As with other areas of law in the US, the laws presiding over auto accidents may be different from state to state. While the general principles are consistent across the country, drivers in Connecticut should be aware of a few important distinctions in the laws for injuries during car accidents before venturing out on the beautiful roads of the state. Being prepared for an accident can save you and your loved ones a lot of financial grief in the form of medical bills, lost earnings, and other expenses.
Auto accident rules can be difficult to understand, which is why we've highlighted the three most important laws Connecticut drivers should remember. One of the first, and arguably most important ones, is the time limit you have to file a claim.
However, if you have questions about a car accident in Connecticut you were involved in, contact a Connecticut car accident lawyer who has the experience and knowledge to answer your questions. The attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney At Law, has years of experience and can help you in the event of an auto collision.
Connecticut Car Accident Statute of Limitations
If you were hurt in a car accident in Connecticut and/or your vehicle sustained major damage, you may want to think about your legal options. This can include suing the at-fault driver to get compensation for your losses. In doing this, there are some state statutes that could affect your case.
A state law known as a "statute of limitations" establishes a strict deadline for filing a lawsuit. Depending on the type of injury you experienced and/or the type of case you wish to file, different timeframes apply.
In Connecticut, as in the majority of states, the statute of limitations that applies to the majority of car accident lawsuits is the same as the majority of personal injury cases where it is alleged that someone else's negligence caused the injury or accident.
The statute in Connecticut establishes a two-year deadline to bring forth a claim. Simply put, the law states that if you were hurt in a car accident, you have exactly two years to file a personal injury claim. You will not be able to pursue a lawsuit in court if you wait more than two years. You can still submit an insurance claim, though.
Although this deadline appears to be lengthy, it is very easy to forget it and miss your opportunity. Not all auto accident injuries occur right away; occasionally, minor wounds like whiplash or bruises can turn into chronic diseases. Similar to how injuries to the brain or connective tissue are not immediately apparent following an accident. This is why, if you've been in a car accident, it's important to visit a doctor as soon as you can. This way, there is more than enough time to diagnose a condition early and have time to prepare your personal injury claim.
Additionally, after being involved in a car accident, you should always speak with a car accident lawyer. You'll have a lot more negotiating power in court if you have a strong attorney on your side and file your claim soon.
Connecticut Is an "At-Fault" State
Another important aspect of Connecticut's laws governing auto accidents is that it is not a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, each driver's insurance provider will cover their individual medical costs regardless of who caused the collision. There are just 12 states in the US that are "no-fault".
An "at-fault" state, sometimes known as a tort state, is the opposite of a no-fault state. An at-fault state is one in which the party responsible for the collision is also liable for damages, including:
- property damages
- medical costs
- lost wages
- pain and suffering
Connecticut's at-fault status means that a negligent driver may be held liable for damages and the injuries of the victim in an auto accident.
Remember the Term "Comparative Negligence"
The term "comparative negligence" is a rather simple idea. It refers to more than one party being at fault, even partially, for an accident.
If you are in a car accident in Connecticut, you must demonstrate that the other driver was at fault before you may seek compensation. However, Connecticut's legal system is aware that occasionally both parties involved in an auto accident may be to blame, even if it is partially. A jury can conclude that you are also responsible for the accident, for instance, if you are hit by someone else while you are preoccupied with your mobile phone.
In a personal injury lawsuit you may sue any other at-fault party, but your damages will be reduced by a percentage that corresponds to your share of blame, according to Connecticut General Statutes section 52-572h. Additionally, if you were more than 50% at blame for the accident compared to other parties, you will not be eligible for any compensation. Connecticut is now a "modified comparative negligence" state as a result of this.
Let's assume that your overall accident-related expenses are $10,000, which include medical expenses, lost wages, etc. You will receive the full sum if the jury finds the other party to be entirely at fault. On the other hand, you will receive just $8,000 if the jury finds that you were 20% at fault. You will receive $5,000 if they find you to be 50% at fault. As a result, it's important that you drive in accordance with the law in Connecticut.
Need Help With A Connecticut Car Accident? Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, Can Help
Don't handle your injuries alone if the unexpected occurs and you are hurt in a car accident. A Connecticut car accident lawyer can fight for your rights and pursue compensation for your losses. You can rely on us at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, to keep your best interests in mind to preserve your quality of life. We've assisted individuals just like you after suffering an accident brought on by another party's negligence. Call us now for a free legal assessment.