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How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in Connecticut

Hoffkins Legal Services, LLC May 3, 2024

If you have been in a car accident, then you may be concerned about how fault is determined in Connecticut. You may have many friends and relations trying to tell you how fault is determined. However, the legal issues behind determining fault are not well known and go well beyond just looking at the rules of the road. Because these legal issues require experience and knowledge of the law, you should ask for the help of Attorney Kevin L. Hoffkins, who is well accomplished at using these concepts of fault to get a great settlement or verdict for your case.

Connecticut is a comparative negligence state. This means that in a trial, the Court would weigh any contribution to causing the collision of any and all of the parties to the accident. A Court would look at the actions of both parties and assign a percentage of the fault to each party based on the facts. The Court may find one party is one hundred percent at fault. Or the Court ounce find that one party is seventy five percent at fault and the other party is twenty five percent at fault. Depending on the facts and circumstances of each case, the Court could arrive any any number of different percentages in any number of different cases.

In car accidents, an analysis of who caused the accident would probably begin with who broke one of the rules of the road, but it does not necessarily end there. The other party may have done something that also is a violation of one of the rules of the road. For instance, one car may have been backing out of a driveway and not looking to see other cars coming. Clearly that is a violation. However, if the car that was hit was speeding on that road, in violation of a posted speed limit, then that vehicle would also be at fault. A Court would then be obligated to determine what percentage of fault to assign to each party.

The determination of the percentage of fault by a Court could be done by a judge if your trial is being determined by a judge alone. However, a defendant in an auto accident case in Connecticut has a right to a trial by jury. In most cases, the defendant asks for a jury trial. If the case is a jury trial, then the jury would determine the percentage of fault.

The issue of fault is also applied to not just property damage, but also your physical injuries. Other issues can affect the amount of fault ascribed to your bodily injuries than just the rules of the road. In a case where the other driver is one hundred percent at fault for causing the accident, you can still have some share of responsibility for not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

How does this all affect you after you have been in an auto collision and are trying to understand how fault is determined. First, you should always call for the police to come and investigate the accident so that they will issue a report. A police officer’s report can weigh heavily in a later determination of fault by a Court. Although the Court is not bound by the police report, this report will weigh very heavily. Many times people will try to stop you from calling the police by telling you they will settle privately. You should never do this.

This concept of fault will weigh heavily in trying to settle your case with an auto insurance company. The claims representatives for the insurance companies are well versed in these concepts of fault in Connecticut. Even in a case where the other party is one hundred percent at fault, they insurance company will still try to tell you that you did something to try to make you feel like you had some fault for the collision. Then they will use this small amount of fault on your part to justify a smaller offer on your case. Attorney Kevin L. Hoffkins has extensive experience not letting insurance companies use these concepts of comparative fault against you. Call Attorney Kevin L. Hoffkins to represent you in your accident case.