Glastonbury Car Accident Attorneys
Road incidents are common in Connecticut, so you may find yourself in need of a Glastonbury car accident lawyer. According to the Connecticut Crash Data Repository, Connecticut drivers have been involved in 300,839 accidents over the past three years. Even though 906 of these crashes were fatal, many of the incidents that weren’t deadly still caused injuries or property damage.
If you are involved in a road incident where the other driver is negligent because of a DUI, reckless driving, or other faults, a Glastonbury car accident attorney can help you pursue compensation to cover costs associated with the crash. The lawyer can help you take all the necessary steps to pursue just compensation from the insurance company and the other parties involved.
Do you need a Glastonbury auto accident lawyer? Your insurance and the other driver’s policies should cover the vehicle damage, medical treatments, and additional costs. However, insurance companies are for-profit enterprises. They may try to settle quickly to avoid making the full payment or attempt to assign partial fault to you to limit the amount they have to pay.
Here is a detailed look at how to respond to an accident in Connecticut and how a Glastonbury car accident attorney can help you pursue a fair settlement.
Driver Negligence Causes Thousands of Car Crashes Every Year
Negligence is responsible for many crashes. For example, the Connecticut Crash Data Repository includes almost 3,000 DUI crashes per year. These incidents occur because a driver operated their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
DUIs are only one example of negligence. Negligent driving can include any reckless action, such as speeding, disobeying traffic signs, or steering aggressively. It can also include failing to take proper precautions, including not turning on headlights at night, not signaling lane changes, or not stopping for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
Overall, negligence occurs when a driver fails to take reasonable steps to avoid an accident or causing injury to others on the road.
What types of negligence does a Glastonbury car accident lawyer encounter? Here are some of the most common accident causes.
- Distracted driving: According to the CDC, distracted driving causes 3,000 fatalities in the US each year. Mobile devices are the most common distraction, with people taking their eyes off the road to send texts, change streaming music, or look at a map app. Other distractions could include tuning the radio, eating, or any other actions that take the driver’s eyes off the road for more than a split second.
- Speeding: In 2021, there were 8,258 crashes involving speeding in Connecticut. Speed can make it difficult to react to sudden stops or lane changes, and it could cause a loss of control on corners or curves. If a driver is in an accident while traveling significantly above the speed limit, they could at least share the liability of an accident.
- Weather: Poor weather can cause accidents. Crashes due to poor visibility or slippery roads are sometimes unavoidable. However, each driver is responsible for adjusting their driving to account for conditions. For example, drivers must slow down if the road is covered in fog. In snowy conditions, they should increase the following distance and lower speeds. Failure to do so could still constitute negligence even if they are driving within the speed limit.
- Reckless driving: Besides speeding, weaving through traffic, or tailgating, reckless driving can include purposely or mistakenly traveling on the wrong side of the road, ignoring traffic signs or signals, or speeding to merge in front of other vehicles. Any acts outside the norms of safe driving may be considered reckless.
- Defects: Occasionally, negligence could lie with the vehicle manufacturer or the agency that maintains the road. Issues like potholes, defective traffic signals, or improper lane markings could constitute negligence. A Glastonbury car accident lawyer can assess the accident to see if this factor played a role in the crash. They will also inspect the vehicle to see if design or manufacturing flaws caused the accident.
You should also be aware of the roads in the Glastonbury area where accidents commonly occur. Interstate 91 sees more than its share of accidents due to the highway speeds. Meanwhile, State Route 2 has a higher-than-normal risk of accidents due to traffic from the Hartford area. The same applies to State Route 17, which connects New Haven and Hartford.
Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable
If you are in a vehicle crash, consult a Glastonbury car accident lawyer as soon as possible. While you might think the other driver was negligent, you must follow the correct legal steps and meet all the Connecticut state law requirements as you build your case and seek compensation.
The first step in holding negligent drivers accountable is collecting the necessary evidence to prove their recklessness. To build the case, your attorney can help you organize information from the scene, medical exams, and other data.
The lawyer will also assist with navigating the nuances of Connecticut law. Here is what you should consider.
- The statute of limitations: The statute of limitations in legal cases is the maximum amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after the incident. In cases involving driver negligence, the Connecticut personal injury statute of limitations is two years.
- Comparative fault laws: In Connecticut, the law allows drivers to share liability based on their role in the crash. Even though one driver was negligent, they may be able to limit their payout amount by proving that the other driver was partly liable. A skilled accident attorney can prepare for this argument and collect evidence to support your claims.
- At-fault insurance: Connecticut is an at-fault state for auto insurance. In at-fault states, the insurance company for the liable driver pays for repairs and treatment for all parties involved in the accident. Insurers may try to settle quickly to avoid larger payouts or use comparative negligence claims to limit the costs.
- Coverage requirements: Every driver in Connecticut needs to maintain liability insurance for as long as they own their vehicle. This minimum coverage means every driver can cover the cost if they are liable for an accident. You can ensure that you have coverage and that the other driver meets this legal requirement. If they do not, you may be able to sue them directly.
A Glastonbury auto accident lawyer understands these laws and can help you build a case and negotiate with insurers and the other driver’s lawyers as you seek a fair settlement and try to hold negligent drivers accountable for their mistakes.
Comparative Negligence and the “51%” Rule in Connecticut
Connecticut has a comparative negligence statute that can limit settlement after an accident. In negligence cases, the award could be reduced by the amount of liability you have in an accident. For example, a judge may find you are 25% liable for your injuries because you failed to wear your seatbelt. This judgment would reduce your award by 25%.
On the other hand, comparative negligence could also allow you to seek compensation from other parties, such as the vehicle manufacturer and road maintenance agency, for the roles potholes or vehicle or traffic signal malfunctions played in the incident.
Like other comparative negligence states, Connecticut also has a 51% rule. This law allows you to seek compensation if other parties were at least 51% liable for the damage caused during an accident. In other words, the driver with the majority of the blame cannot seek compensation.
A Glastonbury car accident attorney can help you deal with the complexities that comparative negligence can bring to your case.
How Is The Amount For Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Some aspects of an accident settlement are easier to calculate. For example, you and your lawyer can prove the amount needed to cover medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses. However, some amounts, such as those for pain and suffering or loss of quality of life, are more difficult to define.
If you have an experienced Glastonbury car accident lawyer, they will usually look for precedent. The legal team will find similar cases and see how much a judge or jury awarded for pain and suffering and related intangible damages. Once you have these insights, you can calculate pain and suffering damages and decide if it is realistic to pursue them as you build a case and seek a settlement.
Can I Negotiate a Settlement Myself?
It is possible to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. However, many insurers make the process challenging and take steps to limit the size of the settlement.
If you negotiate a settlement by yourself, you should not accept the first offer from the insurance company. They may make a low offer that covers the immediate costs but limits payouts for ongoing medical treatment, missed work, or pain and suffering.
You will need to calculate the cost of immediate and long-term medical care, vehicle repair or replacement costs, and any short-term or long-term income losses related to your injury.
A Glastonbury auto accident lawyer can help with these calculations, negotiate with insurance company attorneys on your behalf, and pursue an equitable settlement. In addition to knowing the law and insurance company negotiation techniques, a lawyer can ensure you seek all the compensation due to you as a result of the accident.
Essential Steps To Take Following a Car Crash
After an accident, you should take specific steps whether or not you plan to use a lawyer.
- First, you should check yourself and others for injuries and move out of the way of danger if needed.
- By law, you must remain at the scene. However, you should not admit fault or provide too much information beyond recounting events to responding law enforcement.
- If possible, you should document the damage to your vehicle and other vehicles by taking pictures. You can also photograph any signs, road conditions, or other elements that may have contributed to the accident.
- You should have a medical checkup even if you feel fine. Sometimes, adrenaline can mask injuries, or symptoms may not appear until the next day. Not only will a doctor find these issues, but they will also be able to document the damage. Their report can serve as vital evidence in a personal injury case.
It would be best to consider calling a Glastonbury car accident lawyer before settling with the insurance company. An experienced attorney can help with each step of the process so you can focus on your recovery rather than dealing with the insurance company and legal cases.
Glastonbury, CT gets its name from the famous English town in Somerset County. It now sits along Connecticut Route 2 in the Greater Hartford area.
Riverfront Park & Boathouse is one of the most recognizable public spaces in the city of 35,000. It is a popular year-round outdoor space with ice skating in winter and a boat ramp to the Connecticut River.
Other area attractions include the Central Rock Gym, which draws climbers from all over the metro area, and the Welles Turner Memorial Library, which features an art gallery and reading programs in addition to its book collection.
Glastonbury is a historic place. It became a city in 1693. Historic structures, including the John Hollister House (built in 1649), date back even earlier.
Connecticut Accident Attorneys
Hassett & George is a personal injury law firm with extensive experience in Glastonbury and throughout Hartford County. Our lawyers can cover every aspect of an auto accident case.
When you first meet with us, we will study your case and provide insights to help you decide the best course of action. In addition to providing legal advice, we can deal with insurers on your behalf and negotiate with the other party’s attorneys to find a settlement. If negotiations do not produce a result, we build a case for a civil trial and represent you in court.