New Haven Car Accident Lawyer
In the year 2021, there were nearly 300 deaths on Connecticut’s roads due to car accidents, which was greater than the five-year average of 284. Over 1,500 people were injured.
The New Haven Register reports that Interstate 91 was the top spot in the city for automobile accidents between 2019 and 2021. There were 1,493 crashes on that road, along with 1,057 on Interstate 95. Route 10—a state highway that includes Ella T. Grasso Boulevard and stretches of Crescent and Fitch streets before hitting Arch Street and Morse Avenue in Hamden—saw 1,396 crashes from January 1, 2018, to July 1, 2021.
Other “hot spots” for crashes in New Haven included Route 1, Chapel Street, Route 80, Whalley Avenue, and Route 63.
Sometimes a car accident is only an inconvenience. But other times, it can cause serious injuries that completely change your life.
Your insurance will cover some of your expenses, but most policies have limits. They may not 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 New Haven, 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 Connecticut
Nearly 48,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2022, according to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In Connecticut alone, 298 people died on the roadways in 2021, the last year for which final figures are 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 New Haven, Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer
If your injuries are minor, you may not need to hire a car accident lawyer. But if you suffered significant property damage and/or medical injuries, a car accident lawyer can be an invaluable resource to help you recover the compensation you need.
Connecticut used to be a no-fault state, meaning that your insurance would cover your damages (up to your policy limits) no matter who was at fault in the accident. But that’s not the case anymore.
In 1994, Connecticut moved to an at-fault model for car insurance. That means fault must be established before any compensation is awarded. Drivers who are over 51 percent responsible for the accident must be responsible for the other parties’ damages through their insurance coverage. If damages exceed the insurance company coverage amounts, the at-fault drivers may be sued for the rest of the damages.
Connecticut also follows a modified comparative negligence system, which means that drivers who are less than 51 percent at fault can still collect compensation. That compensation will be reduced according to their percentage of responsibility.
For these reasons and more, car accident cases may be complex. Victims hire New Haven, Connecticut car accident attorneys because they want someone who can help them get the compensation they deserve while they focus on recovering from their injuries.
If you discover any of the following after your accident, you owe it to yourself to speak with a New Haven, 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 New Haven, Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve never hired a car accident lawyer before, you may wonder where to start. Consider the following recommendations. They can help you select the best attorney for your case. Making the right decision can make a big difference in the outcome.
Do Your Research
You want someone who specializes in representing victims.
Do a simple Google search for “New Haven CT car accident lawyer.” Research each option. Check the lawyers’ education, licenses, and experience.
Read the reviews online, including any website testimonials and reviews from other sites. Finally, an attorney about your case.
During that initial call with the law firm, 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.
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 New Haven, 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. To date, 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 New Haven, Connecticut Car Accident Cases Handled
In December 2022, a Branford, CT man was killed in a crash involving a car and a box truck in New Haven, TC. The crash happened at the intersection of Trumbull Street and Orange Street. A gray Volvo, driven by a 25-year-old Milford man, and a white Ford E450 box truck, driven by a 30-year-old Naugatuck man. Both drivers were taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, but a passenger in the Volvo was pronounced dead at the scene.
Each accident that occurs in New Haven is different. Ask yourself: Did your car accident happen on the highway or in the parking lot? Did it involve only one other vehicle or several? Did you collide with an Uber vehicle or a corporate 18-wheeler?
At Chaffin Luhana, we have handled all types of car accident cases and have the experience you need to manage the process from investigation to trial, if necessary. No two car accidents are the same, which is why we do the research necessary to uncover all potential sources of liability.
Drunk Driving Accidents
In August 2022, four vehicles were involved in a multi-vehicle crash on I-95 South near New Haven, Connecticut. Police found that the driver of the Jeep was at fault for the crash. They charged him with driving under the influence (DUI).
Of the nearly 300 people who died in car accidents in Connecticut in 2020, about 40 percent of of those deaths were because of 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 New Haven, 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 New Haven, 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
In June 2023, a head-on crash in New Haven sent three people to the hospital, one with serious injuries. The police were called to Woodward Avenue for a crash involving a pickup truck and a car. Two people inside the car had to be extricated and both were taken to the hospital. The pickup truck driver was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Head-on collision 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.
These types of accidents 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.
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. In 2021, rollovers caused a total of 7,640 passenger vehicle deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
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. If the driver was working for a company at the time, who is to blame? Typically, you would file a claim against the driver’s insurance carrier, but if the driver was earning income from the company at the time, 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 August 2022, police responded to an accident involving a pedestrian near the Route 15 North off-ramp. The driver told police she was traveling on Whalley Avenue when she approached a three-way intersection. According to NBC Connecticut, after the light turned green, she proceeded through the intersection when a pedestrian unexpectedly crossed in front of her. The pedestrian was taken to the hospital and was in critical condition.
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.
These types of deaths are preventable with improved infrastructure and safe driving enforcement. 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.
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 June 2023, a motorcyclist was killed in a crash in New Haven. The accident happened at the intersection of Haven and Clay streets around 8:30 p.m. The motorcyclist was hit by a green sedan. The car driver fled the scene right after the crash. The motorcyclist was taken to the hospital where he died of his injuries.
In a case like that, the family of the deceased victim might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. Were there other circumstances involved in the accident? Only a thorough investigation would reveal that.
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 CT?
Every case is different, so there is no standard timeline for settling a car accident case. More simple cases may be resolved in a few months. In general, 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 Connecticut?
The statute of limitations in Connecticut is two years from the date of the accident. Before you file a lawsuit, however, you will need to file 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 consult with an accident attorney to confirm the applicable statute of limitations. Everyday could be the last day to file so you should consult with an accident attorney right away.
Why should I hire a car accident attorney in CT?
At any time after the accident or while filing an insurance claim, you can hire a car accident attorney. It’s always best to do it as early as possible, as then your lawyer will have the time needed to thoroughly investigate your case. They can also handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf.
What to do after a serious accident?
Always check yourself and those with you for injuries first. Call 911 if you need to. If you’re not too hurt, get to a safe space. Pull the car over or move to the side of the road or sidewalk. Call to police—this is an important step 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.
Next, 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?
After an accident, it’s best to say as little as possible. 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.
It’s expected that you may feel bad for the others involved in the accident, 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.
It’s also important not to say anything on social media after a car accident. You may think it’s harmless to share some information, but 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?
It’s best to report an 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?
As mentioned above, Connecticut is an at-fault state. That means fault must be determined before damages can be paid.
The state does recognize 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 New Haven, 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?
Most car accident lawyers will provide an initial consultation for which they will charge you nothing. Take advantage of this meeting to find out if you have a claim worth pursuing. Even if you think you’re fine, it’s best to explore your options.
Let’s say you suffer a sprained or strained wrist. It seems minor enough. 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 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 New Haven, 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 New Haven, 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.