop Signs/Stop Lights.
seeking damages for connecticut accident victims
Following a serious accident, you are likely to miss time from work, face expensive vehicle repairs and medical bills, as well as suffer from emotional distress. You may also suffer additional damages, such as physical pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses. In fact, most people don’t realize how time consuming and expensive motorcycle accident’s can become. Attorney Twillie can help make sure the responsible parties are held accountable for the full amount to which you are entitled.
games some insurance companies like to play
Most motorcycle accident claims are resolved through private settlement. Unless you are an experienced negotiator with a strong command of Connecticut personal injury law, going up against an experienced insurance adjuster at the negotiating table will be like a Division III football team playing the New England Patriots. I know how to level the playing field for you.
Below are some common tactics and tricks insurance adjusters play to deny or minimize your claim.
Scouring your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts, looking for recent photos of you appearing “happy” or “healthy”;
Issuing a quick, “low-ball” settlement offer while you are still in the hospital and then setting an artificial deadline for you to accept it;
Requesting or even demanding unlimited access to your medical records and then going on a “fishing expedition” looking for preexisting injuries or conditions;
Taking a recorded statement of you and “cornering” you into making damaging admissions;
Video surveillance. Many people do not realize this, but some insurance carriers will hire investigators to video you in the hopes of catching you carrying something heavy to deny or minimize your injury claims.
The above is not an exhaustive list, but only a small sampling of some of the tactics used to avoid paying you fair, just and reasonable damages for your injuries.
about attorney lawyer a. twillie II
After spending more than six years with two prominent Connecticut defense law firms and one insurance company, Lawyer Twillie (LT) experienced a change of heart and decided to dedicate the rest of his professional career representing the interests of injured victims, not insurance companies.
frequently asked questions - faq's
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
In Connecticut you generally have two (2) years from the date of the accident.
Certain exceptions apply, for example, if you are filing an under-insured motorist claim.
can i still file a claim even if I am partly at fault?
Additionally, your amount of compensation will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 30% at fault and the award for damages was $20,000, you would be entitled to only 70% of the award, which is $14,000.
what are the minimum insurance requirements under connecticut law?
$25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person per accident.
$50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident.
$25,000 in property damage coverage per accident.
The State of Connecticut also requires you to carry uninsured motorist coverage and under-insured motorist coverage to help protect you if you are injured by someone driving without insurance or without enough insurance to cover your losses.
Your uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage must have the minimum coverage amounts of:
$25,000 per person.
$50,000 total per accident.
Should I settle out of Court or take it to Trial?
Generally, a settlement is more preferable then a full blown trial for most accident victims. Nevertheless, sometimes only a credible threat of a lawsuit will properly motivate an insurance company to make you a fair settlement offer. Therefore, I believe the best way to avoid a trial is to prepare thoroughly for one.
That being said, if the defendant insurance company does NOT make a fair and reasonable offer, I am trial attorney and won’t hesitate to take your case all the way to court. I’ve had to do it in the past and will no doubt have to do it again. I will equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.
Does Connecticut have punitive damages?
Yes, Connecticut has punitive damages under certain circumstances. Punitive damages may be imposed under either the common law or specific statutory provisions when the jury or court has found a defendant to have caused harm by its reckless, wanton, or willful conduct. A DUI accident, for example, might qualify for punitive damages.
The insurance company offered me a check, should I accept their offer?
Generally speaking…No. By taking the check without any kind of reservation, you are in effect accepting the check in full satisfaction of your entire claim. If the insurance company is offering it to you without any kind of negotiation, they are most likely “low-balling” you with an amount that is only a fraction of your claim’s true value.
if i settle and the amount I settled for ends up not being adequate, can I go back for more money?
No you can’t. Any settlement agreement will include a clause in the release that will prevent you from re-negotiating the same claim or taking it to court at a later date. If your injuries are going to require long-term treatment, it is critical that you accurately evaluate and claim all of your future medical expenses or damages.
Is there a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit?
Yes. In Connecticut you have two (2) years from the date of injury to bring a personal injury lawsuit. However, depending upon the circumstances, you might have up to three (3) years.
If you miss your deadline, you will not be able to recover for your losses. Contact me to find out why.
If I miss the statute of limitations deadline for filing a lawsuit, can I still negotiate an insurance settlement?
No. The insurance company will not discuss settlement with you after the statute of limitations deadline. The only real bargaining leverage you have in settlement negotiations is that if the insurance company doesn’t agree to settle your claim, you might win a substantial judgment at trial. Once you lose that leverage by missing the statute of limitations deadline, the insurance company will have no motivation to settle with you.
Do I have to speak with the other driver’s insurance company? They keep calling me after my accident.
No – and you really shouldn’t until you have consulted with an experienced lawyer. The other driver’s insurance company will be waiting for you to say something they can use against you to deny your claim or reduce its value. Any contact with the other driver’s insurance company should be undertaken by your attorney. EVEN IF YOU WERE NOT AT FAULT!
To get started with your motorcycle accident claim, call me at (844) 438-5252 or send me an email today. Get a proven and dedicated Connecticut Attorney on your side. Your consultation is FREE, and since we work on a contingency fee basis, you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. If you can’t come to me, I will come to you.