There are many misconceptions in Connecticut personal injury law.

Here are three common ones:

First, in a Connecticut fall down case you must prove fault, not just property ownership. 

Many people believe that if they fall down and suffer an injury on someone else's property, then the property owner is legally liable for their injuries and damages.  That is just not true.  Generally, the property owner must keep their property in a reasonable state of repair.  When the property owner is charged with keeping their property reasonably safe, all that really means is just that--they must use reasonable care to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition.  If you fall on their property, you must still prove that they were negligent in some fashion, and did not use reasonable care.  So, if the property was reasonably safe, and you fell anyway, then the property owner is not liable. Also, in Connecticut, under the rule of contributory negligence, the plaintiff's negligence cannot exceed the defendant's negligence or the plaintiff recovers nothing, and the damages will be reduced proportionally based on the plaintiff's negligence.  So, there is a lot more to prove in a fall down case than most people realize.  

Second, you might have to pay back your health insurance company after the personal injury case in Connecticut is over.  

Most people are not aware of the Connecticut "subrogation" and "lien" rules that, in many cases, require the plaintiff to pay back their health insurance company after a personal injury lawsuit is complete.  There are too many rules to discuss in this article, and some are supplemented by federal rules like ERISA.  But each case will require an examination of the particular rules that apply to the type of health insurance company the plaintiff has in the case.

Third, typically it is the defendant that elects a jury trial in a Connecticut personal injury case.

The final common misconception in a Connecticut personal injury case is the fact that juries are conservative.  Most people on juries take cases very seriously, and only make damage awards when the damages are really proven.  In fact, in most cases it is the defendant, not the plaintiff that elects to have a jury trial.  

If you have any questions about a potential case in Connecticut, feel free to contact lawyers at The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, Connecticut at 860-445-8521.  We are here to help.

Peter J. Bartinik, Jr.
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Civil Trial Attorney, Practicing Law in Connecticut
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