What to Expect at Each Stage of a Personal Injury Claim

When you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, it’s important to know what to expect and what your potential outcomes are. This protects you from unpleasant surprises and eases anxiety about the entire process. Whether your claim is the result of a car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, or other type of accident, this process is fairly straightforward.

Still looking for the right law firm to represent you in your personal injury claim? The team at The Dodd Law Firm is waiting to hear from you. Call us at 203-272-1883 to set up a consultation now.

Consulting With an Attorney

Your first step is to meet with a personal injury attorney and explain your accident and injuries. The good news is that most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that not only is your initial consultation free, but you don’t pay anything unless the law firm secures a settlement or court award on your behalf. Their fees are then drawn from that final award, so you pay nothing out-of-pocket. 

During your consultation, the attorney will ask you questions, explain relevant parts of Connecticut law like the statute of limitations, and look over the evidence you brought in. If they think you have a strong case, they may give you the option to go forward with retaining them and beginning your personal injury claim.

Building Your Case

From there, your attorney jumps right in and starts investigating your claim. They may pull surveillance footage, talk to eyewitnesses, reach out to expert witnesses, and look at official documentation and reports. Their goal is to prove the other party’s liability, demonstrate the severity of your injuries, and prove that you deserve compensation. This step varies quite a bit in duration, depending on how complex your case is and how much evidence is available.

Connecting With the Insurance Company

The evidence your attorney gathers forms the foundation of your personal injury case. They will build a case on your behalf and proactively address any issues an insurance company is likely to have with your demand for compensation. The more prepared your attorney is prior to reaching out to the insurance company, the more successful negotiations generally are. 

Once they have built a case to their satisfaction, they will issue a demand letter to the insurance company. This letter outlines what they are asking for, why, and the evidence that backs it up. So begin negotiations—the insurance company will likely come back with their offer, and this repeats until a middle ground is found.

Reaching a Settlement—or Preparing for Court

In most personal injury claims, the final step is a settlement. While many people have strong mental images of dramatic courtroom showdowns, few cases reach the courtroom. If both parties come to an agreement on a settlement number, the attorneys will draw up the paperwork and have all involved parties sign it. 

You’ll waive your right to sue for your current injuries or any other injuries that arise as a result of the accident in question. The final settlement is then paid. Any care providers who need to be paid will get their cut; this includes hospitals and other medical service providers. Your attorney’s fee will be paid. Finally, you get your share of your settlement.

Unfortunately, not every personal injury claim is quite this easy. If the insurance company refuses to admit fault or won’t budge at all from their initial number, negotiations may fail. In that case, your attorney will move forward with filing a lawsuit and beginning court preparations. Your case may go to court, or a settlement may still be reached at any point during this process. If your case goes to court, a judge or jury will decide if the other party caused your injuries and if so, how much they must pay you.

Considering a Personal Injury Claim? Call The Dodd Law Firm Now

When you’re ready to learn more about your personal injury claim options, talking to the team at The Dodd Law Firm should be your next step. Set up your free consultation right away by calling us at 203-272-1883 or getting in touch with us online.

The Importance of a Spoliation Letter in Truck Accident Cases

Truck accidents are generally far more destructive than crashes solely involving smaller passenger vehicles. They are more likely to result in fatal or catastrophic injuries, and they are capable of causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. However, that doesn’t mean that it will be easy for you to prove that you’re owed compensation. You can still expect the insurance company and the trucking company to do whatever they can to keep you from receiving compensation.

The good news is that truck accidents have a substantial amount of evidence. To use that evidence, you must preserve it—even if it’s in the other party’s possession. That’s where a spoliation letter comes in. Learn more about the role of a spoliation letter in your claim, and when you’re ready to move forward with your case, call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883.

The Role of Evidence in Your Truck Accident Claim

Evidence is crucial in any personal injury case, but it’s especially crucial in a truck accident claim. As a victim, you’ve likely sustained serious injuries and are now struggling with pain, a loss of income, and a totaled vehicle. When you’re looking for sizable compensation, the other party will put up a serious fight to keep you from getting it. Evidence can go a long way in proving how the accident happened, whose error caused the crash, and how your injuries have impacted your life. Without a strong body of evidence, it’s unlikely you’ll get anything close to what you actually deserve.

What’s Included in a Spoliation Letter?

A spoliation letter is an integral part of your claim. It’s a legal document that reminds the other party of their legal duty to preserve evidence related to the crash. Elements of a spoliation letter include:

  • List of evidence in the other party’s possession
  • Notification that you are seeking legal action against the other party
  • Information on the other party’s obligation to preserve the evidence
  • The consequences of failing to comply with the orders given in the letter

Sending a spoliation letter is basically putting the other side on notice. You’re letting them know that you are building your case and you know what evidence is out there. They then know that if it happens to go missing or show up destroyed, you will hold them accountable for it. Without a spoliation letter, you risk the other party tampering with or “losing” evidence that is damaging to their case.

The Other Party’s Obligations

Upon receiving the spoliation letter, the parties who receive the letter are legally obligated to preserve the evidence in question. This may mean making backups or copies of evidence that is likely to degrade with time. For example, electronic logging devices, dashcams, and other sources of electronic evidence generally only keep records for a set period of time. If the party in possession of that evidence does not take steps to preserve it, it could be lost forever.

The parties in question are also obligated to keep the evidence in its current state. This means not tampering with it or altering it to make it more favorable to their case. This is an issue with trucking logs, which can be altered after an accident to make it look like a driver was compliant with hours of service and inspection regulations.

Consequences of Destroying or Losing Evidence

Generally, sending a spoliation letter is enough to keep the other party from damaging or destroying evidence relevant to your case. But if the evidence is devastating for their case or they simply don’t care enough to preserve it, it could be destroyed regardless. If this happens, it can have devastating outcomes for their case. The courts do not look favorably on spoliation, and there may be significant consequences for the other party. These consequences may include:

  • Court sanctions against the party that engaged in spoliation, ranging from fines to jail time.
  • Adverse inference—the court may draw an adverse inference in the absence of necessary evidence, which means that they assume the lost evidence would have been damaging to the party that lost or destroyed it.
  • Jury instructions that tell the jurors to assume the evidence would have been unfavorable to the party who lost it.

Injured in a Truck Accident? Call The Dodd Law Firm

When you’ve been injured in a truck accident, there is a lot at stake. You need to work with a Cheshire attorney dedicated to fighting aggressively for you. Call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883 or reach out to us online to schedule your consultation right away.

The Connection Between Car Accidents and Aggressive Driving Behaviors

Few things are more irritating than sharing the road with an aggressive driver. You do your best to follow the speed limit, leave space between yourself and other vehicles, and follow the rules of the road—but that’s not enough to protect you in every case. Aggressive drivers speed, whip around other cars without a thought, and otherwise endanger everyone on the road.

It should come as no surprise that aggressive driving can significantly increase your likelihood of being involved in an accident. If you’ve been hurt in a crash caused by a dangerous driver, call the Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883 to set up a consultation now.

Common Types of Aggressive Driving Behaviors

One of the defining characteristics of aggressive drivers is their speed. Excessive speeding is one of the most common types of aggressive driving—this doesn’t include those who go a few miles over the speed limit but does include those who drive so fast that it is impossible to navigate safely. Aggressive drivers seem to be in a rush at all times. In addition to speeding, they may weave in and out of traffic, attempt to intimidate other drivers to get out of their way, and ignore stop signs and lights.

Some of the most common aggressive driving behaviors include passing where prohibited, failure to use turn signals, racing, swerving in front of other vehicles, driving on the shoulder or median, and following too closely.

How Aggressive Driving Leads to Collisions

The connection between aggressive driving and accidents is clear. When you drive, you have a duty to others on the road to take reasonable steps to ensure their safety. Aggressive driving breaches that duty and actively endangers others. Aggressive drivers force others to take evasive action to protect their own safety and that of the aggressive driver.

Statistically, it can be difficult to show the role aggressive driving plays in collisions. This is because the term “aggressive driving” is broad enough to include many different behaviors. However, a growing body of research examines the link between aggressive driving behaviors and accidents. Per the Insurance Information Institute, aggressive driving was a factor in 56% of fatal crashes between 2003 and 2007. The most common aggressive driving behavior contributing to this statistic is excessive speeding.

To put it simply, aggressive driving is any type of driving that endangers other people or property. Many drivers will be able to react to aggressive driving in time to prevent a crash. Not everyone will be able to take evasive action that quickly, though—and there’s always the chance of two aggressive drivers finding each other. In these scenarios, accidents are not only likely but nearly inevitable.

Aggressive Driving Can Make Accidents More Severe

It is important to note that aggressive driving doesn’t just impact the frequency of traffic accidents. It also affects the severity of accidents. When drivers are operating recklessly or under the influence of road rage, their ability to make calm and rational decisions is severely compromised. When that combines with unexpected traffic, obstacles on the road, or changes in road conditions, the results are disastrous.

Even if a driver isn’t affected by road rage, they’re likely still not in the best emotional state to drive safely and react appropriately to obstacles. The stress and irritation that push drivers to operate aggressively can also affect their emotional stability and ability to take evasive measures when necessary.

Preventing Aggressive Driving

Decreasing aggressive driving rates across the country could greatly affect accident rates. Law enforcement plays a big role in addressing aggressive driving, as enforcement of current laws and speed limits could deter unsafe driving behaviors. Public education efforts are another avenue to explore, as drivers must understand the dangers of their actions and the potential consequences they face if they cause a severe or fatal crash.

Technology is another important aspect of limiting aggressive driving behaviors. Automatic emergency braking to avoid collisions, lane departure alarms, and cruise control can all mitigate the dangers of an unsafe driver.

Start Your Personal Injury Claim with the Dodd Law Firm

Have you been injured in a car crash? The team at the Dodd Law Firm can help you fight for compensation. Call us at 203-272-1883 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

The Role of Social Media in Car Accidents: Distractions, Evidence, and Legal Issues

For better or worse, social media has completely changed how we live our lives. It’s a near-constant presence—even those who do their best to stay off of social media hear about current trends or scandals from friends and family. It should come as no surprise, then, that social media has also changed car accidents and the personal injury claims that follow.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may have a valid personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Let’s talk more about your options now. Call The Dodd Law Firm at 475-275-8649 to set up a consultation now.

Social Media and Its Role in Collisions

Social media plays an integral part in our day-to-day lives. It goes beyond fun pictures and silly memes, going so far as to increase the likelihood of being involved in a car accident. In fact, social media has contributed to a frightening rise in car accidents across the country. One of the main reasons is distracted driving.

Too many drivers are tempted to turn to their smartphones while driving, thinking that it won’t hurt to check out “just one” post, photo, or message. Checking notifications, browsing news feeds, and updating your own page take attention away from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.

Social media notifications and updates can be hard to resist, thanks to the hit of dopamine your brain gets every single time you scroll or refresh. This leaves drivers with their eyes and minds off of the road at critical moments. Drivers engrossed in social media may miss pedestrians, a change in traffic signal, or a car that’s merged into the lane ahead of them.

Social Media Evidence

Social media also provides valuable evidence for social media claims. When an accident happens, many people inevitably turn to social media to tell their stories. Those involved in a crash—whether the liable party or the victim—often post photos, captions, and video footage that can be invaluable to personal injury lawyers.

Consider a driver who was active on social media immediately before the accident. Who hasn’t seen a Facebook Live or TikTok Live being run by someone who is obviously driving? The fact that the person was updating their social media or even broadcasting live on social media prior to the crash can prove the driver’s negligence. Witnesses and bystanders may also post videos and photos to social media that both sides of a case can use.

Having said this, it’s important that accident victims be careful about social media usage after a collision. If you’re on the insurance company’s radar, they will undoubtedly be scouring your page for anything they can use against you. As tempting as it may be to update your loved ones, keep your accident off of social media until your claim is behind you.

Legal Issues Related to Social Media

Although social media has been around for years, its use in the courtroom is still evolving. The usage of social media logs and posts brings up questions of privacy. The information posted publicly, including posts by those with open accounts, is generally safe to use as evidence. But when posts are private or restricted, you may have to jump additional hurdles to gain access to them.

The validity of social media posts can also be called into question during a personal injury claim. It is incredibly easy nowadays to alter or misrepresent social media posts, and anyone planning on using this type of evidence must go one step further and ensure that everything they have is valid.

The timing of social media posts is another issue for court cases. Social media changes rapidly, and the posts accessible to you now may be gone in an hour or day from now. While this data is generally preserved in some form by the social media company, accessing it is much harder after it’s been deleted.

Get Started with Your Personal Injury Claim—Contact Us Today

Ready to start your car accident claim? It’s time to meet with the Cheshire car accident lawyers at The Dodd Law Firm. Set up a consultation right away by calling us at 475-275-8649 or sending us a message online.

Hazards to Avoid During Summer Vacation

Summer is a time of family fun, late mornings, and freedom from homework. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when accidents are incredibly common. If you ask an emergency room physician or nurse, you’ll find that summer is one of their busiest times. As kids get into trouble during school breaks and adults finally take advantage of their paid time off, there’s plenty of time to get caught up in hazardous activities.

Luckily, by learning about some of summer’s biggest hazards, you can take steps to protect yourself and your family. If you or someone you love is injured in a summer accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Find out by calling The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883.

Hazards at Home

Your home, no matter how kid-proof you may think it is, is full of hazards just waiting to be discovered. SafeHome reports that some of the worst summertime products for children’s injuries are those found in your very own home. Some of the products that cause the most injuries include:

  • Trampolines
  • Swing sets
  • Bicycles
  • Skateboards
  • Porches and balconies
  • Grills
  • Gardening equipment
  • Lawn mowers

Some of these items aren’t even children’s items, which highlights the importance of keeping anything potentially dangerous out of reach of children. This is true even if you have preteens or teenagers who you assume are able to keep themselves safe while you’re at work during the day. Bored kids can get into shocking trouble when left to their own devices, so it’s best to take away anything that can result in a trip to the emergency room.

Perhaps one of the greatest dangers found in some homes is a swimming pool. While swimming pools are especially dangerous for young or non-swimming children, they can be fatal to anyone who ends up in over their head. Before you open up the pool for the summer, ensure you have the safety barriers you need to avoid a tragedy.

Traveling Dangers

If you’re traveling with your family for the summer, you’re in good company—millions of people take off every summer to explore different parts of the country. Unfortunately, this also means that accidents are much more likely.

Vehicle accidents are one of the biggest threats in the summer months. The National Safety Council reports that accident fatalities increase dramatically in the summer months, thanks to a higher amount of miles traveled and more drivers on the road. This is particularly dangerous if you are traveling to an unfamiliar place.

Even the safest drivers can end up overwhelmed and distracted if they find themselves on a busy road without any clue where they’re going. When driving in an unfamiliar city, make sure you have your GPS ready to go before you start driving, don’t be afraid to stop and reroute if necessary, and give yourself extra time to get everywhere.

Outdoor Activities

Being outdoors is one of the best parts of summer, but it’s also one of the main reasons that injury rates are so high. Boating accidents are a common source of injuries and fatalities in summer. Other activities associated with a greater risk of injury include:

  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Amusement park rides
  • Camping

Whenever you plan a summer outing, make sure that the outing is aligned with your skill and comfort level. You don’t want your first hike of the season to be one of the most challenging in the state if you haven’t been active since last summer, nor do you want your kid’s first roller coaster to be the most dangerous in the park. Take it slow and err on the side of safety whenever possible. You have time—if you miss something on the first hike or amusement park trip of the season, you can make up for it the next time you go.

Reach Out to The Dodd Law Firm to Start Your Claim

If another person’s negligence causes you injury, you may very well be entitled to compensation for your losses. It’s crucial that you talk to an attorney right away to explore your options and take action. Let us help. Call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883 or reach out online to set up a consultation.

How Vehicle Recalls and Defects Contribute to Car Accidents

Everyone knows that vehicles go through rigorous testing before they hit the market. This may give you a false sense of security about the safety of your vehicle. Vehicle defects and recalls are shockingly common and contribute to thousands of auto accidents and fatalities every year.

If you’ve been hurt in a crash caused by a defective vehicle, it’s time to talk to the team at The Dodd Law Firm. Find out how we can help you hold negligent manufacturers accountable. Call us at 203-272-1883 to set up a consultation now.

Defects and Recalls Are More Common Than You Think

When you learn the statistics about vehicle recalls, it’s hard to look at your car the same way again. Since 1996, when the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was put into place, the NHTSA has been responsible for the recall of hundreds of millions of vehicles and components. These recalls include 390 million vehicles, 46 million tires, 66 million pieces of equipment, and 42 million car seats.

The defects leading to these recalls are often not caught until they cause accidents. The best-case scenario is that these accidents lead to injuries, but no fatalities. In the worst-case scenario, preventable deaths occur because of manufacturers’ failures.

There are several common types of defects leading to recalls and vehicle accidents. We’ll explore some of the most common ones below.

Tire Defects

Tire defects often lead to accidents that cause serious injuries or death. A responsible car owner keeps an eye on their tires’ air levels, tread, and material quality over time. But no matter how careful you are about tracking your tires’ maintenance needs; you can’t protect yourself against a defective tire.

A defective tire may fail at any time, causing you to lose control of your vehicle and leading to an accident. This is dangerous in any situation, but it is especially dangerous at high speeds on the highway.

Seatbelt Failures

We’ve all been told that we can rely on seatbelts to keep us safe in accidents. Today’s seatbelt is the result of years of research into ways to protect vehicle occupants while minimizing the risk of injuries caused by the seatbelts themselves. However, seatbelts aren’t infallible. When seatbelts are unsafely designed or manufactured, they can give occupants a false sense of security.

One common defect is the false latch. This occurs when an occupant buckles themselves in and hears the seatbelt click, but the seatbelt has actually not latched appropriately. The occupant has no idea until the seatbelt gives in an accident and causes them to sustain serious injuries.

Airbag Accidents

If people are aware of defective vehicle components, it’s often because they’ve heard of defective airbags. Airbags are there to cushion the blow in an accident by keeping you from hitting your face on the hard dashboard or being thrown from the vehicle. Unfortunately, airbags can fail in a variety of ways.

If an airbag does not deploy with the right amount of force, a vehicle occupant may hit their head on the vehicle. If they deploy with too little force or without any force at all, the force of the airbag could actually cause injuries that would otherwise not have happened.

Proving Liability

Proving liability can be extremely challenging in this type of situation. As you may imagine, vehicle manufacturers will go to great lengths to protect themselves from expensive lawsuits and recalls. Recalls are performed at their expense, so exposing a defect in their vehicles or vehicle components could cost them millions. For that reason, you may be stonewalled by the manufacturer if you try to hold them accountable for the accident caused by their defect.

Furthermore, people often claim vehicle defects in an attempt to escape liability. Someone who hits another car at full speed may claim that their brakes failed, only for a full investigation to show that the brakes were fully operational, and the driver just didn’t stop.

That’s why it’s so important to work with an attorney. Working with a lawyer gives you a better chance at holding negligent manufacturers accountable.

Contact The Dodd Law Firm Today

You don’t have to go up against negligent car manufacturers alone. The team at The Dodd Law Firm is here to advocate for you every step of the way. Call us at 203-272-1883 or send us a message online to set up a consultation.

Navigating Injury Claims in Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Multi-car pileups are frightening to witness and even more traumatizing for those who are involved. Once a chain reaction starts, there’s no telling where it will stop—some multi-car pileups have left dozens dead and even more seriously injured. Unfortunately, the pain doesn’t stop there. Victims of pileup crashes often find it nearly impossible to get the compensation they deserve after a crash, simply because there are so many people and insurance companies involved.

That’s where we come in. We know how devastating a multi-car pileup can be, and we want to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883 to set up a consultation with our team right now.

Multi-Car Accidents Are Far More Complicated Than Two-Vehicle Collisions
Why are multi-vehicle crashes so much harder to work through than two-vehicle crashes? Simply put, there are multiple drivers and insurance parties involved, and everyone is looking out for their own best interests. In a two-vehicle crash, liability generally isn’t as complicated.

While a vehicle component failure or road defect may cause a crash, these situations are rare. In most cases, the liability falls squarely on one or both drivers. In multi-vehicle accidents, one driver could be liable—or, more likely, multiple drivers share liability. Parsing the details of the crash, especially with so many people with differing experiences, can be a logistical nightmare.

Causes of Multi-Car Accidents
Multi-car accidents are often deadly, but what causes them? A wide range of factors go into these complex collisions. Some of the most commonly reported causes include:

• Bad weather: Bad weather is a very common theme in multi-car pileups. One slick spot sends a car sliding into another vehicle, and the vehicle behind them hits that same spot before hitting both of the cars ahead of them. Before you know it, there are a dozen cars piled up on the road.
• Impaired driving: Impaired drivers often make incredibly unsafe driving decisions, which creates the perfect environment for a multi-car crash.
• Unclear signage or light failure: Even when everyone drives safely, mechanical failures can cause collisions. When signs are unclear about who should stop and who can go or traffic lights fail, crashes are inevitable.
• Distracted driving: Distracted driving is one of the most common factors across all types of collisions, including multi-vehicle accidents.
• Speeding: Speeding not only increases the risk of an accident, but it also impacts the severity of accidents.
• Fatigue: Fatigue can cause people to drift to sleep, drive off the road, or cross the median. These types of unpredictable actions make it hard for other drivers to react, increasing the likelihood of a multi-car pileup.

Figuring Out Liability
The main difficulty with liability is the fact that multiple drivers may share some blame. Consider, for example, a multi-car crash at a stoplight. A distracted driver is looking down at their phone, so they don’t notice the vehicle in front of them is stopped.

They slam into them at full speed, pushing them into the vehicle in front of them. They’re obviously liable for much of the damage—but what if the driver they hit was too close to the car in front of them, which contributed to the second accident? What if the driver they hit had stopped at a green light, and the accident could have been avoided? There’s a lot of finger-pointing after these collisions, and unless you have someone advocating for you, your claim could get lost in the shuffle.

How an Attorney Can Help
A personal injury lawyer with experience in multi-vehicle accidents can step up and fight for you throughout the claim process. They’ll be able to cut through the noise, figure out what really happened, and determine liability. From there, they can negotiate on your behalf or take your case to court to pursue the compensation you are owed.

Choose The Dodd Law Firm for Your Accident Claim
The team at The Dodd Law Firm knows how overwhelmed you must be right now. As you recover from your injuries, the last thing you want is non-stop phone calls from other drivers’ insurance companies. Let us fight for you—call us at 203-272-1883 or send us a message online to set up a consultation.

Should You Seek Medical Attention After an Accident Even If You Don’t Think You’re Hurt?

You’ve been bitten by a dog, fallen on a slick patch of pavement outside a business, or been hit by a car. Although your pride might be hurt and you’re a little scared, you otherwise feel physically fine. What’s your next step? You might think that you just need to go home and rest until the shock of the accident wears off. However, skipping medical attention at this point is a big mistake. This choice could hurt both your physical health and your personal injury claim.

Medical attention is an essential part of any personal injury claim. Find out why you should see a doctor as soon as possible after an injury, and when you’re ready to move forward with your claim, call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883.

Prompt Medical Care Could Save Your Life

You may not feel injured after an accident, but that does not mean that you aren’t hurt. The body actively works to protect you when you’re in an accident. In preparation for fight or flight, it releases a flood of adrenaline into your body. This temporarily shuts down some functions of the body so you can focus on either fighting for yourself or getting away from danger.

Part of this response is a temporary inability to feel pain. This is supposed to give you enough time to get to a safe place before tending to your injuries. However, this can also make you falsely believe that you’ve gotten away scot-free after an accident. If you assume you’re not injured but you have serious injuries lying just below the surface, any delay in medical care could be devastating.

Delayed Injuries

You may wonder what injuries aren’t immediately visible after an accident, and the fact is that many take hours or days to appear. They include:

  • Spinal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Internal bleeding

Some injuries are dependent on immediate testing and detection. For example, imagine you suffer a dog bite. Without proof of the dog’s rabies vaccination, you must immediately seek emergency medical care so they can take the proper steps to protect you.

A Medical Exam Links Your Injuries and the Accident

It’s obvious that medical care is a crucial part of protecting your physical health after an accident, but it’s also important for your personal injury claim. Before an insurance company will pay you what you deserve for an injury, they will need indisputable proof that your injuries are a result of their client’s actions. They will do everything in their power to find some other way that your injury could have happened.

Imagine being in a car accident. You feel okay right after, just a little worn out and rattled. As the days pass, you realize that your headache is not going away. In addition, your neck has become so stiff that you cannot turn to the right. You finally seek medical care one week after the accident.

To you, the hospital, and your insurance company, it’s clear that your injuries are the result of the accident you were in. The other party’s insurance company won’t see it that way. They’ll point out that anything could have happened between the accident and your checkup, so why should they pay for something their client didn’t cause? If they agree to pay anything, it will be minimal.

On the other hand, it is much harder to make this claim if you go to the doctor right after your accident. Immediate medical care creates a much stronger link between your accident and the injuries you suffered. As a result, the insurance company is put in a position where they have to pay a fair settlement if they want to avoid court.

Going to the doctor is the right choice for your health and your legal options, so make it a priority.

Discuss Your Case with The Dodd Law Firm

Looking for more personalized assistance with your personal injury claim? It’s time to talk to the team at The Dodd Law Firm. We’re ready to advocate for you and hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries. Set up a meeting now by calling us at 203-272-1883 or getting in touch online.

Who Is Liable in a Connecticut Rideshare (Uber) Accident?

Ridesharing has caused a huge upset in the transportation industry, completely changing how people get around. However, with any major change in an industry comes new legal challenges. From the very beginning, rideshare users had questions—who’s responsible for accident damage? Do claims go through the driver’s personal insurance, and what happens if they deny it because the accident occurred during work?

Fortunately, it’s been several years now and these major issues have largely been decided. If you’ve been injured in a ridesharing car accident, we’ll help you figure out how to get the compensation you’re owed. Call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883 and set up a consultation with our team of experienced attorneys.

The Concept of Liability Does Not Change

First, it’s important to note that the basic concept of liability doesn’t change if one driver is working for a rideshare company. When the police respond to the scene of the accident, they will still look at the damage to both vehicles, listen to both drivers’ sides, look at the physical evidence, and issue citations if necessary. The insurance companies involved will look at the police report and other evidence to figure out whose negligence led to the accident.

It gets tricky, though, when the rideshare driver is the one found liable for the crash. In this case, it’s important to know whom to contact and how to secure fair compensation.

Insurance Coverage Matters

In personal injury claims, damages are rarely paid out by the actual negligent party. Settlements are generally paid out by the negligent party’s insurance company. When the negligent party is a rideshare driver, their personal insurance policy does not generally pay out. Note, though, that Connecticut law does require rideshare drivers to carry their own insurance. The rideshare company’s insurance policy should cover their driver’s damages.

Coverage varies. If the driver was on the app but had not yet accepted a ride request, Uber or Lyft insurance provides up to $50,000 of coverage per person up to a maximum of $100,000. If the driver has accepted a ride and is going to pick up the passenger, the policy pays up to $1,000,000.

This is in place until the passenger has been dropped off. If the rideshare driver was not logged into the app at all, their own insurance policy is used to cover accident-related expenses and settlements.

Getting Compensation After a Rideshare Accident

Don’t expect the Uber or Lyft insurance provider to treat your accident differently just because they are representing a working driver. Insurance companies, regardless of whom they represent, have the same priorities. They want to protect their shareholders and executives from financial losses, protect themselves from lawsuits, and avoid paying more than is necessary for every claim.

This means that you’ll still need to fight aggressively to get the compensation you are owed after a rideshare accident. The insurance company may use different tactics to evade liability, downplay their client’s role in the crash, or try to shift blame to a third party.

How do you get around this, especially if you’re already busy trying to recover from a serious injury? You bring in an experienced rideshare accident attorney who knows what it takes to get an insurance company to pay up. You’ll need to provide substantial evidence to prove your claim, so keep track of medical records, pictures from the crash scene, and the police report from the crash.

You may also want to keep evidence showing that it was rideshare-related. Take screenshots of your Uber or Lyft account, the specific ride you were taking when the accident occurred, and copies of any communication you had with anyone relating to the crash. Provide copies of everything to your attorney and trust them to use it in the most efficient way possible.

Contact The Dodd Law Firm Now to Start Your Rideshare Accident Claim

If you entrusted your safety to an Uber or Lyft driver and were injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. We’re here to talk about your accident, help you come up with a plan, and hold the negligent party accountable. Set up a time to talk with us now—just call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883 or send us a message online.

Increased Risk of Cancer for Firefighters

Firefighters put their lives on the line every single day to protect their communities. In addition to the immediate risk of being caught in a fire, firefighters face additional health risks. Constant exposure to smoke and hazardous chemicals puts them at a substantially higher risk of developing cancer.

Those who develop an illness as a result of their line of work may be entitled to compensation. However, employers don’t always make it easy for injured employees to file a claim. Learn more about your rights and what comes next by calling The Dodd Law Firm at 475-275-8649.

What the Research Says

Numerous studies have examined the link between firefighting and subsequent cancer risk. One study, which was covered by the CDC, looked at firefighters in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

The multi-year study found that firefighters had a significantly higher risk of digestive, oral, respiratory, and urinary cancers than the general population. Additionally, they developed malignant mesothelioma at a rate twice that of the general population. This may be explained by exposure to asbestos. Younger firefighters experienced higher diagnosis rates of prostate and bladder cancers.

This study also looked at how often firefighters were exposed to fire. More time spent in fires was linked to a greater risk of lung cancer, and the chance of leukemia death increased with the number of fire runs each firefighter went on.

The Firefighter Cancer Support Network also follows research in this area. One study found that cancer caused 66% of firefighter deaths that happened in the line of duty between 2002 and 2019. It was the reason for 70% of line-of-duty deaths in 2016. Their analysis also shows just how much the risk for certain cancers goes up. For example, the risk of testicular cancer is two times higher, and the risk for both multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is about 1.5 times higher.

Is It a Work-Related Illness?

The workers’ compensation system helps those who are injured or become ill while working. If an employee’s illness is caused by their work, they may be entitled to compensation. Under Connecticut law, occupational diseases do qualify for compensation.

The issue is proving that your illness is work-related. While it should be relatively easy to file a workers’ compensation claim, begin receiving medical care, and get partial income repayment, some workers’ insurance compensation providers do make it more challenging.

Compensation for Work-Related Illnesses

The workers’ compensation system in Connecticut provides benefits to injured and ill workers. You may be entitled to medical care for your diagnosis and partial replacement of your lost wages. Surviving family members of someone who dies as a result of an occupational illness can receive survivors’ benefits.

Filing a Claim

In Connecticut, you have three years from the date of your first symptoms to file a workers’ compensation claim. That doesn’t mean that you should wait that long, though. The sooner you recognize worrying symptoms and get them checked out, the sooner you can begin treatment and fight for a good outcome. Additionally, this also allows you to auto-receive benefits sooner.

The process for filing an occupational disease claim is the same as filing a claim for an injury. You will report your illness to your employer, and they will file a claim on your behalf. You will need to submit corroborating documentation and follow the steps laid out by the workers’ compensation insurance provider.

When do you need an attorney? Look for any signs that your employer will refuse to file a claim on your behalf or deny your claim. If they ask leading questions that imply your diagnosis isn’t work-related or try to delay filing, they may be stalling so they can look for a valid reason for denial.

Of course, you’ll also want to consult an attorney if your claim is denied. Cancer treatment costs are extraordinarily high, and you shouldn’t be on the hook for expenses related to an occupational illness.

Start Your Claim with The Dodd Law Firm

When you’re ready to start your claim, we’re here with you every step of the way. Set up a meeting now by calling us at 475-275-8649 or sending us a message online.