Things to Keep In Mind When Pursuing a Personal Injury Case

Accidents, unfortunately, are a common occurrence. When the accident and consequent injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to compensation. 

Personal injury laws vary with state and sometimes even within counties. For instance, if an accident happens in Shelton, Connecticut, the handling of your case might differ slightly from another county in another state. 

Being well-informed about these variations can significantly improve your case outcome. This guide highlights what you need to consider when pursuing a personal injury claim. 

Do You Have a Case?

A case only has standing if you can prove liability and fault. Liability is assigned to the party whose negligence caused the accident. Proving this requires evidence that they breached a duty of care, resulting in your injuries. Fault is the degree of responsibility for each party involved. 

Cases can be based on negligence or strict liability. Negligence-based liability claims that the accused party acted carelessly, while strict liability applies even if they acted with reasonable care but still caused injury.

Settlement Options

Court proceedings are not always necessary. Many cases settle out of court at different stages. For example, you might receive an offer from the defendant’s insurer. However, these offers often undervalue your claim, so it’s best to consult your lawyer before accepting. 

After notifying the at-fault party of your intention to sue and the estimated value of your claim, a second settlement opportunity may arise. They may propose negotiations, and if their offer adequately compensates your damages, you can consider accepting it.

The third stage of settling occurs after officially filing your claim. A court-appointed mediator may facilitate negotiations to resolve the issues. If mutual agreement is not reached, a trial becomes the last resort. 

Evaluating the Value of Your Claim

Before filing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s crucial to determine the value of your claim. If your injuries are minor, pursuing a lawsuit may not be worth the effort and expense. However, it’s important not to dismiss any claim hastily; instead, let a personal injury lawyer evaluate your situation and establish the true value of your claim. 

“Cost of consultation should never deter you from seeking legal advice. Many lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay unless they win your case,” says Attorney Russell J. Berkowitz of Berkowitz Hanna Malpractice & Injury Lawyers

Connecticut’s Modified Comparative Negligence Approach

In Connecticut, a principle called ‘Modified Comparative Negligence’ becomes salient if an accident occurs. This rule stipulates that you can recover damages in a lawsuit, provided your own fault doesn’t exceed 50%. 

To illustrate, if you are 30% at fault for an accident, your recoverable damages reduce by that same percentage. So if your total damages amount to $10,000, you would only receive $7,000 after the reduction. 

However, if you are more than 50% at fault, you become ineligible to recover any damages. This system aims to distribute liability proportionately among the parties involved. 

Other Considerations

When filing a personal injury claim, it’s important to consider key factors like the statute of limitations, insurance requirements, and the lack of a cap on economic damages.