Accident victims filing a personal injury claim may have numerous questions regarding who’s at fault and how it impacts their case. Victims usually have a clear path to compensation for incidents where the at-fault party is obvious. However, when the fault is muddied, victims may begin to feel partly to blame for their injuries. If this scenario sounds familiar, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and are uncertain if you have a valid case, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Connecticut. After a free consultation to discuss your case, they can determine if you should move forward and seek compensation, regardless of if you were partly to blame.
What Is Required To File A Connecticut Personal Injury Claim?
Plaintiffs in a Connecticut personal injury lawsuit have the burden of proving a few things, even if they’re partially to blame. The victim must demonstrate the following before bringing a claim for compensation:
- The the other party owed a duty of care towards the plaintiff
- The defendant did not accomplish this duty
- The defendant’s negligence directly contributed to the accident
- The plaintiff sustained direct damages from the accident
Once the plaintiff has proven these things, the defendant can be held liable for all of the plaintiff’s damages. However, the playing field changes if the defendant proves that the plaintiff was partly responsible for the accident. They could still get compensation for their material losees and injuries.
Connecticut’s Comparative Fault Laws
In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove a few things, and fault is one of them. In a typical scenario, the victim will provide evidence of the other driver’s negligence. This is usually done with the official police accident report or other means. The personal injury lawsuit becomes significantly easier to settle when negligence is proven. However, it’s a different story when both parties could be responsible.
Unlike in other parts of the country, Connecticut isn’t a “no-fault” state for car accident victims seeking compensation for their damages. This means that the victim of an accident can go directly to the at-fault driver and their insurance company when looking to recover their losses due to the accident. This would be accomplished by working with an experienced car crash attorney who will guide them through the process. But what happens when both drivers are potentially at fault? This is when Connecticut’s comparative fault laws come into play.
How Does Comparative Fault Impact A Personal Injury Claim?
There are plenty of scenarios where both drivers could have played a role in a car crash. If one driver was speeding and hit a vehicle making an illegal lane change, both parties are responsible for the accident. In Connecticut, the plaintiff can still file a personal injury claim against the other driver if they’re found to be 49% or less responsible for the accident. Anything more than that, and they have no legal right to seek compensation.
For instance, if the plaintiff is found to be 20% responsible for the accident, the defendant is only liable for paying 80% of what the plaintiff’s damages are deemed to be. If the damages are $100,000, the defendant would only be responsible for paying $80,000. Ultimately, comparative fault is subjective and is up to the courts to decide which party is more at fault. It is the defendant’s responsibility to prove comparative negligence. Without doing so, they’ll be held 100% liable for the plaintiff’s damages.
Comparative Fault And Personal Injury Claims In Connecticut: Final Thoughts
Liability and negligence are big parts of any personal injury lawsuit. When the fault is clear and one-sided, cases typically move quickly, and settlements are reached. However, if the defendant can prove the plaintiff was partly at fault, then if they are awarded a settlement, they’ll only receive the percentage of the amount that the defendant was at fault.
If you’ve been involved in an accident that you may be partly responsible for, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you prove that your part in it was minimal. Without the support of an experienced legal team, you’ll have difficulty getting the compensation you deserve.