Stamford Car Accident Lawyer
If you are unfortunate enough to be in a serious car accident in Stamford, Connecticut, you know how it can completely change your life. Your insurance may cover some of your medical expenses, but most policies have limits and these often do not go far enough.
You may need ongoing care. Perhaps you can’t go back to work. And what if your insurance company denies your claim? You may wonder where to turn to try to put your life back together.
At Chaffin Luhana, our mission is to help restore the lives of victims in the Stamford, Connecticut area. When we take on your case, we put our decades of national experience to work to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Car Accidents in Stamford, Connecticut
The year 2022 was a dangerous one on America’s roads. Estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) indicate that more than 46,000 people lost their lives in preventable traffic crashes. Ten states experienced a rise in deaths of 14 percent or more, including Connecticut, which had 17 percent more traffic-related fatalities in 2022 than in 2021.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported in 2021 that 298 people died on Connecticut roadways. Some of these were pedestrians and bicyclists. Just over 1,500 were seriously injured.
In the city of Stamford, there were 22,622 traffic accidents between January 1, 2017, and August 31, 2022. A total of 459 of those accidents involved pedestrians. Concerned with these numbers, lawmakers in the city recently pledged to eliminate all traffic fatalities and deaths in the next decade.
One of the roads they’re focused on is Washington Boulevard. A state road that runs through the heart of Stamford, it’s one of the most traveled roads in the city. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous, particularly for pedestrians. Of the five pedestrian deaths that occurred in the city in 2022, three came along Washington Boulevard.
The street has such a reputation for danger that members of the advocacy group People Friendly Stamford have called it the “Boulevard of Death.” Efforts are ongoing to improve safety along this road and other dangerous roads in the city, including Broad Street at Grove Street, East Main Street at Glenbrook Road, and Long Ridge Road at Cold Spring Road.
When to Hire a Stamford, Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer
If your injuries are uninjured and your vehicle suffered minimal damage, you may not need to hire a car accident lawyer. You can file a claim yourself and be on your way.
But if you suffered serious injuries, it’s going to be very difficult to try to focus on making sure you get the compensation you deserve. Your insurance company may deny your claim or offer a settlement that fails to cover your expenses. You may be dealing with an uninsured motorist and feel helpless to get the financial support you need.
Many times, victims of a car accident think they’re okay, but as time passes, they begin to experience increasing symptoms. Spinal injuries, neck injuries, whiplash, and concussions are all common auto-accident injuries that tend to show up after the fact. You may need more medical treatment than you thought, and find yourself unsure as to how to proceed to get that medical treatment paid for.
If any of the following are true for you, it’s best to speak with a Stamford, Connecticut car accident attorney:
- You will need surgery or ongoing medical treatment
- Your insurance company offers you a small settlement
- Your insurance claim is denied
- You are unsure who will pay your medical bills
- You can’t return to work
- The daily tasks of life are proving much more difficult because of your injuries
How to Choose a Stamford, Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer
Having an experienced Stamford, Connecticut car accident attorney on your side evens the playing field when you’re dealing with insurance companies and other potentially liable parties. It can be difficult to know where to start to find this attorney, though. The following tips can help.
Look for Experience
When you’re researching law firms in the Stamford, Connecticut area, look for those who have extensive experience and expertise in car accident cases. There’s no substitute for time spent on other cases like yours. Make sure the firm has a track record of success.
Check Their Reputation
As you’re researching, read testimonials and reviews and look for signs that the firm is respected in the community. An attorney with a good reputation will carry a lot of weight when you’re dealing with your insurance company. That reputation alone can make negotiations a lot easier.
Notice Their Communication Style
There are few things more frustrating than not being able to get ahold of your car accident attorney when you need to. Choose one that will be responsive to your calls and emails and will keep you updated on your case. During your initial consultation, ask questions and notice how the lawyer communicates with you. Look for one who can explain the legal process in a way that you can understand without making you feel like they’re talking over your head.
Review Their Strategy
Ask the car accident attorney about their proposed strategy for handling your case. An experienced attorney will have approached cases like yours before and should be able to easily explain how the legal process will go so that it makes sense to you.
Choose the Firm that Will Work For You
Before you make your final choice, make sure that the car accident attorney you choose has your best interests at heart. You should feel confident in the person and the firm, knowing that they will do everything they can to help you.
Why Choose Chaffin Luhana Stamford, Connecticut Car Accident Lawyers
Chaffin Luhana is a plaintiffs-only law firm, which means we focus only on plaintiffs like you who have been injured and need help obtaining fair compensation. We don’t spend time defending big corporations or otherwise dividing our efforts. Our award-winning team of attorneys has one overall job and that’s providing our clients with the best legal representation.
When you hire Chaffin Luhana, you get all the resources we have working on your case. That 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.
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.
At the same time, we’re locally based right here in Stamford, CT, which gives you an advantage. We are familiar with local laws, court procedures, and the complex legal landscape of car accident claims. We’re also easily accessible for our clients in the area.
With a mission of “Doing Good by Doing Right™,” we strongly believe in giving back to our communities. 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 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.
We Handle All Types of Stamford, Connecticut Car Accident Cases
The car accident attorneys at Chaffin Luhana have a strong record of success at recovering the maximum compensation for our clients in various types of motor vehicle accident cases. Our team has a thorough understanding of Connecticut law when it comes to all of the following.
Head-On Collision Accidents
These accidents occur when vehicles driving in opposite directions crash front-to-front. When one vehicle drives straight into a stationary object, such as a telephone pole, that’s also considered a head-on collision. Common causes of these accidents include distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving, failing to yield, and speeding.
In 2019, frontal impacts like these accounted for 57 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths. The force of hitting something head-on—often when traveling at high speeds—creates some of the most serious and lasting injuries. These may include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and burns that lead to disfigurement.
Victims of these types of accidents should get legal help right away. 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 nationwide, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). A rollover 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.
Evidence shows that rollover crashes are more likely to result in fatalities than other types of crashes. As the number of SUVs on the road has increased, there’s been an increase in rollover crashes that are “particularly violent in nature,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Sometimes, the car manufacturer is at least partly at fault in a rollover accident. At Chaffin Luhana, we will look for evidence of manufacturer negligence as well as any other evidence that will support your case.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Connecticut has its share of drunk driving accidents. In 2020, about 40 percent of car accident deaths in the state occurred at least partially because of a drunk driver. Connecticut had the third-highest percentage of traffic deaths caused by a drunk driver in the U.S. that year—less than only Montana (45 percent) and Rhode Island (42 percent).
It’s unfortunate that innocent victims have to suffer when irresponsible drunk drivers cause accidents. If you or a loved one was hurt or killed in a crash involving a drunk driver, our experienced legal team can help you find justice and fair compensation.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving has become a greater problem in Connecticut over the past few years. In 2022, there were nearly 5,200 crashes in the state that were attributed to distracted driving, according to the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT).
Texting and driving is one of the most common types of 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.
It can be difficult to prove, however, that the other driver was texting when they hit you. Our driving accident lawyers will turn over every rock looking for evidence of negligence. Some possible sources include eyewitness statements, dashcam or traffic cam footage, cell phone data records, and police reports.
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.
Though ride-sharing is often convenient, sometimes companies hire undertrained or unsafe drivers to meet the growing demand. Passengers and other drivers may suffer the consequences. But if you’re in an accident with an Uber, Lyft, or other ride-sharing vehicle, who is to blame?
Though ride-sharing companies do offer insurance coverage in some cases, it’s complicated. You may need to file a separate claim with the driver’s insurer as well, or with the insurance companies of any other drivers who may have been involved. There is also the question of whether the driver was “on the clock” when the accident happened. That will affect how you recover compensation.
Chaffin Luhana has the experience needed to navigate these types of complicated cases.
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.
Policymakers in CT are working to help stem the increase in pedestrian deaths. They’re encouraging more traffic-enforcing cameras on city roadways and adopting more pedestrian-friendly crosswalk policies.
Car accidents with pedestrians can be complicated. It’s easy to assume that the fault is with the driver, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, a pedestrian steps onto the road, making it difficult for a driver to avoid an accident. If you were that driver and you get hurt because of that circumstance, you may need help getting the compensation you deserve.
On the other hand, if you’re a pedestrian and you are hit by a motor vehicle, you may suffer severe and lasting injuries that were not your fault. 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.
Accidents between passenger cars and large trucks are often disastrous simply because of the weight and size of the large truck. In a crash, it can cause significant and life-changing damage. Often, victims of these types of crashes sustain catastrophic injuries that require extensive long-term care.
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.
Again, these types of accidents are often complex. That’s because they’re likely to involve more than just the driver of the large truck. There may have been issues with the truck itself. Perhaps the company failed to perform the proper maintenance on it. The cargo may not have been loaded properly. The driver may have been fatigued because of unreasonable schedules.
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 a bus weighs so much more than a passenger car. Car accident lawsuits involving a bus can also be complicated. The driver may have been negligent, yes, but it’s also possible that the bus company was irresponsible. There may have been a major defect on the highway. The bus itself may have had a manufacturing defect, or there may have been another driver involved who was negligent.
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.
When an individual is involved in a motorcycle accident, there is a greater risk of physical and financial damage. Evidence shows that riders 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.
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.
Often it is the driver of the motor vehicle that is at fault. The National Transportation Safety Board reports that 64 percent of crashes involving motorcycles were caused by errors or failures on the part of the other driver. Getting a motorcycle 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 Motor Vehicle 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 Stamford, CT?
There is no “standard” length of time for a car accident case to settle. Every case is different, but in general, it is likely to take from a few months to a year. For more complex cases involving severe injuries and disputes over liability and damages, it can take a year or longer.
What is the statute of limitations for a car accident in Connecticut?
Connecticut law allows you two years from the date of the accident to file a car accident lawsuit. You will need to file a claim with the insurance company first, however, and they tend to have their own deadlines. Your car accident lawyer will make sure you file all the paperwork when you need to. It is important to remember that the statute of limitations varies depending on the type of accident and who is responsible. You may not even know who the person responsible is when you are involved in a crash. You need to contact an attorney immediately to protect your best interest. Every day that passes could be your last day to recover for your injuries and a qualified attorney can help you determine the appropriate statute of limitations for your claim.
There are some exceptions to this rule:
- Wrongful death: If your loved one was killed in the accident, you have two years to file a lawsuit from the date of the individual’s death rather than the date of the accident.
- Defective product: If an exploding airbag in a vehicle or other vehicle defect caused or partially caused the accident, you have three years from the date of the injury to file a case.
- Government: You have less time to file claims against the government. If the crash was the result of negligent action or inaction from a government employee or official, claims must be submitted within six months of the incident. Property damage claims involving a defective highway must be submitted within 90 days.
Why should I hire a car accident attorney in Stamford, CT?
You can hire a car accident attorney in Stamford, Ct, at any time after the accident as long as you are within the statute of limitations. It’s always best to do it as early as possible, though. Then your lawyer will have the time needed to thoroughly investigate your case. He or she will also be able to handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf, which can make it easier for you to focus on recovering.
What types of damages will a car accident settlement cover?
In general, there are three major types of damages:
- Compensatory: The most common damages, these are paid to “compensate” you for losses like medical expenses, lost wages, and property replacement.
- General: These include pain and suffering, a shortened life expectancy, and mental anguish. They cannot be readily tied to a dollar amount.
- Punitive: These are awarded for the sole purpose of punishing the defendant for their conduct.
Car accident settlements consist of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses: As long as you have proof of your medical expenses, you are likely to be reimbursed for them. 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 your car accident caused you to miss work, you may be compensated for lost wages.
- Potential earnings: If your injuries leave you unable to return to the type of work you were doing before, you may be able to seek reimbursement for the money you would have made in the future had the accident not 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: Costs to travel to your medical appointments, parking fees, rental car fees, and the like may also be reimbursed. 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 your partner were 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.
What to do after a serious car accident?
First, tend to yourself and any of your passengers. Call 911 if you need to.
If you are able, get to a safe space. Pull the car over or move to the side of the road or sidewalk. Then call the police. It’s important not to neglect this step, as then you will have an official record of the accident.
Exchange insurance information with the other driver, but don’t say anything that might be construed as you admitting fault. Anything you say may be used against you when you file a claim.
Gather evidence 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.
Then call your Stamford, Connecticut car accident attorney. He or she will provide more guidance on your next steps while making sure that your interests are protected.
What not to say after an accident?
It’s always best to avoid saying “I’m sorry” or anything similar, as these types of statements may imply that you believe the accident was your fault. Even if you think you may be to blame, don’t admit it at this time. There are often other factors that you may not be aware of. You want to protect yourself from being unfairly blamed, which could hurt your ability to recover compensation.
Avoid posting anything on social media as well. The insurance company may use it to show 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, never agree to record any statements for the insurance company. 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?
How long you have to report your accident depends on your policy. It’s always best, though, to let your insurance company know as soon as possible. If you wait too long, it could result in serious legal consequences or endanger your ability to receive compensation for your injuries and damaged property.
What if I was partly at fault for the accident?
Connecticut law follows “comparative negligence,” which means that you are entitled to compensation as long as you were 50 percent or less at fault for the accident. If the other person is determined to be 80 percent at fault and you are 20 percent at fault, for instance, 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?
A skilled Connecticut car accident attorney understands that liability is often shared across multiple parties and can help investigate the accident to see if you may have a way to fight the insurance company’s conclusion.
How do I know if I have a claim worth pursuing?
Your car accident attorney can guide you in answering this question. It’s important not to be too hasty—even a minor injury can affect your life more than you may think.
Let’s say you suffer a sprained or strained wrist, which seems like a minor injury. But if you regularly type on the computer or otherwise use your hands at work, you may not be able to do your job until the injury heals, which could mean lost wages.
Other injuries take time to create symptoms. Spine and neck injuries may cause pain, tingling and numbness, or even weakness in your back, legs, or hands after a few days have gone by. 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.
What if the accident was all my fault?
If you were more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you will 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 Stamford, Connecticut
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact us today for a free initial consultation. You owe it to yourself to have a professional thoroughly examine your case to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Call us today at (888) 480-1123.