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.

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

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.

Connecticut Dog Bite Law

What you need to know about Connecticut Dog Bite law.

Dog bites can cause serious permanent injury or death. Even a “small” bite can lead to serious infection that results in surgery or hospitalization. Many of my dog bite cases begin with an owner saying “(insert dog’s name) would never bite anyone.

I have been bitten by a dog several times. Once I was ripped off my bike by a dog, I understand. It happens so fast. Fortunately, I was okay. Just a pair of ripped jeans. Other folks aren’t so lucky.

Anyone who owns or keeps a dog is held strictly liable under our law for any damage caused by the dog. Strict liability does not depend on intent or harm. A person is liable if something happens – in this case a dog bite – whether or not they did anything wrong.

Connecticut Dog Bite Law
Contact Connecticut Dog Bite Attorney Ryan McKeen 860 471 8333

Connecticut Dog Bite Law

“If any dog does any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper,  shall be liable for such damage, except when such damage has been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog.” Connecticut General Statutes § 22-357

Who Is A Keeper Of The Dog

A “keeper” of a dog means someone other than the owner who harbors or has possession of any dog. You can read more about Who is a dog’s keeper here.

Exceptions To Strict Liability Dog Bites

There are two exceptions “strict liability.” The first is that the person bitten by the dog was committing a “trespass or other tort.” A “tort” is a wrongful act.

“Committing a trespass or other tort” means more than merely entering on the property or in the area where the dog was, but rather entering to commit an injury or a wrongful act. This means such wrongful acts committed against the person or property of the owner or keeper or his family. For example if a dog bites a home invader there is no liability.

The second is “teasing, tormenting, or abusing” the dog. Teasing, tormenting or abusing a dog means engaging in actions that would naturally annoy or irritate a dog and provoke it to retaliation. You can read more about the tormenting defense here. 

Conclusion

The plaintiff must prove are 1) that the defendants were the owners or keepers of a dog, 2) that the dog did, in the language of the statute, “any damage to . . . the body or property” of the plaintiff, and 3) that neither of the exceptions applies.

Know your right about Connecticut dog bite law. Empower yourself with more information about Connecticut dog bite law. Get a free consultation with me.

How much is my case worth?

Contact experienced CT dog bite attorney Ryan McKeen at (860) 471-8333 for a free case evaluation.

You can read about one of Ryan’s recent dog bite verdicts here.

Take action. Take the Next Step. Contact me:

Bitten by a dog attorney Ryan McKeen’s video on what you need to know about Connecticut dog bite law.

Be Kind To Yourself

One of the great struggles I’m having in reclaiming my life as a runner is being kind to myself.

There’s a voice in my head that says terrible things. Things that I would never say to anyone else. Things like “you’re so out of shape” or “you are so slow” or “you are so fat”. And even worse things like “you’ll never get back into shape”. Those days of going out and running 15 miles for fun are over. And they’re never coming back.

It pains me to write those words. I am not giving myself space for empathy. And I don’t know why.

I wonder if my injured clients go through the same things. Are they hard on themselves because the house isn’t as clean as it used to be? Or suddenly their mind doesn’t work the way it used to be? Or suddenly because they are mobility impaired they have gained weight? Or maybe they can’t attend their kids school event? Are they being kind to themselves? It is something I have to start asking in my interviews with clients.

One of the things that I’m doing is imagining in shape me training out of shape me. In shape me would be a cheerleader. In shape me would know that keeping at it will quickly unlock gains. In shape me would say won step at a time. And pat out of shape me on the back.

I wonder why this is so hard. I don’t have an answer. The only thing I know is it helps to write this. It helps sharing this.

I’m going for a run. I’m going to cheer for myself. My goal isn’t time, distance, or duration, My goal is self empathy.

I hope whatever you are struggling with you create a space to be kind to yourself.

You can read post 1 in the series here.

You can read post 2 in the series here.

 

Ask About Legal Malpractice Insurance

Hiring a lawyer? Ask this question about legal malpractice insurance. Also checkout my first Facebook live video below.

This post deals with legal malpractice Insurance. 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. Nor are they 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.

Every lawyer can make a mistake. Experienced lawyers. New lawyers. At firms large and small. To err is to human. Law is harsh. Law has a lot of deadlines.

 

My partner, Andrew Garza writes in response to the video: I can’t agree more. Time and time again I’ve told fellow attorneys that legal malpractice insurance is not just for them (though it is certainly important to protect yourself too). It’s a sign that the lawyer truly cares about their clients. No lawyer wants to make a mistake. But, every lawyer should want to make sure their client’s recovery is not lost if a mistake does happen.

Ask Us About Legal Malpractice Insurance

Your case is important. Don’t wait until it is too late to find out your lawyer doesn’t carry insurance. Empower yourself. Ask the question directly to the lawyer you are interviewing. The answer should be straightforward.

Connecticut Trial Firm LLC carries legal malpractice insurance. We welcome tough questions from potential clients. If you have a question about a Connecticut legal malpractice case contact Ryan at 860 471 8333.

Does Your Lawyer Have Legal Malpractice Insurance?
Does Your Lawyer Have Legal Malpractice Insurance?

Car Accident Insurance Company Has Offered Me Money

The Insurance Company Has Offered Me Money From My Car Accident. Do I Take It?

I was in a car accident. The other person’s insurance company claims they have “accepted responsibility”. And they want me to sign releases. They want me to sign a release giving them access to my medical records. And they want me to sign a release saying I won’t sue them. I’m not a lawsuit happy person. I just want what is fair. And the insurance company tells me that if I hire a lawyer I will get less money because the lawyer will take a fee.

I’d like to talk with a lawyer. I have no idea if what they are offering me is fair. And I certainly don’t want to give a third of what the insurance company is offering to the lawyer. Then I would have less money.

CT Car Accident Attorney
Contact CT Car Accident Attorney Ryan McKeen. 860 471 8333

What Do I Do About My Car Accident Case

The insurance company is deploying advanced psychological tactics to get you to accept their offer. One of the tactics is loss aversion: it’s better to not lose $5 than to find $5. Read more about insurance company tactics here. 

The reason the insurance company is deploying these tactics is in hopes of saving a buck. If the car accident claim is objectively worth 20k and they can get a release for 2k – they look at it as making 18k on your car accident claim.

The Car Accident Solution

Have your case evaluated by a personal injury lawyer.

Tell your personal injury lawyer about the offer. An honest lawyer will give you a straight evaluation if possible. And usually it is easy. Usually the reason the insurance company has offered money at all is because they know the claim is worth many times what they are offering.

I can’t speak for other lawyers, but if you see me I will not accept a case where I can’t help my client. If the insurance company has offered a potential client 3k and I take a third of that and the client now receives 1k – I have made the client worse off. That’s not fair.

Insist on a free case evaluation. Insist that your lawyer not take the case if he can’t help you. Get it put in writing in your fee agreement.

Contact me if you have been in a Connecticut car accident. There is never a fee for my evaluation. And I put my money where my mouth is. 860 471 8333

You may also like my post “Do I Have A Personal Injury Case?