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How To Collect Money Damages When You Are Injured in Multiple Accidents: How CT Law Apportions Damages When Your Doctor Cannot

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

A person is involved in a car accident, caused by the fault of another and injures their lumbar spine. Before the injured party has concluded their medical treatment they are involved in a second car accident where another injury occurs to their lumbar spine. The physician, who treats each injury, is unable to determine which accident caused what percentage of disability to the injured party’s spine.

The issue that comes up in this fact pattern is; how does a person get compensated for a permanent injury that was the result of one or more accidents? In other words, if the total disability to the lumbar spine is 20%, who is responsible for all and/or part of that percentage when the treating orthopedic doctor cannot attribute what the percentage of permanent disability was caused by which accident.

Connecticut has an apportionment statute, C.G.S. § 52-572(h), so the question is whether a jury can be called upon to apportion damages among multiple defendants in multiple accidents that have caused the same or similar injuries to the plaintiff.

The CT Appellate Court addressed this issue in the case of Card v. State. In Card, the plaintiff was injured in three separate accidents that occurred within seven months of each other. A lawsuit was filed as to each of the three defendants. The Plaintiff treated with the same doctor for each of
the three injuries.

At trial, the Plaintiff’s physician testified that each of the three accidents was a substantial factor in contributing to the Plaintiff’s injuries but it was impossible to determine to a reasonable degree of medical certainty how much of the total disability was attributable to each accident. The doctor ultimately testified that each of the three accidents contributed equally to the permanent disability suffered by the Plaintiff.

The verdict was appealed and the CT Appellate Court indicated that the trial court should not have allowed the doctor’s testimony into evidence because it was speculative and therefore inadmissible. However,
the Appellate Court also held that the Court should not have granted the Defendant’s motion to set aside the verdict obtained by the plaintiff in the trial court.

The Appellate Court went on to state, in analyzing our apportionment statute, 52-572(h), that in the rare case where damages cannot be
apportioned between two or more accidents, the plaintiff who can prove
causation should not be left without a remedy. One response to situations in which a jury is unable to make even a rough approximation of damages, is to apportion them equally among the various accidents.

The Card Court held that if the jury could not make even a
rough approximation, in each case, the jury must apportion the damages equally among each party whose negligent actions caused injury to the plaintiff, including settled or released persons as contemplated by the apportionment statute.

So if you receive injuries to the same or similar body
part(s), in multiple accidents, and your doctor cannot apportion the injury as to each accident, you can still receive compensation.

Get Answers to Your Stamford Connecticut Speeding Accident Worries

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

When you are seriously injured in a Stamford  Connecticu sppedng accident you have so many questions. Do you speak to the insurance company of the at fault driver? How do you investigate the Stamford Connecticut speeding accident? Who will interview the witnesses? How are all of your bills going to be paid? Who will pay you while you are out of work?

These are all important questions that need immediate answers. Don’t delay in getting the answers you need. Call us today.

Establishing a violation of Connecticut case law or common law or a Connecticut General Statute or statutory laws can prove determining fault in a Connencticut motor vehicle accident. How people are to operate a motor vehicle are set forth in article 14 of the general statutes. One such section might you able to prove a violation of could be speeding , which states:

Sec. 14-219. Speeding. (a) No person shall operate any motor vehicle (1) upon any highway, road or any parking area for ten cars or more, at such a rate of speed as to endanger the life of any occupant of such motor vehicle, but not the life of any other person than such an occupant; or (2) at a rate of speed greater than fifty-five miles per hour upon any highway other than a highway specified in subsection (b) of section 14-218a for which a speed limit has been established in accordance with the provisions of said subsection; (3) at a rate of speed greater than sixty-five miles per hour upon any highway specified in subsection (b) of section 14-218a for which a speed limit has been established in accordance with the provisions of said subsection; or (4) if such person is under eighteen years of age, upon any highway or road for which a speed limit of less than sixty-five miles per hour has been established in accordance with subsection (a) of section 14-218a, at a rate of speed twenty miles per hour or more above such speed limit.

Our Stamford Connecticut speeding accident and injury lawyers answer client calls and emails promptly so you can get answers to your important Stamford Connecticut speeding accident questions. You can rest assured that your case will get the attention it deserves. We have office locations throughout the State of Connecticut. If you are unable to come to us, we will gladly come to you whether at the hospital, your home or any other location you designate.  Also, many answers to your Stamford Connecticut speeding accident questions can be answered by downloading copy of our FREE book “The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut”. You can also call us free at (888) 842-8466 or visit us online at www.hcwlaw.com. You can even tell us about your case online and we will contact you. Let us worry about your case, so you can concentrate on getting better.

We Can Relieve Your Bridgeport CT Car Accident Concerns

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

After being involved in a Bridgeport CT Car Accident case you experience a great deal of pain, you are tremendously concerned about what to do and you are scared and anxious about how you will be properly compensated for your losses. These concerns are very common and very real. We are here to help you through this very difficult time.

The first issue that must be proven in a personal injury case is
liability. In other words, you must first show that someone else cause or is responsible for the accident which result in the injuries and damages suffered by the plaintiff. One way that you can establish liability is by proving first that the defendant violated one of the Connecticut General Statues related to fault. One of the statutory sections you might be able to prove was violated by the defendant is:

Sec. 14-222. Reckless driving. (a) No person shall operate any motor vehicle upon any public highway of the state, or any road of any specially chartered municipal association or of any district organized under the provisions of chapter 105, a purpose of which is the construction and maintenance of roads and sidewalks, or in any parking area for ten cars or more or upon any private road on which a speed limit has been established in accordance with the provisions of section 14-218a or upon any school property recklessly, having regard to the width, traffic and use of such highway, road, school property or parking area, the intersection of streets and the weather conditions. The operation of a motor vehicle upon any such highway, road or parking area for ten cars or more at such a rate of speed as to endanger the life of any person other than the operator of such motor vehicle, or the operation, downgrade, upon any highway, of any motor vehicle with a commercial registration with the clutch or gears disengaged, or the operation knowingly of a motor vehicle with defective mechanism, shall constitute a violation of the provisions of this section. The operation of a motor vehicle upon any such highway, road or parking area for ten cars or more at a rate of speed greater than eighty-five miles per hour shall constitute a violation of the provisions of this section.

After being involved in a Bridgeport CT Car Accident case, you need to take a number of steps to strengthen the value of your claim and there are a number of things you could do to harm your case. Find out what to do and what not to do by ordering our FREE comprehensive book “The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut”. Call us today at (888) 842-8466 or order it online at www.hcwlaw.com. By properly developing your Bridgeport CT Car Accident case from the start, you can increase the amount of money you can get for your injuries.

You’ve Been in an Accident. You are Injured. Do you need a lawyer? What will the lawyer cost? How do you pick a lawyer? What if….?

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

People who are injured in a car, truck, motorcycle or some other type of CT accident generally have questions about their case that are commonly asked of  lawyers. Generally speaking, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer if you have been injured in any type of an accident so you can have your rights explained to you and so you can be advised as to what you should do and just as importantly, learn what you should not be doing. If you do not need the services of a lawyer then a reputable and experienced accident lawyer can tell you how you should proceed with your case. Often times, an injured party will first speak with an insurance adjuster who will attempt to greatly compromise the injured person’s case by pointing out potential liability problems, will down play the injuries or will try to convince the injured party that they do not need  the services of a lawyer. It is very important that you first speak with a lawyer so you do not make any critical mistakes in the handling of your claim that can otherwise greatly reduce the value of your case.

Another question that is frequently asked is how much the lawyer will charge to give advice to the injured party. At Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP we never charge for an initial consultation for any injured party. If we decide to take your case then it will be handled on a contingency fee basis which means we are not paid unless we collect money for you. We also understand that many injured people do not have the money to pay for expert opinions, investigative work, medical records and reports and other expenses which need to be paid to develop the case which is why our firm advances all costs. Those costs are repaid to us at the conclusion of your case out of your recovery. If there is no recovery then you will not owe us for our costs and you will not owe us any legal fees. There is no financial risk for you as our firm takes all of that responsibility so you can concentrate on getting better.

If you cannot leave the hospital, a rehabilitative care facility, your home or some other location then we can meet with you. One of our attorneys can drive to a location selected by you so you can tell our attorney the facts of your case so we can determine how we can best help you. If we decide to take your case we can get started on our investigation immediately and will keep you updated as to our progress. We are very accessible and can be reached at our office, via email and on our cell phones after hours and on weekends if you need immediate answers.

Many times people want to know if they will have to go to court and the answer is statistically; no. Most cases settle without the need to go to trial. In many instances, this will be determined by how well your case is investigated and developed, the strength of your case, your injuries and damages, the experience and reputation of your lawyer or law firm and a number of other factors. You will have many questions as you proceed with your recovery and need to get prompt answers to your important questions. We pride ourselves on being very communicative and responsive. We realize this is a very difficult time made worse by physical pain, economic pressures and fear related to uncertainty. We have been doing this for decades and we know what to do and will be there every step of the way to guide you through this process.

We are sometimes contacted by injured people who are unhappy with their current lawyer or who want to switch lawyers and we are asked if this can be done. This answer is; yes, of course. An injured victim of an accident is free to discharge their current lawyer and hire a new lawyer at any step of the case. If our firm decides to take your case where you were represented by another lawyer, we will have you sign a retainer agreement with our firm and we will then deal directly with your old lawyer to get you file transferred over to our office. You will not have to have any further contact with your prior lawyer. Any fee owed to your old lawyer will be paid by our firm without you having to pay any more money than you would have paid your old firm if you left your file there. In other words, if you later hire our firm it will not cost you any extra money than if you kept your old firm.

If you are looking to hire a lawyer and want to get a sense of who might be a good fit for you then you should do some or all of the following: if the firm offers a free book on injury law, get it and read it (our firm offers such a free book); read the lawyers bio; see what awards or recognition the lawyer or firm received; are any of the lawyers  published authors who have received awards (one of our lawyers is a bestselling author); call the firm and speak with one of the lawyers you are interested in hiring and ask all of your questions; schedule a free consultation and get a feel for whether or not this is someone that you want to work with; and conduct whatever other due diligence you deem appropriate.

The most important thing to remember is to contact an attorney as soon as possible so you are protected. So before you hire a lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster or sign any paperwork, get a copy of our free book “The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims.”  The book, the call and the consultation are all free. Call us at (888) 842-8466 or visit us at www.hcwlaw.com.


Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

What is my Connecticut accident or injury case worth? This is one of the first questions we are asked at a new client interview by someone who has been recently injured through the fault of another. Recently, there are a number of attorneys who claim to be able to have you input numbers into an injury case evaluator to advise you of the value of your case. If someone claims to be able to tell you the value of your case, right after you have been injured, I would not consider hiring them.

I saw such an evaluation tool online that promised to tell the injured party the value of their case.  I knew what they were going to do in advance but was curious to see how they would go about it. I inputted data about an accident including what happened, the current hospital and medical bills and the injuries sustained. I answered all of the questions asked.  I received an email response indicating that the attorney, who was on the west coast, wanted to talk to me about my CT accident case.

I responded to the lawyer, via email, that I just wanted to get the value of the case. I was told he needed more information and wanted to speak with me. I emailed him back and asked what else he needed. He responded with additional information that was not previously requested. I responded again with the missing data and asked for the value of the case. I received yet another email indicating that evaluating a case was a complicated situation and that he needed to speak with me. I responded via email that he promised to tell me the value of the case but still had not done so.

I then received another email stating that I needed to speak with this certain attorney in CT who was very highly regarded and would be able to answer my questions. I emailed him back and stated that my only question was what the case was worth. This west coast attorney concluded by stating that I needed to speak with this CT attorney. I knew when I first emailed that lawyer, requesting an evaluation, that I could not and would not be given one because there are far too many variables that are missing at the beginning of a case to give any type of meaningful evaluation of the case’s value.

So if you are injured in an accident one of your first questions should be what can I be doing to help increase the value of my case rather than what is my case worth. Our FREE book “The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut” will tell you what you can be doing to increase the value of your injury case. We even have a chapter entitled “What is my Case Worth” that tells you what factors go into determining the ultimate value of your case.

So if you want free practical answers to your questions and no nonsense advice on what you should be doing, get our book emailed to you today by visiting www.hcwlaw.com. You can also call us at 888.842.8466 or fill out our online form and we can call you. We will even travel to meet with you if you want. The book, the call and the advice are all free. We will even advance all of your costs and only get paid if we collect money for you. Contact us today.

Recovering Damages When No Direct Proof of Negligence Exists

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

What happens when you are seriously injured, allegedly by the negligence of another, but you are unable to produce any direct evident of the fault of a third party?  Would Connecticut law allow you to prevail in such a case?

Enter the doctrine of res ipra loquitor, Latin for “the thing speaks for itself”, which is a legal theory that permits a jury to infer negligence when no direct evidence of negligence has been introduced.

The Connecticut Supreme Court has held that the doctrine of res ipra loquitor applies only when two prerequisites exist.  Those requirements are:  first, the situation, condition or apparatus causing the injury must be such that in the ordinary course of events, no injury would have occurred unless someone had been negligent; and second, at the time of the injury, both inspection and operation must have been in control of the party charged with neglect.

If both of these prerequisites are satisfied, a fact finder (a Judge or jury), may properly conclude that it is more likely than not that the injury in question was caused by the defendant’s negligence.  Giles v. New Haven (1997).

In Giles, the plaintiff was an elevator operator who was injured in an elevator accident.  The plaintiff sued for failing to properly inspect, maintain and repair the offending elevator.  The plaintiff did not present any direct evidence of these claims but instead relied upon the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor.  Our Supreme Court held that the plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to warrant presentation of the question of negligence, under the doctrine of res ipra loquitor, to the jury.

Other Connecticut cases where the doctrine has been held to apply involve:  the cable of an amusement park ride that broke, which threw the plaintiff to the ground; a woman passing by a store who was injured when glass from the store’s window fell upon her; a person who was injured when a suitcase fell from a baggage rack onto her head; a wheel came which came off a truck and struck an indiviual who was walking on the sidewalk; and a person in a hospital waiting room had a TV fall onto her head and injure her.

It should be stressed that every case is fact specific and must be viewed in the totality of the circumstances but if you are injured and have no direct proof of negligence, you still might be able to prevail in your claim under the theory of res ipsa loquitor.

Lawyers Help Handle Claims Adjusters

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

Being involved in a Waterbury, Connecticut car accident can harm you in so
many different ways. We are here to help you so you can concentrate all of
your efforts on getting well. Put our decades of aggressive, experienced
representation to work for you.

You should be aware that studies have shown that experienced lawyers can negotiate settlements and obtain judgments that are many times higher than what the injured parties can negotiate for themselves.   In other words, in most cases, you will do better after paying the lawyer than you would if you attempted to negotiate your own settlement with insurance company claims adjusters. Your personal injury case could be fraught with many different complications and issues which would make handling your case without hiring a lawyer very difficult. An example of one of those types of issues might include:


Insurance company claims adjusters are professional negotiators who have extensive experience in dealing with claimants who are not represented by attorneys.  These adjusters use an array of psychological techniques, including intimidating you and befriending you.  Their methods are designed to get you to accept the least amount of money possible for your claim.

Claims adjusters know that if they can keep the injured party negotiating, there is a very great chance that a settlement favorable to the insurance company will be obtained.  Claims adjusters also know that in almost every case, an injured party will not file a lawsuit on his or her own because he or she does not possess the required level of skill, expertise, or experience, and that injured parties therefore often feel that their only option is to obtain some type of settlement from the insurance company.

In many instances, claims adjusters will discourage or dissuade injured parties from hiring a lawyer by telling them that lawyers’ fees will cost a great deal of  money, leading claimants to conclude that they shouldn’t pay a lawyer to do something they can do for themselves.

Insurance companies utilize a number of different types of computer programs to analyze personal injury cases in an effort to give insurance adjusters little, if any, discretion in negotiated settlements.  This strategy will ultimately result in lower settlements for injured parties.

In addition to the above considerations, there are a great number of complicated issues that arise in a personal injury or medical malpractice case.  These various legal issues are fraught with potential problems and are so complex that they can even sometimes be the subject of a malpractice action against an attorney who improperly handles a case.  A nonprofessional has little chance of navigating these depths successfully without an attorney’s assistance.

The insurance company of the person who caused your
car accident case has adjusters, investigators and lawyers working on your
case so they can determine how to pay you the least amount of money
possible. You need someone working for you. Do not wait until it’s too late.
Call us today at (888) 842-8466 or visit us online at www.hcwlaw.com to get
a copy of our FREE book “The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claim in
Connecticut”. Do not hire a lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster or sing
any paperwork until you order our FREE book.

How is Liability Decided & What Money Damages are Awarded in Norwalk, CT Car Accident

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

Your Norwalk, Connecticut car accident case can completely overwhelm you. When will you feel better? How are your bills going to be paid?
What doctors should you see? What do you tell them? What should you do? What should you not do? Have you done anything to harm
your case? How will this case be investigated? What are the steps that must be taken and in what order? Contact us today so we can
get you a FREE copy of our book “The Crash Course On Personal Injury Claims
in Connecticut” so you can get all of your questions answered.


How does a jury decide on liability in any given case and what money
damages are to be awarded for past medical bills, future medical care, loss
of income, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium? The answer is they
are charged or instructed by the judge as to how they should apply the law
to the facts that they have found to be proven. For example, once such charge related to
punitive damages could be:


In addition to seeking compensatory damages, the plaintiff seeks an award of
punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages awarded not to compensate
the plaintiff for any injury or losses but to punish the defendant for
outrageous conduct and to deter (him/her) and others like (him/her) from
similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages may be awarded for conduct
that is outrageous, because of the defendant’s reckless indifference to the
rights of others or an intentional and wanton violation of those rights.
You may award punitive damages only if you unanimously find, from facts
established by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conduct of the
defendant was, in fact, outrageous.
The law does not require you to award punitive damages. It is, instead, a
matter for your sound discretion. An award of punitive damages must not
reflect bias, prejudice or sympathy with respect to any party. It must
instead be fairly based on the evidence in the case.
There is no exact standard for fixing the amount of punitive damages. The
amount awarded, if any, should be the amount you unanimously find necessary
for achieving the objectives of punitive damages that I have described. You
should consider the degree of reprehensibility of the defendant’s misconduct
and the actual or potential harm suffered by the plaintiff.


Once you are injured in a Norwalk, CT  motor vehicle accident case, it is important that
you get accurate and prompt legal advice. You need answers to your important
questions so you take the necessary steps to develop your case. Injured
parties call us with many legal questions and accident related issues, which
is why we wrote the book “The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in
Connecticut”. Contact us today at www.hcwlaw.com or call us toll free at
(888) 842-8466 to get a FREE copy of our book. You have questions, we have
the answers. Do not speak to anyone from the insurance company, do not hire
an attorney and do not sign any papers until you read our free book. Don’t
delay. Get the information you need today.

Be Aware of Delayed or Hidden Injuries That you Later Experience in Your CT Accident Case

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

Be Aware of Delayed or Hidden Injuries That you Later Experience in Your CT Accident Case

If you have been injured in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle, slip and fall, dog bite, medical malpractice or other type of CTaccident case, you may not be aware of all of your injuries immediately after you are initially injured!  Because accidents occur in a variety of ways, for example: rear impact; side impact; front impact; two moving vehicles hitting each other; a moving vehicle hitting a stationary object; a rider falling off of a motorcycle; a high speed impact; a minor impact; falling face first; falling on your back; twisting injuries; whiplash injuries; and any one of a number of other ways, it is possible that the injured party might later experience the onset of delayed or hidden injuries.  It is therefore important to pay close attention to your body and described all pain, discomfort and problems which you are experiencing to your doctors and medical providers. It is also important to keep them updated as to other injuries as you experience them.

In many cases your body will initially go into shock and the trauma of the events of the accident might cause your brain to function in a very different way which masks certain injuries until days, weeks or event months later. The way in which you carry out your day to day activities might aggravate a dormant or latent injury or you might exacerbate a preexisting injury that has been asymptomatic for years. It is important that you do not downplay injuries to your doctor or ignore pain in the hope that it will go away. In order to be properly compensated for your injuries in is easier if you have detailed all of your problems and pain complaints to all of your doctors and health care providers as they occur or in a timely manner.

Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP offers FREE books on injury law and free consultations so you can find out more about your unique case. Contact us today so you do not do anything to adversely affect the value of your claim.

Call us at our toll free number 888.842.8466 or visit us online at www.hcwlaw.com.

Photo Credit: Hank Grebke

Traumatic Brain Injuries | Motorcycle and Auto Vehicle Accident CT Law

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

A traumatic brain injury or “TBI” refers to damage caused to the brain that results from an open or closed head injury the results of which are expected to continue indefinitely and creates a substantial handicap to the individual. A person is said to have a traumatic brain injury  when that person has had a traumatically induced physiological disruption of brain function.

A person can suffer a such an injury as a result of:

* Their head being struck by an object;

* Their head striking an object; or

* Their brain experiencing an acceleration/deceleration movement (usually from an accident) without direct external trauma to the head.

Motor vehicle accidents account for the majority of brain injuries. Other examples of these injuries include:

* Falls;

* Firearm related incidents; and

* Sports and recreational accidents.

Because the types and degrees of traumatic brain injuries are so varied, the general symptoms can be quite different. The physical symptoms can range from coma and paralysis to seizures to headaches and extreme fatigue. One can also experience memory loss, attention impairment, language impairment, conduct changes and disorders, motor disorders, difficulty in understanding and processing information, loss of balance, loss of sense of time and any other neurological dysfunction. A traumatic brain injury may be manifested by:

* Any period of loss of consciousness;

* Any loss of memory for events either before or after the accident; or

* Any alteration in the mental state of a person at the time of the accident (i.e., confusion or disorientation).

There are a great number of issues that must be investigated and documented regarding a traumatic brain injury. It is important to have proper tests done by medical experts to understand the nature and extent of your traumatic brain injury. It may also be helpful to employ other experts to help develop and explain how your injuries have affected you and how they will affect you for the rest of your life.

It is very important to have an experienced personal attorney who has expertise in the handling and presentation of traumatic brain injury claims. Your attorney will be able to suggest a team of experts that can range from private investigators to psychologists to vocational rehabilitation therapists to economists to help develop your case.

In most cases, the law firm or attorneys will advance all costs and expenses of the case as they are incurred. Once the case is concluded, they would be reimbursed for their costs out of the recovery. In some states, even if there is no recovery, the client is still responsible for the costs and expenses of the case even though the client owes no legal fees. In other states, if there is no recovery, the client will owe nothing for the costs and expenses, which will be absorbed by the law firm or attorney.