A personal injury is one that occurs to the person; not to their property or reputation. Most of us have seen advertisements for people needing a Connecticut personal injury attorney but probably never really thought about what that meant unless they were in need of representation themselves. When a person is injured because of another person’s actions or their negligence, even a seemingly minor injury can have a significant impact on their lives. They may have medical bills for examinations, testing, and even surgery. With the rising costs of medical care, these bills can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.
Some of the most common causes of personal injuries are:
- Automobile accidents
- Slip and fall
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Animal bites
- Assault and battery
In addition to the increase in bills, the victim of the accident may have to miss work for a short or extended period of time. The loss of income further adds to their financial and emotional distress. The law allows for people who are the victims of personal injuries to sue the at-fault party for compensation. However, there are a number of differences in the personal injury laws by state.Connecticut personal injury attorney David M. Moore explains that experience as a lawyer and mediator in Connecticut are the two most important factors clients should consider when considering a personal injury claim.
Connecticut is a fault state which follows a modified comparative. This means that a personal injury victim can only achieve recovery if they are less than 51% at fault. Often, the person or company that you are filing the case against will claim that you are either partly or totally at fault for the accident and your injury. If you are determined to have been somewhat at fault, this will impact the amount of compensation you will receive. For example, if you are considered 10% at fault and your damages are determined to be $20,000, you will instead get $18,000. Once your degree of fault is determined to be more than half, you will not be given any compensation at all.
There are also deadlines called “statutes of limitations’ that govern when a claim must be file. When the injury occurred from an auto accident, the statute of limitations is three years. This means that the injured individual must file a personal injury claim within three years of the accident. For medical malpractice cases, the deadline is two years from the time the injury is discovered while for product liability, between two and three years, depending on the specific cause of injury. It is essential to find an attorney to represent you before these deadlines. Finding the right Connecticut personal injury attorney and providing them with enough time to gather the necessary evidence takes time.
The Role of the Insurance Company
Although the person or business that causes your injury may be found to be completely or mostly at fault for your injury, it doesn’t mean that they have the money to pay damages. In many personal injury cases, insurance companies play a big role in whether a lawsuit is filed. In other words, suing someone without the money or insurance to pay for damages is considered a waste of time and money for what may be a long, drawn-out litigation.
When injuries are the result of an automobile accident, the person at-fault is more likely to have insurance as is required by the state. When they don’t, Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UIM) will pay. Once fault has been determined, the insurance company is responsible for paying the damages to the victim. This is why they commonly try to put more blame onto the victim or deny that the injury the person received is due to the accident or is as severe as they claim. Going against the insurance companies in a personal injury case is the biggest reason that you need to hire a Connecticut personal injury attorney who has in-depth experience dealing with the state’s laws and understand the tactics that the insurance companies often resort to.
Mediation VS Litigation
Litigation is the term used to describe the representation of the client in a court trial by judge or jury. Person injury cases often take a long time to battle out in court and can cost both parties time and money that they cannot afford to lose. Another option that is sometimes better is mediation.
Mediation is a type of conflict resolution in which a mediator guides the opposing parties through a process of listing possible resolutions to their dispute. Instead of a win-lose situation that is determined by a judge or jury, the parties have control over what the final decision will be. Both or all parties must agree to a resolution before the mediator prepares the final documents to be signed.
Mediation takes place outside of the courtroom, in a peaceful setting where opposing parties work in an atmosphere of respect. The goal is to find a resolution that is best for everyone involved. If all parties involved are willing to work in this way, the process is usually successful and can be completed in as little as half a day. Mediation is a much faster process than litigation and it costs everyone involved a lot less money than a lengthy trial. If they are unable to reach a resolution, their case can go forward into litigation.
What to Look for in a Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney
The victim of a personal injury should be selective of the attorney they choose since the outcome of their case will have such an impact on their life. An experienced attorney who is also a skilled mediator will benefit them regardless of the direction that their case proceeds. Skills in both litigation and mediation will ensure they have the compassion and aggression needed to achieve a successful outcome for all types of legal disputes and in a variety of situations. The goal of every client is to have the attorney who will get the best possible resolution to their case in the shortest time and for the lowest cost.