Victims of accidents who feel they did nothing wrong and were harmed by another party have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for their damages. Although this is a right granted around the country, some laws regarding what’s allowed and what isn’t can be different depending on which state the accident occurred in. Connecticut has a unique approach that differs from other parts of the country.
Northwestern Connecticut accident victims who haven’t a clue about what to do should contact a Torrington injury lawyer. During a free consultation, one of their accident legal experts can help you draw up a plan to receive the best possible settlement. It would be foolish to attempt to collect damages without a savvy lawyer on your side.
Connecticut and Personal Injury Cases
Whether you’ve been hurt in a car accident, a slip and fall incident, or any other type of situation where you were harmed due to a person or entity’s negligence, the state of Connecticut gives victims the right to seek compensation for their damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Each state in the country handles the nuances of personal injury laws a little differently, and the Nutmeg State is no different.
The best way to understand how the laws apply to your case is to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Connecticut’s personal injury statute of limitations is two years. The clock starts ticking on the day of the accident.
Connecticut Is Not a No-Fault State
Victims of motor vehicle accidents in Connecticut need to know that the state is not one of the many that follow no-fault laws. While other states may require drivers to carry costly PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage on their vehicle’s insurance policy, Connecticut doesn’t require it. It means that those injured in an accident must seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Connecticut Is a Comparative Fault State
Just like other states in the country, an accident victim in Connecticut has the burden of proving that a person or entity denied them a duty of care, and due to this breach, they were injured. However, Connecticut is a comparative fault state, and this changes things a little for personal injury cases.
Connecticut’s modified comparative fault rule means that a victim can only seek compensation for damages if they are 50% or less responsible for the accident. If the plaintiff is found to be 51% or more responsible, they aren’t entitled to a settlement. For example, if the defendant was found to be 80% at fault, there would be a 20% reduction in the total compensation.
Punitive Damages in Connecticut for Personal Injury Lawsuits
Connecticut victims of accidents have the right to seek damages more than simply medical bills and loss of income. Although it’s commonly known that plaintiffs can seek compensation for economic damages, they also have the right to claim non-economic damages as well. Common types of non-economic damages can include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental distress and suffering
- Permanent impairment
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Another type of non-economic damage that can be claimed in a Connecticut personal injury claim is punitive damages. Almost mostly sought after in criminal cases, punitive damages are allowed in certain Connecticut civil cases. This type of damage is meant to punish the defendant and to prevent them from acting in the same manner in the future. Victims can only pursue punitive damages when the defendant acted in an intentional or otherwise reckless way.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Connecticut Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Although there’s no law on the books stating that you must hire a lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit, it would be foolish to do so without legal representation. There are far too many nuances to Connecticut’s personal injury laws to attempt to file a lawsuit to seek compensation alone. Even if the defendant’s insurance company or legal team has already approached you with a settlement offer, they’ll never offer you what your case is worth.
Connecticut and Personal Injury Cases: The Bottom Line
Only an experienced accident attorney has the savvy and know-how to negotiate a settlement with sometimes unscrupulous insurance companies whose main goal is to limit liability and pay out as little as possible. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, so accident victims aren’t required to put out a dime to retain legal counsel. There’s no good reason to seek compensation without a lawyer by your side.
Each state in the country has its own laws regarding personal injury lawsuits, and Connecticut is no different. Victims seeking compensation should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can guide them through the labyrinth of Connecticut’s legal system.