What damages can I recover for a wrongful death lawsuit in Connecticut?

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Alan Scott Pickel - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Alan Scott Pickel

Located in Stamford, CTThe Pickel Law Firm, LLC

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When someone dies, it changes their family forever. Tragedies that lead to death are not only heartbreaking, but can also bring new economic challenges. If your family member died due to another person’s negligence, it can be even more devastating. However, you might be able to recover damages.

There is not enough money to make up for the loss of someone you love. However, financial compensation might help you return to a normal life while holding the person responsible for their actions. Connecticut has wrongful death laws. They limit who can file the lawsuit and the types of damages that can be recovered. It is important that you understand them.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

This is an important question and you must understand the limitations if you want your lawsuit to go forward. When a death is caused by the actions of another person, there might be an opportunity for a wrongful death suit. You might be able to file a lawsuit if someone else’s negligence or medical malpractice caused the death.

There are only two entities that can sue for wrongful death – a surviving spouse and the deceased’s estate. If there is a will, an estate must be opened with the probate court and an executor must be appointed. The spouse has their own cause of action for a claim. It is important to note that anyone can move to open an estate.

An executor, usually a spouse or close relative, will be appointed to represent the estate. Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits and must be filed by the estate’s executor or administrator. If there is a will, it will determine distribution. If the person died without a will, the estate will be distributed according to intestacy law.

Potential Damages That Can Be Recovered

Damages for wrongful death will be determined by a judge or jury. They can include:

  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Death
  • Deceased’s pain and suffering
  • Destruction of the capacity to enjoy life’s activities
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of earnings/lost earning capacity
  • Mental anguish
  • Reasonable hospital, medical and nursing expenses
  • Work life expectancy

A Legal Advocate Can Help You Manage Wrongful Death Claims

It is vital that you understand some of the intricacies of Connecticut’s wrongful death statutes. The laws can be complex. If you miss a deadline or misunderstand the law, it could hurt your chance to recover. An experienced attorney can help you navigate wrongful death laws and ensure you meet all your requirements.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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