Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney P.C.

Motorcycle accidents: Making sure liability is based on law

The sense of freedom one can feel riding a motorcycle in Connecticut is exhilarating. And it is worth noting that state law does not seek to infringe too drastically on that freedom. For example, while many states have mandatory helmet laws, Connecticut has chosen to allow adult motorcyclists the choice of whether to wear head protection or not. 

Anticipate blame shift

Some like to make the argument that common sense dictates that all riders should wear helmets. And when accidents occur that cause serious or fatal injury to un-helmeted motorcyclists, many argue that the rider deserves to bear some, if not most, of the blame for their condition because of that rider's apparent recklessness.

That argument doesn't necessarily hold water. Every case is different and much depends on the circumstances of a given case. Still, as a motorcyclist, if you are involved in a collision due to another's negligence and you exercise your right to seek compensation you are due, you should expect the attorney for the other party's insurer to try to minimize obligation for any settlement amount by claiming that you shared responsibility.

By consulting your own attorney, you can anticipate such tactics and have confidence that your rights, as detailed by statute, are protected.

It is a statistical reality that motorcyclists face a greater risk of suffering potentially catastrophic injury in motor vehicle collisions. And it's apparent that motorcycle accidents in Connecticut remain a source of significant concern, even as rates of motorcycle accidents are on the decline.

However, as a preliminary report on 2017 accidents by the Governors Highway Safety Association notes, numbers suggest that issues of law, such as alcohol impairment or speeding, are the significant contributors to crashes. And such violations are as likely to be committed by other drivers, who are required by law to share the road, and responsibility for safety, with motorcyclists.

In the end, the opinions of others regarding what common sense dictates should not supersede the freedoms allowed under the law.

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