Being in a car accident is no fun. Even if the individual involved feels he or she came out OK, there's the after effects of the adrenaline that no doubt flooded the person's bloodstream, not to mention the possible need to repair or replace the vehicle. Then, the realization may hit that it also means having to deal with an insurance company and possibly even the court system. It may sometimes seem like it'd be better, assuming the vehicle is still operational, to drive off and try to forget it happened. There are however, several reasons that make this course of action a bad idea in most cases.
As we mentioned a couple weeks ago, travel on Connecticut's roadways tends to increase around the winter holidays. The weeks between Christmas and New Year's Day generally find heavy traffic on the highways that transect the state, as well as in urban areas like Bridgeport. Unfortunately, this, coupled with the penchant for residents to be going to and from parties where alcohol is served during this time period, as well as the often inclement winter weather the state experiences, can contribute to a rise in serious accidents. The results of these crashes can be serious, with injuries and death as potential consequences.
Between the Christmas and New Year's holidays, late December is a time for celebration in many Connecticut households. People get together with family, or perhaps head out with friends to bars or clubs to let off some steam after a long year, and welcome the reset that people assume a change in the calendar numbers will provide. As with most of the United States, alcoholic beverages often play a significant role in these celebrations. At times like this, even otherwise responsible people may slip and decide to operate a motor vehicle after having had a few too many drinks.
Connecticut residents are well aware that the roads in the state can be quite crowded, especially at certain times of the day and year. With the major winter holidays approaching, more and more people will be travelling to visit family and friends in the upcoming weeks. With Connecticut situated between two major metroplexes, New York and Boston, and home to a major interstate highway, I-95, running between them, the state's roads are bound to see an influx of traffic over this period of time.
It is an unfortunate fact of modern life in the United States that automobile accidents are quite common, and that they cause millions of dollars in damage to property and in medical costs to injured people every year. With the sheer number of cars on the roads, this is unlikely to change anytime soon. Further, the more time one spends driving, such as during a commute, the more likely it is one could be the victim of another driver's negligence. The civil law exists, in part, to allow those hurt at the fault of someone else to recover damages from that individual to help make the victim whole.
Every Connecticut resident who has gone through the process of testing for and receiving his or her driver's license is aware of the term "defensive driving." This is generally defined as driving while being aware of what other people are doing on the road, and never making assumptions that other drivers will do what is expected. There is no doubt that this is the best policy as a practical matter, and will likely help drivers avoid car accidents in many situations.
Previous posts here have discussed the aspects of negligence, as it is generally the most widely used cause of action in civil lawsuits in Connecticut when a person has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else. Understanding the basics of such a claim and the elements is important, but so too is knowing the possible defenses a negligent driver might use to attempt to avoid liability.
Previous posts here have discussed the concept of negligence. Our readers may remember that in many car accidents a person suffering property damage or injury may be able to recover monetary damages from another person who was behaving in a negligent manner. The basic elements of negligence include that the individual alleged to be at fault must have had a legal duty, that the duty was breached and that the breach of the duty caused the damages to the victim.
This blog has discussed various aspects of negligence, both when it comes to car accidents, and other personal injury lawsuits. The basic concepts in these cases are the same, though the facts are likely to differ widely. One concept that may be valuable to Connecticut residents who suffer damages in a motor vehicle accident is that of "comparative negligence."
While some drivers in Bridgeport play fast and loose with speed limits, these laws do exist for a reason. There is abundant evidence that shows that traffic fatalities increase with the speeds of vehicles involved in accidents. While going slightly over the limit may not seem like a big deal, serious speeding violations can have devastating consequences.