Connecticut Auto Accident Laws & Resources
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After becoming hurt in a Connecticut car accident, it can be hard to know what to do. This page discusses important Connecticut auto accident laws and information regarding personal injury lawsuits in the state. If you are ever in a crash in Connecticut, you can find information on this page about what to do after the accident.
For example, you’ll know about accident liability in Connecticut, how to deal with insurance companies, law enforcement, and more. If you have questions about your auto accident claim, you can find an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney on this website.
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Connecticut Auto Accidents Laws: Comparative Negligence
When you are in a car accident in Connecticut, it is important to determine who is liable for the incident. Ultimately, whoever is liable will be responsible for paying for the injuries and damages for the crash.
Connecticut follows a comparative negligence standard for liability for car accidents. This means that your settlement will reduce based on the percentage of fault you have for the accident. And you cannot recover damages if your percentage of fault for the incident is more than 50%.
For example, say you are rear ended when you are turning right into a parking lot. You have $20,000 in property damages and injuries. But you didn’t turn your turn signal on when you turned, so the insurance company says you are 25% responsible for the accident. This means your settlement will be reduced by $5,000.
Obviously, determining who is at fault and to what degree is a critical part of the case. That’s why you should hire an experienced car accident attorney in Connecticut to negotiate on your behalf.
If you are found more than 50% at fault, you cannot receive compensation, so it’s vital that your lawyer argue aggressively in your favor.
Connecticut Auto Insurance Rules
All states require drivers on public roads to have auto insurance. Additionally, Connecticut has laws that require drivers to have liability and uninsured/underinsured insurance. Also, drivers must have proof of insurance that you must show if the police request it. The minimum insurance amounts for this state are:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- Coverage of $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 property damage per accident
Also, you are required to carry underinsured and uninsured insurance in Connecticut. This protects you if another person hits you in an accident and doesn’t have insurance. You can then use your own policy to pay for your damages and injuries.
If your damages exceed your coverage, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver to recover the rest.
It’s recommended to carry more than the minimum amount of liability and UM insurance if you have a lot of assets. This will protect you if you are in an accident caused by another party.
Driving without insurance in this state can get you a fine of $100 to $1,000, as well as a one-month license suspension.
Connecticut Auto Accident Laws: Statute of Limitations
Like all states, Connecticut has a statute of limitations for when someone injured in a car accident can file a personal injury lawsuit. In this state, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. The deadline is the same whether you are filing suit for injuries or property damage.
If the accident resulted in death, you have two years from the date of the person’s death to file a lawsuit.
Importantly, you should retain a Connecticut personal injury attorney promptly after your accident. This is to ensure there is enough time for a case to be put together before the time limit expires.
Note that you should file your accident claim with the proper insurance company as soon as you can, but these time limits mentioned above do not apply.
If you are injured by a government employee during their work time, you have only a year to file your lawsuit. So, it’s even more important if a government employee is involved to get your case filed on time.
Reporting A Car Accident In Connecticut
All auto accidents in Connecticut should be reported to the police promptly, even if it’s a minor accident. After you have contacted the police, you should exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved.
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If police do not show up at the accident scene, you should go to the nearest police station to report the accident. Ask them to write a police report and describe exactly what happened. This information can be critical to prove who was responsible for the accident.
You have five days after the accident to file a police report. If you don’t, the other driver could accuse you of hit and run, and that can cause you serious problems if you want to file a claim for damages later.
After the accident, you should take the time to take pictures of the accident scene, the damages for each vehicle, their positions on the road, any injuries, and the license plate for each vehicle. The police may not do a full police report. So, the more information you have to show how the accident happened, the more likely you are to prevail when you file a claim.
If you need to obtain a copy of your auto accident report, you can find out more on the Connecticut state’s website.
Connecticut Dram Shop Law
Usually, when someone injures someone else, the injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the injuries. But states that have a Dram Shop law allow, in some cases, for the injured party to file a lawsuit against a social host or business that provided alcohol to an intoxicated person who then caused the car accident.
The Dram Shop law in Connecticut states that you can sue a person who provided alcohol to the person who caused the accident if they were visibly or perceivably intoxicated when they bought the alcohol. Also, the intoxication needs to be the cause of your injuries.
For example, if a bartender provides beer to a patron who witnesses say was visibly intoxicated and that person causes an accident that injures you, it is possible to file a lawsuit against the bar.
However, under this state’s Dram Shop law, you cannot file a lawsuit against a social host that provides alcohol to the person who injured you. But it is a misdemeanor for social hosts to provide alcohol to anyone under 21. If that happens and the person injures you, it’s possible to file a lawsuit against the social host.
In a Dram Shop case in this state, you may expect some or all of the following damages:
- Medical and rehabilitation bills
- Lost earnings
- Lost or damaged property
- Pain and suffering
Note that the total damages in a Dram Shop case in Connecticut cannot exceed $250,000.
Connecticut Accident Settlement Taxes
In Connecticut, most of the compensation you get in a personal injury settlement is free from state income tax. As long as your tort is for personal, physical injury, not a legal injury such as discrimination or reputational injury, most funds are nontaxable. This includes medical costs and pain and suffering. Regarding this, the IRS states that if you receive a personal injury settlement for physical injuries and you did not opt for an itemized deduction for medical expenses associated with the injury the year before, the full amount is not subject to tax.
However, in Connecticut, some aspects of a personal injury settlement could be taxable in these cases:
- Lost earnings: If you obtain damages for your lost wages, then that part of your settlement is taxable because it is a replacement for income that would have been taxed.
- Pain and suffering pertaining to wrongful death: If you get damages for pain and suffering in a wrongful death claim, that portion is taxable.
- Emotional injury: If the settlement is for an emotional injury, the settlement can be taxed.
- Punitive damages: This is awarded to the victim to punish the person who did wrong. This type of damages do not reimburse you for actual damage or harm. It is extra income to you and is taxable.
Confidential settlement: If you get a confidential settlement, it may be subject to taxes at the state and federal levels; check with your CPA.
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If you are in a car crash, it is highly upsetting and stressful. But you will be more prepared after digesting all the information on this page about Connecticut auto accident laws.
Please remember, if you are in a Connecticut car accident, stay at the crash scene until law enforcement arrives, and always seek medical attention immediately. You also should get in touch with your auto insurance company as soon as possible, and hire an attorney unless it is a minor accident without injuries.
If you do get in a crash in Connecticut, Lawsuit Info Center can help you find a skilled attorney in your area. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost earnings. Please use this website to locate a personal injury attorney to help you with your claim or lawsuit.
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