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Car Accidents: 20 Smart Legal Questions & Answers

car accident questions

Car Accident Attorneys Serving Connecticut

We understand that being in a car accident can be a devastating, life-changing experience and we’re here to help. Our Connecticut car crash attorneys have more than 60 combined years of experience representing seriously injured victims of car, motorcycle, and truck accidents.

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Below is a list of the most common car accident questions we receive from people who are thinking about filing a car accident lawsuit. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for below, please call us and we will be happy to speak with you in a free, private phone call to review your potential case.

SKIP TO:

1. How much is my car accident worth?
2. Do I have to speak with the other driver’s insurance company?
3. How do I find a personal injury car accident lawyer?
4. Should I seek medical attention after a car accident?
5. When should I hire a car accident lawyer?
6. Do I need to live near my attorney?
7. Is Connecticut a no fault state for car accidents?
8. What if I am out-of-state and the accident occurred out-of-state?
9. Will my attorney come to me if I can’t travel?
10. How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?
11. What will a car accident lawyer do for my case?
12. How long after a car accident can you sue in CT?
13. What is the difference between a settlement and a trial?
14. How long does it take for a car accident lawsuit to settle in CT?
15. Does your firm take car accident cases to trial?
16. Do I still have a case if the car accident is partly my fault?
17. What can I expect when I hire a car accident lawyer?
18. Do I really need a lawyer?
19. What damages can I recover after a car accident?
20. Why should I hire your firm?

 

1) How much is my car accident worth?

This will depend on a number of factors since each person’s situation is different. It’s important that you speak with a car accident attorney to understand what your case might be worth rather than getting an estimate from a car accident “calculator” on a law firm website. Only an attorney can give you a reliable estimate once the facts have been understood.

Compensation for a car accident can depend on:

  1. Severity of Injuries
    The more severe an injury, the more your case will likely be worth. This includes the length and type of treatment needed, permanent damage, or whether you lost a loved one due to wrongful death. We accept cases for all types of injuries, including broken bones, head and traumatic brain injuries. You can also claim damages for emotional pain and suffering.
  2. Related Medical Bills
    Important: You should see a doctor immediately after a car accident, even if you feel fine. Injuries can sometimes take days to be noticed, especially head injuries, which can only be diagnosed by a licensed doctor.All medical bills that you incur as a result of an injury from a car accident are taken into consideration when determining the value of your case. You should also tell your lawyer how severe your physical pain is. Be honest about your pain, as telling the truth will help ensure you receive proper medical attention.
  3. Loss of Work and Income
    A car crash lawsuit can help make up for any loss of income you suffer from the accident. We know that injuries, bills, or a damaged vehicle can make returning to work difficult. Your boss might also fail to be understanding about your experience, and trauma from the event might interfere with your sleep, concentration, or job performance. Your attorney will consider the monetary value of any work you miss as a result of your accident.
  4. Emotional Pain and Suffering
    Non-physical damage is also taken into consideration when determining how much your case is worth. Unfortunately, car accidents can cause intense mental distress and emotional pain. This can be from losing a loved one or developing a disorder such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Both of these are examples of damages you may be able to claim that are not physical yet have an impact on your daily life.
  5. Vehicle Damage
    The damage to your car is “property damage” and should be covered by your insurance. However, if the other person was under the influence or if insurance is not enough to cover the value, an attorney will help answer this question during your consultation.

2) Do I have to speak with the other driver’s insurance company?

No, it is very important that you do not speak to the other driver’s insurance company.

They may seem friendly over the phone, but they are not interested in helping you. Please understand the other driver’s insurance company’s sole interest is limiting their liability and what they might have to pay you. We strongly suggest that you avoid speaking with the other party’s insurance company until you have first spoken with a lawyer.

3) How do I find a personal injury car accident lawyer?

The Internet is a powerful tool for finding local businesses. If you need a lawyer, a simple online search can return millions of results in less than a second.

For the majority of personal injury lawyers in Connecticut, car accidents make up a majority of the cases they handle. However, not all car accident lawyers are the same. It is important to research the attorneys in your area to find a firm capable of handling your case. Look for the following during your initial search:

  • Reviews. Positive client reviews and ratings are important. You should pay special attention to reviews that talk about how the lawyer or law firm handled a car accident case, as this information will be most relevant to you.
  • Results. Prior results do not guarantee success in your case. However, a car accident lawyer who has recovered millions of dollars for other clients injured in car crashes clearly has experience advocating for people in circumstances similar to yours – and winning.
  • Experience. Both the years the attorney has been in practice (and/or how long the firm has been in operation) and his or her focus on car accident claims are important to consider when you are looking for a lawyer to handle your case.
  • Support. Being involved in a car accident is traumatic. The Connecticut car accident attorney you choose should be committed not only to recovering maximum compensation on your behalf but providing compassionate counsel and knowledgeable advice at every stage of your claim.
  • Location. National law firms target their advertising to multiple areas of the country. However, car accident claims are governed by state and local laws. Therefore, it pays to hire a car accident lawyer who knows the local area. For example, The Flood Law Firm has offices in:

After finding one or more potential car accident attorneys, you should schedule a free consultation to inquire about your case. The initial consultation is more than an opportunity to find out if you have a viable claim. You should use this meeting to determine if the lawyer, the staff, and the firm as a whole may be worth hiring.

Questions to ask at the initial consultation with a Connecticut car accident attorney include:

  • What percentage of your practice is dedicated to car accident cases?
  • Have you handled a case like mine before?
  • Do you think I have a viable case?
  • What is my car accident case worth, in your opinion?
  • How are most of your car accident claims resolved? Do you take cases to trial?
  • If I have questions, how soon will you and your team get back to me?
  • Will you be handling my case directly or will it be assigned to an associate?

Ultimately, these questions help you determine the viability of your car accident case and whether the attorney or law firm is equipped to handle it. The consultation is also an opportunity to assess what it might be like to be a client of the firm and whether you feel comfortable hiring the attorney to represent you.

4) Should I seek medical attention after a car accident?

Absolutely, yes. If you were not transported to the hospital immediately following a car accident, you need to seek medical care on your own as soon as possible.

Not all car accident injuries have immediate symptoms. These “hidden” injuries include:

Just because these injuries are not always symptomatic does not mean they are not serious. If left unattended, injuries from a car accident can lead to severe pain and loss of mobility and function. Some injuries – such as brain damage, internal bleeding, and injury to an organ – can become medical emergencies without proper, timely medical care.

Another reason to seek medical attention ASAP after a car accident is to protect your legal rights. You need compelling evidence of your injuries from the accident, and that starts with thorough medical records that document the harm you have suffered.

Failure to see a doctor results in less evidence to support your claim. In addition, defendants and insurance companies will point to the delay in receiving treatment and/or the absence of medical documentation as a way to devalue your claim and dispute liability for the accident.

5) When should I hire a Connecticut car accident lawyer?

Hiring a car crash lawyer as soon as possible is the best way to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your losses and protect your interests. This gives your injury lawyer valuable time to build your case, gather time-sensitive evidence, dispatch investigators, and collect all the pieces so that you receive the maximum compensation under Connecticut’s auto accident laws.

Not only does hiring an auto accident lawyer immediately improve your chances of a favorable outcome, but there is also a time limit for you to file a car accident claim known as the statute of limitations. Connecticut gives you two years from the date of the accident to file a car accident lawsuit, however, this time frame may vary depending on the details surrounding your case. Due to nuances in the law that can affect the time limit, we encourage speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can likely provide an accurate understanding of Connecticut’s statute of limitations during a consultation

Note: Simply speaking with a car crash lawyer is not the same as hiring one. Free consultations are offered by most car crash attorney law firms. The sooner you partner with a qualified attorney, the faster you will be on your way to recovery with the financial help you deserve.

6) Do I need to live near my attorney?

No, you do not need to be located in the same city or state as your car crash attorney.

Our firm represents people throughout Connecticut with four office locations, however, this includes drivers who may be passing through from New York or Massachusetts and other neighboring states, as well as tourists who have been injured while visiting Connecticut from anywhere in the U.S. or abroad.

7) Is Connecticut a no fault state for car accidents?

Not anymore. Today, car accident claims in Connecticut are handled on an at-fault basis. However, longtime residents of the state may remember that Connecticut was a no-fault state (similar to neighboring New York) for many years.

In 1993, Connecticut Public Act 93-297 abolished the no-fault rule in favor of a fault-based or tort system. Since 1994, victims of car accidents in Connecticut have had the right to bring claims against negligent drivers and other parties for damages.

The at-fault system is hugely beneficial to plaintiffs in car accident claims. Instead of being largely restricted to coverage of select economic damages through the victim’s own insurance, torts enable plaintiffs to seek compensation for all economic damages as well as pain and suffering and other non-economic losses.

Read More: Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in CT?

8) What if I am not in Connecticut and the car accident occurred out of state?

You are still welcome to call our law firm if you have a question. After all, we are counselors at law, or otherwise here to help counsel the best decision to make on your behalf, which includes helping you find the right attorney if you have been seriously injured.

9) Will my accident attorney come to me if I can’t travel?

Yes! Remember that your job right now is to heal, rest, and follow your doctor’s orders, so it is our pleasure to visit clients at their homes or even in the hospital. This gives us a chance to listen to your story firsthand and answer any questions you may have.

10) Car Accident Lawyer fees. How much does it cost to hire a  car wreck attorney?

In plain English, it only costs you if your lawyer wins a recovery on your behalf. You may have heard law some firms say, “we don’t get paid unless we win.” This is because legal fees are on a contingency basis. The thousands spent on investigations, court appearances, filing fees, expert witnesses, etc. are at no cost to you unless we win your case.

Most firms do not openly discuss their fees, but we understand this is an important matter when considering hiring a lawyer. At The Flood Law Firm, our fee is generally 33% of the recovery amount up to $300,000. On amounts beyond $300,000, our fees reduce on a sliding scale and continue to decrease as the settlement or verdict recovered increases. We welcome any questions regarding our fees, upfront costs, and how if we do not win your case you do not owe us a penny!

11) What will a Connecticut car accident attorney do for my case?

This is a great question. Here are a few ways an attorney can help:

  • Obtain a police report. If fault is not clearly established or in dispute, our lawyers will obtain a police report on your behalf. Our own car accident investigative team will help to gather the facts.
  • Calculate your losses. Your injuries may have only happened days, weeks, or months ago, but may be lifelong. Your injuries may have permanent damage in terms of nerve, range of motion, or body functions. Understanding how these will impact you over your lifetime and having a medical specialist determine this will be necessary.For example, if you broke your wrist during the accident, in addition to the medical care and time to heal, you may develop arthritis more quickly, have trouble lifting, and even day to day tasks such as opening a tight jar can be a lifelong complication. Our lawyers will help you plan accordingly and ensure you receive the maximum compensation – for life.
  • Deal with the insurance companies. Insurance companies will likely attempt to deny your claim or convince you that there is no claim. We have seen this thousands of times and it’s one more reason a lawyer will have your back and relieve the burden of dealing with the insurance company.
  • Ensure you get your maximum recovery. A lawyer will make sure you receive what is fair and just, even if you are partially at fault. When you do not have a lawyer to represent you, insurance companies will often make every attempt to reduce their liability and pressure you into settling the claim.

 

If you have questions and prefer to speak with someone over the phone, the team at The Flood Law Firm is available.

(877) 987-9529

 

12) How long after a car accident can you sue in CT?

The statute of limitations sets the time limit for legal claims involving car accidents. In Connecticut, you have just 2 years to bring a claim against the party or parties whose negligence resulted in the crash that caused your injuries (see Connecticut General Statutes § 52-584).

You may not need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation after a car accident. Most car accident claims are resolved through out-of-court settlements, often before it is necessary to sue.

However, it takes time to collect evidence and make a strong car accident case. Therefore, it is in your best interest to consult a Connecticut car accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your legal rights are fully protected and that your lawyer has sufficient time to file a lawsuit as needed to maximize your compensation.

The same rule applies to wrongful death claims. If a member of your family is tragically killed in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you only have 2 years to sue (see Connecticut General Statutes § 52-555). Once again, it is crucial to seek legal counsel promptly to preserve your right to sue for the wrongful death of your loved one.

13) What is the difference between a settlement and a trial?

Abraham Lincoln once said “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time.”

A settlement is what happens when the insurance company and your attorney are able to reach an agreement for what you are owed. This helps you as the client to be paid quickly and begin moving on with your life.  However, when no agreement is reached or an insurance company refuses to properly compensate you, this is when we will discuss taking your car accident case to court for a trial. We have the skills and financial backing to do this and fight for what you deserve, and we are proud of our winning track record.

Together, our goal is to get you the maximum compensation as quickly as possible.

14) How long does it take for a car accident lawsuit to settle in CT?

It is important to understand that a settlement can be reached at any point during your car accident claim. This includes before a lawsuit is ever filed, before trial, and even during trial proceedings.

When a settlement may be reached depends on the specifics of your case. A straightforward car accident case may be settled within 6 months, while more complicated cases can take 1 year or more.

Ultimately, issues such as the severity of your injuries, the nature and extent of damages, and issues of complex liability can all result in a car accident settlement taking longer to reach. It is of the utmost importance to hire a knowledgeable Connecticut car accident attorney who can negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf and determine when it may be necessary to file a lawsuit.

The Flood Law Firm has built a reputation as skilled, ferocious litigators. We take cases to trial (a trait not shared by many other attorneys and law firms in the area), and our results speak for themselves. Because of our winning reputation, insurance companies tend to be more amenable to negotiation. Frequently, this enables us to reach settlements sooner and for more money.

15) Does your firm take car accident cases to trial?

Yes. When hiring a lawyer, one of the most important qualities to consider is their trial experience. Trial experience proves to the insurance company that we will fight all the way on your behalf. A law firm’s experience in the courtroom can actually encourage an insurance company to settle quickly and fairly.

While on this topic, we want to clarify that we are experienced trial attorneys who have been litigating serious car accident cases for a combined 35 years. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients when an insurance company offered $0 or just flat-out denied a client’s claim.

16) Do I still have a case if the car accident is partly my fault?

Perhaps. Connecticut follows the rule of comparative negligence in legal actions where more than one party is responsible. Plaintiffs are not barred from recovering personal injury damages provided their “negligence was not greater than the combined negligence of the person or persons against whom recovery is sought” (see Connecticut General Statutes § 52-572h(b)).

In other words, you may still be entitled to compensation for a car accident if the evidence shows that you are no more than 50% at fault for the crash. The damages you can recover will be modified based on your share of fault.

Say, for example, that your damages from a car accident total $100,000. Evidence shows that the other driver was 90% at fault but you share 10% of the blame. In this example, the maximum compensation you can recover would be $90,000.

17) What can I expect when I hire a Connecticut car accident lawyer?

  1. Contact us for a free case review. You can reach out to us via phone at (877) 987-9529 or by using this contact form. You will have the chance to speak with a lawyer, who will ask you a few simple questions about what happened and hear your story. You can ask any question at this time and all information you share is kept 100% confidential.
  2. Hire your attorney. If you choose to hire our law firm, we will review what is known as a “Retainer Agreement” together. This makes you an official client and outlines our commitment to you as your attorneys. You can now focus on your healing. There is no upfront fee to hire The Flood Law Firm, and we will only collect a fee from the recovery amount if we secure compensation for you.
  3. We notify the other party’s insurance company. This is done with what is called a “Letter of Representation,” and simply lets the other driver’s insurance company know that an attorney is representing you.
  4. We build your case. Next, your attorney will begin gathering all of the necessary documents to build an effective case on your behalf, including your medical records, bills, photographs of your injuries, written testimonies, or any other supporting evidence. This is also a great time to speak with your attorney about finding the right doctor if you are having trouble or your injuries require a specialist. Experienced attorneys can put you in touch with top-rated medical professionals to receive the best possible care.
  5. We handle all the phone calls. Many people find themselves in a financial bind because of high medical costs after a car accident. Your attorney will take over any phone calls or communication with debt collectors or creditors who may be harassing you for payment. We will also field any calls from the other driver’s insurance company.
  6. We file a lawsuit. This is the formal request for what you are entitled to as compensation for your losses. This often prompts the other party to settle your claim.
  7. We negotiate a settlement or take your case to trial. Your attorney will aggressively negotiate a fair amount of compensation for your injuries. If the other party is unwilling to agree on this number, your attorney will file a lawsuit. However, most claims will be resolved with a settlement.
  8. We resolve your case. Whether by settlement or trial if necessary, your attorney will pursue the other party until you are justly compensated for your injuries and the case has been resolved. The process can take several months or longer if a trial is involved, but in certain cases the resolution is quick. This is why it’s important to choose a law firm who has successful experience taking cases to trial.

18) Do I really need a lawyer after a car accident?

Honestly, yes.

Many don’t imagine that what seems like a simple fender bender could turn into a lawsuit. But when the insurance company does not compensate you fairly, it can become a problem.

The legal process can be daunting and time-consuming. Organizing and submitting documents, communicating with the other driver’s insurance company and their lawyers can quickly become overwhelming. Insurance companies may pressure you to settle quickly or raise a factor to dismiss or deny your claim in full!

Studies have shown that victims of car accidents and serious injuries who hire a lawyer receive on average 40% more for their claim than when not hiring a lawyer.

To be clear, you do not have to hire a lawyer. However, it is wise to. Hiring an attorney releases the burden of a lawsuit into the hands of an experienced litigator. Our law firm will do all the work while your only job is to heal.

19) What damages can I recover after a car accident?

Car accident victims are often unaware of the full extent of damages that may be recoverable for injuries suffered in a crash. The only way to know for sure how much you may be entitled to is to talk to a Connecticut car accident attorney about your case.

Our Connecticut car accident lawyers will fully review the evidence to identify the damages you have sustained. We will pursue compensation for all of your losses, which may include:

  • Medical expenses, including ambulance services, emergency room treatment, hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, etc.
  • Future medical expenses
  • The cost of household services and home-based medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Travel for medical care
  • Assistive devices and home/vehicle modifications
  • Damage to personal property, including your vehicle and other items
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of quality and enjoyment of life

Accurately accounting for damages connected to a car accident is no easy task. Car accident lawyers at The Flood Law Firm will review your medical records, talk to your doctors, and consult expert witnesses to understand the economic and non-economic impact of your injuries and pursue the compensation you deserve.

20) Why should I hire a car accident attorney from The Flood Law Firm?

This is our favorite question! Sure, we have experience, jury trial victories, an outstanding team, and the winning results to show for it. If you have done your research, you will find that many law firms may say the same thing. But at the end of the day, consider hiring us for our unflinching confidence to resolve cases when the odds seem stacked against them. Consider hiring us for our tenacity. We became lawyers because we stand up to bullies and believe that fairness sometimes requires a fight. Consider hiring us because other lawyers and their families have hired us to represent them in difficult cases when a loved one was hurt or injured.

As lawyers and active members of the community, we have a personal interest in our clients’ well-being and won’t allow them to be pressured by anyone to settle for less than what they are owed. You didn’t ask for this to happen and you didn’t start the fight, but you can rest assured we will help you resolve it.

testimonial“This firm is the real deal. Top firm for personal injury litigation. The Flood Law Firm has a solid reputation for trying jury cases against insurance companies, rather than just taking what’s offered. Since insurance companies know that The Flood Law Firm will see the case to the end, there is a greater likelihood that the case will settle for what it is worth. Highly recommend this firm.”

– Frank S.

testimonial“Brian Flood represented me in a highly contested case against an Allstate insured. He and his staff are 100% accessible. The result he obtained was close to 7 times Allstate’s last offer and even in the final phase, Brian, himself, fought on my behalf, for every cent possible. Brian is a tremendously gifted advocate. I would highly recommend him to anyone seeking a personal injury attorney.”

-Leslie M.

*Actual photos not used to protect client privacy.

What are your firm’s qualifications?

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The Flood Law Firm’s founders, Brian and Chris Flood, are recognized in and out of the courthouse. They have been nominated by their peers into prestigious organizations for their passionate representation on behalf of people who were hurt or lost their lives because of another’s negligence.

A few of our honors include:

  • American Board of Trial Advocates – A legal organization with less than 90 total members in the state, Brian Flood is only one of very few vehicle accident attorneys from Connecticut.
  • Connecticut Personal Injury Hall of Fame – Chris Flood was inducted into the Connecticut Personal Injury Hall of Fame by the Connecticut Law Tribune in 2014.
  • Super Lawyers – The Flood Law Firm was named Super Lawyers for five consecutive years, a designation given to only 5% of all lawyers in the U.S.

How do I contact your firm?

We are a simple phone call away. If you have been involved in a car, motorcycle, truck or other serious accident, please call The Flood Law Firm at (877) 987-9529. You may also reach us by filling out this form and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

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Firm founders Chris Flood (L) and Brian Flood (R).

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