Helping You Get the Compensation You Deserve
A car accident can be one of the most traumatizing and frightening experiences you ever go through. The physical and emotional trauma you experience can leave you reeling.
If you have been involved in a car accident, one of our main priorities is to get you financial compensation so that you can return to your previous levels of comfort as soon as possible. We can help you work with the insurance companies and the authorities to get you the compensation you deserve.
What to Do After a Car Accident
When the unthinkable happens and you are involved in a car accident, there are some important tips to remember in order to protect yourself.
Following a car accident, try to remember the following:
- Pull to the shoulder as soon as possible – This will help protect you, your passengers, and fellow drivers from further collisions and injuries. Of course, in the event that it is unsafe to do so, do not attempt to move.
- Contact the authorities – Always have the police come to the scene to keep you safe, document the facts, and help determine who was at fault.
- Do not refuse medical attention from EMT or paramedic – Even though you may feel like you are not hurt at the time, it is important to speak with a medical professional on-site and follow-up with a doctor.
- Document the scene – Take pictures, record license plate numbers, and get information from those involved and from any witnesses.
- Call your Ridgefield car accident attorney – We can help you navigate this difficult process and interface with your insurance company for you.
- Do not contact your insurance company without the assistance of an attorney – Report the accident, but do not sign anything until we can formally go through your case.
- Do not admit fault – Even if you believe you may have been at fault for the accident, that is for the authorities to determine.
- See your doctor – Even if you feel fine, car accidents can cause a myriad of injuries that can take days or weeks to show symptoms, so always visit your doctor.
What Should I Do Next If I Was Involved in a CT Car Accident?
Connecticut has many highly populated cities where a great number of car accidents occur including Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, Fairfield, Danbury, New Britain, Norwalk, Milford, Greenwich, Meriden, Darien, Bristol, Waterbury, Middletown, Shelton, Manchester, New London, West Haven, Ansonia, East Hartford, East Haven, Westport, Newtown, Cheshire, Norwich, New Milford, Torrington, Willimantic, and Stratford. We also have many very busy roadways where many car accidents occur including I-95, I-84, I-91, I- 395, I-44, I-82, I-86, I-87, I-89, I-284, I-291, I-384, I- 484, I-691, the Wilbur Cross Parkway, and the Merritt Parkway. The chances of getting into an accident are increasing as more and more people drive on our roadways and engage in negligent activities while operating their motor vehicles. Our Connecticut personal injury attorneys have been representing Connecticut car accident victims for decades and have recovered millions and millions of dollars for them.
If you or a loved one or a friend have been involved in a Connecticut automobile accident and have been injured to the fault of another, or if a friend or loved one has been killed in a Connecticut automobile accident, you will have a great number of questions about the process involved in a personal injury case including, what you should be doing and what you should not be doing. There are many mistakes that you can make in the early stages of your Connecticut car accident case that may result in significant negative consequences for you later on so it is important that you speak with an experienced Connecticut car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
It is very important that you not speak with the insurance adjuster representing the person that caused your accident until you call and speak with one of our experienced Connecticut car accident lawyers. This adjuster will want to speak with you as quickly as possible so that person can get information from you that will help to reduce the value of your case or completely destroy it altogether. If you are contacted by the insurance adjuster representing the person that caused your Connecticut car accident then you should let that individual know that you are represented by an attorney and get their contact information and then say nothing else.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer After I Have Been Involved in a Car Accident?
After a car accident, our team will work with the police and insurance companies to determine if your car accident was due to another's negligence or wrongdoing. Our Connecticut car accident attorneys will advance any and all costs of your car accident case. We will only be reimbursed for these costs if we win your claim, and you are awarded compensation. In the instance that we are not able to recover compensation, we will absorb all fees. The answer is it depends upon your particular case but in general not every person that is involved in a car accident needs to hire a lawyer but every person that has been involved in a car accident needs to discuss their case with a lawyer. There are many cases where you can represent yourself after being involved in a Connecticut car accident.
You might not need to hire a lawyer in cases where you were not physically injured and just have property damage or where your injuries are very slight and require little or no treatment. If you are seriously injured then it is always a good idea to hire a lawyer given the fact that insurance companies will rarely, if ever, pay injured parties who are not represented by an attorney full value for their case.
Many people think that insurance adjusters will deal with them in a good-faith manner in order to resolve their CT car accident claim in a way that is fair to all parties involved. Insurance companies are publicly traded and owe a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to maximize the amount of money that they can make and one of the ways they do that is by paying less than fair value to injured parties.
Some people, especially those that are quite sophisticated, think they can represent themselves because they have significant business experience and do not understand that the process of dealing with the insurance adjuster is a difficult one that requires legal representation. Unfortunately, these individuals sometimes make major mistakes in attempting to handle their own cases which create significant negative long-term consequences and greatly reduce the amount of money that they are able to obtain for their injuries and damages.
There could are also many issues present in your accident case that require specialized knowledge, training, and experience to understand so you can help to maximize the amount of money that you are able to obtain. You cannot rely upon the insurance adjuster to tell you what you are entitled to receive, what defenses they can use against you, or what your case is worth.
An Insurance Institute study found that people that were represented by lawyers ended up with more money in their pockets, after paying legal fees and costs, than did injured parties who represented themselves. You need to level the playing field against these large multinational corporations who hire experts to look to pay you the least amount of money possible. You will be at a distinct disadvantage if you decide to deal directly with the insurance company without hiring an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer.
Many people have seen the show Pawn Stars on television. Typically, someone will walk into the pawnshop with an item that they have that they are looking to sell. They have no idea about the value of the item and tell the pawnshop owner some number that they would like to get because they did a quick search on the Internet. The first thing the pawnshop owner does is tell them that the item is not worth that amount of money. They then bring in an “expert", who is a friend of the shop, to tell the party who owns the item its worth. Based upon the "expert's" opinion, the pawnshop owner typically offers the owner of the item approximately half of what their “expert" said it was worth.
This show is really what dealing with the insurance adjuster is all about. You go to the insurance adjuster not knowing the value of your case. The insurance adjuster that represents the insurance company of the person that caused your accident is looking to pay you the least amount of money possible. You will rely upon the adjuster to tell you what your case is worth and once you tell the adjuster that you think that is not much money then the adjuster will tell you that you can hire a lawyer but they will not pay you any more money and you will have to pay legal fees to the attorney which will be deducted from that figure.
Why would you rely upon the pawnshop owner's “ expert” to tell you what your object is worth and why would you rely upon the other party's insurance adjuster “expert” to tell you what your case is worth? You should not do either because the people giving you this information have a vested interest in paying you the least amount of money possible.
The Connecticut car accident lawyers at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP, will fight to help you obtain the most amount of money possible for your injuries and damages. We fight to make the insurance company pay not what they want to pay but what they ought to pay. We fight so that the insurance company will pay you fair, just, and reasonable compensation.
You can get started immediately and very easily. You can contact our Connecticut personal injury lawyers and obtain a free consultation over the phone where we will provide you with a free case evaluation. We will ask you questions about what happened in the accident, we will ask you what injuries you sustained, we will ask you what medical care and treatment you received, we will ask you about pre-existing injuries which you had, we will ask you about your claim for loss of income and we will ask you a number of other questions that will help to better understand your case and what we can do to help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries and damages.
Connecticut is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that a person can recover money damages so long as they are less than 51% at fault which means that their ultimate recovery will be reduced by their percentage of comparative fault. This means that you may be able to recover money damages even if you are partially at fault in the accident so long as you are 50% or less at fault.
We can discuss your car accident case over the phone, we can have a zoom conference call online or we can meet in our COVID friendly office to review the facts of your case. If we agree to accept your Connecticut car accident case, we will handle it on a contingency fee basis and advance the costs to develop your case which means you will not have to pay us any money out of your own pocket. We are only paid our legal fee and costs if we recover money damages for you. If there is no recovery then you will owe us no legal fees and no costs. We want you to concentrate on getting better so we take all of the financial risks.
If You Agree to Represent Me in My CT Car Accident Case, What Will You Be Doing?
If we agreed to represent you in your Connecticut personal injury case, we will ask that you do two things: get better as quickly as possible; and stay in constant contact with our office. We handle everything else so you can concentrate on getting better. Once you sign up as a client of Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP we will begin to develop your case by doing some or all of the following:
- Visit the accident site to fully understand what happened.
- Obtain and review the police accident report.
- Determine whether other parties may be responsible for your injuries and damages.
- Hire experts that need to investigate certain aspects of your case.
- Utilize our private investigator to interview witnesses and obtain other information.
- Obtain and review your ambulance call report.
- Obtain and review your hospital records.
- Obtain and review your medical bills, medical records, and medical reports.
- Advise the insurance adjuster of the at-fault party that we are representing your interests.
- Notify your insurance company of any UM/UIM claim.
- Obtain information about your lost wages or loss of income.
- Review your health insurance premiums to determine any reduction in the collateral source.
- Monitor your medical care and treatment.
- Keep the insurance adjuster updated as to your case.
- Obtain a final medical report when applicable.
- Prepare a comprehensive settlement demand package with your review and approval.
- Explain and discuss the value of your case with you and discuss our strategy for negotiating your case.
- Negotiate with the insurance adjuster and fight for maximum compensation.
- If we are unable to resolve your case then file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
- Attempt to resolve your case through alternative dispute resolution.
- Fight for you until we reach a resolution of your automobile accident case.
What Damages Can I Recover for my Connecticut Car Accident Case?
There are two basic parts of a Connecticut car accident case that would need to be proven in order to collect money damages. Those aspects of the case include liability and damages. In order to prevail in a Connecticut car accident case, your Connecticut car accident lawyer will have to show that there was a duty owed to the client, which generally means the other driver had to follow a motor vehicle law which did not happen.
For example, the other driver may have caused a rear-end collision and would have received a ticket for following too closely which was a breach of the duty that was owed to the injured party. Secondly, this breach that was owed to the client resulted in their injuries and damages. This generally means that as a result of the rear-end collision, the injured party had to obtain medical care and treatment, perhaps lost income, experienced pain, suffering, had a permanent disability, could not perform certain activities of daily living, and had other injuries and damages.
Generally speaking, there are two types of damages. Economic damages are meant to compensate the injured party for those things that can be added up to the penny which could include things such as the ambulance bill, the hospital bill, other medical bills and expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, expenses for therapy, psychological counseling, medicine, and other monetary expenditures.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate the injured party for things that do not have a specific monetary value attached to them. Examples of non-economic damages could include things such as pain, suffering, loss of life's activities, mental anguish, permanent disabilities, scars, and other damages for which a monetary amount cannot be easily calculated.
- Past medical bills and expenses;
- Future medical bills and expenses;
- Past lost wages or income;
- Future lost wages or income;
- Loss of activities of daily living;
- Permanent disabilities suffered as a result of the accident;
- Psychological damages;
- Loss of consortium, in certain cases;
- Property damage; and
- Other accident-related injuries and damages.
- The testimony of the police officer;
- Testimony of any experts hired to develop our client's case;
- The testimony of witnesses interviewed by our private investigator;
- Medical bills;
- Medical reports;
- Testimony from treating physicians indicating what future care and treatment might be needed;
- Testimony from our client's accountant or employer regarding their past income;
- Testimony from an employer regarding lost income opportunities;
- Testimony from economic experts who can report on future lost income;
- Testimony from treating physicians regarding the disability suffered by our client;
- Testimony from family members and friends regarding how the accident and the client's related injuries have affected their day-to-day activities;
- Testimony from family members and friends regarding the pain suffered by our client;
- Testimony from family members and friends regarding the suffering endured by our client;
- Testimony from life care planners regarding catastrophic injuries and future costs; and
- Testimony from other individuals that can help to develop either the liability aspect of our client's case or the damages and injuries suffered by our client.
Common causes of CT car accidents
Our Connecticut accident attorneys have represented Connecticut car accident victims in a number of different types and causes of accidents that have resulted from a variety of causes. Some of the more common causes of Connecticut car accidents include the following:
One of the largest types of preventable accidents is drunk driving. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol creates a very real danger to all other people on the roadways. Many adverse conditions result from drinking and driving which could include decreased reaction times, inability to properly control the car, poor judgment, and difficulty with perception as well as a number of other factors that impair the ability of a person to properly operate their car.
Distracted driving takes many forms and it has become a near epidemic. We have all witnessed car drivers talking while holding on to their cell phones, people also text while driving, other drivers take their eyes off the roadway by talking with other people in their vehicle, adjusting the radio, using their GPS, eating, drinking, dealing with children or pets and others can be seen shaving or applying makeup. Many accidents occur as a result of some type or form of distracted driving.
Failure to Stop at Red Lights and Stop Signs
We have represented a number of individuals who have been seriously injured when the negligent party either runs a red light or fails to stop at a stop sign. These accidents sometimes result because the driver was inattentive or did not realize that the light was red until it was too late. In certain cases, a person will continue through the light after it turns red thinking they have enough time when in fact they do not. These accidents are especially dangerous because the accident victim expects the other driver to either stop at the red light or stop sign and are shocked to see the other driver disregard this very important law.
Violations of a Variety of CT Traffic Laws
In almost every automobile accident, there is some violation of a Connecticut General Statute that relates to safely operating a motor vehicle. These laws have been enacted to protect the public against a variety of situations specifically designed to protect those out on our roadways. These violations could include things such as reckless driving; drinking and driving; distracted driving; speeding; failure to drive in the established lane; failure to grant the right of way; failure to stop at a red light or stop sign; failure to grant the right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk or a number of other laws which were enacted to protect motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Failure to Maintain a Proper Lookout
Failure to maintain a proper lookout, which like distracted driving, is a contributing factor to many car accidents. These accidents generally result from a momentary failure on the part of the driver to properly concentrate on the important task of safely operating a motor vehicle.
Following Too Closely
Most rear-end collision accidents usually are the result of the negligent driver being cited for following too closely. This may be the result of either distracted driving or failing to maintain a proper lookout which results in the person not being able to stop their vehicle in time to avoid hitting the car in front of them.
The Most Common Types of CT Car Accidents
We have been representing Connecticut car accident victims for decades and we see all types of accidents where our clients are injured. We however see many of the same types of accidents which occur quite frequently. The most common types of CT car accidents that we see include the following:
As more and more people engage in distracted driving, many times people are not able to stop their vehicle in time before slamming into the car in front of them. These types of accidents frequently occur at intersections, at stop signs, or traffic control signals when people frequently stop and go. Perhaps the most dangerous type of rear-end collisions occurs on the highway when a car has to suddenly slow down or stop and the car behind them, which is generally traveling at a high rate of speed, rear-ends the car in front of them. Sometimes highway rear-end collision accident cases result in multiple cars being struck because of the speed and resulting impact. These accidents can cause devastating injuries.
Head-on Car Collisions
One of the most dangerous types of Connecticut car accidents involves a head-on collision. These cases can result in very significant injuries, or even death, because both vehicles can be traveling at a high rate of speed, in opposite directions, when the accident occurs. Many of these accidents happen due to distracted driving, drunk driving, reckless driving, slippery road conditions, or driver negligence. The nature and extent of the injuries suffered by Connecticut accident victims in head-on crashes will depend upon a great number of circumstances not the least of which is the speed of the vehicles and the manner in which the cars collided.
Side Impact or T-bone Car Accidents
A side-impact crash or T-bone car accident is where one car is struck on the side of the vehicle. These cases can be very serious given the fact that either the driver or the passenger can be very close to the point of impact and could suffer a great number of significant injuries. These accidents generally happen when someone runs a stop sign or red light or comes out of a private driveway and hits the other vehicle directly on its side. If the negligent driver is traveling at a high rate of speed the injuries suffered by the accident victim can be catastrophic.
A sideswipe crash usually involves a situation where a careless or negligent driver attempts to change lanes when it is not safe to do so and the two sides of the vehicles impact each other. These accidents can cause significant injuries if one of the vehicles is then propelled into the other lane of traffic, into some stationary object, or impacts with another vehicle. Many times, these accidents will occur on the highway and may involve tractor-trailers that sometimes do not see the other vehicle before side-swiping them.
Rollover crashes most often occur at high rates of speed where the driver is unable to properly control their vehicle thereby causing it to roll over either on its side or on its top or to flip over. Connecticut rollover accidents can occur if the vehicle is impacted by another car, on sharp turns where it is difficult to control the vehicle especially if one is traveling at a high rate of speed, or it can be caused by some problem with the motor vehicle especially if a tire blows out. The higher the center of gravity on your car, the more likely chance you have of being involved in a rollover accident.
Tractor-Trailers and 18-Wheeler Trucks
Tractor-trailers, 18 wheelers, and large box trucks typically have blind spots that sometimes do not allow the driver to see a car that is positioned within that area. Accidents involving these large trucks can cause significant injuries given the force and impact which they can create especially if they are traveling at a high rate of speed. These accidents can also be caused by sudden starting and stopping on the highway or because of truck driver negligence.
One of the most dangerous types of accidents is one involving a motorcycle. Due to the less than protective nature of a motorcycle, a person that is riding a motorcycle that is involved in an accident will generally receive significant injuries given the fact that they will usually impact a very solid surface at sometimes very high rates of speed. Many of these accidents occur as a result of the other driver not seeing the motorcycle given its smaller size. Motorcycle accident victims can suffer head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and, in the worst possible cases, death
Uber, Lyft, or Other Rideshare Accidents
We are seeing more and more accident cases involving various rideshare companies which would include Uber and Lyft. These types of rideshare accident cases sometimes come with a number of potential complications involving liability, liability insurance, and the determination of what insurance policies are primary and what insurance policies are secondary. Another important issue to investigate is whether the accident was caused by the rideshare driver or by the other driver which would affect what insurance companies would be responsible for your injuries and damages.
- 3 Major Causes of Connecticut Car Accidents
- How Do I Legally Prove Who Was at Fault for a CT Car Accident
- Five Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer
Our team is dedicated to getting you back to the life you had before. We will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. For help with your case, please contact Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP today and speak with a dedicated representative about your case. We serve clients in Norwalk, Bridgeport, Stamford, Ridgefield, and other communities throughout the state.