What is a Connecticut wrongful death case and who can sue? Our Connecticut wrongful death lawyers have been representing the families of individuals who have been killed through the fault of another in wrongful death claims. A wrongful death action is unique in that it originally it did not exist under the common law that formed the basis of our legal system. Originally, it was held that a claim involving the death of a person "died" with the victim because there was no way to compensate that individual for the damages that they sustained. Originally, the surviving family members were precluded from claiming damages from the other party that caused their loved one's death.
Over the years, states began enacting "wrongful death" statutes or laws that provide for a method of obtaining compensation for the estates of decedents, or people who were killed, so their family members who have been damaged could collect compensation. Although wrongful death statutes vary from state to state, generally these statutes consist of four elements: the death of the victim which was caused in whole or in part by another party; that the at fault party either intentionally caused, was negligent, or is strictly liable for the death of the victim; there is a surviving spouse, children, dependents or beneficiaries of the deceased individual; and damages or injuries have resulted from the death of the victim.
The estates of the deceased victim could be entitled to some or all of the following types of damages:
- Expenses associated or related to the victim's death which could include the ambulance bill
- Hospital bills
- Doctor and surgical bills
- Medical and rehabilitative care bills and funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of the victims future earnings
- Pain, suffering and mental anguish which was experienced by the victim prior to their death
- The pain and suffering and mental anguish experienced by the survivors
- Loss of consortium on the part of the surviving spouse
- The injuries suffered by the children of the deceased individual for loss of care, companionship, and associated losses
Generally speaking, in order to commence an action to recover damages in a wrongful death case a personal representative of the deceased person's estate will have to be appointed. This person is either the executor named in the decedent's will or if the victim died without a will, the person appointed the administrator of the decedent's estate who in most cases will be the surviving spouse or other person appointed by the probate court. It is very important that you get the advice of an experienced Connecticut wrongful death attorney immediately so that you can properly protect your rights and start the investigation and development of this important case right away.
Our Connecticut accident and injury lawyers have written the book which we provide to the families of wrongful death victims and accident and injury claimants for free. Visit our website at www.hcwlaw.com and download a free copy of our accident and injury book right away. Find out what you should be doing and what you should not be doing. You can also call and speak with one of our Connecticut wrongful death lawyers by contacting us at 888-244-5480. We will also be happy to meet with you either in our office, or at some other location which you designate, to review the facts of your case with you and to advise you as to what you should be doing. So before you hire a lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster or sign any paperwork contact us today to determine what you should be doing.