Personal injuries can happen unexpectedly, disrupting lives and causing physical, emotional, and financial distress. In the state of Connecticut, as with many other jurisdictions, there are specific laws in place to govern the time within which an individual can file a personal injury lawsuit. These laws are known as statutes of limitations.
If you’ve been involved in a life-changing accident, you may not know where to start when it comes to seeking legal recourse for your injuries.If you choose to file a personal injury claim for your injuries, it’s important to know the time frame in which you must file.
Connecticut Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury Cases
Statute of limitations are a legal time limit within which an individual must file a lawsuit. If the plaintiff fails to initiate legal proceedings within this timeframe, he or she may lose the right to seek compensation for any injuries. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally two years from the date of the incident, although there are circumstances in which you may need to file a claim sooner.
Car accidents are a common cause of personal injuries, ranging from minor injuries to severe, life-altering consequences. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim resulting from a car accident is two years from the date of the accident. This includes cases where drivers, passengers, or pedestrians sustain injuries due to the negligence or recklessness of another party.
However, it’s essential to note that if the accident involves a drunk driver or a government vehicle, different rules may apply. In such cases, a notice of claim typically must be filed within a shorter time frame, and consulting with an attorney promptly is crucial to ensure compliance with specific procedures.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, from grocery stores to private residences, and often result in serious injuries. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for slip and fall personal injury claims is two years from the date of the incident. This includes situations where a property owner’s negligence, such as failure to address a hazardous condition, contributes to the accident.
To pursue a slip and fall claim successfully, the injured party must establish that the property owner was aware of or should have been aware of the dangerous condition but failed to take reasonable steps to address it. Proving negligence is a critical aspect of such cases, and gathering evidence promptly is essential.
Medical malpractice cases involve injuries caused by the negligence or substandard care of healthcare professionals. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is generally two years from the date when the injury occurred or when the patient discovered, or reasonably should have discovered, the injury. However, if the doctor or medical professional who acted negligently is employed by the State of Connecticut, your period to file a claim may be shorter than two years.
It’s important to note the “date of discovery” rule in medical malpractice cases, which allows the statute of limitations to be extended if the patient could not reasonably have known about the injury immediately. However, there is an overall cap of three years from the date of the alleged malpractice, regardless of when the injury was discovered.
Statute of Limitations for Claims Involving Dram Shops
Connecticut, like many states, allows individuals to pursue personal injury claims against establishments that serve alcohol, known as dram shops, under certain circumstances. If a person is injured due to the actions of an intoxicated individual, the injured party may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the establishment that served the alcohol.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims against dram shops in Connecticut is only one year from the date on which alcohol was served to the defendant, and a notice must be made only 120 days from the date of the accident. If a fatality occurs, the time in which the dram shop must be put on notice is extended to 180 days. This includes situations where a person is severely or fatally injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver who was over-served at a bar or restaurant.
Proving liability in dram shop cases can be complex, and it often requires a thorough investigation into the establishment’s practices, such as serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases involving alcohol-related incidents is crucial for building a compelling case within the statute of limitations.
Statute of Limitations For Filing A Claim Against A Municipality
When injuries occur on public property or involve government employees, such as in accidents involving public transportation or municipal facilities, special rules come into play. Claims made against the state must be filed with the Office of the Claims Commissioner. In order for a claim against the state or a municipality to be valid, the claim generally must be filed within one year of the incident, although the deadline is 90 days for cases involving defective roads and bridges and six months for actions based on employee negligence.
The notice of claim must include specific details about the incident, the nature of the injuries, and the damages sought. Failure to file this notice within the allotted time period may result in the loss of the right to pursue a personal injury claim against the municipality. After the notice is filed, there is generally a two-year statute of limitations to initiate a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached.
Actions Against Municipal Firemen and Volunteer Ambulance Workers
Municipal firemen and volunteer ambulance workers, as employees of government entities, are generally protected by Connecticut’s Good Samaritan Law. This law generally protects firefighters (municipal or volunteer) and volunteer ambulance workers from liability for injuries caused while giving emergency first aid or performing other life-saving measures.
However, there are instances when a firefighter or ambulance worker acts negligently, causing injury. In these circumstances, the injured party has one year from the date of their injury to file a claim for damages.
Exceptions To Connecticut’s Personal Injury Statutes of Limitations
The personal injury statutes of limitations in Connecticut are typically hard and fast rules, but there are certain circumstances in which they can be extended. Here are some scenarios in which a plaintiff may have more time to act.
The Injury Was Not Immediately Identifiable
Connecticut follows the “discovery rule,” which means that the statute of limitations may be tolled (delayed) until the injured party discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, the injury. This is particularly relevant in cases of medical malpractice or injuries that may not be immediately apparent.
The Defendant Concealed Evidence
If the defendant engages in fraud or intentionally conceals information that would have led the injured party to discover the cause of action, the statute of limitations may be extended. This exception accounts for situations where the defendant’s actions prevent the injured party from timely realizing the need for legal action.
Questions About The Statute Of Limitations For Your Claim?
If you’ve been involved in an accident that has resulted in a personal injury or loss of a loved one, it’s important to file your claim as soon as possible. If the statute of limitations lapses or you fail to file a notice of claim within Connecticut’s applicable time limits, you likely will not qualify to receive compensation for your injuries or loss.
At Cellino Law, our attorneys are well-versed in Connecticut personal injury law, and we’re here to help you. For a free case consultation with a member in our Connecticut office, call us at 888-888-8888 or connect with us via our online form.
Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.
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