Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Connecticut
Our Wrongful Death Attorney Has the Experience You Need
Losing a loved one is one of the toughest hardships a family can face. This event often takes an even greater toll if another person’s negligence led to the fatal incident. Thankfully, the State of Connecticut allows recourse for those who have lost a loved one to a preventable accident. However, the law surrounding a wrongful death matter can be complex.
The statues that govern wrongful death lawsuits in our state are specific when it comes to time limits and who can file a case. If you do not have the proper guidance, your case could fail. Here at Walsh Woodard LLC, we have experience helping estates pursue rightful compensation after a loved one’s death. Our Connecticut wrongful death attorneys can help guide you through this challenging time.
What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Connecticut?
To file a wrongful death claim in Connecticut, the case must meet several conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to:
- An accident or incident that caused injuries that resulted in death.
- Another party must have caused the fatal accident through negligence or a wrongful act.
If the deceased individual would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit had they lived, then that person’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Losses Can a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Recover?
In Connecticut, wrongful death lawsuits can only recover damages done to the decedent. Therefore, wrongful death cases can only consider the decedent’s losses and not their family’s losses. These considerations include:
- Expenses for burials and funerals
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering the decedent endured before passing
- Medical expenses resulting from the treatment of injuries that led to the decedent’s demise
- Loss of the ability to enjoy life and life’s activities
- Compensation for the death itself
Judges or juries may also award punitive damages if deliberate violations of the law played a significant role in the accident. This could result in the doubling or tripling of the damages involved. Spouses may also be able to file a separate claim for the loss of companionship, support, income and other losses and damages.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Connecticut law also limits who may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Since the law limits wrongful death damages to the decedent’s losses, only a representative of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. That means the person who files a claim must either be the executor of the decedent’s estate or their estate’s administrator.
If your loved one did not appoint such an individual in their estate planning documents, then the probate court will appoint one. The executor/administrator of the estate will be responsible for distributing any recovered damages according to the decedent’s will. If the decedent did not have a will, distribution will proceed according to Connecticut’s intestacy laws.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
As with most civil actions in Connecticut civil court, there are statutes of limitations concerning how long you have to file a lawsuit. For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is two years after the date of the decedent’s passing. However, if the negligent act was not known or reasonably discovered at the time of the death, the time to file the lawsuit may be extended, but must happen within five years of the act or omission complained of. This deadline is true even if that makes the filing period shorter than two years from death.
Why You Need a Connecticut Wrongful Death Attorney
There are still even more complexities when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit. For instance, you may still file a wrongful death claim even if a state or federal prosecutor files a criminal case against the negligent party. Also, families may still need the help of an attorney, even after an administrator/executor files the wrongful death claim.
If your loved one has passed and you suspect it was due to someone else’s negligence, contact an attorney. The Connecticut wrongful death attorneys at Walsh Woodard LLC have the experience to help. We understand what goes into successfully recovering compensation for the loss of a loved one. Call (860) 785-2011 today for a free consultation to see how we can help you pursue justice for your loss.