CT Car Accident Rental Law

CT Car Accident Rental Law by Attorney Ryan McKeen

A car accident shattered my world. I was driving along in a car that I loved. A car that I owned. One that worked fine. And suddenly it was mangled and undriveable. The body shop guy said it was “totaled”. I no longer had a car.

CT Car Accident Rental Law by Attorney Ryan McKeen
CT Car Accident Rental Law by Attorney Ryan McKeen

The car rental company wanted to put me in a vehicle that I was not comfortable driving. One much smaller than the vehicle I owned. And the anxiety I had while driving was overwhelming. A much smaller car made me very uncomfortable.

After a Car accident In Connecticut, what are my rights to a rental car? 

If you incur property damage to your vehicle as a result of someone else being at fault, you are entitled to compensation for loss of use of your property – including a rental vehicle. You are entitled to a comparable rental vehicle or reasonable compensation. You are entitled to a vehicle for a reasonable period of time necessary to settle your claim or repair your vehicle. A reasonable period of time for depends on the amount of time needed to repair the vehicle.

You may also have rental coverage under your own policy. Check with your insurance company. These may provide additional benefits to you.

I am an injury lawyer. I help people who are injured. A rental car is often one of the first obstacles faced by someone injured in a car accident. I never take a fee for property damage including rental cars. You can read about my policy here. I want you informed and empowered.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Connecticut you may benefit from my page on Connecticut Car Accident law.

If you would like to discuss your car accident injury case please contact Attorney Ryan McKeen at (860) 471-8333 or  ryan@cttrialfirm.com.

Sue My Attorney

Can I Sue My Attorney?
Can I Sue My Attorney?

Can I Sue My Attorney?

Lawsuits against lawyers and attorneys are called “legal malpractice” cases.

Lawyers can screw up in a number of ways. The most common errors that lawyers make are failing to file cases or notices in time – blowing a statute of limitations. And failing to file costs the client their claim. For example failing to give a town notice of a sidewalk or road defect.

Can I Sue My Attorney? What Do I have To Prove?

In a legal malpractice action, the client must prove 3 elements:

1) there was an attorney-client relationship;

2) the attorney departed from the standard of professional care owed to protect
the client’s legal interests in that matter; and

3) this departure caused harm to the client.

These three elements to win a legal malpractice case. In order to win, a plaintiff must prove all three.

Attorney Client Relationship Legal Malpractice Lawyer

An attorney client relationship can be proved by the existence of a fee agreement. It can also be proven through an admission by the attorney of such a relationship. Failing to have a fee agreement can be an ethical violation for an attorney.

The Case Within A Case

A simple mistake does not give rise to legal malpractice. The mistake must result in harm. This often is referred to as “a case within a case”. A person seeking to prove legal malpractice must prove that it was more likely than not that he would have prevailed in the original case.

For example if your lawyer blew the statute of limitations on a case that you would have lost there is no claim for legal malpractice. There would be no harm to you.

Hiring A Legal Malpractice Lawyer

You need to hire a lawyer who understands both the responsibilities of lawyers and how to win an underlying injury case.

When we prosecute legal malpractice cases against attorneys who have screwed up – I hire and consult with expert attorneys. I am also called upon by other attorneys to serve as an expert witness.

If you believe you have a legal malpractice claim please contact Ryan McKeen at 860 471 8333. The only way to know “Can I sue my attorney” is to schedule a no obligation consultation.

I’m a lawyer who wants you to know your rights. I’ve set up the Legal Malpractice Vault to empower you.

You may also like to know if your lawyer has legal malpractice insurance?

3 Questions To Ask A CT Car Accident Attorney

3 Questions To Ask A CT Car Accident Attorney
3 Questions To Ask A CT Car Accident Attorney

3 Questions To Ask A CT Car Accident Attorney

I’m going to cut to the signal. Here are 3 questions to ask a CT car accident attorney before you hire.

A lot of the information on the internet is noise. Legal websites are written by marketers or even robots. With all that’s out there you’d think it would be easier to hire the right attorney for your case. I’m not sure it is. In many ways the legal marketplace seems less efficient than it did prior to the digital revolution.

I’ve been there. There’s the constant pain. The insurance companies keep calling. The forms sent to me. They have paid me less than my car was worth. I had done nothing wrong and I just wanted it all to go away. And if you’re in the same place, I’d like to help you.

1. Do You Have Legal Malpractice Insurance

Ask this question.

I have done 100s if not 1000s of potential client interviews. I have never been asked about my insurance.

Connecticut lawyers are not required to insurance.  Attorneys are not required to disclose that they don’t carry legal malpractice insurance.

Lawyers can commit legal malpractice in a variety of ways. The most common way is failing to file suit within the statute of limitations period or failing to give proper notice.  Lawyers can also commit malpractice by wrongfully settling your case. Make no mistake about it, legal malpractice insurance protects clients. I have written an entire post about asking this question. Read it. It’s that important. 

2. Do You Do CT Car Accident Focus Groups?

We don’t guess. I ask.  Doing low cost focus groups on my injury cases has a high impact. Not every case needs a focus group. Focus groups are where we ask potential jurors about issues. They help inform us about the strengths and weaknesses in a case. We have invested a lot of time and resource into our focus group practice.

The focus groups we do don’t result in thousands of dollars being added to the expense ledger in your case. We do them for several hundred dollars.

Ask your injury lawyer about focus groups. Do they do them? What is the cost?

3. Do You Focus Your Practice on Personal Injury?

Practicing law is hard. It is hard to be good at more than a few areas of law. Law changes quickly.  Lawyers who concentrate on an area of law understand the rapidly changing playing fields in those areas.

These are just some of the questions that I would ask an attorney if I were hiring. I would of course do other diligence on the lawyer but I’d ask at least these questions. The answers would help me make a more informed decision.

You can read more about Connecticut Car Accident law by clicking here.

If you have been in a CT Car accident, I am happy to answer your questions. Contact Attorney Ryan McKeen at 860 471 8333 or fill out the form below.

6 Ways Law Practice Has Changed In 11 Years

It’s Halloween. On Halloween in 2005, I was sworn in as a member of the Connecticut Bar. I have changed. And the practice of law has changed. Here’s 6 ways law practice has changed in 11 years.

 

Law Practice by Attorney Ryan McKeen
Law Practice by Attorney Ryan McKeen

1. Mobile

Mobile didn’t exist in 2005. Some firms had Palm Treos. Others Blackberrys. Most people had flip phones. I was like most people and had a flip phone. Then along came the iPhone. And the horse was out of the barn. Today, in the palm of my hand, I have my entire practice. I can send a fax, scan documents, review files, run payroll, and almost anything else I need to do from my phone. I can’t overstate the change mobile has brought to the practice of law.

2. Paperless

In 2005, all of my files were paper files. By 2012, none of my files were paper files. The advent of high speed scanners, tremendous processing power, and cheap cloud based digital storage has been a game changer. No more losing documents. No more having to go into the office to check a file. No heavy brief case. All my files wherever I need them.

3. Social Media

Facebook wasn’t a thing in 2005. I mean it existed. But unless you were an ivy league grad you didn’t have access to it. Now Facebook and other sites like Twitter have radically changed the way I receive information and connect with the outside world.

4. Avvo And Lawyer Rating Sites

Connecticut didn’t have Avvo in 2005. It existed in several states including MA. Now lawyers are reviewed everywhere. Avvo, google, yelp and others. It has changed the way clients find lawyers. It has shifted power in the attorney-client relationship to the client.

5. Global Teams

Mobile and paperless have opened my ability to expand my team. My reception service is in Portland, Oregon. If I need a task done, I can post a job on Upwork and someone in Asia can work while I sleep.  Legal teams are quickly assembling not just as firms – but on task or case based needs. This trend will only continue to grow.

6. Law Practice Automation

A robot does my schedule. I can go from intake to a new file with the click of a button – client agreement, authorizations, instructions, a complaint, discovery – all generated without me. The speed of practice is fast and getting even faster.

Every one of these changes has impacted my practice. But the sum of all of them is greater than the parts. The opportunities have never been greater. The demands have never been greater. There’s no waiting a few days to respond to a letter. There’s no letter to respond to. I can do more than ever before. But I work more than ever before.

2016 began with a text message at 2:30 AM from someone who needed my help. In 5 years, that same person will be messaging a bot. Change abounds.

Generating Web Content Ideas

Generating Web Content Ideas 

This episode of “Ask Ryan” addresses generating web content ideas for attorneys and law firms – topics for blog posts, linkedin articles, and youtube videos.

Hey Ryan, would you mind sharing your system for coming up with blog topics/video topics? Do you just have a couple go to sites? -Robert from the Midwest.

I started this website almost 9 years ago. I haven’t begun to scratch the surface of topics that I would like to write about. I have never used a website to for content ideas. This site would not exist if I my content ideas were generated by a website. That would feel a whole lot like work. This site is a labor of love. A hobby.

Generating web content ideas
Generating web content ideas

Approach your practice looking for content. Constantly ask yourself “how can I turn this into web content”. No we’re lawyers and there’s confidentiality so there’s a lot we can’t write about. But there’s way more we can.

How To Generate Web Content For Lawyers: Listen

What are clients asking you in general?

What issues do you see judges wrestling with?

What issues do your friends and family ask you about?

What do you hear people in court talking about?

What do other lawyers ask you about?

What is being talked about in the news?

These are just some of my sources for ideas. The idea from this post came from a message from Robert. There has to be someone else out there wrestling with this issue. So in my book, it is something worth writing about.

How To Generate Web Content For Lawyers: Do

What are you doing? Many of my posts arise from me doing something. Here are a few examples:

1. Getting Evidence on a Screen in Court: I figured out this set up for a personal injury trial. The setup worked very well.

2. Offer of Compromise: I filed an offer of compromise in a Connecticut legal malpractice case. I had to look at the statute. I figured I may as well post about it.

Those are just two examples of many on this site. As attorneys we are constantly doing things. Write about them.

Generating Web Content Ideas: Just Do It

The bar is low. The web is big. Your topic doesn’t have to change the world. The more narrow the topic the better. You know things. Write about what you know. Take topics from what you hear and do.

You may also like 3 Reasons Your Law Firm Should Be On Snapchat

Ryan McKeen is a Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney who writes about Connecticut Personal Injury Law and Law Practice. You can reach Ryan @ryanmckeen or ryan@cttrialfirm.com

 

 

Snapchat For Attorneys and Lawfirms

Snapchat for attorneys and lawfirms? Sounds crazy in 2016. But you need to be there. You need to be there now.

3 Reasons A Law Firm Should Use Snapchat

Now is the best time in the history of the world to tell your story. There are limitless ways to tell your story. Distribution has never been cheaper. Audiences have never been larger. Your law firm – no matter how large or small – has to tell its story. It has to get its story to market. It is necessary to survive.

ctinjurylawyer snapchat
Follow me on Snapchat

Online audiences are increasingly mobile. More than 50% of traffic on this site comes from mobile devices. In 5 years, I’ll be surprised if that number isn’t closer to 85%. My traffic is inline with all web traffic. That means that most people are finding you on their phones.

What is Snapchat

Snapchat is a mobile application that allows a user to broadcast disappearing multimedia messages (pictures, text, and video). You can turn collections of posts into “stories” that disappear within 24 hours of being posted.

Reason 1: Snapchat is Where People Are

Snapchat has more users than Twitter. Users spend an average of 30 minutes a day in Snapchat. S to the under 35 crowd what Facebook is to the over 35 crowd.

The under 30 crowd in my family rarely posts on Facebook. But they share short disappearing messages all day long. And they constantly consume disappearing messages and video.

If you want their attention the best way to get it is to go where they are.

Reason 2: Snapchat is A Great Platform To Tell A Story

When posting a picture to Instagram, I fret about getting the right filter, frame, and saturation. Most pictures that I post take 5 minutes of me playing around before they are added to the feed. Not so in Snapchat. The content is disposable. Take silly and ugly pictures and videos.

Do a video of your day as a lawyer. Do a quick video of you getting into your office. Making coffee. Going to court. Walking. Researching. Whatever it is you do. Give some insight into who you are. Authentically. Unfiltered.

It is liberating to know your content is unsearchable and gone in 24 hours.

Reason 3: Snapchat Is Growing

We don’t know what the platform is going to become. We know it is an important player in mobile story sharing. Law firms by and large aren’t on snapchat. Getting on now is a golden opportunity to acquire key usernames and build followings. Followings that can be later used to generate revenue. We also don’t know what advertising opportunities it will make available to users.

Follow my story on Snapchat. 

You may also enjoy “Generating Web Content Ideas”.

Ryan McKeen is an attorney in Hartford CT. This blog has been named an ABA 100 Law Blog. Ryan regularly writes about law practice and legal technology. You can contact Ryan @ryanmckeen or via email ryan@cttrialfirm.com. Ryan is still trying to figure out how to do video. Watch his struggle below.

Offer of Compromise In CT

3 Things You Need To Know About A Connecticut Offer Of Compromise.

The decision of when and for how much to file an offer of compromise in a Connecticut personal injury case is an important one. One with far reaching consequences.

This video explains what an (1) offer of compromise is; (2) when it can be filed; and (3) what it does.

 

Connecticut Offer of Compromise Statute

Sec. 52-192a. Offer of compromise by plaintiff. Acceptance by defendant. Amount and computation of interest. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, after commencement of any civil action based upon contract or seeking the recovery of money damages, whether or not other relief is sought, the plaintiff may, not earlier than one hundred eighty days after service of process is made upon the defendant in such action but not later than thirty days before trial, file with the clerk of the court a written offer of compromise signed by the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney, directed to the defendant or the defendant’s attorney, offering to settle the claim underlying the action for a sum certain. For the purposes of this section, such plaintiff includes a counterclaim plaintiff under section 8-132. The plaintiff shall give notice of the offer of compromise to the defendant’s attorney or, if the defendant is not represented by an attorney, to the defendant himself or herself. Within thirty days after being notified of the filing of the offer of compromise and prior to the rendering of a verdict by the jury or an award by the court, the defendant or the defendant’s attorney may file with the clerk of the court a written acceptance of the offer of compromise agreeing to settle the claim underlying the action for the sum certain specified in the plaintiff’s offer of compromise. Upon such filing and the receipt by the plaintiff of such sum certain, the plaintiff shall file a withdrawal of the action with the clerk and the clerk shall record the withdrawal of the action against the defendant accordingly. If the offer of compromise is not accepted within thirty days and prior to the rendering of a verdict by the jury or an award by the court, the offer of compromise shall be considered rejected and not subject to acceptance unless refiled. Any such offer of compromise and any acceptance of the offer of compromise shall be included by the clerk in the record of the case.

(b) In the case of any action to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death, whether in tort or in contract, in which it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the negligence of a health care provider, the plaintiff may, not earlier than three hundred sixty-five days after service of process is made upon the defendant in such action, file with the clerk of the court a written offer of compromise pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and, if the offer of compromise is not accepted within sixty days and prior to the rendering of a verdict by the jury or an award by the court, the offer of compromise shall be considered rejected and not subject to acceptance unless refiled.

(c) After trial the court shall examine the record to determine whether the plaintiff made an offer of compromise which the defendant failed to accept. If the court ascertains from the record that the plaintiff has recovered an amount equal to or greater than the sum certain specified in the plaintiff’s offer of compromise, the court shall add to the amount so recovered eight per cent annual interest on said amount, except in the case of a counterclaim plaintiff under section 8-132, the court shall add to the amount so recovered eight per cent annual interest on the difference between the amount so recovered and the sum certain specified in the counterclaim plaintiff’s offer of compromise. The interest shall be computed from the date the complaint in the civil action or application under section 8-132 was filed with the court if the offer of compromise was filed not later than eighteen months from the filing of such complaint or application. If such offer was filed later than eighteen months from the date of filing of the complaint or application, the interest shall be computed from the date the offer of compromise was filed. The court may award reasonable attorney’s fees in an amount not to exceed three hundred fifty dollars, and shall render judgment accordingly. This section shall not be interpreted to abrogate the contractual rights of any party concerning the recovery of attorney’s fees in accordance with the provisions of any written contract between the parties to the action.

Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney

Offers of compromise can be filed in many kinds of cases: car accident cases, fall cases, dog bite cases, and legal malpractice cases.

Contact Connecticut personal injury attorney Ryan McKeen if you have a personal injury case. When you call, ask Ryan about an offer of compromise. Ryan can be reached at 860 471 8333.

Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney Offer of Compromise
Offer of compromise by Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney Ryan McKeen

Law Practice Tip: Make An Airplane

Law Practice Tip: Make An Airplane
Law Practice Tip: Make An Airplane

Here’s a law practice tip: Make An Airplane.

Four years ago I’m experiencing the most stress I’ve had in my professional life. I’m leaving a firm as an associate. Leaving is hard. On a personal level, I’ll miss the people I’ve worked with for my entire professional life.

And then there’s the business side of unwinding that relationship. What clients are staying with me? What files? How much do I owe on the files. And on the files that are staying what work needs to be done on them? What haven’t I clarified.

Then there’s opening a firm. I’m trying to open bank accounts. There is construction on the office we our building. There are files that need work. Documents that need filing. My phone doesn’t stop lighting up with calls and emails.

And inside I’m a wreck. My professional life to this point has been calm. I show up at work. I do work. I go home.

Now the stress is consuming me. There’s too little of me. You know. You’ve been there.

The Airplane

I had booked a flight months prior to deciding to open my own firm. My wife and I were flying cross country to Anaheim. My wife was attending a writing conference. The last day at my old firm was a Monday. Our flight was on a Wednesday morning.

Somehow my wife and I got separated on our flights. Coach class life.

I find myself flying across country. There’s no wifi on the plane. My phone can’t ring, or chirp, or vibrate. There’s no one to talk to. Just me. Alone. With the noise of the plane. And the midwest 35k feet below me.

It is beautiful. I’m at peace for the first time in weeks. Issues back home are just that. Issues at home. They’ll wait until I land.

For now there is the hum of the engines.

I am fully in the present. There’s nowhere else to be.

Law Practice Tip: Make An Airplane

I often think about that flight to Anaheim. Sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I think of just buying a round trip ticket to wherever is cheapest. Leaving in the morning and returning before dinner.  I’ve never done this. I have no desire to run from stress. I welcome it.

But that fantasy is all kinds of wrong. It is a waste of money, time, and is bad for the environment. I mean really – there’s nothing glorious about a flight to and from Detroit.

Then it hits me. It hits me that I can make an airplane. I can leave my phone at home. I can sit quietly in my house. Or a library. Or a coffee shop. But I haven’t.

I haven’t because I constantly feel the need to be doing something. Constantly. And owning my own firm brings out the worst in that instinct. There’s always something more to do. But I’m going to try. I’m going to try to block off time to reset myself, unplug, and refocus. By doing nothing.

Connecticut Trial Firm’s No Wait Guarantee

We hate waiting. This is Connecticut Trial Firm, LLC’s “No Wait” Guarantee.

If we don’t see you within 5 minutes of a scheduled meeting time at our office we’ll give you a $25 Amazon Gift card. Your time matters to us. Your personal injury case matters to us. You matter to us.

Call us to discuss your Connecticut personal injury case. Call Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney Ryan McKeen at 860 471 8333. Call now. Don’t wait.

Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney Ryan McKeen getting an award from the CT Personal Injury Hall of Fame.
Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney Ryan McKeen getting an award from the CT Personal Injury Hall of Fame. Connecticut Trial Firm’s No Wait Policy.

Road Injury In Connecticut

CT Road Injury
Contact CT Road Injury Attorney Ryan McKeen

Have you been injured by a pothole while riding a bike? Have you suffered a road injury in Connecticut?  These injuries can be very serious. They often result in broken bones.

What are your legal rights? Is the town responsible for the damage to your bike? For your medical bills? For your pain?

A Defective Road Claim

Connecticut law provided that a person who was injured by means of a defective road may recover damages from the party bound to keep it in repair.

In making a claim, a person must prove all of the following elements by a fair preponderance of the evidence:

1) that she gave the required statutory notice of injury;

2) that the sidewalk where the injury occurred was one that the (city / town /
borough) and not some other person or entity had a duty to maintain or repair;

3) that there was a defect in the road;

4) that the city had notice of the defect;

5) that the city failed to exercise reasonable care to remedy said defect; and

6) that the defect was the sole proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; that is, no
other cause was a substantial factor in causing her injuries.

All of these elements must be proven.

Why You Need To Contact A CT Personal Injury Attorney Immediately

The statute states that an action can only be brought to recover damages caused by a defective sidewalk if the plaintiff provides written notice of the injury, with a general description of the injury, the cause, the time, and the place of its occurrence. This notice shall be given within ninety days thereafter to a selectman or clerk of the town, city or borough bound to keep the sidewalk in repair.

The notice mandated by the statute includes five elements: 1) written notice of the injury, 2) a general description of the injury, 3) the cause, 4) the time, and 5) the place.

Giving notice doesn’t mean you have to file a case. But doing so is necessary to preserving your claim for a road injury.

If proper notice isn’t given, you have no case.

The same rules apply to being injured on a sidewalk. You can learn more about sidewalk injuries here. 

Road Injury Legal Malpractice

We have brought claims against lawyers who fail to give proper notice in a timely fashion. The notice provision for road defects is unforgiving. If your lawyer didn’t give notice or gave improper notice you may have a legal malpractice claim.

If you would like your case evaluated at no cost please contact Attorney Ryan McKeen at 860 471 8333.