Who can pursue a wrongful death claim in Connecticut?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2022 | Wrongful death |

Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be more difficult to cope with a sudden departure when your loved one’s passing was tragic and completely avoidable. If you’re in that situation now, then you’re probably left grappling with a lot of questions. How did this happen? Why did it have to happen to your loved one? How are you going to get by? These are all valid questions.

Although you may not get answers to all of them, you might be able to discover some information that puts your mind at ease. You might also find some sense of closure and of justice being served by pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Before you can answer this question, you have to determine if your loved one would’ve had the ability to pursue a personal injury lawsuit if he or she had survived. If the same facts would’ve warranted a personal injury action, then a wrongful death claim is warranted.

But not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim. In Connecticut, only the executor or administrator of your loved one’s estate can take legal action in this capacity. Your loved one may have named an executor prior to passing, but if he or she didn’t, then the court will appoint someone to oversee and administer the estate. This individual would then be responsible for taking legal action on behalf of the estate.

What damages can be recovered?

The damages that are recoverable through a wrongful death claim are limited to those damages that affected your lost loved one. Therefore, the following are the primary damages that will likely be focused on in your loved one’s wrongful death case:

  • Pain and suffering experienced prior to death
  • Lost wages that would’ve been accumulated if your loved one hadn’t passed away
  • Loss of enjoyment of life prior to passing
  • Hospital and funeral expenses

While these damages can be extensive, and you may end up receiving the compensation that is recovered from that claim through your loved one’s estate plan or through the probate process, you might still be left wondering about what you can do to deal with the pain and suffering that has been unfairly thrust upon you.

Can you take legal action?

It depends on your relationship to your lost loved one. Under Connecticut law, only surviving spouses are able to pursue legal action for loss of consortium. This claim is independent from the wrongful death claim, which means that you’ll have to file your own lawsuit and present your own evidence.

What is loss of consortium?

Simply put, loss of consortium is the deprivation of the benefits of being married to your loved one. This includes the loss of love, affection, and companionship. To prove these losses, you’ll have to paint a clear picture of your marital life and what your spouse’s companionship looked like.

Do you or your loved one’s estate need legal guidance?

Given the extent of the damages involved in wrongful death cases, there’s a lot on the line. Inadequate legal representation may jeopardize a wrongful death claim, which can leave you financially disadvantaged for a long time to come.

That’s why it’s wise to carefully consider your best representation options before moving forward with a legal claim. There are a lot of attorneys to choose from, too, which is why we encourage you to be thorough in your analysis. It’ll be helpful for you to reach out to those firms that interest you to discuss the circumstances of your case, too.

But don’t wait too long before deciding how to move forward with your case. The clock on the statute of limitations continues to tick, and we’d hate to see you miss out on an opportunity to recover what you and your loved one’s estate deserve.