A collision between two white vehicles after one of them failed to follow a red traffic signal.Traffic signals exist to maintain order and safety on our roads. Sadly, drivers don’t always notice or respect traffic signals.

A split-second decision to speed through a yellow light, check a text while approaching an intersection, or roll through a stop sign could lead to an accident.

It’s possible ideal to work with law enforcement, the other party in the accident, and the insurance companies to determine fault and receive compensation for your personal property and injuries. However, you may need an advocate to help you get the compensation you deserve or to assist you in navigating the legal system if you’re encountering issues with proving your claim.

In these cases, Bert McDowell Injury Law is here to help.

Whether you failed to obey a traffic signal or got hit by another driver who acted negligently, our firm will listen to your needs and help you determine the best path forward. Bert McDowell has a lengthy success record and years of trial experience as a personal injury attorney and, formerly, an insurance defense attorney.

Attorney McDowell has received numerous accolades and awards for his legal prowess.

Reach out to Bert McDowell and the rest of our Hartford injury law team when you call (203) 633-7449 or contact us online to schedule a free case review.

Why You Should Hire a Hartford Failure to Obey Traffic Signals Accident Attorney

Serious accidents can have lasting complications, from injuries that impact your mobility and comfort to emotional and mental challenges that compromise your ability to work and function. Even minor accidents can cause ongoing problems.

Car accidents aren’t always straightforward. The details can get obscured as law enforcement and insurance companies gather details from you, the other involved parties, and witnesses.

In addition to first-hand accounts, insurance companies rely on physical evidence — such as the pre-crash condition of the car or traffic surveillance cameras — to determine what happened.

An insurance company may struggle to assign fault if witness accounts vary dramatically or if the physical evidence is unavailable or inconclusive. Once an insurance company makes its determination, you may feel you’ve reached a dead end if they offer you a small sum for your injuries or fail to properly assign fault.

A personal injury attorney can prompt action from an insurance company and act as your advocate. They’ll help you investigate your wreck, find evidence of fault, document your damages, and more.

If you choose Bert McDowell Injury Law to represent your needs, we’ll assist you through the following services and benefits.

Advising You on Your Rights

No matter what side of an accident you’re on, you may be entitled to certain rights under Connecticut and federal law.

For instance, if you were hit and injured by another driver, you have two years from the date of the accident to initiate legal action.

Further, Connecticut is a comparative-fault state. This means you may still claim compensation for damages if you’re found to be less than 50% percent at fault for the accident.

You also have the right to have your claim processed in a timely manner and to receive clear communications from the insurer. Insurers must provide clear outlines of the benefits they send you — or explicit reasons why coverage or the entire claim was denied.

And, of course, you have the right to file a lawsuit against any person or insurer that refuses to accept liability. Attorney McDowell can help you understand these rules and other laws that apply to car accidents in Connecticut and ensure that you understand your legal rights.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

Insurance companies seek to reduce their exposure as much as possible. With this in mind, the insurance company may offer you compensation, but the amount could be insufficiently low when compared to your current and future medical bills, as well as your pain and suffering.

You may feel backed into a corner if you’re strapped for funds and itching to put the accident behind you — but accepting the insurance company’s initial offer could be a significant mistake. Bert can review the offer and help you determine the amount of compensation you should seek based on your needs and situation.

Ensuring You’re Treated With Respect

An insurance company may try to give you the run-around if they sense that they can offer you a low sum without any pushback. However, with Burt on your side, these tactics won’t fly; he’ll ensure that your needs are fairly represented and that you receive the responses and attention that your case deserves.

Working With an Insurance Company: What to Expect

After an accident, you’ll want to contact your insurance company to start the claims process. Generally, your insurance company will communicate with you, law enforcement, the other party, and the other party’s insurance company to arrive at a resolution.

The steps in the claims process include:

  • Accident reporting: The first step is to report the accident to your insurance company. Make sure to file a police report since the insurer will want to have this document as part of its investigation. You can also alert the other party’s insurance company, as well.
  • Investigation: From there, an adjuster will investigate the claim to determine who is primarily at fault (as well as the percentage of fault that should be assigned to each party). During this stage, they may request pictures or videos of the vehicle, gather witness statements, or visit with you in person to get more information. Note that you can conduct your own investigation and gather your own evidence of fault and damages.
  • Liability determination: At this point, the insurance company will decide who is at fault for the accident. They’ll also determine what amount they’re willing to offer as a remedy if you’re not at fault.
  • Damages evaluation: Next, the insurance company will decide what damages they feel you’re entitled to, if any. They’ll consider your injuries and the damage to your personal property to make this determination.
  • Negotiation phase: Finally, the insurance company will make an initial settlement offer. The amount may be low, so you’ll want to consult with your attorney at this stage to figure out if you should counter with a higher amount. Don’t be afraid to ask for a higher amount since these initial offers are usually quite low.

How Do Insurance Companies Figure Out Who Is At Fault?

Insurance companies use a series of methods and metrics to determine who is at fault after a car accident. Even if the event seems cut and dried, there are factors you may not be aware of that insurance companies will weigh as they assign fault.

The Location of the Accident

The insurance company will evaluate the circumstances that led to the accident as they conduct their investigation. They’ll take note of the area where the accident occurred, as well as signals and signs that drivers need to adhere to in the area.’

At the accident location, investigators will note any tire marks that could indicate braking or sharp turns, in addition to remnants of debris and any available CCTV or dashcam footage.

Damage to the Vehicles

The insurer will also inspect the vehicles involved in the accident to piece together the sequence of events. They’ll note the locations of the damage, the severity of the impact, and the overall condition of the vehicles during the investigation.

They’ll compare the damage to the accounts from the involved parties and witnesses to ensure the facts align.

Injuries to Occupants

Injuries can also help paint a picture of what happened during the accident. The insurance company may consult law enforcement documentation, reports from medical professionals, and video or picture evidence as they assess what happened.

Extenuating Circumstances

The insurance company will also take note of extenuating circumstances, if any apply.

For instance, they’ll think about weather conditions, the condition(s) of the vehicles involved in the accident, the mental state of the drivers and prior driving records, and the condition(s) of the road, road signals, and signs.

Using the information above, the insurance company will determine who is at fault for the accident. Connecticut is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning a plaintiff can recover damages from a defendant as long as they aren’t assigned at least 51 percent of the blame.

The amount of compensation you could receive will vary depending on your contribution to the accident.

However, it always makes sense to look deeply into the matter with your own attorney. You can fight back against allegations of fault that would reduce your payout, and you have the right to document your damages in full.

Common Damages in a Failure to Obey Traffic Signals Accident

While every case is different, most will involve claims in the following categories of damages:

  • Medical bills, past and future
  • Lost wages
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Property damages
  • Pain and suffering

Contact a Hartford Failure to Obey Traffic Signals Accident Law Firm Today

If you were involved in an accident where you or another driver failed to follow a traffic signal, Bert McDowell Injury Law is here to advocate for your rights.

It may be tempting to settle with the insurance company after they’ve made an initial offer, especially if you need the cash right now to move on with your life. However, patience can pay off handsomely since an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you receive much more than you’d receive otherwise.

Our team will consult with you directly and review the details of your case. Our goal is to ensure you are able to claim adequate compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Your attorney will present compelling facts to the insurance company as they fight in your stead.

If you are ready to speak with our team about your case, call (203) 633-7449 or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation case review.