Motorcycle fatalities are a significant issue here in Connecticut
Motorcycle enthusiasts love to say their motorcycles are not just a mode of transportation, they're a way of life. The thrill of riding a motorcycle is unlike traveling via any other vehicle, which adds to both the appeal and potential dangers. Though the rider is often not at fault, each year thousands of injuries and deaths occur among motorcyclists across the county. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a 33-percent increase in motorcycle fatalities from 2003 to 2012.
A new report, released this month by the Governors Highway Safety Association, found the country saw almost 300 fewer motorcyclist fatalities in 2017 than 2016 — a 5.6 percent drop. Motorcyclists last year made up about 14 percent of all traffic deaths.
But in Connecticut, the report states, motorcyclists made up 17.7 percent of all traffic deaths. And the drop in motorcyclist fatalities from 2016 to 2017 was just 2 percent.. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for example, estimates about 25 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes are alcohol-impaired. And in states that don't require helmets for all riders — Connecticut is among them — just 48 percent of motorcyclists use one.
Sadly, per mile driven, Connecticut motorcyclists have a fatality rate 28 times higher than those in passenger vehicles..
Interestingly, there were more motorcycle-related fatalities in 2016 than in 1994, even as there were fewer overall traffic fatalities. Research suggests warmer weather and a steady economy have led more motorcyclists to hit the road, while better air bags and increased seat belt use have made passenger vehicle crashes less fatal.
If you have lost a loved one in a Connecticut motorcycle crash, a qualified wrongful death lawyer can help you seek civil justice. This is important not only for your own well-being, but for riders everywhere. Insurance companies are focused on providing the least possible compensation when accidents occur. Liable drivers who are at-fault for crashes often refuse to take responsibility for the behavior or factors that led to the fatal accident. By holding all parties responsible, you are helping to ensure that others who suffer similar harms and losses will receive fair compensation.
Causes of Fatal Motorcycle Crashes in Connecticut
The causes of motorcycle accidents in Maryland are very similar to the causes that trigger automobile accidents. The difference lies in the lack of protection that exists for riders versus those who travel in cars, trucks, or SUVS.
Factors that can affect a motorcycle accident include the following:
- Motorcycles are much smaller than the typical vehicle, which makes them more difficult for other drivers to see. Other drivers may misjudge their distance and speed when they try to approach, merge with, or pass a motorcycle.
- Weather or road conditions that can be annoying to a passenger vehicle driver can be extremely dangerous for motorcyclists.
- When crashes do occur, motorcyclists are statistically proven to be much more vulnerable to injury and death.
It is important to find a wrongful death attorney who understands the unique benefits and challenges posed for riders. Again, few motorcycle crashes are found to be the fault of the rider. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will understand this and will work to establish who is liable for the loss of your loved one's life. They will be adroit enough to negotiate for the best possible settlement or, if that's not possible, switch gears and push for a trial.
How do I Prove Wrongful Death in Connecticut?
In order to prove wrongful death your attorney will have to demonstrate or prove that the death was the result of the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of another individual or party. While most motorcycle fatalities are linked to negligent to driving on the part of others on the road, there are instances in which a rider is killed after their motorcycle fails to operate correctly. Faulty equipment or a poorly maintained machine could be the culprit. This could be due to a manufacturer's defect or flaw or the failure of the dealership or mechanic to spot and address certain issues. In such cases, your attorney may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against a number of parties, including the manufacturer, the dealership, the mechanic, and others.
Contributory Negligence and Ct. Motorcycle Fatalities
It is also important to note that Maryland is one of a few states that adheres to a strict doctrine of "contributory negligence" This means that if your loved one was found to be at-fault or responsible for the incident by even one percent, any claim can be denied. Consulting with an experienced wrongful death lawyer will help you to quickly determine whether your loved one bears any fault for the collision and if that may affect any potential wrongful death claim.