When a car and motorcycle are approaching each other and end up in a collision, the motorcycle will almost always get the worst of it. Unfortunately for a 25-year-old Connecticut man who was recently operating his motorcycle in New Haven, that statistic proved true. The man died of severe injuries from a collision, opening the possibility of a wrongful death claim against the car’s driver.
The car, driven by a 30-year-old male of West Haven was traveling north on Dixwell Ave. in New Haven at about 7 p.m. The motorcycle was heading south on Dixwell Ave. The car made a left turn into the path of the motorcycle, and it didn’t stop in time to avoid a collision with the car. After being ejected, he also was hit by the car.
Police are still investigating – there were no arrests or citations so far. This motorcycle accident follows the common pattern of two vehicles approaching each other in their respective lanes when one of them makes a precipitous turn into the path of the other. The vehicle that continues straight forward has to contend with a vehicle right in front of it, and very often cannot stop in time.
Usually, the person making the left turn is considered the negligent party. In this accident, the events appear to follow the above pattern, but a final determination is premature prior to evaluation of the final police reports and any witness interviews. If the turn was the primary cause of this accident, then the decedent’s estate may prevail in a wrongful death claim. Notably, even if the motorcycle was speeding, the car’s driver had a reasonable chance to see that and hold up on his turn.
Connecticut recognizes that one who suffers severe injuries or death in a car or motorcycle accident can bring a damages claim against the at-fault driver. If the injured person was himself primarily at fault for the accident, then there is no legal right to recover. The modern laws of comparative negligence generally allow the injured party to collect if he or she shares some lesser degree of fault with a wrongdoer or wrongdoers that are primarily at fault in causing the accident.
Source: wtnh.com, “Motorcyclist killed in New Haven crash,” June 6, 2013