When you or a loved one are involved in a motor vehicle collision, you may have a right to take legal action. A successful personal injury claim could help you achieve a sense of justice by holding the person who caused the crash accountable. While also providing you with the compensation you need to recover from your accident-related injuries and move forward with your life. However, these cases can be challenging to pursue on your own, especially if you are not familiar with Connecticut law.

At D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, our team of knowledgeable car crash attorneys is intimately familiar with Connecticut car accident laws. We can handle the entire legal process and advocate for your rights. Call today to schedule a free in-person or remote consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

Is Connecticut a No-Fault State?

Many people visit or move to Connecticut from New York since it is a border state. If you are one of these people, you need to familiarize yourself with Connecticut’s auto accident laws, as they differ significantly from those in New York. New York has no-fault insurance, also referred to as personal injury protection benefits (PIP), meaning even if someone else is responsible for a crash resulting in your injuries, there are limitations on when you can sue the at-fault driver. This is because PIP benefits are mandatory for all NY auto policies for at least $50,000. These PIP benefits cover medical expenses, some wage loss, and in the event of a wrongful death, some funeral expenses. A lawsuit against the at-fault driver under NY law cannot be filed unless there is death; serious disfigurement, dismemberment, or fracture; loss of a fetus; permanent or significant limitation of use of a bodily organ, function or system; or significant disability that will last at least 90 days. In contrast, since 1994, Connecticut does not mandate any no-fault benefits and there is no limitation on the right to sue the at-fault driver for injuries sustained.

In the unfortunate instance that you are hit by someone who is not insured or doesn’t have enough insurance, a law in Connecticut requires insurance companies to offer you coverage on your own policy through an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. After making this claim against your own insurance company for these mandated benefits, your case would proceed similarly to how it would if the person who hit you did have insurance or enough insurance.

Is Connecticut a Contributory or Comparative Negligence Jurisdiction?

Connecticut is a modified comparative fault jurisdiction under Connecticut General Statutes § 52-572h. This means that under state law, you can recover and succeed in a car accident case if you are not more at fault for the crash than the person who hit you. So, if you are 50 percent responsible, and the other driver is 50 percent responsible, or multiple other drivers are 50 percent responsible collectively, you can still pursue compensation for your losses. However, your total damages award will be reduced by 50 percent.

While you can still win your case if you are 50 percent or less at fault, your compensation amount will be reduced by your total percentage of fault. If a jury or a factfinder finds you to be 51 percent or more responsible for the car accident, you will lose your case and your right to any damages.

Factors that May Affect Fault Determination

Various factors can impact who is determined to be responsible for a car wreck in Connecticut. It depends on the circumstances leading to a specific crash. In more clear-cut cases, for example, when one person is stopped at a red light, and the vehicle behind them rear-ends them going 40 miles per hour, the driver who was hit will likely not be found comparatively at fault.

Other situations are more complex. For example, when a motorist is driving above the speed limit, and another driver crosses an intersection to turn left in front of them, and a crash ensues, who is responsible? The speeding driver may argue that the other person should never have turned in front of them because they had the right of way. The driver making the left turn might say that the speeding motorist caused the crash. Figuring out whether and to what extent each driver bears responsibility in this scenario can be challenging. It will likely require the opinions of accident reconstructionists to calculate the speed of the impact and also whether or not the speeding driver had been going slower would have made a difference. This is called a causation analysis. Other factors experts and forensic engineers might examine include each driver’s perception, reaction time, and line of sight leading up to the accident. Scene layout, roadway markings, photos, videos, and witness accounts are all information sources and factors to be assessed.

Whether the state or a municipality may be responsible poses its own challenges. There are strict legal notice requirements and time frames. The causation analysis is more complicated as well.

A host of variables go into analyzing a scenario that is not clear-cut, and knowing how to navigate those situations can be the difference between whether or not you achieve a positive case outcome.

Talk to a Connecticut Attorney About How State Laws May Impact Your Car Accident Claim

Navigating the complexities of Connecticut car accident laws requires a deep understanding of state regulations and legal nuances. When you or a loved one face the aftermath of a crash, seeking legal guidance is imperative to ensure your rights are protected and justice is served.

At D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, we are dedicated to advocating for you throughout the entire legal process. Whether it’s understanding the transition from a no-fault state, assessing comparative negligence, or unraveling the intricacies of fault determination, we are here to provide comprehensive support and representation tailored to your case’s unique circumstances.

Don’t navigate these challenges alone. Reach out today to schedule a no-obligation—remote or in-person—consultation and take the first step toward securing the compensation and closure you deserve.