You’ve been hurt in an auto accident and the other driver was at fault. But the other driver says you’re partially to blame. Each of you reports the crash to your insurance companies, and there are settlement offers made. Ultimately, you decide not to accept the insurance settlement and instead want to file a personal injury lawsuit. How will Connecticut’s laws about fault affect your case?
Different states have different rules about fault. Connecticut uses what is known as the modified comparative negligence system. This allows you to sue the other driver as long as you are not principally at fault for the accident. You cannot recover damages from the other driver if the jury finds you more than 50 percent responsible.
Even if you are less at fault than the other driver, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, the jury determines that you have proven $200,000 in damages but also finds that you were 25 percent at fault for the crash. Your $200,000 award would be reduced by 25 percent, so you would recover $150,000.
You may wonder how percentages of fault are calculated. How does a jury or judge decide whether you were 15 percent at fault or 32 percent at fault? There is no hard and fast rule. It boils down to the way the jury views the evidence. Your attorney will gather various forms of evidence and present it during the trial. Evidence in auto accident cases can include the following:
Cell phone records
Video recordings of the crash or its aftermath
Photographs taken at the scene
Medical records documenting the severity of the injuries
If you are injured in a car crash, it is critical that you retain an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer to present your case. Not only the quantity of evidence but also how it is presented can be important factors in the jury’s measurement of comparative fault. Some cases can come down to a 1 percent difference in degree of fault that determines whether you can recover or not. The other driver’s insurance company will be arguing against you, attempting to minimize or deny your damages. You deserve someone on your side who knows what to expect and how to develop a strong litigation strategy.
At Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. in Hamden and East Haven, our Connecticut personal injury attorneys have decades of experience representing people hurt in auto accidents, motorcycle accidents and all other types of crashes. To schedule a consultation, please call 203-745-0942 or contact us online.
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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