Stamford Personal Injury Lawyer
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Stamford Personal Injury Attorneys
As of 2021, the population of the city of Stamford, Connecticut was about 136,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A city on Long Island Sound, Stamford is in Fairfield County, about 34 miles outside of New York City. It is the state’s second-most populous city, behind Bridgeport, having passed up Hartford and New Haven in population in 2020.
With a growing and bustling population, accidents are likely to happen. According to the Connecticut Crash Data Repository, traffic crash-related deaths have been increasing in the state over the last several years. In 2023, there were 138 traffic crash-related deaths compared to 120 in 2020. Preliminary numbers from 2022 also showed more pedestrian fatalities than in years past—the most in 34 years.
Of course, traffic accidents aren’t the only type that can cause serious injuries. Slips and falls, dog bites, medical malpractice, workplace incidents, and others can upend your life, leaving you dealing with the aftermath of the injury as well as stacks of medical bills.
At Chaffin Luhana, our mission is to help restore injured victims to wholeness in the Stamford, 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.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
No one wants to be injured and find themselves in a situation where they need to hire a personal injury lawyer. Unfortunately, if you are in an accident and suffered a serious injury, it may be necessary for you to do just that.
One of the best things you can do for yourself in that sort of situation is to find the best legal help you can. Whether or not your case succeeds often depends on choosing the right attorney.
That’s because personal injury cases—even if it seems open and shut to you—can be very complex. An experienced lawyer understands the complexities and how to manage them well. They know 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.
Further, an experienced personal injury lawyer will have the resources you need to succeed. 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.
Even if your case doesn’t go to trial—which many personal injury cases don’t—you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to get the highest amount possible in settlement negotiations.
Choosing the right attorney can be a challenging process, especially when you’re dealing with a serious injury. But when you get someone on your side who knows what they’re doing and is willing to fight for you and your family, you’ll be glad you put in the time and effort.
Why Choose Our Stamford Personal Injury Lawyers
Chaffin Luhana is a plaintiffs-only law firm, which means we focus solely on representing injured victims. That’s all we do. And we’ve been doing it for 13 years. Over that time, our hard-working team has recovered over one billion dollars for our clients.
Unlike other law firms that may divide their time between personal injury and other types of cases, we don’t represent insurance companies and we don’t defend lawsuits on behalf of corporations. Instead, we bring cases on behalf of people like you who have been injured and suffered serious losses.
Our Experience and Expertise
When you hire Chaffin Luhana, you get our entire team of legal professionals working for you. That includes highly experienced personal injury lawyers, medical records specialists and nurse paralegals, an on-staff social worker, former state and federal judicial law clerks, court-appointed leaders in the national plaintiffs’ bar, and more.
Together, we have achieved extraordinary results for our clients in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, product liability litigation, personal injury litigation, and more in state and federal courts across the country.
Several of our lawyers have 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, which via a multi-phase rating process, selects those attorneys best able to assist consumers.
Our founders alone—Eric Chaffin and Roopal Luhana—have extensive experience and multimillion-dollar recoveries under their belts. Both have held leadership positions in large, multi-district litigation and have litigated a number of significant nationwide class actions.
Our Approach to Personal Injury Law
We are a very plaintiffs-focused law firm, which means that we focus on you and maximizing your recovery.
You may have heard that some lawyers take forever to get back to their clients, or rarely let them know what’s going on. We know how frustrating and inefficient that can be. We are committed to making sure that we 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 Plaintiffs-Only Focus
At Chaffin Luhana, we focus solely on representing plaintiffs who have been injured. We do not divide our time between plaintiffs and defendants, which helps us to hone our expertise for your benefit. Personal injury law is all we do, and we’ve learned how to do it well. To date, we’ve helped tens of thousands of victims and families secure the compensation they needed and deserved in their lives.
Our end goal is to leave our clients feeling better than they did when they first came to us. No matter who you are or the details of your case, you can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to help you.
We Take Cases to Trial if Necessary
Some personal injury lawyers have no trial experience. They may promise you that they can take your case to trial if need be, but fail to tell you that they have no experience in doing so.
We take cases to trial, which means we know how to fight for our clients in court. Granted, most personal injury cases will not go to trial, and in those cases, we know how to get the best settlement for you.
But if the parties can’t come to an agreement, we’re not going to back down because we’re new to the courtroom. On the contrary, we have a reputation for being willing to go all the way for our clients, which often serves us well in negotiations.
We Have the Experience You Need
Personal injury law can be very complex. Insurance companies and defendants are known for pulling out all the stops when it comes to protecting their bottom lines. If your law firm doesn’t secure the right records, hire the right experts, present appropriate precedents, and leverage the law in your favor, you could end up losing the compensation that should be coming to you.
We’ve been doing this for over a decade, and we’ve represented plaintiffs in both individual claims as well as very large and complicated multi district litigations. We’ve been around the block, so to speak, when it comes to personal injury law. We know what we need to do to give you every chance to succeed in your case.
We Have a Mission to Do Good Work
As a successful law firm, we know that we have a responsibility toward the communities in which we serve. Our overarching value is “Doing Good by Doing Right.” To that end, we created the Chaffin Luhana Foundation, which is funded with a portion of the profits from the firm. Through the foundation, we have 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
In general, we handle any case in which a person has been injured through no fault of their own. The injury occurred because of the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party or multiple parties. Even if you were partially at fault, if someone else’s negligence was involved, we can help.
We can handle any type of personal injury case. The following types of personal injury cases are very common in our practice.
According to the Department of Transportation, there were 298 fatal car accidents in the state of Connecticut in 2021, an increase over the 249 that occurred in 2019. The Connecticut Crash Data Repository indicates that in the year 2022, there were nearly 103,000 total crashes involving nearly 246,000 people.
If someone else hits you on the road, you may believe you have a cut-and-dry case. But car accident lawsuits and claims can present unique challenges. The plaintiff must prove that someone else was liable for the accident. In many crashes, there are multiple possibilities, including the responsibility of another driver or multiple drivers, the automobile manufacturer, a construction company, or even a municipality responsible for the roads.
Your car accident attorney will thoroughly review conditions at the site of the accident, police records, information about the other driver, state traffic laws, and more to help prove liability. In some cases, there may be multiple parties that share in liability.
While car accidents can be complex, big truck accidents may be even more so. That’s because in truck-driving accidents, often the truck driver is working for a company. That means the company may share in liability, particularly if they were lax about maintaining their trucks, or if they pushed the employee to drive for long, unsafe periods.
Big rigs or 18-wheelers as they’re called can do a lot of damage in an accident because of their size and weight. Victims in passenger cars may be permanently injured. They may require medical care for the rest of their lives, which can be very expensive.
That’s why it’s critical to have an experienced lawyer who knows what parties may share in the liability—to make sure you can get the compensation you need to try to put your life back together.
Premises liability concerns incidents where the plaintiff was hurt on someone else’s property. Though property owners aren’t always responsible for these types of injuries, they may be under certain circumstances.
If you can prove that the owner was negligent in some way, you may have a case. Every state is different, however, in terms of premise liability law. And sometimes it depends on whether you were legally identified as an invitee to the property, a licensee, or a trespasser. The Stamford 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
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property and you can prove that their negligence was the cause of it, you may be able to win compensation for your injuries. Like premises liability, however, there are state laws that apply.
Many slip and fall cases involve what are known as “dangerous property conditions.” This means that the property owner allowed a dangerous condition to exist without repairing it promptly, or without warning visitors about it.
Examples of dangerous conditions include wet or slippery floors, exposed wires and other tripping hazards, and accumulated ice and snow. Many of these cases involve unique laws and require an experienced attorney to navigate those laws to ensure you get the proper compensation.
If a dog bites you or a loved one, typically the owner can be held liable for the injury. Dog bites can cause serious harm, particularly if the dog is infected with rabies or the victim was bitten severely or in multiple locations.
Connecticut has strict laws about dog bites and requires dog owners to properly restrain their animals. Failure to do so is treated as negligence, which triggers liability for damage caused by the animal. Exceptions may occur if a person was trespassing on the owner’s property.
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.
Physicians and other healthcare providers like nurses and dentists can be held liable in the case of medical malpractice. So too can the entity they work for, such as the hospital or medical center. A plaintiff must prove that a professional duty was owed, that the defendant breached that duty, and that the injury was a proximate result of that breach.
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, may be limited in certain situations.
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 and make sure that every possible avenue of recovery outside of worker’s compensation is properly explored.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe workspace for their employees. Dangers such as slippery floors, falling objects, or hazardous pieces of equipment can cause injuries. If employers aren’t properly attentive to these issues and don’t address them promptly, they can be held liable if an employee gets hurt.
In most cases of employee injury, workers’ compensation will cover the damages. But in some cases—particularly where severe, lasting injuries are involved—employees may be able to file a lawsuit against the person(s) or company responsible. A Connecticut workers’ injury attorney can help in these situations to make sure you get the compensation you need to manage your expenses after the injury.
Understanding the Personal Injury Claim Process
Though every personal injury claim is different, they all go through a similar process involving the following steps.
1. Initial Consultation with an Attorney
During this meeting, you will discuss the facts of your case with your attorney. You’ll want to bring whatever evidence you have to the consultation. That includes things like police reports, witness information, photos, medical records, and personal notes. The attorney will then give you a professional opinion on whether you have a valid claim.
This meeting is typically free of charge to you. 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 the attorney and move on to the next step.
2. Investigation and Evidence Collection
Once you’ve hired an attorney to represent you in your personal injury claim, that attorney and his or her firm will proceed with the investigation stage.
This is typically an extensive process and may include the following steps:
- A more extensive interview with you. Your attorney will want to learn everything you know about the accident, your injuries, and any medical treatment you received and/or may need in the future.
- Gathering, reviewing, and submitting documents. Your lawyer will work with you to get all your medical records, police records, pay stubs (to determine lost wages), and other related documents together for review and submission with the claim as necessary.
- Taking witness and expert statements. This step involves reaching out to and speaking to any witnesses of the accident, as well as any experts that may be able to help support your case.
- Checking for any additional liable parties. Particularly in car accidents, there may be multiple parties that should share in liability. Your attorney will investigate thoroughly to find these.
3. Documenting Damages
It will be up to you and your attorney to figure out the damages you are owed. There are the more obvious damages such as property damage and medical expenses. But there may also be lost wages, long-term care costs, pain and suffering, and more. Your attorney plays a critical role in documenting the actual damages you incurred.
Once you have a final figure, that’s what your attorney will ask for in your insurance claim or lawsuit.
4. Filing the Lawsuit/Claim
At this point or concurrently with these other steps, your attorney will file the paperwork for your claim with the insurance company or your lawsuit with the appropriate court.
For an insurance claim, your attorney will also submit what is called a “demand package.” This includes all the appropriate documents supporting your case, the facts of the case as you see it, and what you believe you are owed in damages. The insurance company will review and respond by either accepting the claim, making a settlement offer, or rejecting the claim.
With a lawsuit, the attorney will file a personal injury case that also includes the appropriate documents and demand for compensation. The case will start through the court system, and the defendant(s) will be notified.
5. Negotiation and Settlement
Whether you’re working with an insurance company or with defendants in a lawsuit, negotiations are likely. If your insurance company denies the claim or presents a counteroffer, your attorney will work on your behalf to achieve the best outcome for you. The goal will be to come to a settlement agreement.
Should the case proceed in the legal system, both parties may engage in further discovery. This involves more investigation into the case on both sides. During this part of the process, one or both sides may file additional motions with the court to attempt to have the case dismissed, delayed, or for a judgment to be reached.
Most personal injury lawsuits are settled outside of court. This is advantageous to both parties as it saves them time and money. If a settlement is reached, you and your attorney will agree to drop the case against the defendant(s) in return for compensation.
If the parties can’t agree on a settlement, the case proceeds to trial.
6. Trial (If Necessary)
In a court trial, a judge and potentially a jury will hear arguments from both sides, then decide on liability. The judge or jury may side with the plaintiff 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 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 it is filed in the form of a personal injury lawsuit with the court system.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Stamford, CT?
Connecticut law grants injury victims two years from the date the injury is first sustained or discovered to file a claim. This is the official “statute of limitations,” which is the maximum time granted to initiate legal proceedings. However, statutes of limitations can vary greatly based upon the specific type of case, where the injury occurred, and how the injury occurred. You should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as you are injured to confirm the appropriate statute of limitations for your case.
There are exceptions to this rule:
- For product liability actions—when someone is injured by a product—the victim has three years from the date the injury occurred or was discovered to file a claim.
- A workers’ compensation claim 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. Other types of governmental claims have varying notice requirements.
- Other exceptions: Other exceptions to the statute of limitations may exist and may “toll” the time period you have to file a claim. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible who will be able to advise on the appropriate statute of limitations and notice requirements.
Because the statute of limitations can vary by the type of claim andit takes time to gather evidence, file a claim, and go through the process, it’s always best to contact an attorney to file your claim as soon as you can.
How is Compensation Calculated?
Attorneys, insurance companies, and courts use similar systems when calculating damages owed in a personal injury case. These damages are typically split into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages (also called “special” damages) are more easily calculated, as they are tied to a specific cost. These include:
Your medical bills will show proof of your expenses, and those expenses can be directly figured into your settlement amount.
If you’re expecting to have to pay for 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. They will typically rely on your doctor’s advice about the future treatment you’ll need to calculate these costs.
If your injuries left you unable to work, you may be compensated for lost wages, as well as for any tips or bonuses you may have missed out on. If you can’t return to work in the future, your future lost wages may also be recoverable. These figures will be calculated based on your wages at the time of the accident.
Lost potential earnings (Future earning potential)
If the injury is permanent and will affect your ability to work for the rest of your life, you may be able to recover for lost earning potential. These damages are calculated 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.
You may be reimbursed for any property that was damaged in the incident (such as your car in a car accident). These damages would help pay to restore or replace that property.
Out-of-pocket expenses relating to the accident
These may include travel expenses if required during your medical treatments, mileage reimbursement, parking fees and expenses, car rental fees, and towing and storage fees. If your injury has made housekeeping or childcare difficult or impossible, you may be able to recover compensation for cleaning help, childcare, personal assistance, and other household services.
Non-economic damages, also called “general damages,” include those listed below. The amount of your non-economic damages is very case specific. Attorneys and insurance companies will use data and information from past settlements and verdicts to determine what your non-economic damages may be worth. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling these types of claims and determining the true value of non-economic damages.
Pain and suffering
If you suffered physical pain and discomfort during and after the accident, or emotional or psychological suffering such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may be eligible for compensation. The amount of pain and suffering damages is very case specific and can be calculated based upon prior verdicts and settlements by our experienced attorneys.
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.
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 car accident can change your life. You may find that your injuries make it more difficult to enjoy the activities you once enjoyed or to go about your life as you did before. If you can no longer take part in your day-to-day activities, you may be entitled to compensation for these losses.
The value of this claim depends on your injury and how it has affected your ability to continue to enjoy your usual daily activities.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you were in a minor accident and suffered only minor injuries, you may be able to handle your claim just fine without representation. You wouldn’t necessarily need to seek a lawyer’s advice if you are confident that you can handle negotiations with an insurance company on your own, or if you feel you can represent yourself well in court.
But if you suffered serious injuries and you want to recover the maximum amount of damages, you will be more likely to succeed if you have a lawyer on your side. The problem is that many people hope to recover quickly after an accident and try to brush off or shake off their injuries. These initial pains can last months or even years for some accidents victims. For some their injuries and symptoms get worse with time rather than getting better. The claim process is often more complicated than you may think. An attorney can navigate all the difficulties for you while making sure you get the full spectrum of damages you’re entitled to.
It’s also important to realize that the other side—whether that’s an insurance company, an individual, or a company—is likely to have experienced legal representation. If you don’t have the same, you will be at a significant disadvantage.
What If I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?
Most personal injury attorneys have contingency arrangements for their services. That means that they will initially cover the court costs and other fees related to the case, and will recover those costs from your settlement or jury award. You will owe nothing upfront and will be able to cover the lawyers’ fees out of whatever compensation you receive. If your case fails and you receive no compensation, your lawyer forfeits the expenses and you owe nothing.
Some lawyers do charge for costs such as court filing fees, document fees, traveling costs, etc. You can ask about these before hiring a firm.
How Should I Prepare for My Initial Consultation?
There are several things you can do to make sure you get the most out of your initial (free) consultation with your attorney:
- Make a list of questions to ask. These may include questions about the lawyer’s experience and fees, about who else may be involved in your case, and about a potential plan for your case.
- Gather all relevant documents you have, including police reports, medical records, witness statements, your personal notes, and photos. Make copies of these so that you can leave them with the lawyer if you decide to move forward.
- Think about what you hope to achieve. What is your ultimate goal or outcome? Be prepared to share that with your attorney.
What Should I Do Immediately After an Accident?
First, check your condition and those of any passengers with you. If needed, get yourselves out of danger. For example, move to the side of the road if you were in an auto accident.
Next, contact the police if the situation calls for it. (If you were in a car accident or were assaulted.)
Always seek medical attention as soon as you can. Even if you think you’re fine, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. That way, if you suffer an injury that takes time to develop (such as a back or neck injury), you will have records to support your allegations.
Notify your insurance company in the case of a car accident or your employer in case of a workplace accident. If you suffered an injury at a business or other property, notify the management.
Then gather all the information you can at the site of the accident. Take photos, gather witness contact information, and write down what happened while it’s still fresh in your memory. Take pictures of your injuries, the accident location, and any property damage.
Next, contact your personal injury attorney as soon as you can. They can help advise you on what steps to take to bolster your case, should you have one.
Start a file where you can keep all your evidence and documents. Retain the clothes you wore as evidence—don’t wash them or alter them. Simply store them away until you know if you will need them or not.
Never accept blame for the accident. Refrain from giving any statements to others involved in the accident or the insurance company until you talk to your lawyer.
Can I File a Claim if the Accident Was Partly My Fault?
Connecticut has laws that allow you to recover against any other at-fault party, even if you were partially at fault. This is called “comparative fault.” In this state, your financial recovery will be reduced by a percentage that corresponds to your share of liability.
If it is determined that you were more than 50 percent at fault, you will not be able to recover damages. But if you were 50 percent or less at fault, you can recover the corresponding percentage of your damages.
For example, if you were in a car accident and it’s determined you were 20 percent at fault because you were going over the speed limit, your compensation would be reduced to 80 percent of your damages.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are assessed to punish the defendant for outrageous or especially harmful conduct and/or to help deter them and others like them from engaging in similar conduct in the future. These damages are assessed over and above any other damages. They are awarded at the court’s discretion.
An example of punitive damages would be damages assessed for the harm a product caused to consumers when the company knew the product was defective or dangerous and continued to sell it anyway strictly for profit.
How Long Will It Take to Settle My Case?
How long a personal injury case takes depends on the circumstances. Some will be resolved within eight months to a year, while others can take 2.5 years or more.
One of the factors involved in the timeline is how long it takes to recover from your injuries. Usually, settlement negotiations will begin after you reach what’s called “maximum medical improvement,” meaning you are not likely to improve further after that point.
Other delays may take place because of crowded court dockets, difficulty in obtaining witness testimony, the other party’s willingness to settle, and the complexity of the case.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, call our experienced attorneys to schedule a complimentary consultation at 888-480-1123. We’d be happy to discuss your case with you at no charge.
What to Expect During Your Free Consultation
This is simply a meeting between you and a Chaffin Luhana lawyer. It allows us to go over the facts of the case to determine whether you may be eligible to file a claim, and what you may be able to expect.
We are likely to ask questions about the accident, your injuries, and the medical treatment you’ve received. It will help if you bring any documents you have, including police reports, medical records, witness information, photographs, and your personal notes.
You can feel free to ask questions as well. We’ll be happy to answer them. Typically, a consultation lasts between 30 minutes and an hour.
Your Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer in Stamford, CT
If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact us today for a free initial consultation. We pride ourselves on giving you honest advice and will help guide you through every step of the process, should you decide to move forward with a claim.
Call us today at 888-480-1123.