Connecticut Personal
Injury Attorneys
New Haven, Connecticut | Weber & Rubano Law Firm

A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Personal Injury Law

July 7, 2023Articles

Anyone can suffer an injury and not all injuries are preventable. Suffering a serious injury is always painful and distressing, and sometimes life-altering, but when the injury was caused due to someone else’s negligence, reckless behavior, or intentional wrongdoing, it’s even more traumatic. Serious injuries can also quickly become expensive. Injury victims often have expensive medical bills piling up at the same time their serious injury prevents them from returning to work. But why should the injury victim be left holding the bag when someone else caused them harm?

If someone causes a serious injury to another, the court allows the injury victim to seek redress through the civil courts regardless of whether or not there are criminal charges pending. While the criminal justice system serves to punish wrongdoers, the civil justice system—also called tort law—functions to compensate victims for damages.

What are “Damages’ in Personal Injury Law?

When one party causes injury to another, they are responsible for covering the injury victim’s damages. In personal injury case, “damages” refers to the economic and non-economic losses an injury victim typically experiences. Common damages in personal injury cases include:

  • Medical expenses related to the injury
  • Any future medical expenses for ongoing care, surgeries, physical therapy, or home healthcare related to the injury
  • Lost wages
  • Future wage loss
  • Diminished earning capacity if the victim suffered a disabling injury
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium (the loss of a close, fulfilling relationship)
  • Diminished life quality or lowered pleasure in life
  • Disfigurement, loss of limb, emotional trauma, PTSD

While it’s easy to calculate tangible damages such as medical bills, it can be more challenging to calculate intangible damages such as pain and suffering or diminished life quality. Even though financial compensation for intangible, non-economic damages can’t erase pain, suffering, or trauma, it’s the civil court’s only way of addressing the harm done to an injury victim. Financial compensation can provide a buffer for financial matters after an injury so the victim can focus on their recovery.

Do I Have to Go to Court for a Personal Injury Case?

In the vast majority of personal injury cases, the victims recover damages through the at-fault party’s insurance policy—either car insurance, property insurance, medical malpractice insurance, or liability insurance, depending on the circumstances of the injury. Only when an insurance company denies or undervalues a claim does a personal injury case require a lawsuit in a courtroom. Over 95% of cases settle out of court. While courtroom litigation for a personal injury case may take more time, jury awards for personal injury compensation tend to be larger than out-of-court settlements.

Common Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut and Throughout the United States

Injuries happen every day in a variety of ways, often due to someone else’s negligence. The most common personal injury claims include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Slip-and-fall injuries
  • Workplace injuries
  • Medical malpractice injuries
  • Defective product injuries
  • Dog bites


When any of the above injuries occur due to another party’s negligence, that party is responsible for the damages. A personal injury claim helps injury victims to recover their financial losses and gain compensation for their pain and suffering. A successful personal injury claim also helps injury victims to achieve a sense of justice and closure for the harm caused to them by another.

Common Injuries In Personal Injury Claims

While people suffer many minor injuries throughout a lifetime and quickly recover, typically only preventable injuries caused by negligence and resulting in significant financial losses and pain result in personal injury claims against the party at fault. Common injuries that become claims for compensation include the following:

  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Chemical exposures
  • Burns
  • Serious bruises and lacerations
  • Accidental amputations
  • Soft-tissue injuries such as torn ligaments, rotator cuffs, and sprains

These types of injuries are costly to treat and can have life-altering consequences.

How Does a Personal Injury Attorney Help?

After a serious injury, you may be undergoing painful medical treatment and lengthy recovery times. It’s difficult to face the challenges of navigating the legal system when you’ve been hurt. An experienced personal injury attorney can take care of the legal aspects of securing your financial recovery while you work on your physical recovery. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee so their payment depends on whether or not they secure your compensation. A personal injury attorney in New Haven does the following:

  • Investigates the injury by examining police or accident reports, viewing photos or videos of the accident, interviewing eyewitnesses, and consulting experts
  • Gathers evidence to prove liability on the part of the negligent party
  • Handles all communications with the insurance companies and ensures timely filing of all paperwork
  • Calculates your damages
  • Drafts a strong demand letter to the appropriate insurance company
  • Represents your rights and best interests throughout settlement negotiations
  • Secures an ample settlement out-of-court for your damages or files a lawsuit to compel payment through a court award if required

You shouldn’t have to face the legal challenges alone at the same time that you are trying to maximize your physical recovery.

Negligence and Liability in Personal Injury Claims

Negligence occurs when a person or business entity neglects to take the measures to prevent an injury that a reasonable person would under the same circumstances. To recover damages in a personal injury case, the accident victim (plaintiff) must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the at-fault party (defendant) caused the injury through an act of negligence, reckless behavior, or purposeful wrongdoing. When the evidence gathered in the investigation of the injury shows negligence or wrongdoing, the negligent party is liable for damages. Proving liability means demonstrating the following:

  • That the at-fault party owed a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent injury, such as a motorist’s responsibility to obey the speed limit and avoid distraction or a store owner’s duty to prevent fall hazards
  • That the at-fault party breached their duty of care by acting with negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing
  • That the breach of duty directly caused the accident victim’s injury
  • That the injury caused significant economic and non-economic damages to the victim

When a case meets the above points of liability, a personal injury attorney will draft a demand letter to the appropriate insurance company and begin negotiations for a financial settlement for the damages. If the insurance company refuses to offer an acceptable settlement, the case may proceed to a lawsuit if filed within the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in the state. Connecticut’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is 2 years.