Motor Vehicle Accidents

Injury from car, truck, or motorcycle accident

Motor vehicle accidents are a significant cause of injury and death in Connecticut.

Did you know one of the most common personal injury claims filed in Connecticut is from motor vehicle accidents? Despite motor vehicles becoming safer in recent years, injuries and fatalities continue to increase. According to a recent study published by the National Safety Council, Connecticut motor vehicle fatalities have increased by 42% in the first three months of 2020, totaling 87 deaths. Although an accident can be over in a matter of minutes or even seconds, the time it takes to recover both physically and financially can take much longer.

If you or a family member has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, the best step you can take is to secure the representation of a skilled, experienced personal injury attorney.

Specialized, experienced legal services in Connecticut

We are specialists who focus solely on personal injury law, including motor vehicle cases.

You don’t want to go up against an insurance company, hospital or large corporation without the skilled representation of a personal injury lawyer on your side. At Cavanaugh Law, we take care of the stress and challenges of dealing with insurance companies and creditors. Although we work for individuals rather than insurance companies, we have extensive experience working on the insurance side of personal injury claims. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to skillfully counter the tactics that insurance companies typically use to undermine your case. 

Most importantly, we understand what it takes to build the strongest possible cases for our clients. We have expertise in negotiating with insurance companies to get our clients the maximum level of compensation for motor vehicle injuries or death. In addition, if a settlement cannot be met and agreed upon in court or if the insurance company refuses to negotiate, a personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit to seek a settlement in court.

We work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we have been successful in making a recovery for you.

What should I do after a motor vehicle accident?

There is a lot that may be going through your head after getting into an accident, especially if you or a loved one has sustained injuries as a result. However, there are several steps that you should take as soon as possible after an automobile accident to protect your rights. These steps are particularly important if you or a passenger in your car has been injured:

  • Step 1: Check yourself and everyone involved in the accident for injuries. Do not move anyone that appears to be injured.
  • Step 2: Call the police and exchange information with everyone involved at the scene of the accident. Obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses, and exchange insurance information with the other driver.  However, do not discuss fault for the collision. Photograph any injuries along with the exterior and interior of the vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Step 3: Seek immediate medical treatment We advise clients not to refuse treatment from an emergency responder or paramedic. If you do not go to the hospital immediately following the accident, see a physician as soon as possible.
  • Step 4: Support your claim by gathering evidence including photos of all the motor vehicles involved, debris on the road as a result of the accident (such as roadway skid marks), weather conditions and traffic.
  • Step 5: Inform your auto insurance carrier as soon as possible. And remember, withholding information from your insurance carrier may give them a basis for denying coverage that otherwise would be available to you.
  • Step 6: Keep a record of all documents that can help prove your loses.
  • Step 7: Talk to a personal injury attorney before filing or signing any checks or insurance documents, giving recorded statements to any insurance company, including your own, or meeting with an insurance company representative.

For a detailed step-by-step guide of what to do after an accident with injuries, click here.

Common motor vehicle accident injuries

An unexpected motor vehicle accident can impact your life for weeks and possibly years to come. Some bodily injuries, such as broken bones or visible wounds, are easy to detect while others may present themselves after the accident. The most common injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident include:

  • Soft tissue injuries: A soft tissue injury is any damage to the body’s connective tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, etc.). Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, sprains, strains and contusions, may take 24 hours or longer to show up after the accident. 
  • Scrapes and cuts: When you’re in a car accident, anything inside your vehicle can become a projectile and cause scrapes and cuts upon contact. While minor scrapes may not require medical treatment, more serious lacerations may require stitches and multiple visits to the doctor to effectively treat.
  • Head Injuries: A high-speed motor vehicle accident may result in a jolt that causes a victim’s head to hit the car’s steering wheel, windshield or even the side window. This physical action can result in a concussion or a more serious brain injury.
  • Chest injuries: Contusions and bruises to the chest are quite common in a motor vehicle accident. Even if a victim does not directly come into contact with the steering wheel or dashboard, the sheer force of the impact, combined with hitting the seat belt, may result in serious injury.
  • Arm and leg injuries: Bone sprains or breaks in limbs are not uncommon in a car accident. For example, if a vehicle is hit from the side, a person’s arms and legs may be thrust into the side door. Many common leg injuries can get worse as you age or if you don’t get the proper treatment following the accident.

It’s important to remember that depending on the nature and severity of the injury, it may take days, weeks, or months for symptoms to appear. This unpredictability is why seeking immediate medical attention after a motor vehicle accident is so critical.

Contact us

To schedule a free initial consultation, call 203-259-5400 or contact us online.

Receive a free case evaluation from a Fairfield, CT Lawyer

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few questions that we’re often asked regarding motor vehicle accidents.

  • Why should I talk to an attorney after an automobile accident that injures me or my family members? An experienced and dedicated attorney can maximize your compensation and minimize the frustration, delay and confusion that you would experience in making a claim for an injury by yourself
  • Who do I sue after a motor vehicle accident in Connecticut? The state of Connecticut utilizes a fault-based insurance system. This means that if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver and his/her insurance company.
  • Are you required to have liability auto insurance in Connecticut? Yes, the state of Connecticut requires you to carry liability insurance. Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage to others that is the result of your negligence or wrongdoing. Connecticut drivers are required to have the following minimum insurance requirements: - Bodily Injury Liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident - Property Damage Liability: $25,000 per accident - Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident </em
  • What are the most likely issues that I will face in making a claim for my injuries from a car accident? The three categories of issues that typically arise in a claim after an automobile accident are liability (who is at fault and to what degree), related damages (for injuries and losses) and insurance coverage. These are called “tort” claims, which are usually based on the concept of carelessness or negligence, although they can also be based on an intentional or reckless act.
  • How do I handle the property damage to my motor vehicle? If you have collision coverage, you can take your car to any mechanic you want. Call your insurance company and let them know where your car is so that it can inspect the damage. If your car is repairable, your insurance company will pay for those repairs, less any applicable deductible. If you do not have collision coverage, or if you prefer not to submit the claim to your insurance carrier, then you must submit the claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance. Often, submitting the claim to this insurance carrier goes smoothly, but sometimes that insurer will take the position that you were partially at fault and therefore reduce what it will pay for your property damage by an amount representing your percentage of fault for the collision. In such cases, it is often better to submit the claim to your own insurance carrier. If we represent you in your personal injury claim, we will also help resolve your property damage claim. We do not take a fee for any of the property damage portion of the case.
  • How much time do I have to file my personal injury claim in Connecticut? As outlined by Connecticut General Statutes 52-584, in most instances, your personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date you suffered the injury. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this timeframe, you may lose your right to seek financial compensation.
  • What is the average motor vehicle accident settlement in Connecticut?There is no “average" when it comes to motor vehicle accident settlements. The settlement amount depends on a wide range of factors, such as the strength of evidence to support your claim, the severity of injuries and extent of property damage No two legal cases are ever the same so it’s impossible to know what your case is worth without evaluating the facts around your individual situation. Click here to view our past settlements and verdicts.
  • My car is totaled. Can I keep driving it? Yes, you can, after several conditions are met. Your car is deemed totaled when the cost of repair is more than its fair market value as determined by the insurance company. For example, if your car costs $1,000.00 to repair and its value is $500.00, the insurer will only pay you the value of $500.00 plus applicable sales tax, and the insurer will keep the car. You can, however, have the car repaired even if it is a total loss according to the insurance company. In this situation, the insurance carrier will pay you the value of the car and the applicable sales tax, less the salvage value. The title to the car will be stamped “salvage”, and you will be required to have the car re-inspected by the DMV before it is allowed back on the road.

Case Studies

Here are just a few of the cases that we have handled recently

  • Disc herniation following “minor” rear end collision | $1,450,000.00 recovery. A 39 year old man was rear-ended in stop and go traffic on I-95 in Stratford, Connecticut. The liability carrier, Allstate, defended the claim on the ground that the “minor impact” from behind did not cause the client’s disc herniation and subsequent surgery. The case settled just before trial for an amount that paid all of the client’s medical expenses and funded a trust for the client’s future economic needs.
  • Neurogenic bladder following rear end collision | $450,000.00 recovery. A 34 year old man with a long history of back pain was involved in a relatively minor rear end collision while driving a truck. As a result of this collision, the client developed a neurogenic bladder with episodes of incontinence. Despite the complex medical history and difficult proof of such a private condition, the case resolved for an amount that represented fair compensation for his medical expenses and pain and suffering.
  • Intersection Collision Resulting In Back Surgery | $300,000.00 settlement. A 45 year old woman required neck surgery following a collision. We recovered $100,000.00 from the negligent driver’s insurance carrier, and $200,000.00 from the negligent driver personally.