If your loved one has died because of another party’s negligence, their estate may be eligible to assert a wrongful death claim with help from a personal injury attorney. The primary purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to recoup financial losses stemming from a person’s untimely death. An experienced Manchester wrongful death lawyer could help you pursue damages on behalf of your loved one’s estate and recover compensation for funeral costs and other expenses.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
In Connecticut, surviving family members may not bring a legal claim for wrongful death. Instead, an executor of the decedent’s estate—or the estate’s duly appointed personal representative—must file the claim.
If the estate recovers damages as part of the wrongful death claim, then the terms of the decedent’s will should govern the disbursement of the proceeds. If the decedent dies without a will, state law determines how to divide the compensation.
The estate’s executor or personal representative might bring a wrongful death claim if another person’s negligent or wrongful act caused the decedent’s death. In Manchester, the law also considers businesses (including corporations) and governmental entities to be “persons.”
Compensatory Damages for Wrongful Death
Potential damages in Connecticut wrongful death claims depend solely on the extent of the decedent’s losses; losses to the decedent’s family members are not a consideration. A court or jury may not award damages for sentimental reasons.
Recoverable damages in Manchester wrongful death claims include all of the following:
- Lost enjoyment of life – The decedent’s estate can recover damages for the decedent’s loss of enjoyment of life’s pleasures resulting from their untimely death.
- Lost earning capacity – The decedent’s estate can recover damages representing the decedent’s lost income over their remaining working years.
- Pain and suffering – The estate may also recover damages for the decedent’s pain and suffering leading up to the time of their death.
- Medical costs – Finally, the estate may recover reasonable compensation for funeral costs and related medical expenses which the decedent incurred before their death.
A wrongful death attorney in Manchester could assist personal representatives and executors with filing a timely wrongful death lawsuit and making a claim for damages. Although surviving family members and spouses cannot recover damages under the wrongful death statute, they may still be able to file a separate lawsuit for damages. In such a lawsuit, family members could pursue monetary compensation for loss of the decedent’s income, companionship, and support.
In some instances, a decedent’s death results from egregious or malicious conduct on someone else’s part—such as driving in an extremely careless manner or while intoxicated. In those situations, the decedent’s estate may be able to recover punitive damages from the at-fault party.
The main purpose of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault party for their conduct and to deter others from committing similar acts in the future.
Talk to a Manchester Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Losing a loved one is difficult—especially when that loss is avoidable. If you have lost a loved one because of another person’s negligence, an experienced lawyer may be able to help. A Manchester wrongful death lawyer could investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death, explain your legal rights, and pursue monetary recovery on the estate’s behalf. Call today to schedule a case consultation today.