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What to know about wrongful death claims

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Wrongful Death |

If you recently lost a loved one due to another person or entity’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness, you may be able to file a claim for wrongful death. Wrongful death claims include motor vehicle collisions, truck collisions, deaths due to medical malpractice or a defective product or drug, and deaths due to injuries that occurred at a workplace. A wrongful death lawsuit can recover compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, such as the lost income of the individual who died, the pain and suffering he or she endured while sick, and the loss of that person’s ability to enjoy life.

What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death is when a person dies as a result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional act of another.  Some of the most common types of wrongful death lawsuits include:

  • Motor vehicle collisions involving a car, truck, bus, or motorcycle
  • Workplace deaths caused by unsafe behavior or conditions
  • Slips and falls that happen either in a public or private setting
  • Medical malpractice where improper treatment, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition, or a surgical mistake caused the death
  • Defective equipment that was manufactured improperly, used incorrectly, or was improperly maintained

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, who can file a wrongful death claim depends on whether the person who died had a will.  If he or she had a will, and that will named an executor or administrator of the estate, that executor or administrator may file a wrongful death lawsuit. If he or she did not have a will, the probate court can appoint someone (typically a family member) to serve as executor or administrator, who may then pursue a wrongful death claim.  Surviving spouses, parents and children may, in some cases, also have a right to claim certain damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.

What are the possible wrongful death damages that can be recovered?

In Connecticut, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the person’s death. Damages, or compensation for losses, include:

  • The deceased person’s projected earning capacity if they had lived
  • Pain and suffering that the deceased individual endured before he or she died
  • Loss of consortium, support, companionship, or affection, meaning that if the individual left behind a spouse, children or parents, the loss of that relationship may be compensable
  • Medical expenses, including hospital, surgical, nursing care, or any other services related to the fatal injury or illness
  • Funeral expenses