You may have heard of people suing for injuries, such as slip and fall injuries or injuries from car accidents, but you may not understand how these claims work. The civil justice system permits injured accident victims to file personal injury cases for injuries caused by the neglect, carelessness, recklessness or wrongful acts of others. These claims can result in financial compensation awarded to the victim to make him or her whole again.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim allows an injured victim to seek financial compensation from one or more parties for physical injuries, emotional distress or property damage. Common types of personal injury claims include motor vehicle accidents, premises liability claims, defective product claims, medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits. To have grounds to file a personal injury claim in Connecticut, you generally must have proof or evidence that someone else caused your harm through negligence or an intent to harm.
Negligence is the failure to act with the amount of care that a reasonable, prudent or ordinary person would in similar circumstances. Negligence consists of four legal elements: duty of care, breach, causation and damages. In essence, you or your personal injury lawyer must prove that the defendant had a duty or obligation to prevent foreseeable harm to you, did not fulfill this obligation, and that this failure caused your injuries or losses.
If you cannot base your case on negligence, you may be able to use the doctrine of strict liability or breach of warranty. Strict liability places responsibility for an injury with a defendant regardless of negligence. In Connecticut, for example, pet owners are strictly liable for injuries that their pets cause, meaning they can be held accountable even if they were not at fault. A breach of warranty refers to the failure to fulfill a promise given, such as the failure of a manufacturing company to provide safe products in a product liability claim.
What Are Connecticut’s Personal Injury Laws?
If you do have the basic elements to file a personal injury claim in Connecticut, it is critical to understand and obey all of the state laws that apply to your case. An attorney can help you navigate these laws and avoid common mistakes that could harm your ability to recover financial compensation. Three of Connecticut’s personal injury laws are as follows:
Time limits on lawsuits. A law known as the statute of limitations places a two-year time limit on the right to file a personal injury case in Connecticut. The clock generally starts ticking on the date of the injury but can start later with delayed injury discovery.
Comparative negligence law. Connecticut uses a modified comparative fault rule in cases where the filing party contributed to his or her injuries. In Connecticut, a victim’s fault does not bar him or her from financial recovery, as long as the victim is less than 50 percent responsible.
Car insurance laws. Connecticut is a fault state when it comes to car accident claims. This means that the car insurance company of the at-fault driver is responsible for paying for medical bills and property repairs.
There are also laws that are specific to the type of case, such as premises liability and product liability laws. It can be difficult to navigate all of these laws on your own. Hiring a lawyer can make getting through the legal process easier. Your lawyer can explain the laws that are relevant to your case and build the strongest personal injury case possible on your behalf. To find out if you have a personal injury claim in Connecticut, contact a lawyer at Loughlin FitzGerald, P.C. today for a free consultation.