Every driver in Westport who gets behind the wheel assumes a duty to protect all other people that they may encounter. This extends to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. A failure to adhere to this duty that results in an accident could expose those drivers to civil liability for all their victims’ losses.
A Westport car accident lawyer could take the lead in pursuing those defendants for proper compensation. People who suffer injuries in car accidents through no fault of their own deserve to receive payments for the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma. An auto accident lawyer could help to guide plaintiffs down the path to collecting appropriate compensation.
Car accidents are still the leading cause of accidental personal injury in Westport and around the state. This is because many drivers do not take their obligations while behind the wheel seriously. Despite laws that mandate safe driving speeds, that require drivers to yield, and that prohibit cell phone use while driving, travelers often flaunt these laws and place all people at a severe risk of harm.
Perhaps the most common source of Westport car accidents is distracted driving. A motorist who is changing the channel on a radio, who is talking with passengers, or who is eating or applying makeup does not have their full attention on the road. Distraction for even a second could significantly reduce a driver’s reaction times and lead to collisions.
If the cause of an accident is also a violation of traffic laws, a plaintiff may be able to build a convincing case against that driver. Courts in Westport are able to use a concept called negligence per se to assign blame following an accident. In short, this means that if a party to an accident was in violation of a law meant to prevent that kind of incident, a court could assume their fault for the collision. As a result, a traffic court conviction for speeding, failing to yield, or not stopping at a red light can bolster a plaintiff’s case in civil court. A Westport car accident attorney could provide more information about common reasons for car collisions.
While plaintiffs may undoubtedly believe that they are in the right when pursuing a claim for damages, a defendant and their insurance company may certainly believe otherwise. It is a rare defendant who immediately cedes to a plaintiff’s demands for compensation, and the law affords defendants multiple means of challenging a car wreck claim.
The most prominent is the option to attempt to shift blame for an accident onto a plaintiff. According to Connecticut General Statute §52-572(h), civil courts must evaluate all negligence cases using the concept of modified comparative negligence. In short, this means that a judge or jury must apportion blame for an accident on all involved parties. It is possible that a court would determine that a defendant is entirely to blame for the accident; however, courts also have the option of placing some liability on a plaintiff. If that liability exceeds 50 percent, the court must dismiss the complaint. A Westport auto liability lawyer could help to prove that a defendant was the sole party liable for the crash.
Another possible barrier to recovery is time. Connecticut General Statute §52-584 is the state’s law concerning the statute of limitations on negligence cases. It states that courts may only accept a claim for damages if a plaintiff files a complaint within two years of suffering an injury. A Westport auto accident attorney could help to meet this time limit.
Car accident injury cases may appear to be the simplest examples of personal injury claims. However, local laws and insurance companies could work to shift the blame off a defendant an onto an injured plaintiff. The fact that one party is more injured than another is not proof of fault, and many unrepresented plaintiffs find that they are stuck with bills after not properly pressing their claims.
A Westport auto injury attorney may be able to help. Car wreck attorneys could take the lead on a case from day-one to gather evidence, to track a case through traffic court, and to measure your losses to build potent claims for damages. A car accident firm could then work to promote those claims during settlement talks with insurance companies, or if necessary, in court. Contact a Westport car wreck attorney today to schedule a car accident consultation to determine liability in your car accident.