Connecticut has its own set of wrongful death laws. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent or intentional act of another party, it’s important to understand your legal rights and how the law works.
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to negligence, violence or a reckless act. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the deceased’s personal representative on behalf of the family as long as the deceased would have been entitled to file a personal injury claim if they had survived.
What are the elements of a wrongful death case?
The only way to successfully prove a wrongful death case is for the prosecution to show that certain elements are present. Negligence, recklessness or intentional violence on the part of the defendant must have directly caused the death of the victim. For example, the person was drag racing on a public street and mowed down the victim while they were crossing the street, killing them.
The prosecution would have to prove that the defendant breached their duty to the victim. In the example of the person drag racing, they should have been safely driving their car and obeying all rules of the road.
Causation is another element that must be proven in a wrongful death lawsuit. This means that the defendant’s actions caused the death of the victim. Using the drag racing example, the driver ran over the victim, causing their death.
Wrongful death must cause damages. This is the fourth and final element of such a case. Damages can include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Burial and funeral costs
- Loss of income and potential earning capacity
- Loss of care, protection and guidance
- Pain and suffering of the victim prior to their death
A wrongful death case is always highly emotional. If you lost a loved one, your family has the right to fight back to hold the at-fault party liable.