Hartford Personal Injury Attorneys
Personal injury lawsuits are complex, and you want an experienced legal team to guide you through the legal process. Hassett & George are your local Hartford personal injury lawyers with a reputation for winning compensation for our clients.
Personal Injury Definition
Personal injuries have a very broad definition, and this term encompasses a variety of injuries to a person’s emotions, body, or reputation as differentiated from property or injury rights. These can be more complex cases, as there are three possible grounds that someone can use as the basis for their personal injury claim, including:
To use this basis for a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff has to prove the defendant intentionally meant them harm. Common examples of intentional torts include assault, battery, trespass to land, false imprisonment, trespass to chattels, and deliberately inflicting emotional distress.
This is the most common basis people use to file personal injury claims. The grounds for liability under this category come from the defendant’s failure to behave to a standard level of care that someone would naturally exercise under the same circumstances. For example, a hunter would be guilty of negligence in a personal injury lawsuit if they shot their gun toward other people.
The basis for strict liability in Connecticut holds the defendant liable for committing the action that resulted in the injury, no matter their mental state at the time of the action. One example would be if a person sustained an injury from a defective product. The product’s manufacturer would be responsible for this injury even though they didn’t intend their product to hurt anyone or didn’t act negligently.
Hartford Injury Lawyers Fighting for Your Rights
A personal injury lawyer is responsible for several essential duties when it comes to these complex cases, including:
Assessing the Damages
Many victims only think about the accident’s immediate impact. It’s common for these victims to worry about making up lost wages after being off work, deal with harassing phone calls from bill collectors, or concentrate on ways to repair their vehicle to get it back on the road. However, your injury lawyer routinely deals with these types of cases, and they can help give you a more long-term picture of any injury effects, including an earning capacity loss if you were disabled in the accident. Your lawyer may also ask an actuary or economist to help assess the accident’s lifetime impact.
Completing an Investigation
Personal injury firms may send out professional investigators or reach out to retired officers from the Hartford police department who started new investigative jobs to document the accident scene and interview witnesses. They may also pull in accident reconstruction experts if the opposing parties dispute the accident’s cause. The personal injury law firm will have a dedicated roster of professionals they know and typically use to help build a case.
Connecting with Medical Professionals
Many personal injury lawyers have a working business relationship with a medical professional who may provide medical services in favor of getting compensation for any future judgments or settlements. These professionals may also bring a greater understanding of serious injuries, and they may recommend a specialist with a track record of providing favorable results.
Explaining Your Rights
Your injury lawyer can explain how legal issues and accidents affect someone’s rights. Each state has different laws on how the statute limitations and comparative negligence impact a case. The statute of limitations sets a time limit for filing a lawsuit. Comparative negligence rules decide if someone can sue the other party if they were partially to blame for the accident and how much compensation they’re entitled to.
A Hartford personal injury attorney can guide clients through the legal system. They ensure you understand the more complex legal procedures, file all the necessary paperwork required in these cases, and interpret insurance and medical claims. Your attorney can also give objective opinions about your case so you can make informed decisions that aren’t clouded by anger, fear, stress, frustration, or other emotions that many injury victims experience.
Representing You in Court
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only 4 percent of personal injury cases go to trial, and most settle before lawsuits are filed. However, if the insurance company denies the personal injury claim, going to trial might be the only way a victim can recover damages. The litigation process is very complex and requires following the proper procedures and evidence rules. An experienced accident lawyer can ensure you meet and follow all the regulations and statutes.
Working Through the Legal Process
Your lawyer can help you navigate through a host of different judicial forums. For example, they may negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company before or after the case goes to court. They can also help prosecute if the settlement offer is too low or the insurance company denies the claim. However, a personal injury law firm can also help in other ways, including alternative dispute resolution.
If the victim’s insurance company gets involved, it’s common to require arbitration. This process consists of presenting the case in front of a neutral party who makes the final decision, called a mediator. During mediation, the at-fault party and victim will work together with this impartial third party to reach an acceptable settlement without involving the courts.
What Are Examples of Personal Injury Cases?
Many personal injury case examples are available, and you may not even know that your case falls under this category. A few of the most common personal injury case categories include:
The Connecticut Crash Data Repository collected statistics to give a good look at the impacts of fatal or debilitating car accidents throughout the state. In 2022, from January to October, they recorded 3,662 accidents, with 1,128 injuries and 10 fatalities. With these accidents, rear-end and angle collisions were the main accident types.
According to the New Haven Register, several roads run through the state with more accidents than others. These roads include:
- Howard Avenue with 203 accidents
- Route 1 with 725 accidents
- Route 80 with 577 accidents
- Whalley Avenue with 566 accidents
- Whitney Avenue with 242 accidents
The National Safety Council reported that Connecticut saw a 29 percent spike in fatal car accidents in 2022 compared to 2021. From January to June 2022, 43 more people died in car accidents than the previous year.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
It’s extremely common for people to bike or walk around Hartford County due to the miles of trails, bicycle paths, and convenient proximity of thriving shops, restaurants, and attractions. However, Watch for Me CT points out that the number of accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians continues to rise. Every year, roughly 500 bicyclists and 1,500 pedestrians are involved in collisions throughout the state, and Connecticut currently ranks seventh as the deadliest state for pedestrians.
The most significant hot spots for accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists include intersections, crosswalks, parking lots, sidewalks, school bus crossings, and accidents involving a car backing up.
During 2020, if you looked per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were roughly 28 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger vehicle occupants. Motorcyclists were also four times more likely to sustain injuries in a crash. Connecticut also saw the highest motorcycle fatalities in 30 years in 2021, with 68 deaths.
Along with record-setting fatalities, motorcyclists are at much higher risk for sustaining catastrophic injuries in an accident, including burns, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and more.
Since Connecticut has several key highways running through it, it’s common to have a larger number of semis or larger freight trucks loaded with cargo on the roads. Local businesses depend on these trucks to move their products and provide goods to keep them in business. The Connecticut Department of Transportation estimates that big trucks will carry upward of 58.7 percent million more tons of freight by 2040. Unfortunately, this means that the accident rate will continue to rise.
The NHTSA showed 6 percent of Connecticut’s 415 fatal accidents involved large trucks in 2020. They also noted that three of these accidents were single-vehicle ones, while the rest involved other cars or motorists.
Additionally, there are several areas and roads that have more fatal truck wrecks than others, including:
- I-84/U.S. 6 in East Hartford
- I-84 and I-94 bottleneck in East Hartford
- I-95 in New Haven
For Americans aged 1 to 44, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in the nation, and there are more than 160,000 reported deaths from accidental injuries each year. According to the CDC, there are several causes for these wrongful deaths, including:
- Medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is when the medical provider makes an error or is negligent and a patient is harmed. A missed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and medication and surgical errors are common examples.
- Nursing home neglect. Research shows that as high as 95 percent of nursing homes in the United States are understaffed. Staff shortages can make it difficult to adequately care for the residents, leading to neglect.
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents. These deaths commonly occur when someone walking or biking gets stuck by a moving vehicle. These accidents peak around intersections or school zones but can happen anywhere.
- Premise liability. Being struck by or against a large object or slip and fall injuries are common premise liability cases.
- Vehicle accidents. It’s common to sustain injuries when commercial and passenger vehicles collide. Single-vehicle accidents can also cause severe injuries resulting from faulty products, driver errors, or negligence.
Steps to Take if You Have Been Injured or in an Accident
Right after you suffer an injury or accident, it’s common to be disoriented and overwhelmed. You may not know where to turn or what to do if someone’s wrongdoing or negligence caused you injury. The following steps are a general outline of what you should do:
Step 1: Seek Medical Attention
If you suffered a personal injury, seeking medical attention should be the first thing you do. Even if you believe you have minor injuries, you should get medical care because the extent of your injuries may take days or weeks to manifest. Also, some jurisdictions require that you get medical attention within a set time, or you lose the ability to file a personal injury claim.
Step 2: Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Once you get medical attention, the next step is to contact an experienced accident attorney. After you brief your lawyer about your injury or accident details, they can help you decide if you have a claim.
Step 3: Participate in the Following Investigation
When you retain an attorney and believe you have a claim, they’ll investigate the accident and start laying the foundation to prove that you sustained your injuries due to someone’s wrongdoing or negligence. Most injury lawyers work with a team of accident scene analysts to help figure out who was responsible and how severe your injuries were. You’re responsible for keeping in contact with the attorney, following any instructions, and participating in the investigation as they instruct.
Step 4: Discuss Compensation Options
Several types of compensation are available for victims of a personal injury claim, depending on the nature of their injuries. Your personal injury law firm will advise you on the amounts and what to expect.
What Are Some Settlement Examples for Personal Injury Cases?
In cases where you have to establish a personal injury settlement value, several significant factors contribute. Medical bills are usually the easiest to prove, but you must include future care costs in your settlement amount. The worth of any destroyed or damaged property also counts. For example, if you lost wages due to missed work or your employer fired you, you’d need to get an estimate for future losses.
However, the biggest factor is usually general damage, also known as pain and suffering. This broad term encompasses mental anguish, disfigurement, permanent or temporary physical impairment, loss of services, and loss of consortium.
Typically, your attorney uses pain and suffering as a multiplier when calculating damages. You multiply all the economic damages by your non-economic damages, or pain and suffering.
Serving Hartford, CT
Hartford County is a thriving spot for people of all ages. There are 15 colleges in the Greater Hartford area, including the University of Connecticut, the University of Hartford, Goodwin University, and Trinity College. This leads to an influx of students and millennials finding opportunities in the city to build their lives.
There are also many excellent restaurants throughout the city, and you can find anything from Middle Eastern cuisine to comfort food. Black Eyed Sally’s, Feng Chophouse, ON20, Salute, Terreno, and City Steam Brewery are popular spots.
Finally, Hartford is home to miles of scenic walking or hiking trails and bicycle paths. You can stroll through parks during the summer alongside the Connecticut River such as Great River Park and Riverside Park.
Connecticut Injury Law Firm
In addition to Hartford our injury law firm serves a number of locations in and around Hartford County including: Simsbury, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, Manchester, Windsor, Farmington, Windsor Locks, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Avon, Bloomfield, Bristol, Enfield, Newington, South Windsor, Southington, Plainville and more. We encourage you to fill out our secure online form to schedule a meeting with our lawyers today.