You may not need an attorney for something small like a fender bender where there’s very little damage to either car and no injuries. However, you should call a Connecticut car accident attorney if you were involved in a car accident in Connecticut that resulted in injuries or property damage totaling over $1,000 or if fault for the accident isn’t clear.
Connecticut is an At-Fault Insurance State
When seeking compensation for injuries after a car crash, with whose insurance company do you file your claim? Car accident victims should file claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company through the bodily injury and property damage liability coverage.
You can protect yourself from drivers who don’t carry insurance or only carry the minimum required insurance with an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy. This coverage allows you to file a claim through your insurance company if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or the damages exceed their policy limits.
The fault for an accident may not always be clear. Recount what you remember about the accident to the police when they arrive to file the police report, but don’t apologize or admit fault for anything, even if you think you did something wrong. Insurance companies, police, and your attorney will all investigate the accident to gather evidence and determine fault for the accident.
Modified Comparative Negligence in Connecticut
Connecticut is a modified comparative negligence state. In other words, if the court determines you were partly at fault for the accident, it will reduce your compensation award by your percentage of fault, as long as you weren’t 51% or more at fault.
For example, if you were 35% at fault, and the original compensation award was $100,000, you would receive $65,000 for your final compensation award. However, if you were 55% at fault, rather than receiving $45,000, you would not receive compensation for your injuries or property damage.
When might the court determine you share fault in a auto accident in Connecticut case? The following are examples of when car accident victims might share fault:
- Driving over the speed limit
- Driving through a yellow light as it turned red
- Making a rolling stop through a stop sign
- Brake-checking a driver following you too closely
- Making inappropriate lane changes
- Distracted driving due to a phone or passengers
How an Attorney Can Help Your Car Accident Case
Your Connecticut car accident attorney can help build your case in several ways. The first is by representing your interests with the insurance company and speaking with any insurance adjusters or representatives on your behalf. Insurance companies often try to make a quick settlement for less than the eventual value of the case, so getting a consultation before accepting a settlement offer is essential.
Your attorney can also:
- Examine the police report for discrepancies or errors
- Take pictures of the accident scene and nearby areas to determine areas of congestion or driver confusion
- Get weather reports from the day of your accident
- Seek out footage from nearby security cameras or find witnesses
- Gather relevant documents for your medical history to compare with your injuries after the crash
- Get expert witness testimony from doctors or an accident reconstructionist
Contact an Experienced Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been involved in a car accident in Connecticut and suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, reach out to the Law Offices of James A. Welcome. Call us at 203-753-7300 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a Connecticut car accident attorney at one of our offices in Waterbury, Torrington, West Hartford, Norwalk, or Danbury, CT.