Q: What happens during the initial consultation?
A: At Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, we understand that every injury case is different and that all injury cases involve physical and emotional suffering. As a full-service law firm, we take a personalized approach to serving our clients, with the goal of helping each one feel completely taken care of during a difficult time.
We also understand that most people have never been involved in a personal injury, medical malpractice or wrongful death claim. For many of our clients, the whole idea of a lawsuit can be confusing and intimidating. That’s why we offer a free, confidential consultation to injury victims and their families.
It is important to know that in injury matters, we do not charge legal fees until our client has been financially compensated.
Q: What will we talk about?
A: The initial consultation is an opportunity to hear about what happened to you or your family member. We will take the time to sit down with you to hear your story — to understand what happened and how it has affected your life. You can expect:
- To explain how, where and when the accident or incident occurred as it is important for us to know who may have caused the injury
- To share about the exact injuries that were suffered and the diagnoses and prognoses from your doctor(s)
- To receive feedback on your medical records (you should bring them along if possible) and medical concerns from our staff nurse, who participates in initial interviews with potential clients
- To discuss what kinds of treatments, surgeries or therapies have been necessary and may be needed in the future — and what bills you may have received for these services
- To talk about the financial, emotional and relational challenges brought about by the incident
Q: Where does the consultation occur?
A: Generally, you’ll talk to someone on the phone first. This will be a conversation with an LTKE Law attorney and/or our staff nurse.
Q: Who will handle my case?
A: At Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, we take the time to carefully evaluate every facet of your case. We are not a high-volume firm, meaning that we don’t desire to cycle through a number of cases quickly. We dedicate the resources, energy, and time to your situation that you deserve.
From the moment you reach out to our firm, your case is handled primarily by an experienced lawyer from start to finish. You’ll be able to consult with your attorney as needed and will have questions added promptly. When you choose to partner with us, you’re more than “just a number.”
In addition to our skilled attorneys, we have a licensed nurse on staff to assist with the medical components of specific cases. They may be in touch with you regarding your situation.
Personal Injury (Catastrophic Accidents and / or Injuries)
Q: What are common personal injury claims?
A: There are many types of personal injury claims. Some examples include:
- Vehicular Accidents: A majority of personal injury lawsuits come in the form of car accident claims. Whether you are driving or walking, if you are hit by another vehicle, you may be able to bring a claim for personal injury. Car accidents can range from hit and run accidents, drunk driving accidents, pedestrian accidents, high-speed collisions, rear-end collisions, and uninsured driver accidents, to name a few.
- Slip and Fall accidents: These types of accidents hold the owner of a property liable for injuries that result from defective or dangerous conditions or a lack of maintenance at the property. This can include a trip and fall on a wet floor, defective stairs, or a rough patch of ground. These types of claims may be brought against landlords, property owners, and retail managers, who have a responsibility to their guests to guarantee safe premises.
- Workplace Accidents: Workplace personal injury claims are filed by anyone injured on the job. The cause of injury may range anywhere from malfunctioning equipment to unsafe working conditions.
- Dog Bites: When a dog bites an individual, it is often the owner of that dog that can be held accountable. Dog bite injuries can cause temporary or permanent injuries and scarring and can be painful and debilitating.
- Wrongful Death: Wrongful death claims arise from the death of a person due to another’s negligence or wrongdoing.
There are many other types of Negligence-Complex Injury claims. This list is not meant to be exhaustive so be sure to contact an attorney to review your potential claim.
Q: How do you prove negligence in a personal injury claim?
- Duty of care: The other party had a responsibility to provide you a certain level of care.
- Breach: There was a breach of this duty; the other party did not provide that certain level of care and/or acted recklessly.
- Causation: The failure to provide that certain level of care directly led to your injuries.
Damages: Because of these injuries, you have experienced financial loss.
Q: What are considered financial damages?
A: Financial damages can range anywhere from medical bills, copays, and insurance costs to even out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., the cost of parking near a hospital where necessary treatment was received). Financial damages may also include lost wages.
Q: Will my case go to trial?
A: It is hard to predict whether your case will end up in a trial as each case is unique. Lawyers are obtained to ensure that you receive the amount your case is actually worth, as insurance companies are under no obligation to pay you reasonable damages.
Q: What is the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim?
A: In Connecticut, there is a two-year time period in which to file a claim. This date is calculated from the date you sustained your injuries.
Q: How much will it cost me to bring a personal injury claim?
A: Personal injury cases are taken by our firm on a contingency fee basis, which means that a fee is paid upon successful completion of the case. Costs are also due and payable at the time the case is completed. Please contact an attorney to discuss the specific contingency fees applicable to your case.
Q: How long will it take for my potential accident claim to resolve in Connecticut?
A: It is almost impossible to determine how long a case will take to resolve as each case is unique and may involve unusual issues. As such, the speed of resolution should be calculated on a case-to-case basis. According to a survey by the U.S. Department of Justice, the average personal injury case could take anywhere between one to three years to reach a resolution. It is important to keep in mind, however, that this is simply an average, but offered to provide you with some perspective.
Q: What is Medical Malpractice?
A: Medical Malpractice is defined as a deviation or breach in the standard of care as a result of treatment by a medical provider, including but not limited to: doctors, hospitals, nurses, therapists, and other medical practitioners. This breach may result in these providers being held responsible for damages sustained as a result of their malpractice. This may include pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, death, or loss of companionship.
Q: What are some examples of a medical malpractice claim?
A: One of the most common examples of medical malpractice is a misdiagnosis. This is when a doctor diagnoses a patient with the wrong illness or does not diagnose a patient as accurately as a competent doctor would have. A malpractice claim may also regard error in a surgical procedure or that arises from birth injuries that affect a fetus or newborn.
Q: Do I qualify for a medical malpractice claim?
A: To qualify for a medical malpractice claim, the following elements must be established:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship. This is commonly established as a result of treatment that was provided.
- There was a duty of care established. This is the legal obligation a medical professional has to the patient to provide the care that is accepted within the medical community.
- There was a breach of this duty. This means that the medical professional did not provide care that was acceptable within the medical community and is knowns as a breach in the standard of care.
- The breach led to the specific injury at issue.
- The injury caused damages, such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, or a loss in wages, etc.
Q: How much could my medical malpractice claim be worth?
A: There are many factors that determine the amount of damages one could receive from a medical malpractice claim. Damages in a medical malpractice case are meant to reimburse a patient for the physical, emotional and financial damages sustained as a result of the malpractice. These damages are classified as economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages consist of out-of-pocket costs and may include medical expenses, lost wages, and the costs of any future treatments. Non-economic damages relate to the permanent injuries, as well as the pain and suffering endured as a result of the malpractice.
Q: Who can I sue in a medical malpractice claim?
A: You may sue any medical professional that has committed malpractice. Typically, the defendant is a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, or another member of a hospital. A hospital or treatment facility may also be sued. You may also sue more than one individual if he or she has a role in the malpractice.
Q: Can I sue a nurse for giving me the wrong medications/drugs?
A: One can sue an individual nurse if their error in providing medication fell below the standard of care of a competent nurse. Typically, if a nurse commits medical malpractice, assisting doctors or hospitals may also be liable by extension.
Q: Can I sue my doctor for not explaining all the risks involved with my procedure?
A: While a doctor has a duty to tell their patient about significant risks involved with a surgery/procedure, they are not required to inform you of every imaginable risk possible. However, failing to inform a patient about a significant risk that may have caused them to make a different decision had they known of the risk, could result in liability.
Q: What is the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim?
A: The statute of limitations sets a limited amount of time to take legal action against another after sustaining the correlated injury. For a medical malpractice claim in Connecticut, the statute of limitations is generally two years. However, there are various exceptions and caveats that, in some instances, could provide additional time to bring a medical malpractice claim. For this reason, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as you suspect you may have a claim.
Q: How much will it cost me to bring a medical malpractice claim?
A: Medical malpractice cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, which means that a fee is paid upon successful completion of the case. The fee is one third of the overall recovery. Costs are also due and payable at the time the case is completed.
Q: What is a products liability case?
A: If an injury is sustained due to a failure or malfunction of a consumer product, you may be eligible to make product liability claim. For a valid product liability lawsuit, one must show that the product in question was defective or unreasonably dangerous.
Q: What are some examples of products that may be involved in a product liability case?
A: Some examples of products that may be involved in a products liability case: cars, car parts, children’s products, household appliances, tools, equipment, construction equipment, medical devices, prescription drugs, etc. Essentially, any product released to the market for public consumption may qualify in a products liability case if it is defective or unreasonably dangerous and it causes harm to the consumer.
Q: What are some examples of defects?
A: Typically, products liability cases involve design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.
- Design defects pertain to products that, even though made as intended, are unreasonably unsafe. These claims challenge the product’s safety.
- Manufacturing defects pertain to a dilemma that is unique to the specific product. Typically, the defects occur during the process of making the product.
- Marketing defects pertain to the lack of information provided about the risks associated with the product when used in its intended way.
Q: How much is my products liability claim worth?
A: The valuation of each individual claim is unique. The facts and circumstances of your case will allow an attorney to calculate the nature and extent of your damages, which is meant to compensate your for physical injuries and financial costs related to the injury. Damages can include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Q: What is the statute of limitations for a products liability claim?
A: The statute of limitations sets a limited amount of time to take legal action against another for sustaining the correlated injury. In Connecticut, a product liability claim should be brought within three years from the date when the injury is sustained or discovered. That said, there may be various nuances associated with your claim. Therefore, it is important to consult an attorney as soon as you suspect you may have a products liability claim.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Q: What should I do if I have been in a motor vehicle accident?
A: First, contact the police in order to document the accident. Second, take photographs of the scene and any damage to your vehicle.
Q: What should I do if I have been injured in a motor vehicle accident?
A: Immediately seek medical attention for any injuries you sustained in the accident. Take photographs of any injuries, such as bruising and cuts, that were caused in the accident.
Q: What is my case worth?
A: If you suffered an injury in a car accident that was another driver’s fault, you may be entitled to a settlement to compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. The value of your case depends upon several things, such as: the extent of your injuries, your medical treatment, your medical history, the insurance coverage available, among other things. Our personal injury attorneys can discuss with you how cases are evaluated.
Q: When should I contact a lawyer?
A: If you suffered injuries from your motor vehicle accident, then you should immediately contact an attorney.
Q: How much is the legal fee?
A: We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee. This means that you owe us nothing upfront and we only get paid if there is a settlement or award in your favor. We charge a standard contingency fee of 1/3 of your settlement or award plus reimbursement of any costs we expended on your behalf.
Q: Can I represent myself?
A: If you are injured in a car accident, we strongly recommend that you contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys before you talk to the insurance company. The insurance company can use anything you say against you to try to limit your compensation. The insurance company will attempt to take your “recorded statement” which they will likely use against you later.
Slip and Falls
Q: What is a slip and fall case?
A: A slip and fall case is when a property owner does not take the necessary steps to keep his or her property safe, and someone gets hurt as a result. A person can slip and fall because of ice and snow, a hole, a broken stair, liquid on the ground, or any other type of defect making the area unsafe. Slip and fall cases are often tricky because they can be hard to prove.
Q: What should I do if I am injured in a slip and fall incident?
A: You should take pictures of what caused you to fall. This is known as the “defect.” Immediately seek medical attention for any injuries you sustained from the fall.
Q: What if I slip and fall while working?
A: If you are injured in a slip and fall accident while at work, you are usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you fell off-site or if the fall was because of the negligence of a third party, such as your employer’s landlord or management company, then you might be able to file a third-party claim in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. Our experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys will investigate the case to determine if a third-party claim can be made.
Q: What should I do if I slip and fall at a commercial establishment?
A: If you slip and fall at a commercial establishment, such as a grocery store, mall, or big box store, you should:
- Immediately notify the store manager. The manager should complete an incident report. You should ask for a copy of the report.
- Take pictures of the defect that caused you to fall.
If you sustain injuries, then you should immediately seek medical treatment.
Q: How often is a tax reevaluation?
A: Every five years for real property and every year for personal property.
Q: What should I do if I do not agree with the value placed on my real property?
A: You can appeal the value to the Board of Assessment Appeals. If unsuccessful at the Board of Assessment Appeals, you can appeal the decision to the Superior Court.
Q: Can I file an appeal with the Board of Assessment Appeals on my own?
A: Yes, you can. However, there are strict deadlines that you must comply with. It is recommended that you contact your local assessor and/or a lawyer to discuss the proper procedure.
Q: What should I do if I am injured at work?
A: You should immediately report the injury to your employer. You should also seek medical treatment for your injuries.
Q: Are there any important deadlines?
A: Yes. You must file a Form 30c by certified mail to your employer and the correct Workers’ Compensation Jurisdiction within one year of your injury in order to preserve your claim.
Q: When should I discuss my work injury with an attorney?
A: As soon as the injury happens. Our experienced attorneys will make sure to file the proper paperwork to secure your claim and help you get the medical treatment you need.
Q: What should I do if I am arrested?
A: Immediately inform the arresting officer that you wish to speak with your attorney. Anything you say can be used against you, so we recommend that you say nothing until you speak with an attorney.
Q: Do you represent respondents in administrative hearings?
A: Yes. We defend clients before various administrative agencies. These include Department of Children and Families (DCF); Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV); Department of Public Health (DPH); Department of Transportation (DOT); and the Liquor Commission.
Q: Do I need representation at an administrative hearing?
A: Yes. While it may not seem as formal as going to a courthouse, administrative hearings are serious matters. These hearings are extremely important as the outcoming will impact your rights and may include suspension or revocation of licenses.
Q: Do I need an attorney?
A: It is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney to assist you. Divorces are a very emotional process and it is easier to have an attorney guide you through the process so that you can focus on healing and helping yourself and your children adjust to your new life. Our attorneys can help you solve problems in more ways than just preparing for a contested trial. We approach dissolution negotiations in creative ways in order to find suitable solutions regarding custody, property division, alimony and child support. We can help you through this difficult process while protecting you and your interests. Every family is unique and each client deserves the time and attention to understand the process and the options available.
Q: Do all divorces go to trial?
A: Trial is only necessary when parties cannot agree on a significant issue on the dissolution. Should the parties be unable to reach a settlement, we will be fully prepared to represent you throughout your trial.
Q: What areas of family law do you practice?
A: While divorce encompasses a large part of the family law field, it is not the only issue that families face. We represent individuals in a variety of domestic related disputes including child custody; post judgment modification; annulment, legal separations; contempt; intervener’s rights; adoption; and child support. We are here to help you whatever your issue may be.