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How do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Case in CT?

Most people understand the term “injury.” We’ve been falling since we were kids and that’s part of growing up. But as we get older and fit into society, there is an expectation of reasonable behavior in a civil society to keep us all safe.

You expect the person driving the car next to you to stay in his lane and not cut you off.  You expect the elevator in a place of business to be working properly. You expect not to have crates fall on you in a big box store.

Those are reasonable expectations. However, in the real world these things do happen, and many times, they happen because someone else was negligent. When someone is injured due to the negligence of others, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. 

The civil court proceeding will help you recover your medical bills, the cost of rehabilitation, and the loss of wages from being out of work.  If your injuries are catastrophic, a personal injury lawsuit will help replace the income you lost and pay some of the bills which otherwise can be overwhelming.

Under Connecticut law and its statute of limitations, you must file your personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury.  If you do not, you will lose your right to ever file an action for compensation.

Comparative Fault

Connecticut is a comparative fault state. That means if you share some degree of blame for the injury, that percentage will be subtracted from any amount you are awarded.

If, for example in a car accident, you were found to be 20% at fault for speeding prior to the collision, you will be awarded only up to 80% of the total judgement or settlement, if there is one. On the other hand, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for your own injuries, you will not be allowed to collect from the defendant.

Types of Personal Injury Cases in CT

Catastrophic injury may result from a motorcycle accident, a fall, a car crash, or medical malpractice.  You may have been mauled by a dog or hit by a car while riding your bicycle. Maybe a loved one in a nursing home is covered in bruises or you are exposed to toxins in the workplace.

These are preventable injuries that could result in the filing of a personal injury lawsuit because someone was negligent or showed a wanton and reckless disregard for others.

It will be the job of your personal injury lawyer to consider all the factors and determine the at-fault party.

Personal Injury Actions might include:

Premises Liability – These are commonly referred to as “slip and fall” injuries and for some, a fall can be very serious, especially if it involves an injury to the head. Falls among older Americans account for over 50% of injury-related deaths, and they may be preventable if the premise owner makes sure his property is free of hazards.

Dog Bites – Under Connecticut law, the owner of a dog who bites is strictly liable for those injuries regardless of the history of that dog’s past behavior.  The only exception might be when someone is teasing a dog or was a trespasser.

Car /Truck Accidents – Because Connecticut is a “fault” state, the at-fault party is responsible for compensating everyone injured in the accident. Their insurance will pay the bills, but your personal injury attorney will need to make it clear what the accident has cost you financially. Never admit fault at the scene of an auto or trucking accident.

Connecticut does not have damage caps in a personal injury case and it allows for punitive damages even in medical malpractice cases, though that amount is limited to the actual cost and attorney’s fees. 

Personal Injury Lawyer in CT

If you have experienced a personal injury that may not have been your fault, it is very important to call an experienced injury lawyer right away.

Apex Law’s Toney Pignatiello has extensive experience with personal injury litigation and thoroughly understands Connecticut law. It will be his job to send a demand letter to the insurance company outlining your injuries and the cost to you. And he can help you seek compensation for your injury caused by someone else’s negligence.

Call our office at 860-385-8360 to schedule a complimentary consultation and case assessment.

Importance of Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases

When you have been injured and are pursuing a personal injury case to recover damages, you will need to present a lot of evidence to win your case. Indeed, you must prove that the other party owed you a duty of care, breached the duty of care owed to you, and that the breach was the direct cause of your accident and injuries. You also need to establish the extent of your injuries to recover your full compensation amount.

While there are myriad sources of evidence to which one can turn to build their case, the statements of expert witnesses are one of the most effective.

What Types of Expert Witnesses Are Used in Personal Injury Claims?

There are multiple types of different expert witnesses that may be called upon to shed light on your accident, liability, or your injuries. Some of the most common types of expert witnesses that are used in personal injury claims include:

  • Medical experts. Medical experts can provide expert opinions regarding the severity of injuries, the cause of injury, and what the expected outcome of the injury will be. If you are pursuing a medical malpractice case, a medical expert is a must, as the medical expert will need to provide an opinion regarding how the medical professional in question deviated from the standard of care owed to you.
  • Psychologists and mental health experts. A psychologist or other mental health expert may be important for your personal injury claim if you have suffered psychological, mental, or emotional harm. These professionals can testify regarding the effect that the injury has had on you, and how this may impact your life in the future. These experts are especially important when seeking compensation for noneconomic losses.
  • Financial experts. When a person suffers a severe injury, they may incur multiple different financial losses, and sometimes these losses can total thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. A financial expert may be necessary to make sense of the numbers, and provide an expert opinion on the amount of loss and predicted loss (i.e. value of lost wages, loss of earning capacity, etc.) over the plaintiff’s life.
  • Accident reconstruction experts. Sometimes, the most complicated part of a personal injury case is not proving damages, but proving how an accident happened and therefore holding the defendant liable for harm. When this is the case, an accident reconstruction expert, who will investigate your accident in full and rebuild it piece-by-piece to determine the precise cause of the incident, can be vital. An accident reconstruction expert witness can also guide the court through what happened, helping to paint a picture of what went wrong.
  • Design or manufacturing experts. In the event that you are bringing forth a defective product case for damages or claiming that a design or manufacturing defect was to blame for your accident and injuries, working with design or/and manufacturing experts will be important. These experts will offer insight as to whether or not the design/manufacturer of a product was to blame.

Expert Witnesses Can Make or Break Your Case

When you have been injured and are seeking damages to compensate you for your losses, expert witnesses can make or break your case. In fact, without expert witnesses, you may have a difficult time proving:

  • The liability of the defendant;
  • The extent of disability you have suffered;
  • The value of your economic losses;
  • The value of your noneconomic losses;
  • How an accident occurred; and
  • The defective nature of a product that caused you harm.

Many plaintiffs who choose to represent themselves in a personal injury claim fail to hire expert witnesses to testify on their behalf, either neglecting to acknowledge the importance of expert witnesses, or choosing not to hire experts due to the costs.

Why You Need the Lawyers of The APEX Law Firm, LLC On Your Side

At the law offices of The APEX Law Firm, LLC, we realize how critical expert witnesses are to a successful injury case, and can assure you that we have a long-term relationship with many expert witnesses in the Hartford area, and have the resources it requires to hire expert witnesses to help us win your case. What’s more, we handle all upfront costs on your behalf, and work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t have to worry about paying for fees and services out of pocket. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, please visit us today at uptonlegal.com, send us a message, or call us at (860) 900-0900.