Hartford Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident can leave the victim with a host of frustrations, questions, and difficulties they have to navigate. In addition, pursuing a lawsuit or insurance claim for this accident can be intimidating, and any mistakes can jeopardize the victim’s financial ability to recover from the car accident.
At Hassett & George, we can help safeguard your rights and guide you through the lawsuit. The team of Hartford car accident lawyers at our personal injury law firm work hard to ensure our clients get the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
We understand that even if you plan, drive responsibly, and follow all the rules of the road, another driver’s negligence can significantly impact innocent parties’ lives. The upward trend of car collision statistics is a harrowing reminder that anyone can fall victim to potentially deadly or life-changing consequences due to a negligent driver.
From January 2020 to December 2022 in Connecticut, there were 281,094 car crashes that resulted in 800 fatalities, 3,630 suspected severe injuries, and 31,452 suspected minor injuries. Of the recorded car accidents:
- 93,407 were rear-end accidents.
- 58,610 were single-vehicle accidents.
- 57,557 were angle accidents.
- 40,107 were sideswipe accidents.
- 7,465 were head-on accidents.
- 2,069 were rear-to-rear accidents.
Additionally, West Hartford News reported that between January 1 and November 30, 2022, there were 1,340 collisions, 6 of which involved cyclists, 10 involved pedestrians, and 2 were fatal. The National Safety Council supported this by showing that Connecticut saw a 22% increase in fatal car accidents in the first half of 2022.
With so many car accidents happening throughout Connecticut, understanding where, how, and why they happen can give you an idea of how to reduce your chances of injuries or a fatal collision.
Where and Why Are These Accidents Happening?
Connecticut has 45,916 miles of road sprawling across the state, so knowing where accidents are more likely to happen allows you to be on alert if you go through these areas. In addition, knowing these areas can reduce your chances of being involved in a severe or fatal car accident. The deadliest roads from 2018 to 2020 include:
- I-95 running from Stratford to Bridgeport — arguably the deadliest road in the state with 8 fatal accidents during this period
- I-395 from Exit 14 to Exit 11 in Norwich — 5 fatal accidents and 6 fatalities
- I-84 from Hartford to East Hartford — 5 fatal accidents and 6 fatalities
- I-91 from Exit 15 to Exit 13 in Wallingford — 6 fatal accidents
- I-95 from West Haven to Milford — 6 fatal accidents
- SR-10 from Kimberly Avenue to Boston Post — 8 fatal accidents
- SR-83 from Countrywood to Hockanum Boulevard in Vernon — 6 fatal accidents
- SR-8 from Trumbull to Bridgeport — 7 fatal accidents with 9 fatalities
- US-1 from Rockview Street to New Haven — 6 fatal accidents
New Haven County is the deadliest county in Connecticut with the highest number of fatal crashes, especially considering that the I-95 highway runs predominantly through it.
It’s important to note the contributing factors that played a significant role in the number of crashes, fatal or otherwise, in Connecticut. Those factors include:
- Distracted driving. Manually operating an electronic communication device, talking on hands-free devices, and talking on a handheld device or looking at your passenger’s phone were the leading causes of over 1,500 crashes.
- Negligent driving. Drivers following too closely, failing to stay in their lane, and failing to yield have caused 36,606 accidents throughout Connecticut from 2020 to the end of 2022.
- Speeding. Speeding was also a significant contributing factor to accidents, especially combined speed with unsafe road conditions.
Injuries Related to Car Crashes
A car accident can cause severe and even catastrophic injuries to almost any part of your body. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, approximately 2.74 million people sustained injuries in car crashes nationwide. The injuries varied in severity from death or permanent disability to minor scrapes and bruises. Minor injuries usually resolve within a few days or weeks, while more severe injuries may result in ongoing care or be life-changing. The most common injuries sustained in car accidents are:
If a vehicle catches fire after the accident or your skin comes into contact with chemicals, steam, hot surfaces, or fluids, it’s common to suffer burn injuries. Severe burns may require skin grafting and surgery, leaving you with a hefty medical bill.
Chest injuries are widespread after a car accident, and they can range in severity from bruising to fractured or broken ribs and internal injuries. Drivers experience these injuries due to colliding with the steering wheel or dashboard, or the seatbelt can grab and cause severe bruising.
The same force that causes a person’s head to move in a car accident works on the extremities. If someone hits the side of your car, your extremities may get thrown against the door. It’s common for your knees to hit the seats in front of you or the dashboard. Depending on how severe the collision is and how it happens, your legs and arms may be scraped, bruised, sprained, or broken.
Additionally, fingers, toes, arms, legs, or other appendages can sustain severe enough damage that requires surgical amputation, or they may be severed in the collision. This injury can have a permanent disabling effect.
Head injuries can range from minor headaches to severe traumatic brain injuries. An unexpected change of direction or stop a collision causes can make the driver’s head and neck move in unnatural ways.
These movements can cause soft-tissue injuries, but your head can sustain injuries. For example, you can bruise or cut your head if you collide with the steering wheel or window. In addition, a severe hit to the head can cause a closed-head injury with tearing and bruising to the brain tissue and blood vessels. While common closed-head injuries include concussions, more severe traumatic brain injuries are also common.
Scrapes and Cuts
During a car accident, anything loose in the car turns into a projectile and is tossed around the exterior. This includes coffee mugs, cell phones, purses, eyeglasses, books, and GPS systems. If any of these items make contact, they can easily cause cuts, bruises, or scrapes. Many cuts and scrapes are minor, but more severe ones may require stitches. In addition, if your airbags deploy, this can also cause bruising or scrapes.
Soft tissue is the body’s connective tissues, like the ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Soft-tissue injury is one of the most common injuries sustained in a car accident and can take many forms.
For example, a whiplash injury to the upper back or neck is a soft-tissue injury that occurs when the ligaments and muscles get stretched due to sudden neck or head movements during an accident. These forces can cause the soft tissues in other parts of the body to stretch, especially in the mid and low back. Sometimes, they can cause more severe injuries due to the impact force on the spinal cord.
Spinal Cord Injuries or Paralysis
A collision can result in a sudden blow or wrenching to the spinal cord or the surrounding tissues, including discs, ligaments, and vertebrae. This sudden trauma can cause the vertebrae to break or crush, and the spinal fluid can dislocate and press on the spinal cord. Some injuries to your spinal cord can bleed, and this can lead to injuries that take months to heal or permanent paralysis.
Minor Injuries and Car Accidents
Many people believe they don’t need medical care or physical therapy after a minor car accident. Still, even less severe injuries can take weeks or months to fully reveal their seriousness. Attending physical therapy appointments can help by:
- Supporting the recovery process. It’s common not to realize how serious your injuries are until you return to your routine and experience stiffness, pain, chronic headaches, or decreased range of motion. Therapy can help improve flexibility, increase strength, and keep pain symptoms at bay.
- Helping prevent long-term damage. Car accidents can cause lingering symptoms and injury. Research proves this by showing that 11–13 percent of adults suffer from chronic pain following a collision. If you sign up for physical therapy right after the accident, your chances of living pain-free increase because they can spot potential issues and work with you to address them.
Hartford Auto Attorney Fighting for Your Rights
If you get into an accident in Connecticut and sustain injuries or have significant vehicle damage, you can enlist the help of a local auto accident lawyer. They are familiar with the laws, regulations, and statute of limitations to help guide your next steps for holding the at-fault party responsible for your losses.
Connecticut’s Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a state law that puts a strict time limit on the right to file a lawsuit. The deadline will vary based on the type of case you want to file and the harm you suffered from your accident.
Connecticut General Statutes section 52-584 states that after a collision, the injured party has two years to file a lawsuit from the date of the crash. The passenger, driver, bicyclist, motorcycle rider, pedestrian, or electric scooter rider can file a claim, depending on the accident.
If someone died due to the accident and the deceased’s representative or family wants to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver, they have two years from the date of the victim’s death. Additionally, Connecticut General Statutes section 52-555 states that if it’s been over five years since the accident date, the statute of limitations runs out to file a wrongful death claim.
Comparative Negligence with Connecticut Auto Accident Cases
Comparative negligence is a case where more than one party shares fault for an accident. Connecticut General Statutes section 52-572h outlines that you can recover damages against the at-fault party in a personal injury case. The court will reduce the damage amount by the percentage of your shared liability. If you were more than 50 percent at-fault for the accident, you’re not entitled to damages.
For example, you were driving slightly over the speed limit, and another driver turned in front of you. You collided with the other car, as you didn’t have enough time to stop. The court finds the at-fault driver 80 percent responsible for the accident, but they also find you 20 percent at fault since you were speeding. If the court ruled you were entitled to a $10,000 settlement, you’d get $8,000 due to subtracting the 20 percent you were at fault for the accident.
How Much Is My Hartford Car Accident Settlement Worth?
Many factors impact how much your car accident settlement is worth, and they include the following:
- Financial losses. How much financial loss the victim experiences will impact the settlement, as these settlements are supposed to help a crash victim recoup any losses the accident caused. These losses include property damage, lost wages, and medical bills.
- Injury severity. The severity of the injuries plays a huge factor in determining the appropriate settlement amount.
- Insurance coverage. Most states require you to carry liability insurance, which compensates the victim if the policyholder causes the collision. However, there are limits, and the victim can file a claim against the at-fault driver if they believe they are entitled to more compensation.
- Liability. When liability is evident in an accident, your Hartford car accident attorney can pursue a larger settlement. The insurance company for the at-fault party will usually accept responsibility and pay a reasonable settlement amount. If it’s unclear which party caused the accident, the settlement amount can drop.
- State laws. Connecticut is a fault state, which means that the driver who caused the collision is always responsible for any losses. Even minor car accidents can cause the at-fault driver’s insurer to offer settlements.
According to Insurance Information Institute statistics, the average settlement for a bodily injury claim was $20,235, and the average compensation for a property damage claim was $4,711. Of course, many payments were less than $10,000, but the factors we discussed will all contribute to your final offer. This is why working with a local and experienced car wreck lawyer is so important.
Types of Car Crash Cases Does Our Law Firm Handles
Some of the types of car crash cases our Hartford personal injury lawyers handle include:
- Head-On Collisions
- Wrong Way Accidents
- T-Bone Accidents
- Rear End Accidents
- Left Turn Car Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Fatal Car Accidents
- Hit and Run Accidents
- 3-Car Accidents
- Aggressive Driving Accidents
- Taxi Accidents
- Company Vehicle Accidents
Hartford has a thriving infrastructure with heavy traffic due to the state’s suburban population. This results in thousands of people traveling on area highways during rush hour. Several major highways run through Hartford County. Route 44 runs through West Hartford to Farmington Valley and northern Litchfield County into New York. Route 187 starts north on Albany Avenue and goes toward East Granby and Bloomfield.
The city has plans to realign the highways that run through the county. This new plan is called Highway 400, and it aims to design a triangular ring road around downtown Hartford to help with congestion. This plan also has tunneling and new connections to streamline the route to East Hartford.
Hartford County is also home to busy rail and bus lines that can increase pedestrian traffic near roadways, and four airports are spread throughout the county. These hubs are significant draws for pedestrians on foot, bicycles, and cars, so it’s common to see more accidents around busier parts of the day.
Hartford Car Crash Law Firm
Hassett & George offers a team of local and experienced car accident lawyers who have a reputation for fighting for our clients to help them get the settlements they deserve. We understand how devastating an auto collision can be and its consequences for the involved party’s health and quality of life.
Contact our car crash injury attorneys if you sustained injuries in a collision in Connecticut. We’re happy to guide you through the litigation process and fight for fair compensation for your injuries.