West Hartford Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Whether you got on your bicycle for exercise, sport, or with the purpose of simply getting to another destination, you certainly did not expect to be injured along the way. After sustaining such an injury, you may be facing a long recovery, thousands of dollars in medical bills, and an uncertain financial future.
An experienced West Hartford bicycle accident lawyer should understand the significant impact this type of accident can have on your life. By consulting with a skilled injury attorney, you could find that the people who caused your accident owe you compensation for your damages.
Determining Liability in a West Hartford Bicycle Accident Case
In order for a West Hartford bicycle accident attorney to file a lawsuit on a victim’s behalf, they must first determine who—if anyone—is civilly liable for their injuries. The liable party would be named as defendants in the ensuing lawsuit, but it is possible for there to be more than one liable party in such a suit.
To return a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, the court must be convinced that each named defendant is at least partially liable for the injuries and damages incurred by the plaintiff. This is usually done by showing how the defendant(s) was negligent in their actions. However, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff to prove all the elements of legal negligence.
Duty of the Defendant and Breach of Duty
A duty of care is created whenever someone gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Their duty is to act in the same manner that a reasonably prudent person would. For instance, a person should not be texting while driving—they should be paying attention to the road and obeying the speed limit and traffic lights. If a driver does not act in a manner that a reasonably prudent person would have, they may have breached their duty of care.
Proximate Cause of Injuries and Damages
A breach of duty is a key component of negligence and is often against the law. However, it is not sufficient reason alone to file a lawsuit or for a jury to award compensation to the plaintiff. The plaintiff must also show that they suffered injuries as a direct result of the defendant’s breach of duty.
In addition, the plaintiff—or their West Hartford bicycle accident attorney—must establish that their injuries resulted in compensable damages. Damages may be actual—or economic—losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, or they can be general—non-economic—losses such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
Dividing Damages Between Liable Defendants
If the court determines that multiple defendants are liable for damages sustained by the plaintiff, they may decide a percentage that each is liable for. For example, one defendant may be 75 percent liable while another who played less of a role in the accident may be 25 percent liable.
Each defendant would then pay damages proportionately to the plaintiff according to their percentage of liability as detailed in Connecticut General Statutes §52-572h—so in the previous example, the plaintiff would only be able to recover for 75 percent of their total damages. A West Hartford bicycle accident lawyer could work to identify whether comparative negligence might play a role in a particular case and what affect it could ultimately have on the outcome.
Call a West Hartford Bicycle Accident Attorney for Help
Recovering after a bicycle accident can take months or even years. During the initial portion of your recovery, it could be beneficial for you to discuss your case with an experienced West Hartford bicycle accident lawyer. After a thorough case evaluation, they could help you determine whether the parties who allegedly caused your injuries owe you compensation. Call today to learn more.