If you’re injured in an auto accident, you can suffer serious injuries. Whether the accident was caused by the person driving you or by another motorist, you may be entitled to obtain financial compensation.
In general, American drivers are required, as a matter of law, to carry liability insurance that pays damages to parties injured in an accident, up to certain amounts specified in the policy. As an injured passenger, you may have several sources for collecting damages.
In Connecticut, every driver and vehicle owner is required to have auto liability insurance. They also must carry uninsured and underinsured insurance to cover damages resulting from accidents caused by drivers who have little or no insurance. The minimum limits required by law are $25,000 per injured person and $50,000 per accident, but a vehicle owner or driver may purchase more.
If you are a passenger in an accident occurring in Connecticut, you have three basic options for seeking payment. You may file:
A lawsuit directly against the negligent driver
A claim against the negligent driver’s auto insurance company
A claim against your own auto insurance company, as long as you purchased insurance to cover your own injuries
If you file a lawsuit against the other driver, that driver’s insurance company will either settle with you or pay any damages awarded at trial or in arbitration, up to the applicable policy limits. If your own insurer pays you, it may file a subrogation claim against the negligent driver’s auto insurance, seeking reimbursement for the money it paid you.
In a lawsuit, the damages you seek may include compensation for:
Medical and rehabilitation expenses
Pain and suffering
You may settle with the driver or the driver’s auto insurance company for an amount that pays for at least some of your damages. If you file a claim against your own insurance carrier, it will pay you only up to the coverage limits of the policy.
If you pursue an insurance claim on your own, the insurer is likely to offer far less than you deserve. It is more effective to hire an auto accident lawyer, who can assemble evidence of your damages and of the defendant driver’s liability. This evidence will be vital if your case goes to trial or to an arbitration hearing. Even if you do eventually settle your case, your attorney will almost certainly obtain a larger settlement than you could on your own.
Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. represents victims of auto accidents throughout Connecticut. Please call 203-745-0942 or contact us online to schedule a consultation in our East Haven or Hamden office.
Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. is located in Hamden, CT and serves clients in and around North Haven, Hamden, Waterbury, Bethany, Milford, Wallingford, Prospect, Woodbridge, Northford, Madison, Beacon Falls, Branford, Cheshire, North Branford, East Haven, Naugatuck, Meriden, Ansonia and New Haven County.
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