Riding a motorcycle can be a very free and exhilarating experience. It also is an experience that is inherent with risks, as the possibility of serious injury and even death greatly increases for motorcycle riders compared to other motor vehicle drivers. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in 2012, up 7% from 2011.
Many motorcyclists are under the mistaken impression that they can only recover for injuries caused when another vehicle hits them. This is not true! If another driver is negligent and causes the motorcycle accident, the law still allows recovery for the injuries even if there is no actual vehicle to motorcycle contact.
Many people also think they cannot recover for pain or injuries from a Connecticut motorcycle accident unless another driver intentionally caused the accident. This is not true! Our law says that a driver who is simply negligent is liable to pay for pain or injuries that he or she caused to another person as a result of that negligence. Generally you are also entitled to recover from the other driver even if you are partially at fault, as long as you are less at fault than the other driver. This is Connecticut’s comparative negligence statute.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, the at-fault driver is responsible for your pain and injuries. The law also provides that the at fault driver is liable for the cost of your medical expenses and your lost wages if you incurred them as a result of injuries due to the Connecticut motorcycle accident.
There are over 6.7 million motorcycles registered in the United States. The popularity of the motorcycle is due to the low initial cost, its use as a pleasure vehicle and, for some models, good fuel efficiency. Motorcycle fatalities represent about five percent of all highway fatalities each year, yet motorcycles represent just two percent of all registered vehicles in the United States. One of the main reasons motorcyclists are killed in accidents is because the motorcycle itself provides virtually no protection in a crash.
A car has more weight and bulk than a motorcycle. It has door beams and a roof to provide some measure of protection from impact or rollover. It has cushioning and airbags to soften impact and safety belts to hold passengers in their seats. It has windshield washers and wipers to assist visibility in the rain and snow. A car has more stability because it is on four wheels, and because of its size, it is easier to see. A motorcycle suffers in comparison when considering vehicle characteristics that directly contribute to occupant safety. What a motorcycle sacrifices in weight, bulk, and other crashworthiness characteristics is somewhat offset by its agility, maneuverability, ability to stop quickly, and ability to swerve quickly when necessary.