Hartford Car Accident Lawyer
As the capital of Connecticut, Hartford has a population of about 120,600 according to the 2022 United Census Bureau. Steeped in history, the city was founded in 1635 and is among the oldest cities in the United States. It’s also a major industrial and commercial center and a port at the head of navigation on the Connecticut River.
Unfortunately, the city can be dangerous when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. In 2019, there were 111,671 crashes in the state, with 7,094 of those occurring in Hartford. Those crashes involved 14,125 vehicles and 19,085 people. Hartford was one of the top five cities for car crashes that year, along with New Haven, Bridgeport, Waterbury, and Stamford.
In December 2022, the CT Mirror—a non-profit digital-only news publication—reported that Connecticut’s roads were “deadlier than ever.” Experts believe that impaired driving and speeding played a big role in the increasing number of crashes.
A car accident is stressful and inconvenient. If it causes severe injuries, it can completely change your life. Your insurance may cover some of your expenses, but most policies have limits. They may not go far enough to cover all the expenses you have today and those you may have in the future. You may then wonder where to turn to try to put your life back together.
At Chaffin Luhana, our mission is to help restore car accident victims to wholeness in the Hartford, Connecticut area. When we take on your case, we put our decades of national experience to work fighting for you to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Car Accidents in Hartford, Connecticut
On September 6, 2023, two people died—including a 2-year-old child—after a serious, multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 84 East in West Hartford. A woman lost control of her car and went across the median and into the eastbound lanes. The car collided with a Subaru, according to NBC Connecticut, and then both cars collided with a truck.
The driver of the Subaru was killed and the child in her car was also killed. The driver who lost control and crossed the median was not hurt.
This type of tragedy occurs often in Connecticut. Between January 1, 2020, and August 31, 2023, there were 329,788 total crashes throughout the state, with over 790,000 people involved. In 2021, 298 people died on Connecticut roadways, the last year for which final figures were available. Some of these were pedestrians and bicyclists.
That same year, 1,521 people were seriously injured in car accidents, which was an increase over the 1,304 that were injured the year before. According to the Office of Legislative Research, Connecticut General Assembly, there were 501,320 crash records reported between June 17, 2016, and June 17, 2021. Of those, there were 5,141 that were suspected of causing serious injury, and 1,120 that caused fatal injuries.
When to Hire a Hartford, Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer
If your car suffered only minor damages and you were not injured at all, you may be able to manage your claim just fine on your own. If you suffered from serious injuries, however, you will improve your odds of getting the compensation you deserve if you have a Hartford, Connecticut car injury lawyer on your side.
It’s common to seek the help of a lawyer if you have a claim denied, you’re dealing with an uninsured motorist, or you are undergoing medical treatment and need help with the legal process.
If you discover any of the following, you owe it to yourself to speak with a Hartford, Connecticut car accident attorney.
- You will need surgery or ongoing medical treatment
- The insurance company offers you less than you require in a settlement
- The insurance claim is denied
- You can’t return to work
- The daily tasks of life are proving much more difficult because of your injuries
- The other driver was clearly at fault
Choosing the Right Hartford, Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer
When it comes time to choose a Hartford, Connecticut car accident lawyer, it can be overwhelming. There are a lot of attorneys out there. Follow these steps to find the one who will best represent you.
Start by researching car accident attorneys online. Examine their track record, client reviews, and experience. Call for a free consultation.
During that initial consultation, ask the attorney about their history with cases like yours, their experience in general, how they handle fees, and who would be working on your case. Find out if they have additional resources to help secure expert witnesses and appropriately investigate your case.
Look for Professionalism
When you speak with a law firm, you’re not only assessing the attorney, but the entire staff. You’ll probably be interacting with some of the other members as you work through your case, so look for professionalism throughout the office.
Trust Your Gut
Is the law firm professional and friendly? Do they communicate well? Do you feel like they’re truly interested in helping you? Keep in mind that whom you choose to represent you can have a big impact on the outcome of your case, so make sure that you feel confident in the person and the law firm you select.
Why Choose Our Hartford, Connecticut Car Accident Lawyers
At Chaffin Luhana, we focus only on plaintiffs like you who have been injured and need help obtaining fair compensation. We have the experience and the resources you need and pride ourselves on providing regular and helpful communication.
Our hard-working team includes former federal and state prosecutors, former state and federal judicial law clerks, former large defense firm attorneys, court-appointed leaders in the national Plaintiffs’ bar, and social workers—a team with unique and in-depth experience to guide you through your case.
As national leaders in the plaintiffs’ bar, we have extensive experience that is nationally recognized. Partners Eric Chaffin and Roopal Luhana have been involved in recovering over $1 billion for their clients so far. The firm itself has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for individually injured plaintiffs.
Finally, we believe in giving back to our communities. With a mission of “Doing Good by Doing Right™,” we have donated a substantial portion of the firm’s revenues—hundreds of thousands of dollars to date—to charitable causes and issues that impact our clients and local communities. The Chaffin Luhana Foundation has also funded scientific research, donated to dozens of charities, and given away numerous college scholarships.
What Our Clients Have to Say About Chaffin Luhana
Below is a small sampling of the testimonials we have received from our clients:
Over $4 Million Recovery
“I was very pleased with the representation that I received for my case. I had a positive experience with this firm and I would recommend your firm to my family and friends.”
– Judy R., Product Liability Injury Client
Nearly $3 Million Recovery
“I would tell prospective client[s of your firm] to be patient – trust your lawyers, trust that they know what they are doing, even though it is hard for people not in the business to understand all the legal wording and details.”
– Duane B, Product Liability Injury Client
Automobile Accident Victim
“They treat you like family. I was even sent a sympathy card when my mother passed, which was totally unexpected.”
– Debra S., Personal Injury Client
Automobile Accident Victim
“[Chaffin Luhana] definitely delivered. The previous firm told me they couldn’t help me. My mom saw the commercial and she said try someone else. I called you and within four months you had it all resolved.”
– Carley H., Personal Injury Client
Find more testimonials here.
Types of Hartford, Connecticut Car Accident Cases Handled
If somebody hit you on the road, it may seem clear to you who was at fault. But often, car accidents are more complex than you may think. Sometimes multiple parties are involved. There may have been unsafe road conditions that contributed to the accident. Perhaps you were partially at fault.
Chaffin Luhana car accident attorneys are experienced in each of the following types of accidents and will understand the steps needed to win fair compensation.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Of the nearly 300 people who died in car accidents in Connecticut in 2020, about 40 percent of those deaths involved a drunk driver. Connecticut had the third-highest percentage of traffic deaths caused by a drunk driver in the U.S.—less than only Montana (45 percent) and Rhode Island (42 percent).
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, our Hartford, Connecticut drunk driving crash attorneys at Chaffin Luhana can help. We will thoroughly investigate the accident, uncovering all the important details needed to help you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Distracted Driving Accidents
According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), there were nearly 5,200 crashes in the state in 2022 that were attributed to distracted driving.
In Connecticut, it is illegal for drivers to text or talk using a handheld cell phone. Hands-free devices are generally allowed as long as the driver is 18 years of age or older.
If you were in an accident where another driver’s distracted driving was involved, contact your Hartford, Connecticut car accident attorney. They can make sure that all evidence is uncovered that may prove your case, helping increase the odds that you’ll be compensated fairly.
Head-On Collision Accidents
These types of accidents occur when vehicles driving in opposite directions crash front-to-front. If a single car drives straight into a stationary object, such as a telephone pole, that’s also considered a head-on collision. The most common causes of head-on collisions include distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving, failing to yield, and speeding.
Head-on collisions are often some of the most serious and can cause lasting injuries. These may include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and burns that lead to disfigurement. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that in 2019, frontal impacts like these accounted for 57 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths.
If you are involved in an accident like this, it’s wise to get legal help right away. Your losses are likely to be substantial due to the severity of the injuries.
In 2021, rollovers caused a total of 7,640 passenger vehicle deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). A rollover crash occurs if the vehicle tips onto its side or roof at any time during the crash. This can be caused by impact with another vehicle or with a fixed object.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted in a report on rollover crashes that they are more likely to result in fatalities than other types of crashes. Unfortunately, the number of fatal SUV and van rollovers increased as the popularity of SUVs increased, with these crashes being “particularly violent in nature,” according to the NHTSA.
Many SUVs have been recalled because of rollover risks. Your car accident attorney can look for evidence of manufacturer negligence if your vehicle was involved in a rollover, as well as any other evidence that will support your case.
Recent research revealed that ride-hailing services were associated with an increase of about three percent in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents. Some scientists believe this is because ride-sharing, in general, increases the number of vehicles on the road.
Accidents with ride-sharing vehicles, such as those from Uber or Lyft, can be more complex than other accidents. In a regular car accident, you would typically file a claim against the driver’s insurance carrier. But if the driver was earning income from Uber or Lyft at the time of the accident, the insurance company may seek to defer costs to that company. The whole situation can get complicated quickly.
Chaffin Luhana has the experience needed to navigate these types of complicated cases and will work hard to get the compensation you deserve.
In 2022, Connecticut posted the highest rate of pedestrian deaths per capita in New England, according to a study from the Governors Highway Safety Association. CT was among the 22 states where pedestrian accidents increased that year. Whereas 62 pedestrians died in the state, only seven died in Vermont and seven in Rhode Island.
On December 22, 2022, NBC Connecticut reported that there had been three pedestrian accidents in West Hartford over the past week. Two of the crashes happened on back-to-back days. In one, an 89-year-old woman was killed at the intersection of Boulevard and Whiting Lane.
“For whatever reason it seems cars just don’t seem to respect this crosswalk,” West Hartford resident Tucker Whitcomb told NBC. “They don’t stop, they will drive right by.”
Policymakers in CT have taken several steps over the past few years to help stem the increase in pedestrian deaths. These include encouraging more traffic-enforcing cameras on city roadways and the adoption of more pedestrian-friendly crosswalk policies.
If you were injured in a car-pedestrian accident, our car accident attorneys will investigate the location of the accident, examine evidence from the vehicle itself, and gather information about the driver to help support your case.
In 2020, there were 4,965 people killed in crashes involving large trucks in the U.S., according to the NHTSA. Seventy-one percent of people killed in these crashes were occupants of other vehicles. On average nationwide, 8.9 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes were large trucks. In Connecticut, they made up 6.0 percent.
Large trucks weigh a lot more than passenger cars and trucks. In a crash, they can cause significant and life-changing damage. Chaffin Luhana’s attorneys have aggressively advocated for years on behalf of trucking accident victims to ensure they are appropriately compensated for their injuries.
Like truck accidents, bus accidents can be devastating because of their large weight. Just recently, one person died after a car crashed into an occupied CT transit bus in New Britain. The driver was taken to the hospital and was later pronounced dead.
In April 2023, the driver of a sedan was injured in a head-on collision with a school bus on North Main Street in West Hartford. Police closed a section of the street for investigation. Fortunately, neither the driver of the school bus nor the passengers were injured.
The attorneys at Chaffin Luhana understand the importance of investigating each case to find out whether the company was properly maintaining its buses, whether it did its due diligence in hiring its drivers, and whether it may have been pushing drivers beyond reasonable expectations.
In Connecticut, more than 50 motorcyclists lose their lives on the roadways each year, according to the CTDOT. In 2021, there were 68 motorcycle fatalities, the highest number in over 30 years.
Motorcycles leave riders highly vulnerable to injury in an accident with an automobile. They are 28 times more likely to lose their lives in a crash with an automobile than other motorists on the road. They’re also four times as likely to sustain an injury in a collision.
According to a study by the National Transportation Safety Board, 64 percent of crashes involving motorcycles were caused by errors or failures on the part of the other driver. Getting a car accident attorney on your side can help make sure you receive the compensation you need as you work to recover.
Types of Serious Injuries Sustained in a Car Accident
Serious injuries that may result from a car accident include the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Broken Bones
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Knee Injuries
- Foot and Ankle Injuries
- Shoulder Injuries
- Wrist and Hand Injuries
- Crush Injuries
- Internal Injuries and Bleeding
- Disfiguring Facial Injuries and Scars
- Limb Loss and Amputations
- Burn Injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for a car accident lawsuit to settle in Hartford, CT?
There is no standard timeline for settling a car accident case because each one is different. In general, simple cases may resolve in a few months while more complex cases involving severe injuries and disputes over liability and damages can take between six months and a year or longer.
What is the statute of limitations for a car accident in Hartford, Connecticut?
The state of Connecticut allows you two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. You must start, however, by filing a claim with the insurance company, and they tend to have their own deadlines. Check with your car accident attorney early in the process to be sure you file all the paperwork when you need to.
There are some exceptions to this rule:
- If your loved one was killed in a car accident, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit from the date of the individual’s death rather than the date of the accident.
- If your injuries were caused by a defective product, such as an exploding airbag in a vehicle, you have three years from the date of the injury to file a case.
- If the crash was the result of negligent action or inaction from a government employee or official, you have less time—claims must be submitted within six months of the incident. Property damage claims involving a defective highway must be submitted within 90 days.
Every case is different and you should always consult with a lawyer to determine the applicable statute of limitations and required notice periods for your claim. Everyday could be the last day you have to file a claim. Consulting with an attorney right away is critical.
Why should I hire a car accident attorney in Hartford, CT?
It’s usually wise to talk to a car accident attorney after any accident that leaves you seriously injured. Doing this as early as possible gives your lawyer the time needed to thoroughly investigate your case. They can also handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf.
Even if you weren’t seriously injured, however, and you begin your claim with the insurance company, you can still contact an attorney at any time during the process if you need help. If the insurance company denies your claim or if you feel other parties may share in the liability, getting an attorney on your side can help you increase the odds of getting the compensation you deserve.
What to do after a serious accident?
After a car accident, always check yourself and those with you for injuries first. Call 911 if you need to. Then try to get to a safe space. Pull the car over or move to the side of the road or sidewalk.
Next, call the police so you have an official record of the accident. Exchange insurance information with the other driver, but avoid discussing fault. Anything you say may be used against you when you file a claim.
Once those first couple of steps are taken care of, do everything you can to document the accident. Take pictures, get the names and badge numbers of police officers, write down the names and addresses of all parties involved, and get contact information from any witnesses.
Finally, call your car accident attorney. They can help guide you in your next steps, such as evidence gathering and communicating with your insurance company.
What not to say after an accident?
Always protect yourself. Your emotions will be running high, and if you’re not careful, you could say something that will jeopardize your ability to collect compensation later.
You may feel bad for the others involved in the accident, for example, but avoid saying “I’m sorry” or anything similar that may imply fault. Even if you think the accident was your fault, don’t admit it at this time. You can talk to your car accident attorney about it.
Don’t say anything on social media either. The insurance company may be watching for anything that would lead them to believe that you are at fault or aren’t as injured as you claim to be. Never post pictures of your injuries or damage to your vehicle.
Finally, when the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster calls, do not agree to record any statements. They could be used to reduce your claim. Let your car accident attorney communicate for you.
How long do you have to report a car accident to your insurance?
Report the auto accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Failing to do so within five days can result in serious legal consequences. It can also endanger your ability to receive compensation for your injuries and damaged property.
What if I was partly at fault for the accident?
Connecticut recognizes partial fault in accidents with a modified form of comparative negligence. This means that you are entitled to compensation as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. If the other person is determined to be 80 percent at fault and you 20 percent at fault, you could still recover 80 percent of the damages awarded.
If the insurance companies determine that you were more than 50% responsible for the accident, you will have no right to collect damages from the other at-fault party. But what if you believe that’s not true?
Never admit blame until you’ve spoken with a skilled Connecticut car accident attorney from our firm. Liability is often shared across multiple parties, some of which you may not even be aware of.
What types of damages will a car accident settlement cover?
In general, there are three major types of damages:
- Compensatory: These are the most common and the most easily identifiable damages. They are paid to “compensate” you for losses like medical expenses, lost wages, and property replacement.
- General: These cannot be readily tied to a dollar amount. They include pain and suffering, a shortened life expectancy, and mental anguish.
- Punitive: These are awarded for the sole purpose of punishing the defendant for their conduct.
Settlements consist of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses: You can expect to be compensated for any medical expenses for which you have proof. If you have to have more surgeries, treatments, therapies, and prescriptions in the future, the insurance company or court may offer compensation for these as well.
- Lost wages: If you missed work because of your injuries, you may be compensated for lost wages. If you can’t return to your job in the future, your future lost wages may also be recoverable.
- Potential earnings: Similar to lost wages, this is a figure representing what you would have earned had not the accident taken place.
- Property damage: These damages would help pay to restore or replace your vehicle. If you had other property in the car that was damaged, such as a computer or cell phone, those costs may also be figured into this award.
- Out-of-pocket expenses relating to the accident: If you have to travel to your medical appointments, you may be able to be reimbursed for mileage, parking fees, rental car fees, and the like. Childcare, cleaning help, personal assistance, and other household services may also be recoverable if you can prove that you were unable to perform these activities while recovering.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering: This refers to any physical pain and discomfort that you suffered during and after the accident. It may include emotional or psychological suffering as well, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Loss of consortium: This is a legal term used to describe the loss of a partner or spouse’s physical companionship, including a sexual relationship. If you or a passenger in your vehicle was injured in such a way that it affects your relationship, you could be eligible for these damages.
- Loss of enjoyment: If you find that your injuries make it more difficult to enjoy the activities you once enjoyed, or if you can no longer take part in your day-to-day activities, you may be entitled to compensation for these losses.
How do I know if I have a claim worth pursuing?
Always talk to a car accident attorney about this question. You may think that you have only a minor injury, but an experienced lawyer will help you determine how much that injury may affect your life, and what you may be entitled to.
Maybe you suffered a mild case of whiplash. You think you’ll be fine. But maybe it causes problems at work. Perhaps you have to miss several days that you are not paid for. Depending on the type of work you do, this could be a significant injury in your life.
Other injuries take time to create symptoms. You may think you are fine at first, but then they start to show up, interrupting your life. As time goes by, a spine or neck injury may cause pain, tingling and numbness, or even weakness in your back, legs, or hands. A concussion is another example of what may seem to be a mild injury at first but then may get worse with time.
Your Hartford, Connecticut lawyer will consider all this when determining whether a lawsuit may be wise in your case. They will evaluate the true cost of your injury and then help you make a decision that best benefits you and your family.
What if the accident was all my fault?
If you were more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you would not be able to recover damages in a car accident lawsuit in CT. But it’s important to be sure about that before you give up.
Sometimes people admit blame but later regret their actions when they find out that other factors were involved. That’s why it’s important to wait until you have all the information, including the police report, and to call your attorney before you take any steps that may harm you in the future.
Your Trusted Car Accident Lawyer in Hartford, Connecticut
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact us today for a free initial consultation. We would be happy to evaluate the facts of your case and help you determine what you should do next. Whether negotiating with insurance companies or taking your case to court, we will do everything we can to recover the damages you’re owed so that you can begin to put your life back together.
Call us today at 888-480-1123.