New Haven Personal Injury Lawyer
The second-largest city in Connecticut—after Bridgeport—New Haven has a population of about 139,000 people, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Home to the Ivy League’s Yale University, it was founded in 1638 and still boasts breathtaking 19th and 20th-century architecture in many neighborhoods.
In such a densely populated area, accidents are bound to happen. US News gives the city an overall public safety score of only 57 out of 100, showing an accidental death rate of 61.9 per 100,000 people. That’s higher than the average rate of 58.5 per 100,000 in the country overall. The property and violent crime rates are also higher than those in the U.S. overall.
If you were in an accident and suffered a serious injury, you know how it can change your life in an instant. Suddenly you’re facing mounting medical costs and potentially lost wages if you can’t go back to work. Meanwhile, you have to deal with the insurance company to try to obtain compensation to pay your bills.
At Chaffin Luhana, our mission is to help restore injured victims to wholeness in the New Haven, Connecticut area. When we take on your personal injury case, we put our decades of national experience to work fighting for you to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Personal Injuries in Connecticut
In 2021, there were nearly 33,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in Connecticut, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That year, Connecticut was among the 19 states that had an incidence rate of total recordable cases significantly greater than the national rate of 2.7.
Meanwhile, 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 Connecticut Department of Public Health notes that deaths due to unintentional injuries—accidental deaths—have “increased dramatically” in the state over the past decade. These include unintentional poisonings, falls, and motor vehicle accidents.
Other sources of injuries may include dog bites, medical malpractice, accidents on someone else’s property, injuries caused by defective products, or wrongful death.
When to Hire a New Haven, Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyer
You’ve been injured, but you’re not sure if you should call a lawyer or not. You wonder if you can manage the claim yourself.
If your property damage is minimal and you suffered no serious injuries, you may not need to hire a personal injury attorney. Particularly if your damages are low, you may be able to work things out with the insurance company yourself.
If you’re facing ongoing medical treatment, though, or if you can’t go back to work because of your injuries, your case is likely to be more complex. You could use a New Haven, CT personal injury lawyer on your side to be sure the insurance company or other negligent parties treat you fairly.
The legal processes can be complicated. The insurance company or the plaintiff on the other side of your case is likely to have the support of representation. They may also hire experts and present evidence to show that you were not injured, or if you were, it was caused by something or someone else. If you hire a personal injury lawyer, you will even the scales and increase your odds of getting the compensation you deserve.
A New Haven, Connecticut personal injury law firm can also help with the expenses of a personal injury case. They typically advance the legal costs, which means you pay only if you recover compensation.
Choosing the Right New Haven, Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyer
When you start searching for a New Haven, Connecticut personal injury lawyer, you may be surprised at how many there are. How are you supposed to choose one?
Try not to rush the process. Getting the right person working for you is key to obtaining the compensation you need. An experienced lawyer with a good reputation will know how to manage the complexities of Connecticut law, how to deal with insurance companies, what evidence will be important to your case and how to gather it, how to properly calculate compensation, and what questions to ask experts and witnesses.
A highly experienced law firm will also have the resources you need to present your case in the best light. These include access to a network of experts who can help strengthen your case, as well as a deep knowledge of which cases to reference and laws to evoke to support your position.
It’s important to look for an attorney who has experience going to trial. Since most personal injury cases are solved in the negotiating room, many lawyers lack trial experience. But a lawyer with clout in the courtroom is more likely to have the negotiating power you need to get the compensation you deserve.
Do your research, choose 3-5 law firms, then talk to each one. Most personal injury attorneys—including Chaffin Luhana—offer a free initial consultation. During that meeting, ask about their history with cases like yours. Find out what their fees are, what staff members may be involved in your case, and what additional resources they offer.
Trust your gut as you’re interacting with them. Do you feel like this firm is interested in helping you? Did you feel comfortable in the office? The attorney-client relationship is important to your future, so if you feel something is off, move on to the next firm on your list.
Why Choose Our New Haven, Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyers
Chaffin Luhana is a plaintiffs-only law firm, which means we focus solely on representing injured victims. We’ve been doing that for over 13 years, during which time our hard-working team has recovered over $1 billion for our clients.
You may find that some law firms divide their time between personal injury and other types of cases. We don’t defend lawsuits on behalf of corporations and we don’t represent insurance companies. Instead, we bring cases on behalf of individuals like you who have been injured and suffered serious losses in life.
Our Experience and Expertise
At Chaffin Luhana, we have an entire team of law professionals working for you. That includes highly experienced personal injury lawyers, an on-staff social worker, mass-tort managing experts, medical records specialists and nurse paralegals, former state and federal judicial law clerks, court-appointed leaders in the National Plaintiffs’ Bar, and more.
Our founders—Eric Chaffin and Roopal Luhana—have both achieved multimillion-dollar recoveries for our clients. Both have held leadership positions in large, multi-district litigation and have litigated several significant nationwide class actions.
With our combined expertise, we have achieved extraordinary results for our clients in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, personal injury litigation, product liability litigation, and more in state and federal courts across the country.
Several of our lawyers, including both of our founders, have also been repeatedly named to the esteemed “Super Lawyers” list. This is a prestigious listing of outstanding attorneys selected each year by the Super Lawyers research staff. Through a multi-phase rating process, they select those attorneys best able to assist consumers.
Our Approach to Personal Injury Law
We are focused on plaintiffs only, which has allowed us to fine-tune our process to improve your odds of winning your case.
You’ve heard horror stories about lawyers who take forever to get back to you. Meanwhile, you worry and fret and try to keep everything afloat.
At Chaffin Luhana, we make sure to keep you up to date throughout the legal process. We also give you a myriad of ways to get ahold of us by phone, email, printed letter, or even text message.
We Have a Unique Focus
Personal injury law is all we do! That means we’ve become true experts at it over the years. To date, we’ve helped thousands of victims and families secure the compensation they needed and deserved in their lives. That’s because we do everything possible to properly litigate a case.
We Take Cases to Trial if Necessary
When you’re looking for a personal injury attorney in Connecticut, be sure to check their trial experience. Some lawyers don’t have any. They stick to negotiating and that’s it. That may serve some clients, but there’s no doubt that having trial experience is important—even if only to show the other side that you can take this case to court if you have to.
We regularly take cases to trial. We’re very comfortable in court and know how to fight for our clients there. You can rest easy knowing that if the parties can’t agree, we’re not going to back down because we’re new to the courtroom. We have a reputation for being willing to go all the way, which often serves us well in negotiations.
We Have the Experience You Need
Insurance companies and defendants will logically look out for their best interests—not yours. They may negotiate with you, but they will do so with an eye toward their bottom lines. Your injuries will be of secondary concern to them.
If your law firm doesn’t know what they’re doing in terms of securing records, presenting the appropriate precedents, and hiring the right experts, you could end up getting a lower level of compensation than you deserve.
We’ve been fighting for victims for over a decade now. We’ve represented plaintiffs in some large and complicated cases, sometimes involving thousands of people with similar complaints. When you hire us, you’ll know that we have the experience you need to tip the scales in your favor.
We Have a Mission to Do Good Work
Our mission at Chaffin Luhana is “Doing Good by Doing Right.” At the core of our business, we seek to do work that will benefit our clients and our community. As part of that mission, we created the Chaffin Luhana Foundation, funded with a portion of the profits from the firm. To date, the foundation has donated to dozens of charities, advanced scientific research, worked to combat distracted driving, and awarded scholarships to promising youth.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
Personal injury cases are different depending on a lot of factors, including the type of injury, where it occurred, and who was involved. The Chaffin Luhana law firm is committed to protecting the legal rights of individuals throughout the state of Connecticut. No matter how you were injured or who the negligent parties may be, you can contact us and we will use our skills and resources to fight for you.
Our practice areas include the following.
As noted above, there were nearly 300 fatalities caused by car accidents in Connecticut in 2021. According to the “Connecticut Insider,” 2022 was among the deadliest for CT drivers and pedestrians in decades. As of December 12, 2022, a total of 357 crash-related fatalities had been recorded.
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.
Law directory HALT reported in 2022 that the three most common car accidents in New Haven, CT between 2019 and 2020 were single-vehicle accidents, crashes at an angle, and head-on collisions.
A car accident lawsuit can present unique challenges. As the plaintiff, you have to show that the other person or persons were responsible for the accident. Other parties may have been involved too, such as the car manufacturer, a construction company if there was construction going on at the site of the accident, or even the municipality responsible for the roads.
A Chaffin Luhana New Haven, Connecticut personal injury attorney has the expertise to support you in your case. He or she will thoroughly review the police report and conditions at the site of the accident, hire experts as needed, and gather information about the other driver and/or the company she was working for, if applicable, to help prove liability.
In August 2023, a crash involving two tractor-trailers caused heavy delays and lane closures on Interstate 95 southbound in West Haven. The breach caused milk and orange juice to spill onto the highway. Fortunately, no passenger cars were involved. Both drivers suffered minor injuries.
In 2021, there were about 5,700 large trucks involved in fatal crashes across the United States, an increase of 18 percent from 2020 and a 49 percent increase over the past 10 years. Nearly 5,800 people died in these crashes. In addition, there were over 117,000 large trucks involved in crashes resulting in an injury, which was an increase from 2020.
Large trucks are often 20-30 times heavier than passenger vehicles. This increases the risk of more severe crash damage and injuries. Victims may be permanently injured and may require medical care for the rest of their lives.
Personal injury cases involving a big truck can also be more complex as they typically involve not only the driver but also the company he was working for. If that company was lax about maintaining their trucks or if they pushed the employee to drive for long, unsafe periods, they may share in liability.
Chaffin Luhana New Haven, Connecticut attorneys understand how important it is to investigate your case thoroughly. Identifying all parties that may share in liability gives you more resources from which to gather the compensation you need to try to put your life back together.
Every property owner has a responsibility to maintain a hazard-free atmosphere for visitors. If they allow dangerous conditions to exist, it creates the potential for serious accidents that can result in injuries to victims.
Premises liability lawsuits are designed to hold a property owner liable for injuries you may suffer while you’re on their property. As the plaintiff in a premises liability case, however, you have to prove that the property owner was negligent, and that’s not always easy.
It depends on whether you were an invitee to the property, a licensee, or a trespasser. The Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Chaffin Luhana know the law in Connecticut and can help guide you through the complex facets of your case.
Slip and Fall Accidents
You’re walking up the sidewalk to church in New Haven on an ice-covered sidewalk and you fall. Or you’re in a restaurant, you walk to the restroom, and slip on a wet floor. What do you do?
If you can prove that the property owner was negligent and that their negligence caused your injury, you may be able to win compensation to help cover your expenses. Like premises liability, however, there are state laws that apply.
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability. Common locations where these types of injuries can occur include sidewalks, swimming pools, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, stairways, decks, apartment complexes, amusement parks, escalators, and even parking lots.
A slip and fall injury can cause you to suffer from broken bones, spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, and concussions.
More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 800,000 receive medical attention for those bites, with children being the most common victims.
While the majority of dog bites don’t require medical attention, thousands of patients are treated in emergency departments and hospitals for dog bites each year. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the average cost of a dog-bite-related hospital stay was $18,200, about 50 percent higher than the average injury-related hospital stay.
Connecticut’s dog bite statute makes a dog’s owner or keeper liable for injuries caused by the dog to someone else’s person or property, as long as that person was not trespassing at the time of the injury and was not teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog.
The state also holds any person responsible for dog bites caused by that person’s negligence, provided the victim can prove that the defendant knew of the dog’s dangerous propensities.
Dog bites can cause serious harm, particularly to children. Connecticut law assumes that if a child under the age of seven is bitten, the owner is liable, period.
In August 2022, NBC News reported on a lawsuit filed by the mother of a 23-year-old man who died at a New Haven hospital. According to her complaint, her son died after being left alone in an ambulance bay on a stretcher, allegedly ignored by medical staff for seven hours. He had been taken to the hospital after ingesting a white powder he suspected had been laced with fentanyl.
In 2016, safety experts from Johns Hopkins Medicine reported that more than 250,000 people die each year due to medical errors in the U.S. That made medical error the third highest cause of death. A recent study showed that about 400,000 hospitalized patients experience some type of preventable harm each year, with medical errors costing the U.S. economy about $20 billion a year.
If you were harmed while under the care of a doctor or medical center, you may be able to hold the healthcare providers or the entity they work for liable for damages. Medical malpractice cases are complicated, but a Chaffin Luhana medical malpractice attorney understands the law and can help navigate the process for you.
According to the Connecticut Insurance Department, there were 2,555 total closed medical malpractice claims over the past five years. The average payout to a claimant was $890,333. Connecticut does not have a “cap” on the amount of damages a plaintiff can recover during a medical malpractice case. Punitive damages, however, are limited to the actual cost of litigation.
In June 2023, a building under construction partially collapsed in New Haven, injuring eight workers, including two critically. Some suffered from broken bones, while three were partially buried under the rubble. Workers told first responders that the concrete was being poured faster than they could spread it. It pooled too much in one area and caused the collapse.
In Connecticut, businesses with one or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This is a no-fault system, meaning that no matter whose fault the injury was, the insurance will cover the medical costs.
In return for receiving compensation, employees are prohibited (in most but not all cases) from suing their employers or fellow employees for damages arising from work-related injuries or accidents.
If you make a workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company will likely approach you about a settlement. This is a lump sum you receive in exchange for avoiding the hassle of a workers’ compensation hearing. Though this can be beneficial, it may also be too low to cover your expenses. A Connecticut workers’ compensation attorney can help you make sure you’re getting the best settlement possible.
Private industry employers reported 32,700 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in Connecticut in 2021, resulting in an incidence rate of 3.0 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of those, 21,700 were more severe, involving days away from work, job transfer, or restriction.
In the state and local government sector in CT, 7,100 injuries and illnesses were reported in 2021, resulting in a rate of 5.2 cases per 100 full-time workers.
The state of Connecticut Worker’s Compensation Program requires that an employee report a work-related injury or illness to his/her employer immediately. The program ensures workers with a job-related injury or illness receive payment for lost work time and medical expenses. All Connecticut businesses with at least one employee are required to have workers’ compensation insurance.
If you are injured on the job, your workers’ compensation will typically cover the damages. Because settlements are usually final, though, it’s wise to check with a Connecticut workers’ injury attorney before you sign anything to be sure you’re getting the compensation you deserve.
What Happens During the Personal Injury Claim Process?
When you decide to file a personal injury case, typically you’ll follow these basic steps as you go through the process.
1. Initial Consultation
Most personal injury attorneys—including those at Chaffin Luhana—offer a free initial consultation. This is when you can discuss the facts of your case and get a general idea of what your attorney can do to help you.
It helps to bring whatever evidence you have to the consultation. Gather things like police reports, witness information, photos, medical records, and personal notes. Your attorney will then give you a professional opinion on whether you have a valid claim.
Should your attorney believe you have a case, you can then discuss whether you’d like to file a claim. Should you decide to do so, you’ll hire a lawyer and move on to the next step.
2. Investigating Your Case
An experienced attorney will spend significant time investigating your case. This is often an extensive process and may include the following steps:
- Conducting a second interview. Your attorney will gather more details about your injuries and any medical treatment you received and/or may need in the future.
- Getting the documents together. Your Connecticut attorney will work with you to get all your medical records, police records, pay stubs (to determine lost wages), and other related documents for review and submission with the claim as necessary.
- Talking to witnesses and experts. If there were witnesses to your injury, your attorney will reach out and attempt to speak with them. At this stage, the firm should also contact any experts who may be able to help support your case.
- Examining other potentially liable parties. In many cases, there is more than one liable party. Your lawyer will investigate to determine if there were others involved and whether they may share in liability.
3. Documenting Your Damages
One of the biggest questions in a personal injury case is: How much money are you owed?
Your New Haven, Connecticut attorney will work with you to figure this out. You’ll start with your property damage and medical expenses. Then you’ll look at things like long-term care costs, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Once you have a final figure, your attorney will ask for that amount in your insurance claim or lawsuit.
4. Filing the Lawsuit/Claim
The legal process involves a lot of paperwork. If you have an attorney on your side, they will take care of this for you, filing the necessary documents with your insurance company or the appropriate court.
Often the first step is issuing a demand letter to the insurance company. The letter would include a summary of the accident, details of the harm you suffered, a statement of complaint against the defendant or parties responsible, applicable statutes under which you are entitled to compensation, and the compensation you’re seeking.
After receiving this demand letter, the hope is that the insurance company will work with your attorney to settle the case out of court. Only in some cases will you need to take the next step and file the lawsuit in court.
5. Negotiation and Settlement
Insurance companies always have attorneys working for them. If you’re dealing with other defendants, they are likely to have representation too. This is why it’s helpful to have a personal injury attorney on your side during the negotiating stage.
Sometimes insurance companies will initially offer you less than what you deserve. An experienced attorney will be prepared for this and will know how to proceed to be sure that the settlement agreement is to your advantage.
Negotiations do take time. Most cases settle within a few months to a year. If the negotiations stall, you may decide together with your attorney to file a lawsuit. Again, your attorney will handle the paperwork at this stage. Sometimes, simply filing a case will be enough to bring the other parties back to the negotiating table. If not, the case proceeds to trial.
6. Trial (If Necessary)
The trial process can be lengthy and intense. But if the other side is not being fair, a lawsuit can be worth it in the long run.
After filing your case, your attorney will start preparing your case for trial. This involves the discovery process, which includes submitting written questions to the other side and requesting the defense to produce relevant documents.
When it’s time, your lawyer will then present your case before a judge or jury. The judge or jury, in turn, may side with you and award a judgment or side with the defendant and dismiss the case.
Once the judgment is made, both sides have a limited amount of time to either accept the decision or file an appeal.
Testimonials and Success Stories
Below is a small sampling of the testimonials we have received from our clients:
$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
Auto Personal Injury Recovery
“It’s a shame that the insurance companies put you through this…I’m glad there are people like you out there because the insurance companies would walk all over victims otherwise.”
– Mark S., Personal Injury Client
Automobile Accident Victim
“I didn’t know what to expect since I never needed an attorney before. You took care of everything and were there for me.”
– Vicky B., Personal Injury Client
Frequently Asked Questions About Connecticut Personal Injury Law
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is an official declaration made by an injured person against another person, entity, or multiple entities believed to be at fault for that injury with the goal of obtaining compensation. This claim is usually sent to the appropriate insurance company or is filed in the form of a personal injury lawsuit with the court system.
How Do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Claim in New Haven, CT?
A personal injury claim is about recovering damages from the person or entity whose negligence caused your accident. You will have to prove that the other party violated a duty owed to you. Your personal injury attorney can help.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in New Haven, Connecticut?
According to Connecticut law, you have two years from the date of the injury—or from the date you discovered the injury—to file a personal injury claim. This is called the state’s “statute of limitations.”
There are exceptions to this rule:
- For product liability actions—If you were injured by a defective product, you have three years from the date the injury occurred or was discovered to file a claim.
- A workers’ compensation claim is different and must be filed within one year from the date of injury. For fatal cases, a victim’s loved one has two years from the date of the accident or the onset of symptoms of the occupational disease, or one year from the date of death, whichever is later.
- Claims against the government or state must be filed more quickly. You must give written notice to the relevant government body within 90 days of the injury if it was brought on by a dangerous road or sidewalk. If it was brought on by a municipal employee, you have 180 days.
- If the defendant leaves the state, the statute of limitations is stopped for up to five years (up to a total of seven years after the accident).
- If the defendant tries to conceal their liability, perhaps by hiding their role in the accident, the statute of limitations is stopped until the victim discovers they can sue. The defendant must have hidden the facts on purpose.
Keep in mind that it takes time to gather evidence, file a claim, and go through the legal process For these reasons, it’s always best to file your claim as soon as you can.
How is CT Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Your personal injury attorney will typically go through two steps to calculate pain and suffering. The first is to identify the total value of your economic damages. The second involves multiplying that number by a figure that best fits the circumstances of the case to determine pain and suffering.
Economic damages (also called “special” damages) are tied to a specific, identifiable cost. These include:
This is typically the largest part of your total damages. Your medical bills will show proof of your expenses, and those expenses can be directly figured into your settlement amount.
If your doctor says you will need more surgeries, treatments, therapies, and prescriptions in the future, your attorney and/or the court may figure out an estimated cost for these as well.
One of the most difficult parts of an injury is the financial burden it places on you and your family because of lost wages. Connecticut law allows you to be compensated for these as well as for any tips or bonuses you may have missed out on.
If your injuries prevent you from working in the future, your attorney will figure your future lost wages into your damages total. These figures will be calculated based on your wages at the time of the accident.
Lost potential earnings (future earning potential)
For severe injuries that permanently affect your ability to do your job, the law allows for you to recover for lost earning potential. Your attorney will calculate these damages by examining the severity of your injuries and the work you are likely to be able to do in the future.
The final figure reflects the difference between the amount of money you would have earned in your lifetime from your former position minus the amount of money you’re likely to earn in light of the long-term injury.
If the accident caused property damage (such as damage to your car in a car accident), your lawyer will figure these costs into your demand for compensation.
Out-of-pocket expenses relating to the accident
Many times because of an injury, you incur additional expenses such as travel to medical treatments, parking fees, car rental fees, and the like. Other possibilities are housekeeping or childcare expenses.
Non-economic damages, also called “general damages,” include pain and suffering and those listed below. Your attorney may multiply your total economic damages (figured above) by 1.5 to 5 to get a ballpark figure for non-economic damages. The value of the multiplier depends on the extent of your injuries, your need for future medical care, and how much the injury affects your daily life.
Pain and suffering
It’s common to suffer from physical pain and discomfort during and after the accident. Other forms of pain and suffering include emotional or psychological suffering, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Insurance companies and attorneys use the following formulas to calculate these damages:
- Portion of medical expenses: Your attorney will multiply your economic damages by a certain number, generally between 1 and 5 depending on the severity of the injuries. For example, if your economic bills total $10,000, your pain and suffering offer may be $10,000 to $50,000.
- Per diem approach: With this method, your attorney or insurance company assigns a certain amount every day from the day of the accident until the day you reach maximum recovery. For example, if the amount is $100 and it took 30 days for you to recover, the pain and suffering amount would be $3,000.
- Other: Other methods may be used to calculate these damages. Some computer programs, for instance, are designed to base the amount on the type of injury and the type of medical treatment applied. Many insurance companies have their own formulas.
Loss of consortium
When you’re in an accident, it affects you and your family. Loss of consortium is a legal term that describes the loss of a partner or spouse’s physical companionship, including a sexual relationship. If you were injured in such a way that it affects your relationship, you or your spouse could be eligible for these damages.
There is no concrete formula used to calculate these damages. Your attorney and a judge/jury will make their best estimate.
Loss of enjoyment of life
A severe car accident can completely change your life. Depending on your injuries, you may no longer be able to enjoy your normal activities or go about your daily routine as you did before. The value of this claim depends on your injury and how it has affected your daily life.
How Much is a Personal Injury Settlement Worth?
Most personal injury cases settle for between $10,000 and $100,000, but some may be much higher depending on the case.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
The good thing about hiring a New Haven, Connecticut attorney is that you usually don’t have to pay anything upfront. Most personal injury lawyers represent clients on a contingency basis. That means you pay only if your attorney wins your case. This makes it affordable for any victim of a personal injury to be able to obtain experienced legal help.
Your attorney will set the contingency fee based on a case-by-case basis. Typically, it ends up being between 33 and 40 percent of the total earnings.
This covers the attorney’s fees, but keep in mind that there may be other fees involved including filing fees, expert witness fees, postage and copying charges, and other similar fees. Check with your attorney to find out how these will be covered.
How Should I Prepare for My Initial Consultation?
Before you go to your first initial consultation with your attorney, make a list of questions to ask (about your lawyer’s experience and fees, for instance). Then gather together all the relevant documents you have, including police reports and medical records. Take these with you to the meeting.
Finally, think about your ultimate goal. What do you hope to achieve with your claim? By making this clear to your attorney, you increase the likelihood that you will both be on the same page as you move forward.
What Should I Do Immediately After an Accident in New Haven, Connecticut?
First, check yourself and your passengers for injuries and call 911 if you need to. Get out of danger as soon as you can—pull over to the side of the road and/or get out of the car if you were in a car accident, for instance. Next, contact the police if the situation calls for it. (If you were in a car accident or were assaulted.)
Even if you don’t believe you were seriously hurt, it’s still important to see a doctor. Injuries like back and neck strains can take time to develop. You may not be aware of them at first, but if you see a doctor, you will have the proper medical records to support any claims you may make in the future.
Notify your insurance company or your employer as needed, then gather all the information you can at the site of the accident. Finally, contact your personal injury attorney for advice. Never accept blame for the accident. That includes offhanded comments like, “I’m sorry,” or “I didn’t see you!” as these can be used against you later. Keep quiet until you talk to your lawyer.
What if the Accident Was Partly My Fault?
Connecticut has a “comparative fault” law that allows you to recover against any other at-fault party, even if you were partially at fault. The amount of your final recovery will depend on what percentage of liability is attributed to you.
If you were more than 50 percent at fault, you wouldn’t be able to recover damages. But if you were 50 percent or less at fault, you can recover the corresponding percentage of your damages.
What Are Punitive Damages?
If the other party acted in a reckless or particularly egregious manner, you may decide to file punitive damages against them. These are designed to punish the defendant for especially harmful conduct and/or to deter them and others like them from ever behaving that way again. These damages are awarded at the court’s discretion.
How Long Will It Take to Settle My Case?
Personal injury cases that are solved out of court are usually resolved within eight months to a year. If the parties cannot agree and drag the case out—perhaps by going to trial—it may take 2.5 years or more.
It will also depend on how long it takes you to recover from your injuries. Settlement negotiations usually begin after you reach what’s called “maximum medical improvement,” meaning you are not likely to improve further after that point.
Your Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer in New Haven, Connecticut
If you were injured in an accident in the New Haven, CT area, contact us today for a free initial consultation. We know how these accidents can seriously disrupt your life. We want to empower you 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.