Tort law, more commonly known as personal injury law, allows victims to receive compensation when they are injured because of someone’s negligence. While there are a variety of reasons why a personal injury lawsuit would be filed in Connecticut, some reasons are more common than others.
Regardless of the reasons for your injury, if you are suffering a serious injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you could receive compensation. Therefore, you should always consult with an attorney to explore your options.
What are the 10 Most Common Injury Claims Seen in Connecticut?
The state of Connecticut has a surprising number of personal injury claims. After all, no state is immune from accidents or injuries caused by negligence.
One: Car Accident Cases
The most common type of accident claim filed in Connecticut is that of a motor vehicle accident. While this is true for most states, these incidents are by far the costliest for the country. Most of these accidents are preventable, and the causes of these incidents stem from negligent and careless acts.
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in the State
Motor vehicle accidents can happen at anytime and anywhere in the state. However, there are specific causes which are more common than others. These causes include:
- Drivers Rubbernecking: Rubbernecking is a term that describes when a driver turns their head or slows down to watch something on the side of the road. It is a form of distracted driving, and a serious problem. When the driver slows down, they are already increasing the chance of an accident. Then, by taking their eyes off the road they could cause an accident too.
- Distracted Driving: The most common type of distracted driving involves the use of a cell phone. Whether they are dialing, having a conversation, adjusting music on the phone, texting, checking social media or email, these acts are becoming increasingly common on the road.
- Fatigue: Fatigued driving is just as dangerous as drunken driving. Fatigued drivers have slowed reaction times, a higher risk of falling asleep at the wheel, and are more likely to rear end someone than a well-rested driver.
- Drunk Driving: Drunken driving, despite the laws designed to hinder it, is still the cause of many car accidents. Drivers who are drunk are estimated to cause an accident every 30 minutes countrywide.
- Road Conditions: Sometimes it is not the driver, but the roadways. Weather-related accidents are not acts of negligence. However, when the road has potholes or issues that pose a hazard to motorists, the issue of negligence arises.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Not all motorists are diligent about maintaining their vehicle and keeping them safe to operate. Accidents can then result due to faulty brakes, breaking down in the middle of the road, and so forth.
- Automobile Defects: Even with proper maintenance, if the vehicle is defective in manufacturing, design, or while being maintained, it can lead to a devastating accident.
Automobile accidents are still complex. These types of cases involve dealing with multiple insurance companies, negotiating a settlement, and ensuring clients receive maximum compensation regardless of a defendant’s insurance policy.
Two: Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a professional in the medical field commits what is known as professional negligence. If they injure or damage their patient through negligence, the injuries can be catastrophic.
There are a few types of medical malpractice, including:
- Dental Malpractice
- Therapist Malpractice
- Chiropractic Malpractice
- Hospital Malpractice
- Pharmacy Malpractice
What is Required to Prove Malpractice?
To prove a medical malpractice case, you must show that the professional has violated his or her duty to provide you with an acceptable level of care. The acceptable level of care is based on what other professionals of a similar education and practice background would provide to their patients.
Therefore, you must show that the physician or healthcare provider failed to exercise the level of skill and knowledge that a reasonable member of their profession would have provided.
Three: Slip and Fall Claims
Slip and fall claims are a form of premises liability. They are also very common in the state of Connecticut. In these types of cases, property owners (including tenants), are legally required to keep their premises safe and free from hazards. Therefore, anyone that goes onto their property can expect a specific level of safe conditions. If those conditions are not met, and someone is injured, the property owner or tenant is legally responsible for the damages that result.
However, not all injuries that occur on private property will lead to a liability claim. Instead, it depends on the type of property, ownership, and the injury. A land owner’s legal duty can vary. For example, a trespasser is not under the same protections as someone invited onto the property.
Four: Dog Attacks and Bites
Dog attacks are severely traumatic and can leave a person disfigured for the rest of his or her life. Dog owners are financially responsible for any injuries caused by their animals. However, the laws vary depending on the state.
In the state of Connecticut, this is governed under General Statute Section 22-357. A dog owner is liable for any injuries a dog causes, as long as the victim was not tormenting, teasing, or abusing the animal.
Five: Wrongful Death
A wrongful death case is a type of personal injury claim that stems from other injury claims. For example, an injury claim could occur from negligence, malpractice, or motor vehicle accident. However, for a wrongful death claim, the victim has died because of their injuries.
A wrongful death claim may stem from any type of personal injury claim, but the damages are not the same as they would be in a personal injury case. Instead, the victim’s family or estate will receive damages specific to the victim’s loss and the estate’s loss.
The types of damages that might be received in a wrongful death case include, but are not limited to:
- Medical costs
- Funeral or burial costs
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of support
- Loss of benefits
Six: Work Injuries
Work injuries are just as common and can result in a personal injury claim rather than workers’ compensation. In these cases, an employee may sustain a serious injury or illness from direct exposure. When a third party is at fault and negligent, and causes the injury or illness, the victim can file a third party personal injury lawsuit against them.
For example, a company that supplies safety equipment supplied defective products, therefore an employee was injured. In this case, the manufacturer is responsible.
Seven: Defective Products
Defective or dangerous products lead to thousands of injuries each year. The law specifically requires that all manufacturers, distributors, and retailers ensure that the products they provide the consumer market are safe and function properly.
A product liability claim can be filed against one of three parties (or all in some cases) when a defective or damaged product causes serious injuries.
Product liability can cover multiple areas of defects, including:
- Manufacturing Defects – While the product was safe in design, a component was damaged during the manufacturing process, which resulted in a dangerous product.
- Design Defect – The product is inherently dangerous because of the way it is designed.
- Marketing Defect – Sometimes the products are safe, but they are marketed incorrectly or do not contain the proper warning labels.
Product liability cases are unique and often involve multiple large corporations; therefore, if you are injured by a defective product it is imperative that you speak with an attorney.
Sadly, some cases are not out of negligence, but instead due to intentional acts. Most negligent acts are not done with the intention of harming anyone. In an assault case, however, the defendant clearly knew that they could cause serious harm and chose to do so anyway.
Unfortunately, millions of assaults occur each year, and thousands of people are seriously injured because of these acts. In an assault, the case will often involve criminal charges along with the civil penalties.
Nine: Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a catastrophic type of injury that occurs in various types of accidents (e.g. car accident, assault, slip and fall, work injury, etc.). These injuries can become permanent, or even lead to wrongful death.
A TBI will vary in severity from mild to severe. Severe TBIs often lead to deficits that can prevent a victim from working, interacting with loved ones, or even enjoying his or her life.
Ten: Prescription Errors
Today, more Americans use prescriptions and often multiple prescriptions at a time. This increases the chances a person will encounter a pharmacy error. Prescription errors can occur on the physician’s end or at the pharmacy.
These types of injuries are especially catastrophic, because a patient could receive the wrong medication, wrong dose, or even suffer a fatal interaction between two medications that cannot be prescribed alongside one another.
Receiving Damages for Personal Injury Cases
To receive money damages you must speak with an attorney. Depending on the type of claim you file, you could qualify for one or more types of compensation.
The most common types of compensation include:
- Medical Costs
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Future Earnings or Earning Capacity
- Loss of Future Benefits
- Loss of Companionship and Consortium
- Pain and Suffering
- Future Medical Costs
- Property Damages
- Punitive Damages (in special circumstances only)
Speak with an Injury Advocate in Connecticut Today
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an accident, it is in your best interest to speak with an injury attorney. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC to schedule a no obligation case evaluation. Call 866-479-7909 or contact us online to get started.