A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action taken when someone dies due to another’s negligence or intentional act. It is used to seek compensation for the survivors’ loss, such as lost wages from the deceased, lost companionship, and funeral expenses.
Connecticut has specific rules and regulations governing these lawsuits. Understanding the unique laws is vital, especially if considering taking legal action.
In these situations, victims should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney. At Perkins Injury Lawyers, we understand the impact that losing a loved one can have. We also understand that no amount of money can make up for this loss; however, it can help ease the financial burden of their absence.
Here, you can learn more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Connecticut.
Definition of Wrongful Death in Connecticut?
In Connecticut, a wrongful death is legally defined as a death due to another person or entity’s wrongful act, neglect, or default. This means someone died because of another person’s mistake, negligence, or intentional action.
For a death to be deemed “wrongful,” it must meet specific criteria. This includes:
- A direct link exists between the defendant’s actions and a person’s death.
- If the deceased survived, they would have the grounds to sue for damages.
If the deceased person had the right to file a personal injury claim, their family would likely have the right to have a wrongful death claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Connecticut?
It is essential to realize that not everyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The right is primarily given to the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate. If the deceased didn’t have an executor or administrator appointed, the court can assign one.
While immediate family members, such as spouses and children, often benefit from any compensation awarded, they don’t file the lawsuit directly. Instead, the estate’s representative takes on this role, ensuring any awarded damages are distributed appropriately to beneficiaries like family or financial dependents.
Statute of Limitations
Timing is crucial in legal matters. There’s a strict time frame for wrongful death claims in Connecticut: you have two years from the date of death to file the lawsuit. This two-year window is called the statute of limitations.
While this is the general rule, there are certain rare circumstances that might alter this timeline, either extending or reducing it. It’s imperative to act promptly and consult with legal professionals, like Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, to ensure you’re within the permitted window.
Types of Damages Available
In wrongful death lawsuits, compensation can be classified into three main categories:
- Economic Damages: These cover tangible financial losses, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost earnings.
- Non-Economic Damages: Intangible losses fall here, like pain and suffering or loss of companionship.
- Punitive Damages: In rare cases, if the defendant’s actions were reckless or malicious, the court might award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct.
Calculating damages isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. It depends on the specific details of each case. Factors like the deceased’s age, health before the incident, earning potential, and the extent of negligence play a role in determining the amount.
Establishing liability is central to a wrongful death claim. It requires proving:
- The defendant had a duty to the deceased.
- They breached that duty.
- The breach directly resulted in the death.
Building a strong case involves gathering solid evidence, securing credible witness testimonies, and sometimes leaning on expert opinions. Whether it’s medical professionals explaining the cause of death or accident reconstruction specialists detailing an event, their input can make or break a claim. It’s crucial to assemble this information for a compelling case meticulously.
Role of a Wrongful Death Attorney
For wrongful death cases, having an experienced attorney isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. These cases are often complex. An attorney brings expertise in navigating legal intricacies, gathering essential evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing clients in court.
Their experience can also significantly impact the amount of compensation awarded. By understanding Connecticut laws and leveraging their network of experts, they work to maximize the damages clients receive. In short, they play an instrumental role in leveling the legal playing field for grieving families.
Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths in Connecticut
Wrongful deaths in Connecticut arise from various situations, including:
- Car Accidents: Frequent on Connecticut roads, often resulting from distracted driving, speeding, or DUI.
- Medical Malpractice: Occurs when healthcare providers deviate from standard care, leading to fatal outcomes.
- Workplace Accidents: Construction sites, factories, and other workplaces can be grounds for fatal incidents.
- Product Liability: Deaths caused by defective or unsafe products.
Each of these causes has its own set of statistics and prevalence rates. It’s essential to stay updated on local data to grasp the magnitude of each issue.
Navigating Connecticut’s Wrongful Death Landscape
Wrongful death lawsuits are often complex, confusing, and emotional. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, we are here to help.
At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, our Hartford injury lawyers proudly represent accident victims and their families. We understand the law and how it applies to your situation. If you find yourself in this situation, we are here to help.
The first step is to contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.