What Factors Determine the Viability of an Auto Accident Claim?
The standards will perhaps vary for my office when compared with the standards of another office. For Casper to & de Toledo, the viability of a claim is more of a financial assessment of a potential case. A non-viable case might be a case where we do not think that the injured party will be able to prevail on the case. For example, if there is a contested liability case that is likely fifty-fifty apportionment of fault and the damages are not very great, that person would technically have the right to pursue a claim and might actually get a little money or some money. But in a contested claim when the damages are not great, it is probably not a case that we are going to accept because it can be very expensive to prove a contested liability case.
We can compare a contested liability case to a viable case where liability is not seriously in question and an individual has some damages, although they may not be great damages. I can assign a less experienced lawyer to a case like that, and it can be handled economically. We can usually make the client happy. We routinely accept cases involving major injuries including multi-trauma, wrongful death, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.
The Statute of Limitations for an Auto Accident Claim in Connecticut
In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for an auto claim is two years from the date of the accident. The case must be settled or in suit within two years of the date of the accident. There are some limited exceptions to that rule that generally involve more stringent notice requirements. For example, you can have a dram shop case and in a dram shop case, the time limits for notification to the establishment that served alcohol to an intoxicated driver who later caused injuries is 120 days in the case of injury to person or damage to property and 180 days in the case of death or incapacity. If proper notice is given, the lawsuit must be commenced within two years of the incident.
In the event that physical injury or damage to property was caused by a defective road or highway, there must be notice given to either the municipality or to the Commissioner of Transportation of the State if state property is at issue within ninety days of the date of the incident.
Basically, for the run of the mill case, vehicle versus vehicle, or vehicle versus pedestrian, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of incident.
A Step by Step Breakdown of the Auto Accident Claims Process in Connecticut
The first thing to do in the event of an accident is to make sure that you, your passengers, and others involved are safe and taken care of. Dial 911 as soon as it is safe to do so. If you have the wherewithal after safety has been assured, then use your cellphone and take some photographs, particularly before vehicles are moved, and assuming that this can be done safely. It is important to make observations about the conditions that existed and make notes of any observations. You can make notes by recording on a smart phone.
Make notes of the conduct of the other driver or driver’s passengers. We have had cases where street drugs have been hidden in the vehicle. In another case, a driver, who had a very serious accident, took a beer can and went to the side of the road and threw it into the woods. So you want to be observant about what is going on, if you have the ability to do that. Once health or emergent health issues are addressed, you want to make sure that you have the ability to get follow-up medical treatment.
If you have injuries that are visible and there is someone to take photographs or video of your injuries on a serial basis, that would be helpful. Within one or two business days, you should contact your own insurance company and file a report and discuss filing a claim for property damage and medical payments coverage. In Connecticut, many insurance policies have medical payments coverage, but it is optional coverage. If you have medical payments coverage, you should ask for a medical payments application. While Connecticut insurance policies may provide for medical payments coverage, if you’re a non-resident of Connecticut or a Connecticut resident injured in another state, there may be different rules that apply. For example, a New York resident who is covered by a NY auto policy and a Connecticut resident injured in a car accident in New York each have the right to file a New York no-fault claim, but that claim must be filed within 30 days of the accident. Rules in other state may differ markedly.
Aside from these preliminary steps, the most important advice is to obtain appropriate medical care for your injuries. If you are uncertain about which health care providers to see, you can consult with your primary care physician or an attorney experienced in handling personal injury claims.
For more information on Viability of Auto Accident Claims, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (203) 325-8600 today.