A "personal injury" is a bodily or emotional injury to a person which is caused by someone else's negligence, recklessness, or
Car, truck, or motorcycle accidents are the most common types of accidents that result in personal injury.
Other common causes of personal injury are: fall downs due to ice and snow or defective sidewalks or stairs; dog bites; assaults; defective products.
The sole fact that someone is injured or even killed is not, by itself, enough to successfully bring a personal injury claim.
An injured party must prove liability on the part of another person, that is, the other person caused the injury by engaging in conduct that was negligent, reckless, or intentional. In some other instances, the law assumes what is called "strict liability".
Connecticut also recognizes the theory of comparative negligence. Under that approach, if an injured party was also at fault, his or her negligence must be deemed less than that of the other party. In that event, the injured party's damages will be reduced by the percentage of his or her own fault.
If the injured party can prove that his or her injuries and damages were caused by the other party's fault, the injured person can recover money for a variety of losses:
Very often a personal injury claim can be settled by the plaintiff's attorney and the insurance company claim representative without even having to file a formal lawsuit. It can cost at least $350 in court filing fees and marshal's fees to file an action in a Connecticut Superior Court.
However, some claims cannot be settled without filing such a suit. Even then, the vast majority of cases can still be settled without a trial. Normally, the plaintiff will be required to answer written questions called "interrogatories" and may have to testify at a deposition. An experienced attorney and staff can greatly assist you in preparing those answers and in preparing for the deposition.
Some insurance companies have a policy of not offering fair value to settle claims until the eve of trial. It is important that your attorney prepare the case for trial, even though over 95% of filed cases do result in an eventual settlement.
Insurance companies have ads that are dramatic, humorous, or authoritative. However, it is a mistake to believe that they are "on your side", or that you are "in good hands", when it comes to settling personal injury claims. Even the cute little gekko needs to be prodded in order to pay the full value of your claim.
An experienced attorney can help reduce your stress level in dealing with the insurance companies, but more importantly he can help establish that the other party was at fault, and he can present all of your damage claims, such as pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. The attorney will also determine whether your health insurer is entitled to any reimbursement out of the
When an injured party is represented by an attorney, the insurance company knows that there is always the possibility that a lowball offer can result in a jury trial.
I have represented hundreds of plaintiffs over the years and I also spent several years representing insurance companies. I am often called upon by other attorneys to serve as an arbitrator or mediator to establish the value of their cases.
Personal injury lawyers almost always charge a contingency fee, which is a percentage of the total amount recovered. The client is responsible for out-of pocket litigiation costs, such as court filing fees and obtaining medical records. The agreement between the client and the lawyer should always be in writing.
I offer a free initial consultation in personal injury matters.