The passing of a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful act of another is an unimaginable traumatic experience. For those who have endured this tragedy, filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Connecticut helps provide a path toward accountability and justice. Here are the laws at play.
Wrongful death lawsuit
Wrongful death is a type of personal injury lawsuit brought on behalf of a family or other survivors when someone else (the defendant) partially or completely contributed to the death of the deceased and the survivors suffered an emotional or financial loss. This normally happens in:
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous products
- Violent crimes
Unlike a criminal case, wrongful death doesn’t require proof of intent to kill or cause harm. Instead, it requires proof that the defendant acted recklessly or was negligent in some way. For example, a driver who was speeding or driving under the influence would be liable in a wrongful death case.
Statute of limitations
In Connecticut, the statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the victim’s passing. The clock starts ticking upon notification of the death, usually within 24 to 48 hours after it occurs.
You won’t be able to bring forth a lawsuit for damages related to that particular case after the statute of limitations expires. However, if you believe you will not be able to file suit within those two years due to extenuating circumstances such as your own medical issues or financial hardship caused by the victim’s passing, you can petition the court for an extension.
People that can file a wrongful death lawsuit
According to Connecticut laws, only the executor of the deceased estate has the legal authority to file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased has no valid will, the court can assign someone else for the job, usually an attorney or family member.
No amount of money could ever make up for losing a loved one, but filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help with the medical bills, funeral expenses and lost wages suffered. The judge may also award punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer for their negligence or recklessness.