A car accident can result in significant financial and personal losses. It can lead to expensive medical bills and growing debt if you’re unable to work due to accident injuries.
If a car accident injured you, you may seek compensation from the parties who caused the crash. However, you must first establish who caused the accident. This requires evidence showing who caused the crash. Once you prove the other driver’s fault for the accident, you can pursue compensation for your injuries through the auto insurance company or a lawsuit.
Proving car accident liability and pursuing compensation are much easier with the help of a skilled lawyer. An experienced car accident attorney knows how to build a strong case. Your lawyer can advocate for your interests if the other parties try to minimize their liability by shifting blame to you. Read on to learn more about liability for car accidents in Connecticut. Reach out to a Connecticut car accident lawyer.
Car accidents can have a wide range of causes, such as:
Car accident liability refers to determining which party is responsible for causing a car accident and holding them accountable. Liability for a car accident may fall on one of the drivers involved. It may also include other parties who have the legal responsibility to compensate car accident victims.
Drivers can cause car accidents either due to negligence or recklessness. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to operate their vehicle with reasonable care. Driving with care can mean driving within the speed limit, avoiding distractions behind the wheel, and obeying traffic laws.
Recklessness involves more than simply failing to exercise reasonable care. Instead, a reckless driver consciously disregards a known risk that their behavior may cause injuries. Examples of recklessness include street racing, swerving around stopped or slowed traffic, or getting behind the wheel while impaired by the effects of alcohol or drugs.
In certain circumstances, a car accident case may also involve strict liability. Strict liability usually occurs in car accident claims arising from a defect in the vehicle. Under Connecticut law, manufacturers have strict liability for design or manufacturing defects. Strict liability means that a party has responsibility for accident injuries and losses regardless of their fault or state of mind.
Connecticut General Statutes Section 52-572h sets forth the state’s comparative negligence rule, which governs car accident liability. Under the law, each party bears financial responsibility for a car accident in proportion to their percentage of fault for the crash. The rule permits an injured car accident victim to pursue compensation if their share of fault doesn’t exceed the percentage of fault of the opposing party or parties.
However, a partially liable car accident victim may have a reduction in their financial recovery in proportion to their percentage of fault. For example, if an injured driver has $100,000 in losses from a car crash and the driver bears 25 percent of the fault, they can recover up to $75,000.
In addition to the drivers involved in a car accident, other parties may have liability for injuries and losses resulting from the crash.
These parties may include:
Connecticut requires auto insurance policies issued to vehicle owners in the state to obtain minimum coverage:
Bodily injury liability coverage pays compensation to other injured victims of a car accident, while property damage liability coverage compensates accident victims for car damage. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage allows a car accident victim to seek compensation from their own insurance provider when an at-fault driver lacks adequate liability insurance. Uninsured coverage also provides compensation to a victim of a hit-and-run car accident.
Other optional insurance coverages available to car owners include:
After you have suffered injuries in a car accident, you may pursue claims against liable parties to recover compensation for your:
Proving fault for a car accident requires securing different kinds of evidence.
Evidence that can establish what happened in a car accident includes:
After a car accident, you can put yourself in the best position to pursue a liability claim when you:
Finally, contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible so your lawyer can investigate the crash and recover evidence proving liability for your injuries.
Common questions that car accident victims have about pursuing liability claims against other parties include:
Under Connecticut General Statutes Section 52-584, you have two years to file a lawsuit after a car accident. If you file your lawsuit after two years, you risk having the trial court permanently dismiss your case as untimely filed.
In addition, if you have a car accident claim against the government, federal and state laws require you to file a notice of your claim with the appropriate government agency before you can sue the government. For example, if you have a car accident claim against the Connecticut state government, Section 4-148 states that you must present your notice within one year of the car accident.
Each car accident case will have a unique timeline.
Factors that may affect how long it will take you to resolve your car accident claim include:
If the other driver agrees to pay you compensation in a car accident settlement, that does not mean they have admitted responsibility for causing the accident. Instead, many settlement agreements state that the paying party may continue to deny liability for the car accident. Settlements give drivers and insurers a means of reducing litigation expenses and mitigating the risk of losing the case at trial.
Most car accident claims settle with the insurance company before going to trial. However, some cases end up in court when both sides deny liability for the accident or disagree over the losses incurred.
In a car accident lawsuit, a jury or the judge will serve as the fact finder at trial. The court will then issue a verdict stating the respective shares of liability of each party involved in the accident. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.