After a car accident in Connecticut, you may want to consider your options to keep the at-fault driver financially accountable for your injuries if you've been injured and/or suffered substantial vehicle damage. We're going to address a few Connecticut laws in this article that could have a major effect on your case.
The Connecticut Car Accident Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a state law that allows for the right to bring a lawsuit with a strictly enforced time limit. Such time frames differ depending on the nature of harm you have suffered and/or the type of case you want to file.
In Connecticut, as in other states, the statute of limitations applied to most car accident lawsuits is the same as the broader one that applies to almost all personal injury cases where negligence is claimed to have caused harm to another.
Specifically, section 52-584 of the General Laws of Connecticut states: "No action shall be taken to recover damages for injuries to the individual, or real or personal property, incurred by negligence, or careless or willful misconduct ... except within two years from the date on which the injuries are first sustained."
In simple terms, that is, following a car accident, a lawsuit for injuries filed by a driver, passenger, motorcycle rider, bicyclist or pedestrian must be lodged within two years of the accident date. A lawsuit over car damage caused by an accident applies to the same deadline.
When the car accident caused the death of someone, and the deceased's family or other party wishes to pursue a wrongful death claim against the driver who caused the accident, the deadline for bringing any kind of case is always two years, but the clock starts running from the date of the death of the victim, and that date could be later than the date of the accident.
And section 52-555 of the General Statutes of Connecticut makes it clear that no Connecticut wrongful claim to death can be made if the underlying accident has passed more than five years from the date of the act.
So, what happens if the statute of limitations has expired, and you are already seeking to file a case over your car accident? In that case, the defendant must point out the passage of the deadline in a motion to dismiss, and almost inevitably any Connecticut court must grant the dismissal. Therefore, knowing the statute of limitations and how it relates to your case is important.
Finally, from a strategic point of view, giving yourself plenty of time to file a claim is always a smart idea, particularly if you believe the case will be resolved by a car insurance settlement. Having all of your options on the table will give you greater leverage during settlement negotiations. And if the statute of limitations filing deadline is near, it may be time to speak to an experienced car accident attorney in Connecticut.
For more information about the statute of limitations for the accident, contact the Personal Injury Attorney in Connecticut.