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When can you sue for damages in a car accident?

Traffic laws exist to help maintain order on the roads and to keep drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists safe. Unfortunately, some drivers choose to disregard traffic laws and therefore put their lives as well as the lives of everyone else with whom they share the road in danger.

Speeding, tailgating, failing to yield-the-right of way, running red lights and texting while driving are all extremely dangerous, not to mention illegal, driving behaviors. Every year, drivers in Connecticut who engage in these types of reckless actions cause traffic accidents and injure and kill thousands of people.

An individual, who suffers physical injuries in a traffic accident due to the negligent acts of another driver, may choose to take legal action to recover compensation. However, an individual’s ability to do so depends upon whether or not his or her own actions also contributed to an accident and, if so, how much.

Connecticut is a comparative negligence state. This means that an individual can take legal action to recover compensation even if he or she is found to be partially at fault in causing an accident. In order to sue for damages, an individual must not be deemed more than 51 percent at fault. In cases where a plaintiff wins compensation, but is also assigned a percentage of fault, the monetary amount is decreased based upon "the proportion that the plaintiff was negligent."

If you've been injured in a car accident, it's important to consult with an attorney who can evaluate your case and help determine if you may be able to recover compensation. In successful personal injury cases, an individual may be awarded compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and disability.

Source:, "Connecticut Negligence Laws," Feb. 9, 2016

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