Beebe and O'Neil

What is comparative fault in Connecticut?

Following a car accident, Connecticut law enables you to seek damages from the responsible party. However, the state operates on comparative fault or comparative negligence laws. In other words, you could only recover damages for as much as the other party was at fault for the accident.

As the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch explains, the laws of comparative negligence only apply when a jury determines that both parties are responsible for the events of the car accident. If you, as the plaintiff, are found to have been 20 percent responsible for the incident and the defendant is 80 percent responsible, then you can only recover 80 percent of the damages to which you are entitled.

It is also important to point out that if you are found to be 51 or more percent responsible for the accident, you will not be able to recover damages. Yet if a jury determines you are 50 percent at fault, the defendant may still owe you 50 percent of damages.

Comparative fault may come up both in trial situations as well as in settlement disputes with insurance companies. You should be sure to build a strong case supporting your claim, including any witnesses, photographs and other information that support your claim.

The first step in filing a claim is ensuring you do so within the appropriate timeframe. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Connecticut is two years from the date from which the incident occurs or the injury is discovered. However, no suit may be brought more than three years from the date of the accident.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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Beebe & O'Neil
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Norwich, CT 06360

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