loss of consortium, Supreme Court, Connecticut personal injury lawyerA new chapter has just begun in the story of personal injury law in the state of Connecticut. A noteworthy decision by the state Supreme Court last month recognized, for the first time, the rights of minor children to file a loss of consortium claim following an injury to a parent. Legal experts around the state and throughout the country have recognized the ruling as a large step forward, as a majority of jurisdictions in the United States already permit such action. In its decision, however, the Court included certain restrictions that may limit loss of consortium claims in particular situations.

The Case

In 2008, a West Haven man was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. He died three days later, and his wife filed suit against the car’s driver on several counts, including wrongful death, loss of spousal consortium, and loss of parental consortium on behalf of the couple’s three children. The trial court determined appropriate wrongful death damages to be almost $3 million, along with a $1 million award for the loss spousal consortium. Due to contributory negligence findings, the awards were reduced by 42 percent, and the actual awarded damages totaled about $2.3 million. The loss of parental consortium claim, however, was rejected. The children appealed, and Campos v. Coleman eventually made its way to the state Supreme Court.

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mediation, arbitration, Connecticut personal injury lawyerTypically, in Connecticut, personal injury cases are resolved one of two ways: by trial or by settlement. Certainly, those two options remain viable and are the most popular methods of disposition. However, in smaller personal injury claims, experienced lawyers may readily resolve cases by binding arbitration or mediation. Trials can become expensive and choosing one of these two options can save money when it comes to court costs and attorney's fees.

When faced with arbitration or mediation, personal injury plaintiffs often ask about the difference between them and which is the best method for resolving their case. Though every Connecticut personal injury lawsuit is different, an experienced attorney can evaluate the facts and offer skilled legal guidance.

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration can be more complicated than mediation. In arbitration, each party chooses an arbitrator, who act as a judge in the case. When those two arbitrators are chosen, the arbitrator duo then chooses a third to also hear the case. The parties can also agree to one arbitrator from the outset of the arbitration instead of using three arbitrators.

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Posted by on in Personal Injury

handyman insurance in Connecticut, Hartford personal injury lawyerWith warmer weather now on the horizon in Connecticut, many people may be considering remodeling their homes or making additions. This can be a busy time of year for contractors, so they should take this opportunity to make sure that their insurance is up to date. Many people think that homeowners' insurance will cover injuries to contractors, but that is not usually the case.

Contractor injuries are outside the normal risk profile that homeowners' insurance deals with. Consequently, they are subject to a policy exclusion, meaning that there is a specific clause in the insurance policy that exempts them from coverage. The only time there may be an exception to this is if the homeowner's negligence was the direct cause of the contractor's injury. As such, contractors working in homes should take care to make sure that they are properly covered by other insurance policies, especially since Occupational Safety and Health Administration statistics highlight the unique dangers faced in the construction industry.

Professionals working on home remodeling have two options for resolving this insurance issue. First, they can choose to carry their own insurance policy to cover injuries that they may suffer while on the job. Second, they may have the homeowner or, more likely, the general contractor cover them via workers' compensation insurance.

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Posted by on in Personal Injury

Connecticut car accident, Hartford personal injury lawyerTraffic accidents can be confusing and stressful. Accidents impose many tangible costs on those involved, such as medical bills and repair costs. Additionally, they require the parties to the accident to deal with legal structures with which they may not be familiar, such as giving statements to the police and entering into settlement negotiations with insurance companies. However, there are over 100,000 traffic accidents in Connecticut every year, according to a report by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, so it is important for people to know what to avoid saying after a traffic accident in the event that a wreck takes place.

Talking to Police

Immediately after the accident the police will likely seek statements from both of the parties to the accidents as well as possible witnesses nearby. People involved in an accident need to know what to avoid saying when asked for this statement. One of the most important things to avoid is lying. Statements to the police are only one of many pieces of evidence available. If other evidence contradicts a false statement to the police, then that can damage the plaintiff's credibility with the court.

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personal injury claims in Connecticut, Hartford personal injury lawyerPersonal injury and other tort lawsuits allow injured victims to hold defendants responsible for their negligence when it causes someone harm. One of the key phases of any personal injury litigation is the damages calculation, which is where the court determines what harms the plaintiff suffered, and how much compensation they are owed.

It is important to remember that the legal system in Connecticut wants to perfectly compensate the plaintiff for all of the harm that the defendant's negligence caused. In order to do this, Connecticut law recognizes a wide variety of damages. Plaintiffs may seek “special compensatory damages” to cover specific harms such as medical bills, and they may also seek “general compensatory damages” to cover their pain and suffering. Additionally, juries in Connecticut are allowed to award “punitive damages,” extra damages designed to punish defendants.

Compensatory Damages

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