Each time you hit the road, whether on your way to work or off to your favorite getaway spot, there’s always the possibility of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. While we all believe we are the safest and most careful drivers, the same cannot be said for every driver on the road. Accidents do occur, and they can quickly turn your world upside down. Sometimes injuries and medical bills can pile up in an instant.
Connecticut residents harmed in an accident that wasn’t their fault should contact a Bridgeport car accident lawyer. Let the litigation experts do what they do best while you recover from your injuries. You and your family will be much better off working with a car accident expert who will fight for what’s best for you.
Compensation, Insurance, and Connecticut Car Crash Cases
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you can seek compensation for your damages. Connecticut is no longer an at-fault state. Until 1994, Nutmeg State residents were required to carry PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance policies on their vehicles. If injuries resulted from an accident, each driver would file a compensation claim with their insurance companies. However, nowadays, Connecticut uses an at-fault model.
Who’s at fault must be established before a compensation claim can be made. Sometimes the police accident reports show which driver is at fault, but it’s not always this simple. If there’s any doubt, compensation cannot be awarded until the fault has been determined. There could be circumstances when it’s both drivers’ fault.
Connecticut is a modified comparative negligence state. If the injured party is 50% or less responsible for the crash, they can still seek compensation for their damages. However, compensation will be lowered according to the percentage of their fault. If it’s been determined that the victim was 20% at fault for the accident and receiving a settlement of $100k, they’ll be awarded $80k.
How Is Fault Determined?
Ultimately, it is up to the insurance company’s claims adjusters to determine which driver was at fault. If both drivers played a role in causing the crash, the claims adjusters would assign a percentage of the fault to each driver. To receive the best possible compensation, you must work with a reputable personal injury attorney who can challenge a claims adjuster report. A claims adjuster will determine fault by reviewing the available evidence.
Police Accident Report
No matter how minor the accident was, if you’ve been injured, calling the police and requesting an accident report is of utmost importance. Police accident reports will contain information regarding the details of the accident if a citation was issued to either driver and the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident.
Accident Scene Photos
Photos of the accident are a good source of information to determine who’s at fault in a car accident. Skid marks, road conditions, and even the locations of any traffic signs can be helpful to paint a picture of what occurred. Also of great benefit are traffic light camera photos or video footage from surveillance cameras that could have recorded the accident.
Unbiased witnesses who saw the accident can help to fill in the missing blanks that photos and police reports can sometimes have. The at-fault driver may skew the accident’s details, but eyewitnesses with no skin in the game will state what they witnessed.
The Plaintiff’s Responsibilities and Compensation
Victims of car accidents in Connecticut will have the burden of proving that the other driver was at least 51% responsible for the crash, that the crash caused them injuries, and as a result, have suffered damages. This is done by working with an experienced personal injury attorney who will help you gather evidence and negotiate with the other driver’s legal team.
Along with the evidence mentioned above to prove guilt, your attorney will also help you prove your injuries and damages. Here are some common types of evidence to prove injuries and damages:
- First-responders notes
- Photos of your injuries
- Emergency room intake and discharge papers
- The medical paperwork regarding your injuries
- Photos of your injuries
- Medical bills
- Statements from friends, family, and coworkers
- Pay stubs and proof of time off due to the accident
The stronger your evidence, the stronger your case will be. This highlights the importance of working with an attorney with knowledge of car crash cases and the savvy to negotiate for the best possible settlement.
Connecticut Car Accidents: Final Thoughts
If you’ve been injured in a Connecticut traffic collision, you have to prove the other party was negligent. An insurance claims adjuster will first determine the fault. However, their decision may not work in your favor. Hiring a seasoned personal injury attorney ensures that the at-fault driver is held accountable for all of your damages.
Working with claims adjusters and insurance companies’ legal teams should only be done through your lawyer. They’re not working for you; they’re trying to limit liability and costs. Some unscrupulous insurance companies may tell you you don’t need a lawyer. This is entirely untrue. Never attempt to seek compensation without legal representation.