Auto accidents can have a devastating financial effect on those who suffer severe injuries and significant property damage.
Personal injury law provides an avenue to seek compensation for your losses from the at-fault party.
Common defense to a personal injury claim
The first step in receiving compensation for your losses is to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. If you file a lawsuit, your attorney will send a demand letter stating your claim and the damages you incurred. Typically, the defense will reply with their own claim, either denying your claim entirely or arguing that you share fault for the accident and subsequent injuries.
In Connecticut, shared fault does not automatically exempt you from collecting compensation. Instead, the court applies the comparative negligence rule.
Comparative negligence in Connecticut
Comparative negligence is a rule under tort law that dictates the allocation of damages when both parties involved in a personal case share fault. The jury determines what percentage of the fault belongs to each party and deducts the plaintiff’s portion from the award for damages. The rule comes in two forms, pure or modified comparative negligence.
Most states, including Connecticut, adhere to the modified version. It allows the plaintiff to recover a portion of the awarded damages unless their portion of responsibility exceeds 50%. For example, if the court finds the plaintiff 30% responsible, they can recover 70% of the damages. If the court finds the plaintiff 55% responsible, they receive nothing.
The value of damages in your case depends on the severity of your losses, including medical bills, lost wages and property damage.