The attorneys at Carter Mario understands that personal injury claims can be complicated legal issues when the injured plaintiff does not follow the best protocol to receive a maximum damages settlement. Not only are there time limits, but successful personal injury claims filed in court will require the plaintiff legal counsel to prove within a preponderance of the evidence that an injury actually occurred to the plaintiff and that injury was the fault of the negligent respondent.
Connecticut uses a contributory negligence doctrine similar to many other states. This means that all parties involved in a personal injury claim will be assessed for a degree of fault in the accident, which is normally calculated by a percentage. Any percentage attributed to the injured plaintiff will be the number by which the value of the claim is adjusted downward for final settlement amounts. If the total value of a claim is $10,000, then a plaintiff with a 10% comparative negligence rating will receive $9,000. In addition, concerning auto accidents, Connecticut is a “fault” state, so injured plaintiffs can sue the negligent party, file a claim with the respondent auto insurance carrier or file a claim with their own personal auto insurance carrier when they have full coverage or uninsured/under-insured motorist protection.
Unique cases can have limited settlement options. Dog bites are a good example. Connecticut has a specific dog bite law that excludes the common standard in many states of the “one bite” rule. In Connecticut, any time a dog bites someone the owner can be held responsible under the strict liability doctrine. Strict liability means that the plaintiff counsel need not prove negligence on the part of the dog owner. The owner is responsible in all cases unless the injured plaintiff’s degree of comparative negligence disallows the claim. Medical malpractice cases are also governed by specific legislation, as punitive damage awards from a sympathetic jury can still be limited to court costs and attorney fees.
It is important to remember that all personal injury cases are not the same, which also means that settlement amounts will differ in each case based on what damages can be recovered, such as for lost wages and non-economic pain and suffering. Medical bills can usually be easily calculated, but payment for ongoing medical problems and lost future income can be subjective. The time limit for a personal injury filing in Connecticut is two years for suing private entities, and six months when filing against a government agency.
Anyone who has suffered a personal injury in Connecticut should contact the law office of Carter Mario for a free and comprehensive evaluation of your personal injury case.