440 Main Street | Ridgefield, CT 06877

CT Auto Accident Attorney

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

CT Car, Truck, Bus, Motor Vehicle Injury and Auto Accident &  Cases

If you or someone you know has been involved in an CT auto accident, truck accident, bus accident, moped accident, or motorcycle accident, we can assist you with your claim. Put our decades of legal experience to work for you. We will advance all fees and expenses for your case including hiring experts to strengthen your case. Once the case is concluded, we will be reimbursed for the costs out of the recovery. If no recovery is attained, you do not owe anything for the costs and expenses, which will be absorbed by us. All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay us until we recover money for you.

1. How Common are Automobile Accidents?

Automobile travel remains the primary means of transportation in the United States. Unfortunately, despite all its advantages, deaths and injuries resulting from automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for persons of every age from 2 though 33 years old. Automobile traffic fatalities account for more than 90 percent of all transportation-related fatalities. Automobile crashes occur every single day and are the most common source of personal injury. While some auto accidents result in minor damage, many are extremely serious and result in severe injury, permanent disability, and even the death of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. According to the United States Department of Transportation, there were 6,328,000 auto accidents in the U.S. in 2003. As a result of these automobile accidents, there were 2.9 million injuries and 42,643 people were killed in auto accidents.

2. If I Have a CT AutoAccident Case What Should I Do?

It is extremely important that you contact us as soon as possible. It is critical not to do anything that might have a negative affect upon your case. We might advise you not to give any statements or sign any authorizations, so it is important to speak with us before you do something that could have a negative impact on your case. There are also potential notice requirements that, if missed, could result in the dismissal of your case.

3. How is Liability Determined?

The critical issue in many personal injury cases is just how a “reasonable person” would be expected to act in the situation that caused the injury. A person is negligent when he or she fails to act like a “reasonable person”. Whether a given person has met the “reasonable person standard” is often a matter that is decided by a jury after the presentation of evidence and argument at trial. This is one of the many reasons why you should contact us as soon as possible so we can start to investigate and develop your case.

4. What Compensation Might I Receive If My Case is Successful?

Usually, a person who is liable for an injury–which generally means his or her liability insurance company–must pay an injured person for:

  • Past and future medical care and related expenses
  • Past and future income lost because of the accident
  • Permanent physical disability or disfigurement
  • Loss of family, social, and educational experiences
  • Emotionsl damages, such as stress, embarrassment, depression, or strains on family relationships
  • Punitive Damages (In Extraordinary Cases)
  • Damaged Property

You will be awarded “damages,” or compensation, which is money intended to restore you to the position you were in before your injury. This money is not considered income (excluding monies paid for loss of income) and is not taxable as income by the federal or state government.

5. How Do I Go About Getting Experts To Help Me With My CT Auto Accident Case?

We will be able to hire a team of experts that can assist in the development of your case which, depending on your case, can range from a private investigator, to doctors, to economists.

6. Who Will Pay The Expenses of Hiring All Of These Experts?

Our firm will advance all costs and expenses of your case as they are incurred. Once the case is concluded, we would be reimbursed for our costs out of the recovery. If there is no recovery, you will owe nothing for the costs and expenses, which will be absorbed by us. Additionally, you only pay us once you receive a settlement or award.

7. Do Any of Your Attorneys Have Any Specialized Training or Awards?

One of our attorneys has received Advanced Negotiation Training at the Harvard Law School and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum which is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the U.S. For additional information please see our attorney biographies.

8. Why Should I Hire Hastings, Cohan and Walsh, LLP to Represent Me?

Because we are passionate about what we do and have decades of experience in representing accident victims. Before you hire a lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster, or sign any paperwork, order a copy of our free book “The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut.”

If you or someone you know has been injured due to an automobile accident, you should contact us as soon as possible. Don’t delay in consulting us so we can get to work for you right away.

Please call us at 1-888-842-8466 or locally at (203) 438-7450. You may also complete our free consultation form here.

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.

Reducing Car Accidents Caused by Drunk Driving | CT Sobriety Checkpoints Law

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

What police must do to make DUI spot checks constitutionally permissible

The U.S. Constitution protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures, but although a motor vehicle stop is a form of seizure, it is not fully protected by the Fourth Amendment. In Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz (1990), the U.S. Supreme Court held that sobriety checkpoints, under appropriate conditions, do not violate the Fourth Amendment.

In writing for the majority of the Court, Chief Justice William Rehnquist acknowledged that sobriety checkpoints infringe on a person’s constitutional rights, but that the State of Michigan had a substantial governmental interest in reducing the incidents of drunken driving.

To decide the underlying case, the trial court performed a balancing test derived from the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Brown v. Texas (1979). The test involved balancing the state’s interest in preventing accidents caused by drunk drivers, the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints in achieving that goal, and the level of intrusion on an individual’s privacy caused by the checkpoints.

The Sitz decision stressed the importance of reasonable and appropriate guidelines governing checkpoint operations, site selection and publicizing their utilization.

In Connecticut v. Boisvert (1996), the Connecticut Appellate Court held that roadside sobriety checkpoints do not violate the Connecticut Constitution’s provision protecting people against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Connecticut Supreme Court declined to review the Appellate Court’s decision, making Boisvert the controlling law in Connecticut as it relates to sobriety checkpoints.

In upholding the constitutionally of sobriety checkpoints, both the U.S. Supreme Court and Connecticut’s Appellate Court stated these stops had to be performed in a reasonable manner. In judging what is reasonable, courts generally look to such factors as the length and nature of the stop, the neutral criteria utilized to conduct the stop (no persons were arbitrarily singled out for detention and/or investigation), and whether established, reasonable procedures were followed.

The Connecticut State Policy Administration and Operations Manual provides guidelines for undertaking sobriety checkpoints on state highways. In order for a checkpoint to be reasonable, officers must follow the manual’s guidelines requiring notice of the operation be provided to the media at least three days in advance and officers asking all detained drivers the same initial questions.

Additionally, the chosen location must have a history of traffic violations and accidents, should be a road traveled by potential violators, and be clearly visible and marked by the police. Further, police officers must use a neutral formula for stopping drivers, such as every 8th vehicle. Random stops would not be constitutionally permissible, while well conceived and properly executed checkpoints would be acceptable.

If a court finds a checkpoint substantially conformed to the guidelines, but was technically deficient (e.g., the news release notifying the public of the sobriety checkpoint failed to mention the planned date and time), the court could still find the roadblock constitutionally permissible.

The most prudent course of action is to avoid drinking and driving so as to obviate the need for expending considerable sums of money defending yourself against these charges, and to reduce the incidents of serious injury and death caused by drunk drivers.

CT Motorcycle Accidents: Law, Cases, & Potentially Responsible Parties

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

CT motorcycle accidents occur often in Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Fairfield, and throughout Connecticut roads . While many accidents are simple “fender benders,” others may result in substantial property damage and serious injury or even death. Although motorcyclists are often stereotyped as reckless and fast drivers, it is negligent automobile drivers who cause most motorbike accidents. An injured victim of a motorcycle accident can seek damages from the responsible party for the injuries, damages and pain suffered as a result of the accident. The victim must show that the defendant was negligent and responsible for the injuries and other damages that were sustained. A motorcycle accident lawsuit must also be filed before the expiration of applicable statutes of limitation which varies from state to state. The victim can seek compensation for related medical expenses, loss of income or earning potential, partial or permanent disability, psychological suffering, and property damage.

Some motorcycle accidents can be so severe that they result in death. Each state has its own law on fatal accidents and wrongful death claims. Although independent of each other, these laws share some common features. If a death is caused by a motorcycle accident, there will losses associated with the wrongful death including medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident, funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering of the deceased, future financial support to the heirs, loss of love, society, and companionship.

For a wrongful death claim to arise from a fatal motorcycle accident, the accident must have been caused by another person who has acted negligently. The must be a wrongful act or an act of negligence in the part of the other person. Other responsible parties could include: the motorcycle manufacturer; or the maker of any part of the motorcycle; or other vehicle involved in the accident. The person or party responsible must have adequate insurance or assets to provide the basis of a recoverable legal claim.

There are different laws that apply to a motorcycle accident cases depending on the circumstances of the accident and the jurisdiction in which the accident took place. Sometimes the other driver or person might not be responsible for the wrongful death from the fatal accident. The cause of the accident will determine the type of wrongful death case, and the responsible party. It could have been caused due to a defect in the motorcycle’s manufacturing or design. For instance, the breaks fail to work when applied. In such cases, the law of product liability will apply. In certain cases, you can seek damages for wrongful death from the designer or manufacturer. Sometimes, the mechanic who did not repair the vehicle property can be held liable if the improper repairing is a factor which caused the accident. Even poorly maintained roads, messy and confusing construction, unclear signage, improperly designed roads and similar problems can be the cause of a fatal accident. The Government agencies responsible for the roads and highways can be liable for damages in such cases. However, there are special rules that apply to lawsuits against government entities which can have very short notice provisions which must be met in order to have a viable claim.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is recommended that you seek legal advice immediately.

Before you hire a lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster, or sign any paperwork contact Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP to get our FREE copy of our book The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut. Don’t delay, order it today!

CT Car, Truck, Motorcycle, Motor Vehicle Accident Law & Attorneys

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

You might be involved in a motor vehicle accident in Connecticut at some point, so it is important to find out what you should and should not be doing to help develop your personal injury case.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there were 6,024,000 police-reported motor vehicle accidents in 2007. There were 2,491,000 people injured on those accidents. These figures demonstrate the odds are one day you may be involved in a motor vehicle accident. After the motor vehicle accident has occurred, the first thing to think about is safety. You want to prevent another vehicle becoming involved in the collision.

If it is a minor accident, it may be wise to move your vehicle out of traffic flow. If you cannot move your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights and place warning cones or triangles behind and in front of your vehicle. Dependent on the location of the accident, determine whether it is safer to remain in your vehicle with your seat belt on or to stand away from traffic hazards.

Safety is a priority and good judgment is required. It is imperative you keep calm after a motor vehicle accident. This will protect you in the event you suffer personal injuries and need the assistance of witnesses and others in pursuing compensation. All drivers should have a crash kit in their vehicle. Items to include in your crash kit are a cellphone, hazard cones or triangles, pen and paper and digital camera. This article details information you should obtain after an accident and would be helpful to keep in your crash kit.

After you have ensured the safety of yourself and others, you should do the following:

1) Take photographs of the accident scene. The pictures should show the relative position of the vehicles involved, together with damage to those vehicles.

2) Note the location of the motor vehicle accident. Write down the intersection or closest address, time of day and date.

3) Exchange information with the other driver(s). List the names of the owner and driver of the other vehicle(s). Include their address, driver’s license number, telephone number, year and make of their vehicle, license plate number, whether they were wearing their seatbelt or suffered any injuries. If there are other occupants in the vehicle, obtain their names, addresses, telephone numbers, whether they were wearing seatbelts or suffered injuries.

4) If the police attend the accident scene, obtain the name of the investigating officer, law enforcement agency name and case number. Also indicate if any citations were issued and to whom.

5) Document the road conditions. Were the roads wet, dry, icy? Were your headlights on? Did the other vehicle have their headlights on? Were the brake lights functioning on your vehicle? Did the other vehicle have working brake lights? Was your turn signal on? Was the other vehicle’s turn signal blinking?

6) Detail your actions and the other driver’s actions just prior to the motor vehicle accident. Indicate the speed you were traveling, the estimated speed of the other driver and the posted speed limit. Describe any evasive actions you took to avoid the accident, as well as maneuvers by the other driver to avoid the accident. If there are traffic controls at the motor vehicle accident site, specify what the controls were, the traffic signal color, if applicable, and who had the right of way.

7) Get the full names of any witnesses to the motor vehicle accident. Be sure to include their complete address and telephone number.

A motor vehicle accident is traumatic. Being fully prepared beforehand will help eliminate some stress and ensure that you are in the best position possible to begin the process of obtain compensation for damages to your vehicle and injuries suffered.

Before you hire a lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster, or sign any paperwork contact Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP to get our FREE copy of our book The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut. Don’t delay, order it today!