The aftermath of a dangerous car accident can leave you with a lot on your plate. On top of attending to your injuries, you may also have to deal with financial loss and emotional trauma.

The Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Gould Injury Law want to help you get back on your feet faster. We can advocate for you in or out of court and fight to secure the compensation you deserve.

Compared to working on a claim alone, you can get your money faster with the right legal assistance. Call us at 888-WIN-FAST to schedule your free consultation. 

What is a Personal Injury Settlement?

A personal injury settlement is compensation a victim receives to recover losses, perhaps from the liable party or his or her insurance company. You could receive this offer out of court because the other party wants to avoid a lawsuit and may want to settle your case as fast as possible.

Alternatively, you may be offered a settlement because the court rules in your favor. After you accept the settlement, you will have to sign a release. This legal document releases the other party from any responsibility related to your personal injury claim.

Compensation You Can Get After a Car Accident in Connecticut?

Connecticut is an at-fault state. Here, we follow a “modified” comparative negligence system. This law awards a percentage of damages to the injured victim. You may receive compensation if you are less than 50 percent to blame for the accident. However, if you are over 50 percent responsible, you may not be eligible to receive compensation.

To illustrate, if the court finds you 20 percent responsible for the car accident, they may deduct this from your damages. Let’s say the judge awards you $50,000 in damages, but you will likely receive only $40,000 because of the 20 percent deduction.

Types of Personal Injury Damages

“Damages” is the legal term for a sum of money awarded to a car accident victim for a variety of injuries or losses suffered. The amount can be negotiated between the parties involved out of court or decided by a judge after trial. Auto accident victims can receive compensation for special, general, or punitive damages.

Sometimes, the auto accident victim receives both special and general damages. Special and general damages both fall under compensatory damages. This compensation is paid when the injuries result from the other party’s negligence.

1. What are some examples of special compensatory damages?

Special compensatory damages are often called economic damages. Economic damages are paid for losses and expenses brought about by an accident. Some examples include:

  • Current medical expenses
  • Future expected medical expenses
  • Disabilities caused by the accident
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages or salary
  • Property damage
  • Lost items of irreplaceable value

Special compensatory damages are losses you can present as an amount or quantity. The clear financial value makes calculating your potential compensation faster and easier.

2. What are general compensatory damages?

General damages are intangible injuries and losses, like emotional trauma. Special damages can be accurately accounted for with receipts. However, proving emotional loss can be quite tricky.

Examples of general compensatory damages include:

  • Loss of joy in life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental distress like depression, anxiety, or PTSD

If you’re unsure whether you can request compensation for general damages, speak to a lawyer. Gould Injury Law’s team of Connecticut personal injury lawyers can help you understand your case. We can fight to get your compensatory damages as fast as possible. Call Gould Injury Law at 888-WIN-FAST today to schedule your initial free consultation.

3. What are wrongful death damages?

A wrongful death claim or lawsuit provides for the surviving family members. They can request damages for:

  • Loss of companions
  • Emotional distress of family members
  • Pre-death medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of financial contribution

Wrongful death damages are a mix of special compensatory damages and general compensatory damages. The surviving family members only receive damages related to the wrongful death claim.

4. What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages are awarded to a victim as an “example” to the at-fault party. After a settlement, the court can award additional compensation to the victim. This is done to punish the wrongdoer for negligence and discourage repeat behavior. Deliberately reckless actions like drunk driving, speeding, or tailgating can warrant punitive damages.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in CT

Collecting proof of pain and suffering is a quite challenge to undertake. An experienced lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove your losses. He or she can use the proof to compile a convincing case.

Insurance companies may try to dismiss your claim if the evidence is not sufficient, but your lawyer can collect documentation that proves your distress. Family and friends can also testify as to how the injury has affected your life, job, and relationships.

Understanding how insurance adjusters and attorneys calculate pain and suffering damages can help you win your settlement case.

Naturally, every car accident is unique. The severity of the injuries you may have sustained and the damages incurred vary. You need a qualified car accident lawyer on your side to help you better understand how much money you can get.

The compensation you will receive depends on the type of accident, the type of injury, state laws, and so on. There are two methods the courts use in Connecticut to calculate damages. The courts use either the multiplier method or the per diem method.

The multiplier method

The multiplier method is used to calculate pain and suffering damages. This method follows the three steps listed below:

  1. The court determines the total cost of economic damages. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
  2. The total is multiplied by a number that befits the severity of the victim’s injury. The multiplier is generally between 1 and 5. The value for minor injuries may be low while the value for severe injuries will be higher.
  3. The multiplied number is added to the total cost of economic damages. This will be the value of your pain and suffering damages.

To illustrate, your economic costs after an accident are $3000. If multiplied by 2 for minor injuries, your pain and suffering damages would be $6000, so you could receive $9000 in total. The multiplier method is the most common in Connecticut. It allows you to receive full compensation faster than the per diem method.

The per diem method

“Per diem” is Latin for “by the day.” This method calculates pain and suffering costs by the day and is usually used for short-term injuries. The court awards the victim a certain amount of money per day as compensation.

If the court determines that you need 90 days to reach full recovery, you will be awarded daily compensation for that period. The total amount can increase or decrease based on factors like the permanence of injury, the length of recovery, and the quality of medical evidence.

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand calculating compensation in Connecticut. He or she can help you gather the evidence and present a strong compensation case. However, you need to file your claim or lawsuit within the statute of limitations or else it will be too late.

Connecticut Statute of Limitations for Auto Accidents

The statute of limitations is the time frame during which you can file your car accident claim or injury. The limit differs depending on the circumstances of your case.

On average, you have 2 years from the collision to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Ordinarily, you cannot file a personal injury claim in court once the deadline has passed.

However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Below are a few scenarios in which the statute of limitations for your case may be more or less than 2 years.

Scenario #1 – Delayed signs of an injury after a car accident

Symptoms can present a few days, weeks, or months after a car crash. Not all auto accident injuries manifest immediately after a collision. Sometimes, injuries like whiplash or bruising can become more severe conditions.

That’s why an immediate medical check-up after an auto accident is vital. A car accident lawyer can analyze your medical reports and define your injuries. With all the necessary medical documents, the lawyer can work fast and help you file an accurate personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Scenario #2 – Damage to personal property

Connecticut car accident laws state that you have 2 to 3 years to file a claim or lawsuit. The time limit countdown starts from the day of the injury sustained or discovered. The statute of limitations is 2 years for personal injury and 3 for property damage caused by negligence.

Scenario #3 – A car insurance claim

The statute of limitations in Connecticut does not apply to car insurance claims. An insurance company will require you to submit a claim or give notice of a future claim as soon as possible. The time limit could be within a few days or weeks.

Scenario #4 – A claim against a government entity

Local buses, garbage trucks, and emergency vehicles are examples of government entities. If you need to file a claim against a government entity, the statute of limitations may be less than 2 years.

The official state website explains that you should submit a notice of the claim to the Commissioner of Transportation within 90 days. This is the limit “for claims allegedly caused by a defective condition on a state highway.”

Contact our Connecticut Car Accident Attorneys Today

After a car accident, you likely want to skip the commotion and focus on your recovery. We understand this. So please come talk to the fast-working attorneys at Gould Injury Law. Seeking our advice and assistance can give you peace of mind.

A settlement from an insurance company can look like a good deal, but is it truly in your best interest? Contact the qualified auto accident lawyers at Gould Injury Law today. We can advise you so you don’t settle for unfair compensation.

Navigating Connecticut’s complicated auto accident laws can be too much to handle alone. Our personal injury lawyers can explain the circumstances of your case and present the most effective strategy for success. We pride ourselves on working fast to relieve the legal burden and recover your losses.

Schedule your free consultation with us. Dial 888-WIN-FAST to schedule your free initial consultation or fill out the online form.