A Civil Litigation Law Firm Serving the New London, CT Areas
New London, Connecticut, situated at the mouth of the Thames River, is a breathtaking seaport town. With a population of about 30,000 and a low population density, New London offers a plethora of outdoor activities and a far more relaxing environment than its namesake across the Atlantic. The town’s seaside New England charm can hardly be matched by many remote and hard-to-find locations – yet, New London is ideally located within a two-hour drive of both Boston and New York City.
In more practical terms, New London is a major transportation hub. In addition to its status as a seaport, a customs port of entry, and the home of a major coast guard station, Interstate 95 is constantly busy with transit between Boston and New York. The passenger trains of the Northeast Corridor are usually busy, as well. With all of this activity, accidents are a sad, and sometimes tragic, inevitability.
When accidents do happen, however, Berkowitz Hanna is there to step up to the plate for its clients. Although no one can undo an event that has already occurred, we can make sure that you are fairly compensated for every dime you are entitled to for the losses that you suffered.
If you are injured by someone else’s wrongful conduct, you are entitled to compensation for all of your losses, including psychological distress. “Wrongful conduct” means negligent (careless) behavior, as well as reckless, wanton, or intentional misbehavior. You can sue someone, for example, for intentionally assaulting you. Although a car accident is a typical example of a personal injury case, many other types of personal injury cases – such as medical malpractice, defective drug cases, and products liability cases – can support a personal injury lawsuit. You may be entitled to a certain amount of compensation, even if you were partly at-fault.
Medical malpractice is a special type of personal injury case in which the defendant is a hospital, a doctor, a nurse, or some other type of healthcare provider. Since doctors are held to a professional standard of care, it is possible to win a case against a doctor for conduct that would not have been considered negligent if performed by, say, a passerby performing first aid after a traffic accident. Common bases for lawsuits include misdiagnosis, botched test results, and failure to inform the patient of the dangers of a particular type of treatment.
In a product liability case, you sue a designer, manufacturer, or distributor of a product that malfunctioned and thereby injured you. In order to win, you must show that (i) the product was defective, (ii) the product was unreasonably dangerous, (iii) you were injured, (iv) the product’s defect caused your injury, and (v) the defendant was in the chain of distribution of the product. Three types of defects may be alleged – design defects, manufacturing defects, and warning defects (i.e., inadequate safety warnings). No proof of negligence is required, and you may sue anyone in the chain of distribution of the product.
A product liability case is a type of personal injury case, and a defective drug case is a type of product liability case. In a defective drug case, you allege that some sort of defect in the drug caused your injury, and that the defendant is legally responsible for these injuries. Pharmaceutical companies are often named as defendants in defective drug cases, because some of them put profit over public health by marketing dangerous drugs or by failing to warn of the dangers of use of the drug by certain types of people (pregnant women, for example).
Even though nursing home abuse is one of the most despicable offenses imaginable, it is surprisingly common as nursing homes attempt to increase their “bottom line” at the expense of patient care. This is a particular concern in Connecticut, since the number of elderly people living in the state is expected to increase by over 50 percent over the next 25 years. Some of the atrocities that are sometimes committed against elderly nursing home patients include:
- Sexual abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Inadequate supervision (especially concerning patients with Alzheimer’s Disease)
A nursing home abuse lawsuit proceeds as a type of personal injury lawsuit unless the patient dies, in which case it proceeds as a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit is the type of lawsuit you file if the victim would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit had he or she not died from the injuries. A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by the executor or administrator of the deceased victim’s probate estate. Damages are paid to the victim’s estate and distributed to heirs. These damages can include funeral and burial expenses, medical and nursing home expenses arising from the deceased’s final injury or illness, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering prior to death, and loss of enjoyment of life after the final illness or injury.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the statute of limitations deadline for my case?
The statute of limitations sets a deadline by which you must file a lawsuit over a particular claim in order to keep it alive. In Connecticut, the deadline is generally two years from the date when the harm occurred, or two years from your discovery of the harm if your discovery was reasonably delayed (if the doctor accidentally left a sponge inside your body during an operation, for example, and you only discovered it during a subsequent X-ray). In any event, limitations last no later than three years after the date of the injury. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you have three years from the date when the victim died to file a lawsuit.
What if the injury was partially my fault?
Under Connecticut law, even if your injury was partially your fault, you will not be left empty-handed unless the accident was mostly your fault – your damages will simply be reduced, that’s all. There are two different ways of doing this.
- If your injury is separable into components: Partly caused by the negligence of a truck driver and partly caused by your own failure to wear a seatbelt, for example, then you will be awarded damages only for the component of your injuries that was caused by the defendant. You will not be compensated for cuts you suffered by crashing through the windshield, for example, if a seatbelt would have prevented this.
- If your injury cannot be separated into components: You suffered broken bones because of an accident during which you were texting and the other driver was speeding, for example. The court will assign each party a percentage of fault, and it will award you a percentage of your damages that is equal to the other party’s percentage of fault, as long as your percentage of fault was below 51 percent.
What kind of damages can I recover for?
Three different types of damages may be available to you under Connecticut law, depending on the circumstances of your case:
- Economic damages: Economic damages refer to any loss that you can count, such as present and future medical bills, lost earnings, and incidental expenses.
- Non-economic damages: Non-economic damages refers to psychological damages such as pain and suffering, and can far exceed the amount awarded for economic damages.
- Punitive damages (rare): Connecticut law allows the award of punitive damages in product liability cases; however, the amount is limited to twice the amount of compensatory damages (double the sum of your economic plus non-economic damages). Punitive damages in other types of cases are rare and quite limited in amount.
How can I afford legal fees?
If we take your case, we will operate on a “no win, no pay” basis – we will completely waive all legal fees. If you lose, you pay nothing. If you win, however, we will take an agreed percentage of your recovery and leave the rest for you. A “recovery” can mean one of three sources of recovery: (i) a courtroom verdict in your favor, (ii) a settlement, or (iii) (once in awhile) an award issued by an arbitral tribunal.
In this way, we are just as invested in winning as you are – after all, if you don’t win, we don’t get paid. The more you win, the more we get paid. By doing this, we ensure that the cases we undertake for our clients are genuinely joint undertakings.
Contact Berkowitz Hanna to Discuss Your Case
You don’t have to sit idly while someone else gets away with trampling all over your legal rights. Nevertheless, handling the matter on your own or with the assistance of an ineffective attorney could end up costing you money – even if you win the case, your damages might turn out to be a lot less than what your claim is actually worth.
The lawyers at Berkowitz Hanna are experienced, committed, principled, aggressive, fearless and absolutely relentless in pursuing justice for our clients. Contact Berkowitz Hanna today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Call (866) 479-7909 or contact us online to get started.