Hartford ATV Accident Lawyer

An broken down ATV sitting in a driveway behind a house after an accident.The state of Connecticut has specific requirements targeting ATVs for safe use. Special permits have to be acquired in order to operate ATVs, and strict rules regulate when and where they may be used.

Unfortunately, not everyone is mindful of these rules, and, as so often is the case when rules are broken, people’s safety is put at risk. When tragedy happens because of people’s negligence either on or around an ATV, the complexities of the resulting case can make a claim difficult.

It might be time for a Hartford ATV accident lawyer to step in.

What to Look For in a Hartford ATV Accident Attorney

While the context of each individual ATV accident case entails specific needs, there are common things to look out for when choosing an attorney to represent you regardless of your circumstances. Generally speaking, you want someone with strong indicators of skill, experience, and focus on you as a client.

  • Legal Knowledge and Experience: It’s not enough to have any personal injury lawyer; you ideally want someone who has handled similar cases to yours in the past. That means either they have already handled ATV accident cases or were present on a team that has handled these claims.
  • Thorough Investigations: Good lawyers do not skimp out on either time or money when investigating a case for a client. They will interview witnesses, get police reports,  and review medical records, all to improve your odds of getting a fair settlement offer.
  • Previous Trial Experience: In the event the at-fault party’s insurer refuses to give you a fair amount, you may have to bring your case to court. When this happens, it’s always an advantage to have a lawyer who has had the experience of presenting cases to judges and juries in the past.
  • Emotional Support: It’s easy to tell the difference between a lawyer who cares about your case and one who cares about your wallet. True, you pay both, but the way the former treats you is preferable to the latter, as they offer you genuine, long-term partnerships rather than simple transactions with little regard for what to do next if things don’t go according to the initial plan.

In addition to these sought-after traits, you may also want to look for advantages such as the following.

  • Local Knowledge of Hartford: Familiarity with Hartford means your attorney understands local risks, terrain, and ATV culture, which allows for more efficient investigation. It also means knowledge of local insurance adjusters, familiarity with their strategies and approaches, and greater confidence when confronting them.
  • Networks of Contacts: Reputable lawyers will often have access to networks of local resources, including medical professionals and mechanics who can not only treat your injuries and address repairs respectively but also serve as expert witnesses for your case. Such a network may also include support groups to provide continuing aid after resolving your claim.

What Compensation Can I Get for My ATV Accident?

The compensation an accident victim can get in a claim depends primarily on the specifics of the insurance policy and the damages sustained. While it’s difficult to go into detail regarding the former, as insurance policies are worded differently across companies and clients, most people can expect to encounter a limited number of damages in an accident, making them a topic ripe for discussion, especially with your attorney.

Said in a simplified manner, insurance policies determine what you can get compensation for, while actual damages determine how much you can get within the limits of your policy.

Damages can broadly be categorized as either economic or non-economic. Let’s go over each of them.

Economic Damages in an ATV Accident

In court, economic damages pay for any verifiable and/or tangible financial losses a plaintiff incurred. These damages are awarded to plaintiffs when defendants are found to be at fault.

Economic damages in insurance claims, on the other hand, compensate for the same things that they do in court, though claimants may receive said compensation even when no one is at fault, depending on the details of the policy involved. For example, personal injury protection (PIP) covers economic damages regardless of fault in the accident.

  • Medical Expenses: These often make up the most significant part of economic damages, sometimes reaching six-figure sums on their own. They include hospital bills, medication, therapy, and doctor’s fees.
  • Lost Wages: Injuries can lead to time taken off of work, which, for many people, means a loss of income for the duration of their absence. Lost wages as damages cover this, potentially also including future losses for a limited period if the victim’s earning capacity has been permanently affected by injury.
  • Property Damage: Property damage covers any possessions lost in an ATV accident. This traditionally meant physical items like the ATV itself, but in the modern day, it can also mean digital property, such as important documents saved on a device.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: Recovering from an accident often entails additional expenses such as home care or babysitting services, which you cannot do. If the accident occurred between the ATV and your automobile, these can also include transportation costs accrued due to a lack of access to your car.

Non-Economic Damages in an ATV Accident

In contrast to economic damages, non-economic damages are awarded for intangible losses an injury victim suffers. These include the experience of the injury itself, the psychological effects of the injury, and the effects of the injury on quality of life, among other things.

Such losses are subjective in value and are more difficult to assign a monetary sum to. Insurance companies may often exclude these damages from an ATV accident claim or, if they do include them, pay out a value so low that they might as well not have bothered.

  • Pain and Suffering: When you are injured in an accident, you will have to endure physical pain that you wouldn’t have had to face if you were not. This can be covered under your insurance policy, taking into consideration the severity and duration of the pain you experience.
  • Emotional Distress: In a similar way to physical pain, emotional distress is something you would not have had to face were you not injured, and so it can be included in your claim. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other psychological struggles that result from the accident are among the forms of emotional distress you can file for.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Some injuries are serious enough to prevent you from engaging in activities you used to enjoy on a regular basis. Loss of enjoyment of life in this regard includes hobbies, travel, or even simple acts of intimacy between you and your loved ones.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: Injuries may permanently alter your physical appearance for the worse, with scars, disfigurements, and even amputations. These changes can lead to – and indeed, tie in with – pain, suffering, and emotional distress to make your life more difficult.
  • Loss of Consortium: There are times when accidents leave their victims unable to fulfill their relationship roles with a partner. Loss of consortium attempts to assign a value to these lost connections and relationships in order to compensate victims for them.
  • Decreased Quality of Life: Accident injuries can lead to significant lifestyle alterations such as the abandoning of hobbies, changes in career and income, social isolation, and loss of independence. The importance of these aspects of lifestyle is different for each individual, but in general, everyone holds them in some regard, and so value must be assigned to them.

Who Is Liable in a Hartford ATV Accident?

Liability in an ATV accident in Hartford is assigned via modified comparative negligence at a 51% threshold. This means that multiple parties can share varying degrees of fault for the same case and may each make a claim provided they are not 51% at fault for the accident or greater.

Under this system, however, damages awarded are reduced by the claimant’s own degree of fault.

This is easy enough to understand when two parties are involved. If an ATV driver is 80% at fault and you are 20% at fault, and assuming you have $10000 in damages, you are eligible for a total of $8000.

Things get more complicated when more than two parties are involved, each with different damage claims. Assume, for example, that Persons A, B, and C are equally 33% at fault, with Person A owed $10000, Person B owed $15000, and Person C owed $20000

Person A can claim a total of $6700 from either (or both combined, depending on the policy) B and C’s insurance policies, Person B can claim $10050 from A and C, and Person C can claim $13400 from A and B. These values take into account the 33% reduction from each person’s claim due to their fault.

Note that the value of the claims that each party gets is not diminished by how much they owe each other, as the insurance company is responsible for making payouts and not the parties themselves. However, in rare cases, such as when an uninsured driver is ordered by a court to pay damages, they may have to shoulder these payouts from their own pockets or via garnished wages.

If You’re Looking for a Hartford ATV Accident Law Firm, Call Bert McDowell Injury Law

If you’re looking for expert legal assistance in Hartford, look to our attorneys at Bert McDowell Injury Law to represent you. We are aggressive in our pursuit of justice and relentless in our approach to compensation.

Call us today at (203) 590-9169 and get your free consultation. We’ll fight for you and get you the full amount you are owed after your ATV accident.

Don’t wait. It’s time to Bring On Bert!