While bringing a claim of negligence against the responsible party may not interest you at this time, you should know that you may be entitled to receive some financial compensation for your loss. Get in touch with a Bridgeport wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to begin the healing process. Legal representation could help you address some of the expenses you are dealing with.
A wrongful death is a death that occurs because of another person’s negligence, recklessness, or willful misconduct. Wrongful death suits compensate survivors, while financially punishing wrongdoers.
Importantly, a wrongful death action is not a criminal proceeding. Civil litigation does not require so stringent a burden of proof that criminal litigation does. Unlike in a criminal action where the prosecution must prove that the defendant was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, in a civil action, a claimant needs merely to prove that the defendant was liable for the injury based upon a preponderance of evidence standard. Civil lawsuits can take place at the same time as criminal prosecutions, and the outcomes are very different. In a civil suit for wrongful death, a court may require a defendant to pay monetary damages to the claimant, but will not send a defendant to jail for their actions.
Wrongful death suits can follow deaths resulting from many situations, including:
Surviving family members cannot file wrongful death suits on their own. In Connecticut, only the administrator or executor of a deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death suit. In the event of a successful judgment, the executor then distributes any damages according to the will. If the deceased person did not have a will, then a court typically appoints an administrator to file a suit. Additionally, speaking with a skilled local lawyer as soon as possible is important because time is of the essence in a wrongful death suit. Survivors must file a claim within two years of the deceased person’s death, according to Connecticut General Statutes Section 52-555.
A Connecticut court may award economic damages to compensate survivors for medical expenses and funeral expenses, and for their deceased loved one’s lost wages and lost earning capacity. They may also award non-economic damages to compensate for the pain and suffering and their loss of enjoyment of life that the surviving family members endure. In limited circumstances, Connecticut courts also award punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer.
If a court determines that the deceased person was partially responsible for their death due to their own negligent actions, the court can award fewer damages under a modified comparative negligence standard.
An experienced wrongful death attorney can help maximize the recovery of damages by investigating the accident that caused your loved one’s death and by looking carefully into your loved one’s financial situation to estimate their future lost wages and earning capacity. A tough, legitimate, and credible Bridgeport wrongful death attorney can help surviving family member claim the compensation they need following the death of a loved one.
A local lawyer can help by investigating the circumstances of your loved one’s death, and by standing up and advocating for your loved one and you. Call a compassionate Bridgeport wrongful death lawyer today to see how they can help you.