A single moment is all it may take to change a person’s life forever, and nowhere is this more evident than in the aftermath of a serious car accident. The forces at play in these incidents are often immense, and even low-speed collisions can impart thousands of pounds of pressure on a person’s body and lead to severe, life-changing injuries.
Even if an individual is fortunate enough to be able to walk away from a car wreck, they may endure injuries that require weeks or months of rehabilitation. This is to say nothing of the potential economic or emotional losses suffered in the incident.
If you suffered injuries in a crash you did not cause, a Glastonbury car accident lawyer could help you hold at-fault drivers liable for their actions. After investigating the incident and determining the full impact of the accident on your life, your personal injury attorney could work with you to demand appropriate compensation for all your injuries and losses.
The Legal Basis for a Car Accident Claim in Glastonbury
All drivers in Connecticut and around the country sign an implicit social contract when they get behind the wheel to drive safely and to avoid placing others at risk of harm. This concept, known as a duty of care, extends to other drivers, passengers in cars, bike riders, and even pedestrians. In short, a driver has a duty to protect all other people they may encounter while on the road.
A failure to fulfill this duty to a degree that directly causes an accident is the framework for the cause of action known as negligence. If a driver involved in a car wreck is found legally negligent due to their reckless behavior, they may be liable to provide compensation to those involved in the accident even though they did not intend to cause any harm.
Various violations of traffic law and forms of aggressive driving may serve as evidence of legal negligence, including but not limited to:
- Texting while driving
- Ignoring stop signs or red lights
- Improper lane changes
- Driving while drunk
A Glastonbury attorney could help potential plaintiffs gather evidence of a defendant’s negligence and frame that evidence effectively in a car accident claim for damages. They could also ensure plaintiffs meet Connecticut’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Under Connecticut General Statutes §52-584, an injured party must file a civil case no more than two years from the date of injury.
How Does Litigation Proceed If There Are Multiple Defendants?
When there are multiple defendants, the litigation proceeds in the same way as it would if there was only one at-fault party. The order in which a case is presented before the court does not change. The plaintiff presents their case first, and then the defendants can choose whether or not they want to make an argument. When presenting a car accident case with multiple defendants, a Glastonbury lawyer informs the jury why each liable party is at fault for causing the accident and to what degree.
However, multiple defendants may influence the outcome of a case because there might be more peremptory strikes in the jury selection. They may have eight peremptory strikes instead of four, which can make a big difference in who is on the jury. Additionally, on some occasions, having multiple defendants adds more confusion to the situation, which may be beneficial to the claimant.
Recoverable Damages After a Car Wreck
The most immediate impact of a car accident is usually on someone’s physical health. Severe cuts and scrapes, separated joints, neck or back strains, concussions, and broken bones are common in car accidents, and an at-fault defendant could certainly be liable to provide compensation for these medical costs.
However, the true consequences of an auto accident may go far beyond physical injuries. Even a relatively minor injury may force an injured driver to miss time at work, attend therapy appointments, or make an extended recovery at home. These economic losses are an important part of any motor vehicle accident claim.
Additionally, if a plaintiff endures emotional pain or suffering as a result of the accident, they may request a defendant to provide compensation for these intangible losses. While difficult to measure, these noneconomic damages can provide payments for loss of enjoyment or quality of life. A car wreck lawyer in Glastonbury could help a plaintiff calculate the true value of their case and push for maximum compensation.
Why is it Important to Call the Police After a Car Crash?
Some mistakes that people tend to make after being involved in a car crash include not calling the police. Some drivers think it is enough to exchange insurance information. However, when involved in a collision, even a minor one, an individual should make sure that law enforcement makes a formal record of the incident.
When a police officer arrives at the scene, they can collect insurance information, write everybody’s names down, secure everybody’s identification, and make a determination of fault. If a case turns into a lawsuit and there is a trial later, a police report and that officer’s determination of fault is going to be an important document for evidentiary purposes.
In Glastonbury, some specific ways in which attorneys could help navigate the initial steps of dealing with a car accident include being able to tell a claimant what the items on the police report mean with respect to fault and their injuries. A lawyer also could help someone understand how to go about requesting copies of their medical bills if they are needed for a case.
More importantly, a well-practiced attorney would be able to tell an injured party what kind of a claim they might be able to bring against the at-fault driver should they decide to sue. They also could explain to a claimant what they think a fair settlement value would be for the case if they decided that they did not want to bring a lawsuit and just wanted to collect a check from the insurance company without bringing it to court. The good lawyer understands every detail and document of a case, and they know how to combine these pieces of evidence to obtain the desired outcome.
It is an unfortunate fact that many car accidents stem from another party’s careless actions, and that they can cause severe injuries that may impact someone for the rest of their lives. However, just because a person is involved in an accident does not automatically mean that they can collect compensation for their losses. Plaintiffs must prove that another driver’s legal negligence caused their injuries to recover damages.
A Glastonbury car accident lawyer could help with this endeavor by investigating the facts that led to the crash, evaluating the actions of all parties involved, measuring your losses accurately, and demanding appropriate compensation. Contact an attorney today to schedule an initial case consultation with one of the attorneys at our firm.
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