Table of Contents
- What to do after a crash: Connecticut car accident reporting laws
- Financial responsibility and coverage minimums: Connecticut’s insurance laws
- Claiming damages after an accident: Connecticut’s personal injury laws
- Who’s to blame: Connecticut’s comparative negligence law
- How to save money on car insurance in Connecticut
Load full table of contents
If you’re involved in a car accident in
Connecticut, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit—and unless you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, you can collect damages according to your level of responsibility.
In the moments
after a car accident, nobody’s thinking about the law. It’s far more likely that you’re worried about your car, passengers, or how you’re going to get to work now that you’re stuck here on the shoulder. And if you’re unlucky enough to be hurt in an accident, all logical thought might go out the window.
That’s why it’s important to know your state’s car accident laws before disaster strikes. After all, experts estimate that the average person will get into at least four car accidents in their lifetime—and the laws surrounding those events are different in every state. To help you wrap your head around Connecticut’s car accident laws we've created this guide to accident law state by state.
What to do after a crash: Connecticut car accident reporting laws
If you’ve ever been in a car accident before, you know how disorienting the experience can be. Stay grounded and compliant by following these steps after any car accident:
- First, check to see if anyone is injured. That includes you—in the rush of adrenaline, it’s easy to miss an injury at first!
- Move the vehicle to a safe location, if at all possible, and call 911 if there are any injuries.
- Document the crash. If you’ve got your phone, pull it out and take some pictures or videos of the crash site, or write down in your notes app when, where, and how the accident took place. Time of day, weather, and the speed you were driving are all important information.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s). Insurance information is the most important thing to share with other parties, but don’t forget names, phone numbers, and anything else that could help file a claim.
When to report an accident to the police
What happens next? Connecticut car accident laws require that any car accident resulting in injury or property damage must be reported to the police. If law enforcement turned up at the scene, you won’t need to file a separate report, but be sure to make the call promptly otherwise.
What about reporting the accident to your insurance company? You’ve got a couple of options here. If you carry
collision coverage, you can put in a call to your own insurance company and file a first-party insurance claim for any damages. But you can also file a third-party claim by calling the other driver’s insurance company and
filing a car insurance claim; their state-mandated liability coverage should pay for your damages.
There’s no specific
time limit for filing a claimafter an accident, but most companies require you to file promptly or within a “reasonable” time frame. What’s reasonable is up to interpretation, but sooner is always better than later.
Financial responsibility and coverage minimums: Connecticut’s insurance laws
Minimum liability coverage
Minimum uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
$25,000 bodily injury per person
$25,000 bodily injury per person
$50,000 bodily injury per accident
$50,000 bodily injury per accident
$25,000 property damage per accident
Roughly 12% of Connecticut drivers are uninsured (in violation of the law above). If you’ve got the misfortune of getting in an accident with one of them, you won’t be able to file a claim with their insurance company—but your own uninsured motorist coverage will kick in to cover any bodily injury claims. For damage to your car, though, you’ll be on your own unless you’ve got collision coverage.
awesome rewardsevery week, just for driving safe!”
Claiming damages after an accident: Connecticut’s personal injury laws
There’s one more way to collect damages following a car accident—the infamous personal injury lawsuit. You may think of these as frivolous suits pushed by shady TV lawyers, but in many cases, a personal injury lawsuit is the best way to claim the damages you need. And remember that “injury” is a legal term that covers much more than the physical harm you may have sustained during a crash: you can also file a suit over damage to your vehicle.
Keep in mind, though, that there’s a statute of limitations governing when you can file an injury claim. In Connecticut, drivers have two years to file a personal injury claim after a car accident. While that might seem like plenty of time, keep in mind that the extent of your damages won’t always be immediately apparent in the days after an accident. Certain injuries, such as brain injury, may take a while to show up, and you may not realize the toll that chronic pain takes on your livelihood and well-being until months or years after the fact.
That’s why we’re adding one more step to your post-accident checklist: visit a doctor following the accident and take careful note of any changes in your health. Monitoring the effects of the accident can set you up to file any necessary lawsuit before that timer runs out. If you try to file a personal injury claim after the two-year statute has expired, the judge will likely dismiss the case outright.
Exceptions to Connecticut's personal injury laws
In a few cases, the two-year window might be extended—or cut short. For instance, in any case of a death caused by a car accident, the statute of limitations is measured from the date of the death, not the date of the car accident.
However, the law still says that no personal injury suit can be filed more than five years after the accident. This means that if a loved one survives a car crash but sustains a traumatic brain injury that leads to their death six years after a crash, you won’t be able to collect damages after the fact.
On the other hand, you may have a shorter time to file if you’re in an accident involving any government vehicle. If you’re picturing a sleek black town car with government plates, keep in mind that city buses and construction vehicles also count as government vehicles. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single consistent rule dictating how much time you’ll have to file a lawsuit—your best bet is to get in touch with a lawyer promptly to track down the information.
Key Takeaway You typically have two years to file a personal injury claim in Connecticut, though there are some key exceptions.
DUI laws in Connecticut
Who’s to blame: Connecticut’s comparative negligence law
In any personal injury suit, Connecticut law lays out strict guidelines for how much you can collect in damages based on your level of fault. Like many states, Connecticut follows a
modified comparative negligencesystem to determine eligibility for damages. Under this system, drivers involved in a car accident can collect damages in proportion to their level of fault unless they’re found to be more than 50% at fault.
Let’s take an example: say you’re barrelling down Maple Avenue in
Hartfordtrying to beat the pre-work Dunkin’ rush. Because you’re going above the speed limit, you fail to notice the driver zooming out of a parking lot in front of you—and because he’s busy texting his friend about last night’s game, he doesn’t see you coming. Crash, boom—who’s to blame?
A police report and your own evidence to your insurance company will help to determine exactly how much fault each party has in this accident. In this case, the other driver is likely to be assigned a higher level of fault, since texting while driving is a more serious offense. Let’s say you’re 20% at fault, while the other driver is 80% at fault.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit seven months later due to the chronic pain you’ve developed from your whiplash injury, you’ll only be able to collect 80% of the potential damages. If you filed for 10,000 dollars, you’ll get a maximum of$8,000—the remaining $2,000 is subtracted because you were 20% at fault.
How to save money on car insurance in Connecticut
One of the bitterest ironies of car accidents is how much they cause your insurance premiums to go up—especially if you’re at fault or if you file a claim. If you’re looking at an increased rate following an accident, it’s time to shop for a new insurance policy.
If you’re anything like the rest of us, comparing
car insurancerates isn’t your idea of a fun afternoon. Luckily,
Jerrycan compare rates from over 55 top insurers to find you customized quotes in just 45 seconds. Once you’re ready to pick your rate, Jerry’s team of experts will walk you through the process of locking it in with a minimum of paperwork and zero phone calls—guaranteed.
Just how much could you save by shopping with Jerry? On average, users who shop in the
trustworthy super appreduce their annual rate by $800 or more!
“Jerrymakes choosing new insurance as easy as grocery shopping. Even though I had a car accident within the past 2 years, Jerry found me a great deal with Nationwide–I went from paying $340 to $90 a month!”—Pan N.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍