While car insurance may seem like an unnecessary monthly cost, it’s vital to have it in an age when everyone is car-dependent. The chances of being involved in an accident at least once in a lifetime are huge.
An insurance policy protects its holders from facing possible financial liabilities if involved in a car collision. Car accident victims who live in Connecticut’s capital and need help making heads or tails out of what to do next should contact a car accident lawyer in Hartford.
Connecticut Car Insurance and Personal Injury Cases
Car insurance plays a big role in car accident lawsuits. The uninitiated may believe that when armed in a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation after a car accident, the victim is suing the at-fault driver. When speaking in the broadest of terms, this may be somewhat true. But, in fact, the accident victim is seeking compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. And only if the at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance your lawyer will have to seek compensation directly from the driver.
Connecticut Is an At-Fault State
Unlike other states, Connecticut is not a no-fault state. What this means for car accident victims is that they’ll need to seek compensation directly from the negligent driver’s insurance company. While other states require all drivers to carry PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage on their car insurance policies, it’s not a requirement in Connecticut.
However, some drivers pay extra for PIP on their policies. For them, if they’re involved in an accident, they can seek compensation directly from their insurance providers. Paying for this optional insurance coverage could be worth the money for at-fault drivers since they can request compensation for medical bills and other expenses directly from their own policy, no matter who was at fault.
Comparative Negligence and Connecticut Personal Injury Claims
When attempting to be compensated from an at-fault driver’s insurance policy, one of the first hurdles to jump is to prove who was responsible for the accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove the other driver was at fault, but it’s not always so simple. Typical evidence of driver neglect can be proven with:
- Police accident reports
- Photos of the accident scene
- Traffic light camera photos
- Nearby surveillance video footage
- Eyewitness testimony
Unfortunately, sometimes, unless the fault is absolutely clear and irrefutable, insurance companies will sometimes dispute negligence. It is a useful insurance claims adjuster tactic since Connecticut follows the rules of comparative negligence. If the car accident victim is found to be 51% or more responsible for the accident, they have no legal right to compensation.
However, if they’re found to be partly responsible for the crash, victims can only seek compensation for the percentage of the at-fault driver’s responsibility. In layperson’s terms, if the defendant is deemed 80% responsible for the accident, the plaintiff can only receive 80% of their total compensation.
The Necessity of a Personal Injury Lawyer When Negotiating With an Insurance Company
The insurance company’s unwritten priority is to reduce liability and lessen financial responsibilities. Ultimately, they’re not working for the victim, and it’s their job to either convince victims that their claim is worthless or that they should take whatever settlement they offer. Some unscrupulous insurance claims adjusters may take advantage of you by allowing you to give them a recorded statement to tell your side of the story. It is a ruse to bait you into saying something you shouldn’t that will damage the credibility of your claim.
The best way to combat being taken advantage of or being bullied into taking a lowball settlement that in no way compensates you for all of your damages is to have a legal team of your own. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that if you don’t win your case and receive a settlement, they won’t be paid. Their payment will be an agreed-upon percentage of your total compensation.
Car Insurance, Personal Injury Claims, and Connecticut: Everything You Need To Know
When seeking compensation after a Connecticut car crash, once you and your legal team have proven liability, the next step will be to negotiate the terms of the settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Although one may think that this would be the end of the process, it’s, in fact, just the beginning. Insurance companies will fight to pay as little as possible.
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure that you don’t get taken advantage of by a big and powerful insurance company. Don’t go at it alone. If you haven’t done so already, seek out legal counsel before negotiating for compensation.