Archive for the ‘Car Accident’ Category

The Facts About Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries

December 9th, 2015 at 7:00 am

motorcycle accidents and injuries, Westport Motorcycle Accident AttorneyAccording to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident than the occupants of a car. Motorcycle accidents injure and kill far too many people every year.

Common Types and Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The most common type of motorcycle accident is a collision between the motorcycle and a car. Most of these accidents are head-on collisions. Factors such as poor visibility, inexperienced riders or drivers, excessive speed, and alcohol usually cause collisions. One common collision scenario is when cars are making a left turn and fail to see a motorcycle continuing straight.

Another common type of motorcycle accident cause is lane splitting. Often, cars do not see motorcycles riding between the lanes and then crash into the motorcycle when attempting to change lanes.

Motorcycle riders are also in more danger from road hazards than drivers in cars. Anything from a pothole to a dead animal can mean more than just a bump in the road for a motorcycle rider. Road hazards can mean loss of control and a crash.

Reasons Why Injuries Are More Severe in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles lack many of the safety features common in cars and other enclosed motor vehicles. There are no airbags or crumple zones on a motorcycle to absorb the energy from a crash. Motorcycle riders are not restrained by a seat belt and can be thrown into the roadway during a crash, therefore putting them at risk to being run over by other drivers.

Best Ways to Reduce Injuries and Prevent Accidents

Even though motorcycle riders are not any more likely than the drivers of cars to be at fault for an accident, it often falls on motorcycle riders to be the ones who work to reduce injuries and prevent accidents.

The easiest and most effective ways to prevent accidents is to be extra vigilant. Never assume another driver sees you. Allow yourself extra space when on the road. Obeying all traffic laws and regulations, especially avoiding excessive speed and any alcohol before riding, will also help keep you safe.

Study after study has shown that wearing a helmet is the best way to reduce injuries in a motorcycle accident. Because riders are so exposed, always wearing closed toe shoes, long pants, and a thick jacket also help to reduce the severity of injuries in motorcycle crashes.

If you or your loved one has been in a motorcycle accident, you need to speak with a knowledgeable Westport motorcycle accident attorney right away. Call Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, at 203-226-6168 to schedule a consultation today. You may only have a short period of time to protect your rights.


Distracted Driving in Connecticut

November 18th, 2015 at 7:00 am

distracted driving, Westport Personal Injury LawyerEvery year, thousands of people are seriously hurt in car accidents caused by distracted drivers. Connecticut has passed laws to try and make the roads safer by punishing drivers for not paying attention. One of the most common distractions is the use of cell phones by drivers.

Connecticut’s Distracted Driving Laws

It is against the law in Connecticut to do anything while operating a motor vehicle that distracts the driver from his or her duties. This can include anything from a car radio to a cell phone.

Connecticut has passed special laws to deal with the problems of cell phones. Connecticut drivers cannot use a handheld cellphone while driving to talk or to text. For most drivers it is okay to use a hands free device such as a Bluetooth headset.

Novice drivers cannot use a cell phone in any way while driving, except to make an emergency call. This ban includes hands-free devices. Bus drivers are also prohibited from using a cell phone, even with a hands free device, while driving a bus.

Keeping Yourself Safe

Studies have shown that driving takes a lot of mental focus. Cell phones have been shown to reduce a driver’s ability to focus by more than 30 percent. There is some evidence showing that even when using hands free devices, a driver’s focus is still compromised.

Distracted drivers are more likely to be involved in serious accidents where they are injured.

The best way to keep yourself and your family safe while on the road is to hang up the cell phone. Even if you are allowed to use a hands free device, talking while driving may still be putting you and everyone else on the road at greater risk.

When you are on the road, do not do anything that will take your focus away from the safe operation of your car.

Distracted Driver Liability

It is increasingly common for cell phone records to be examined in car accident cases. If you are involved in an accident and your records indicate you were on the phone at the time of the accident, even if you were on a hands free device, you may be found to be at least partially responsible for the accident.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident, consult with a seasoned Westport personal injury lawyer right away. Call Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, at 203-226-6168 to schedule a consultation today. You may only have a short period of time to protect your rights.


Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Case: Taking on Your Own Insurance Company

November 4th, 2015 at 7:00 am

underinsured motorist case, personal injury claim, Westport Personal Injury LawyerOne of the few factors that can make a car accident even worse is finding out that the person who caused the accident was not insured.

Even though Connecticut drivers are legally required to have car insurance when operating a motor vehicle, many still drive without insurance. Drivers may have insurance; however, their coverage may not be enough to cover all of the damages they caused. In cases like these, you may have to turn to your own uninsured or underinsured motorist policy for protection. Sometimes, this means fighting with your own insurance company about your damages.

How Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Policies Work

When buying car insurance, you have the option of adding protection against other drivers who either do not carry insurance or do not have enough insurance to cover all of the damage they cause. This usually only costs a little extra a month.

In a typical car accident when the other driver is at fault you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. When the driver does not have insurance, or the insurance is inadequate, you file a claim with your insurance company under your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy.

On the surface, things should work the same way they would if there was another insurance company involved. However, some policies have obscure provisions that can make getting your compensation tougher than expected.

What You Must Prove to Make a Successful Claim

Insurance companies are not in the business of paying more money than they have to. Even your insurance company may try and find reasons not to pay out your claim, or to pay out less than you deserve.

If you want to make a successful uninsured or underinsured motorist claim you will need to prove:

  • Who was at fault for the accident;
  • You suffered injuries because of the actions of the at fault driver;
  • The amount of damages you suffered as a result of the actions of the other driver;
  • That no other at fault driver has insurance that you can make a claim against; or
  • That all other insurance has been exhausted.

Personal injury law is complicated. The insurance adjustor handling your case has likely dealt with hundreds, if not thousands, of car accidents. You need to get help before making an insurance claim.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident, protect your rights and contact a knowledgeable and experienced Westport personal injury lawyer right away. Call Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, at 203-226-6168 to schedule a consultation today.


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