If the Other Driver Was Speeding, Can I Recover Double or Treble Money Damages Under Connecticut Law?

Whatever the amount of your economic and non-economic damages, if the driver of the vehicle that caused the auto, truck, or motorcycle accident was speeding at the time of the accident, you might be able to recover double of treble damages pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 14-295, which provides as follows:

"In any civil action to recover damages resulting from personal injury, wrongful death or damage to property, the [judge or jury] may award double or treble damages if the injured party has specifically pleaded that another party has deliberately or with reckless disregard operated a motor vehicle in violation of section 14-218a [traveling unreasonably fast], 14-219 [speeding], 14-222 [driving recklessly], 14-227a [driving drunk or under the influence of drugs], 14-230 [failing to drive in the right lane], 14-234 [passing in a no-passing zone], 14-237 [driving the wrong way on a divided highway], 14-239 [driving the wrong way on a one-way street] or 14-240a [driving too close], and that such violation was a substantial factor in causing such injury, death or damage to property. The owner of a rental or leased motor vehicle shall not be responsible for such damages unless the damages arose from such owner's operation of the motor vehicle."

So if the other driver was speeding at the time of the collision or accident in violation of the Connecticut General Statutes § 14-219 and that violation was a substantial factor in causing your injuries, our Auto Accident Law Group would ask the Judge or Jury to double or triple the amount of economic and non-economic damages that you should be awarded as compensation for all the harms, injuries, and losses you have suffered or will suffer because of the other person's improper conduct.

Please note two things with regard to Connecticut General Statutes § 14-295.

One, the other driver does NOT have to be given a ticket for violating § 14-219 in order for us to make a claim for double or treble damages; if we can prove the other driver was PROBABLY speeding in violation of the law and that that violation was a substantial factor in causing injury, damage, or death, we can and will make the claim. (Please note: we would also probably make a claim that the defendant also violated General Statute Section 14-218a, which prohibits travelling  unreasonably fast.)

And two, Connecticut law allows Judges or Juries to award double or treble damages to send this very important message: reckless or deliberate violations of the rules of the road in the form of speeding is too dangerous and therefore will not be tolerated, thereby (hopefully) making our roads safer in the future for all of us.

Here is the relevant portion of the Connecticut General Statute § 14-219, which prohibits speeding on Connecticut roads:

"(a) No person shall operate any motor vehicle [in Connecticut] ... (1) at such a rate of speed as to endanger the life of any occupant of such motor vehicle, but not the life of any other person than such an occupant; or (2) at a rate of speed greater than fifty-five miles per hour upon any highway other than a highway specified in subsection (b) of section 14-218a for which a speed limit has been established in accordance with the provisions of said subsection; or (3) at a rate of speed greater than sixty-five miles per hour upon any highway specified in subsection (b) of section 14-218a for which a speed limit has been established in accordance with the provisions of said subsection.

(b) Any person who operates a motor vehicle (1) on a multiple lane, limited access highway other than a highway specified in subsection (b) of section 14-218a for which a speed limit has been established in accordance with the provisions of said subsection at a rate of speed greater than fifty-five miles per hour but not greater than seventy miles per hour or (2) on a multiple lane, limited access highway specified in subsection (b) of section 14-218a for which a speed limit has been established in accordance with the provisions of said subsection at a rate of speed greater than sixty-five miles per hour but not greater than seventy miles per hour or (3) on any other highway at a rate of speed greater than fifty-five miles per hour but not greater than sixty miles per hour, shall commit an infraction, provided any such person operating a truck, as defined in section 14-260n, shall have committed a violation and shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one hundred fifty dollars.

(c) Any person who violates any provision of subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section or who operates a motor vehicle (1) on a multiple lane, limited access highway at a rate of speed greater than seventy miles per hour but not greater than eighty-five miles per hour or (2) on any other highway at a rate of speed greater than sixty miles per hour but not greater than eighty-five miles per hour shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one hundred fifty dollars, provided any such person operating a truck, as defined in section 14-260n, shall be fined not less than one hundred fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars.

(d) No person shall be subject to prosecution for a violation of both subsection (a) of this section and subsection (a) of section 14-222 because of the same offense."

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or loss caused by a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident, please contact our Connecticut Auto Accident Law Group to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

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