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How to pursue damages after suffering injuries in a car accident

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2017 | Blog, Firm News

If you suffer severe injuries as a car accident victim, you may be overwhelmed by mounting medical bills. Your inability to return to work for some time may further jeopardize your financial stability. Although you likely know that you are entitled to pursue a personal injury claim in a civil court, you might have some questions about the workings of the tort system and personal injury laws in Connecticut.

Negligence is the basis for personal injury claims. It is the duty of all drivers to exercise a reasonable level of care whenever they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. If another driver breaches that duty and causes an accident that leads to you suffering injuries, you can pursue recovery of your losses.

Frequently asked questions about personal injury claims

The aftermath of a car accident can be an incredibly challenging time for you, both physically and financially. Below are answers to some of the many questions that you may have during this period:

  • I have filed a lawsuit, so what happens now? — The person you accuse of causing your injuries will become the defendant, and you will be the plaintiff. The first process is called discovery and involves each side’s lawyer — including a lawyer for the insurer — gathering the relevant facts through interrogatories (written questions), depositions (question and answer sessions under oath) and through exchanging documents.
  • Do all personal injury actions go to trial? — The answer to this question is no. In fact, a large percentage of such lawsuits are settled after the discovery process without the need for a trial.
  • What does settling a case involve? — It means that you accept the amount of money offered by the insurance company or the defendant, and you agree to pursue no further action against that party. In fact, you will have to sign a document to absolve that person of further liability.
  • How will I know whether I should settle? — Your legal counsel can assess whether your claim is likely to succeed and also what level of damage recovery is realistic for your particular circumstances. You can agree to settle at any stage of the proceedings.
  • What happens if I don’t settle? — Once you establish negligence before the court, the court may award damages, which is a monetary amount to compensate you for losses. However, the court will first adjudicate your list of documented claims and may reject some of them.
  • What are typical claims for damages? — Financial losses such as medical expenses, lost income and also compensation for future wage losses can form part of your documented claims. Also, you can seek compensation for pain and suffering, disability, physical disfigurement and loss of life enjoyment brought about by your injuries.

If you are considering such steps after suffering injuries in a car crash, you may also want to learn more about the statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits in Connecticut. This governs the time limit within which you can file a lawsuit, and missing that deadline may prevent you from seeking recovery of damages.


FindLaw Network

Verdicts & Settlements

36-year-old laborer for landscaping company fractured wrist when fellow employee hit him with truck. Claimant received in excess of $30,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for total disability and medical expenses and settled with automobile insurance company for fellow employee for $95,000.

1989 workers’ compensation claim settled for $125,000. Claimant originally sustained a low back injury when she slipped and fell at local grocery store resulting in low back surgery in 1989. Several years later, claimant exacerbated her low back injury. Claim was reopened and settled with carrier for $125,000 in 2006.

47-year-old deli clerk sustained low back injuries at work for local supermarket. Carrier originally denied claim on the grounds that the injury was pre-existing. After formal workers’ compensation hearing carrier accepted claim and paid all total disability benefits and medical expenses in excess of $100,000. Case then settled for an additional $100,000 after injured person received a permanent disability rating.

34-year-old male roofer sustained multiple injuries to his shoulder, neck, back and hip when he fell from roof during work. Claimant was provided workers’ compensation benefits in excess of $100,000 and settled remaining claims for an additional $55,000.

40-year-old male working for cleaning company sustained neck and low back injuries when he fell on defective staircase while cleaning local museum. Claimant recovered over $95,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and resolved claim against museum for $85,000.

26-year-old laborer sustained fractured foot when a cast iron pipe was dropped on his foot. Employer and workers’ compensation carrier denied claim on basis that injured worker was an independent contractor. After a series of informal and formal workers’ compensation hearings, carrier conceded that claimant was an employee and settled case for $85,000.

24-year-old waitress sustained back injury while working at Outback Steak House. Workers’ compensation insurance company initially denied the claim. After a series of informal hearings, carrier accepted claim paying medical expenses and total disability benefits. In addition to those benefits paid, claim settled for an additional $75,000.

Delivery truck driver sustained right wrist fracture in rear-end motor vehicle accident while in the course of his employment. Claimant recovered in excess of $40,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and total disability benefits. Claimant settled case against at-fault driver for $105,000.

22-year-old male working as stocking clerk at “big box” retailer sustained herniated disc in low back. Workers’ compensation carrier refused to accept the claim. After formal workers’ compensation, hearing commissioner ordered carrier to pay over $35,000 in past total disability benefits and pay for surgery and all related medical expenses. Case settled for an additional $35,000 for a total recovery in excess of $100,000.

Rear-end collision on entrance ramp to Merritt Parkway resulting in 49-year-old woman sustaining mid-back injury. Case settled at mediation after filing suit for $300,000.

28-year-old passenger sustained multiple herniated discs in automobile accident in New York state. New York no-fault carrier paid for extended period of disability from work and medical expenses, including expenses for surgery. Case settled against driver of vehicle for $300,000 policy limits shortly after filing suit.

54-year-old man sustains shoulder injury when hit from behind by uninsured motorist on New Jersey Turnpike. Case settled for $135,000 prior to trial.

CT Transit bus driver sustained torn meniscus in collision with another vehicle. Claims made against at-fault driver, workers’ compensation carrier and client’s underinsured motorist policy. All claims settle for a recovery in excess of $100,000.

68-year-old woman sustained neck and back injuries in rear-end collision and required extended course physical therapy, but was not a surgical candidate. Case settled for $100,000 prior to filing suit.

34-year-old woman sustained concussion and neck and back injuries in hit-and-run accident on a New York highway. Claimant settled uninsured motorist claim for her $100,000 policy limits.

80-year-old woman sustained right foot fracture when her foot was run over in a parking lot. Case settled for at-fault driver’s policy limit of $100,000 prior to filing suit.

38-year-old nanny sustained right femur fracture when she fell down defective stairs in home of her employer’s neighbor. All medical expenses and lost wages reimbursed and case settled for an additional $150,000.

Claim against landlord for defective staircase in multi-family rental house. Claimant sustained a right femur fracture. Case settled for $125,000 prior to filing suit.

$95,000 judgment obtained against bar and nightclub for assault by one of its patrons against another patron.

47-year-old woman sustained a broken left wrist when she fell from porch stairs at house she was renting. Case settled for $95,000 shortly before trial.

26-year-old male bitten on leg by German shepherd. Claim against dog owner settled for $65,000 plus payment of all medical expenses.