If you have been hurt because of someone else's negligence or recklessness, whether it be in a car accident, a slip and fall, or other accident, you may be thinking of filing a personal injury claim against the responsible party. That is your right. After all, if you are successful in a personal injury case, you are entitled to monetary damages for your losses. However, what many people may not realize is that there may be a cap on damages in a personal injury claim, but it depends on the state and other factors.
In this article, we will lay out information about damages in Connecticut personal injury cases. While this information will help you better understand injury cases, consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer in CT, such as Brandon J. Broderick, is recommended.
Types of Damages in CT Personal Injury Cases
Damages are the expenses related to an accident that are awarded to an injured party in personal injury claims. The parties may decide on the amount of damages awarded during settlement negotiations, or by a judge or a jury if the case is taken to trial.
Below is a list of typical damages in situations in personal injury claims, including car accidents:
- Property damage: If your vehicles, possessions, or any other objects were damaged as a result of the accident, property damages may be recovered.
- Medical costs: The price of all medical treatments related to the accident can be recovered.
- Lost wages: The amount of money you would have made between the time of the injury and the date of settlement or judgment is represented by lost wages as damages.
- Pain and suffering: Damages for past and future pain and suffering related to the accident include both mental and physical suffering.
- Punitive damages: If the other party intentionally or recklessly caused an accident, punitive damages may be awarded. This is also called double or treble damages. Under certain circumstances, this may be awarded to an injured party in the amount of two or three times the victim's actual damages to hold a person accountable for their actions.
Damage Caps Explained
Damage caps are legal requirements set by the state. Non-economic damages that may be granted in a personal injury claim are impacted by these statutes. However, claims for medical malpractice are subject to a $250,000 federal level damage cap.
To make sure that compensation decisions are based on merit and not emotion, damage caps were established. Punitive damages are meant to "punish" the party who has intentionally caused harm or injury to a victim, but is determined by the circumstances of the incident.
The expenses related to high value rewards are another factor. For instance, a doctor's insurance company would pay the punitive damages in a medical negligence case. In exchange, they would increase prices for that doctor and all others. Inflation's domino effect would punish the economy as well as the offender, rather than just the offender. As a result, states have implemented damage caps to counteract the inflation problem.
Damages Caps in CT Personal Injury Cases
Damage caps for economic or non-economic damages in personal injury cases are not imposed in Connecticut. In some severe personal injury cases, punitive damages are permitted. Specifically, Connecticut allows punitive damages in cases of medical malpractice, but the amount awarded is limited to the actual costs of the case and the attorney's fees.
Attorney fees in a personal injury case are subject to limits. These are determined by the size of the award, and the contingency fee for the attorneys is also modified accordingly. These amounts may occasionally be exempted from payment, but only in special circumstances that arise after 2005, and even then, the 33-1/3 percent cap remains in effect.
Connecticut's Modified Comparative Negligence
When it comes to situations involving car accident compensation, Connecticut uses a modified version of the comparative negligence standard. As long as you are not entirely to blame, you would be eligible to get compensation under this rule. However, the court will not let you receive any damages if you are 50% or more at fault.
For example, consider this: a jury rules that the total amount of damages is $100,000 during a personal injury trial. They also found that your percentage of fault was 10%, while the other driver's was 90%. In this particular situation, you would be entitled to get $90,000, or 90% of the $100,000 award. This is also referred to as shared fault.
Time Limits To File Connecticut Injury Lawsuits
A rule known as the statute of limitations establishes the amount of time you have to bring a lawsuit in every state for all types of claims that can be considered in civil court. A personal injury lawsuit in Connecticut must be filed within two years of the date the injury occurred. This deadline is important to your rights because you will forfeit your chance to have your case heard if you don't file your lawsuit before Connecticut's two-year filing window expires.
Filing as soon as you can is advised, but you should consult with a personal injury attorney before doing so.
Time Limited For Claims Against Governmental Bodies
Your intention to file a lawsuit must be disclosed to a city or county within six months. A claim against the state must be reported to the State Claims Commissioner within a year.
Consult a lawyer if you have questions.
Consult the Personal Injury Attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick
A personal injury lawyer should be consulted if you have been injured and want to file a claim for damages. The team at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, has represented thousands of clients across the state of Connecticut. Our attorneys will evaluate your situation and determine if economic, non-economic, and punitive damages might apply.
Call our offices today to arrange a free case evaluation.