Waterbury Wrongful Death
Losing a loved one under any circumstance is a difficult experience. When you lose someone to another person’s negligence or wrongful conduct, it can make the emotional pain even worse. In addition to the grief of loss, many surviving family members are economically burdened after the sudden death of a loved one. Fortunately, some family members may be entitled to compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.
Under the law, when someone dies due to another person’s negligence or wrongful conduct, it may be considered wrongful death. A wrongful death case is a civil one, though a criminal case can be brought concurrently if there’s evidence of criminal wrongdoing. A wrongful death claim must be filed within two years from the date of death.
Situations Leading to Wrongful Death
Wrongful death cases always involve the negligence or recklessness of another person, but each case is unique. Some examples of common situations leading to wrongful death include:
Elements of Wrongful Death
A wrongful death case is very similar to a personal injury case. If the deceased would have had a strong personal injury case, there’s likely a strong wrongful death case. Like with a personal injury claim, there are certain elements that must be proven in order to have a successful case:
- Duty – The responsible party must have had a duty to the deceased. This can be as simple as a motorist having the legal duty to follow traffic laws.
- Breach – In addition to having a duty, the responsible party must be proven to have breached that duty. Examples include disobeying traffic laws, a medical professional failing to provide an acceptable standard of care, or a manufacturer making dangerous products.
- Causation – Not only was the responsible party negligent, but their negligence is what caused the injury and death to the deceased.
- Harm – To have a successful wrongful death case, the victim(s) must be suffering an economic loss due to the death of their loved one.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Connecticut has strict laws about filing wrongful death claims. Only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. If a representative hasn’t been appointed by the deceased through a will or other such document, it can be done posthumously by opening an estate in probate court.
Typically, only close family members will be awarded damages in a wrongful death suit. Family members that can prove financial dependence are more likely to be entitled to damages. Spouses are almost always entitled to damages, but life partners and parents of a minor may be as well. Other family members may be eligible to receive benefits in a wrongful death claim, but it varies case-by-case.
How Much Will I Receive in Damages?
The full amount a loved one is entitled to in a wrongful death case depends on several factors. Damages are often awarded for:
- Medical Bills – Wrongful death benefits include the cost of medical or nursing expenses. These expenses must be due to the injury that led to the deceased’s passing.
- Death Expenses – Funeral and burial expenses are often awarded to the family in wrongful death cases.
- Economic Losses – The most common economic losses that result in damages are loss of wages, loss of benefits, loss of inheritance, and loss of future earnings.
- Non-Economic Losses – Damages may be awarded even for losses that do not have a clear economic value. These include pain and suffering the deceased experienced, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of guidance.
Contact a Waterbury Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one due to the wrongful conduct of another person or entity, you might be entitled to receive compensation. Nothing can bring back your loved one, but our experienced Waterbury wrongful death attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas E. Porzio, LLC. can help you find some peace by fighting for your case. Call (203) 573-0019 for a free legal evaluation.