Guide to the Connecticut Wrongful Death Statute

Losing a loved one is tragic, particularly when your loved one’s death was caused by another person’s negligence and could have been prevented.

Nothing can make up for your loss, but filing a Connecticut wrongful death lawsuit may provide a sense of justice and allow you to recover fair compensation for all of the damages caused by your loved one’s death.

Review this guide to the Connecticut wrongful death statute (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-555) to learn how these claims work and get answers to frequently asked questions.


Do I Have Grounds for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The easiest way to answer this question is to determine if the deceased individual would have had grounds for a personal injury claim if he or she had survived. If the answer is yes, you should strongly consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Your loved one would have had grounds for a lawsuit if his or her death was caused by another party’s negligent, reckless or intentional actions.

For instance, product manufacturers have a legal obligation to produce and distribute safe products. When they fail to do so, and people are killed or suffer injuries, the manufacturers are liable.


Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

These lawsuits can only be filed by the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate. This is the person who is responsible for closing out the deceased person’s estate now that he or she is dead.

Unfortunately, there are cases where the deceased individual did not name an executor or administrator in his or her will or estate plan, or simply did not make a will or estate plan at all. In these situations, a court will appoint someone to be the administrator.


Can a Lawsuit be Filed if There is Also a Criminal Case?

If criminal activity played a role in your loved one’s death, a state or federal prosecutor may bring a criminal case against the same party you are planning to sue. This does not prevent you from filing a wrongful death claim, even though both claims are based on the same set of facts.


How Much Time do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Connecticut is two years from the date of death. This means that if you do not file a claim within two years, you will lose the right to do so and will miss your chance to recover compensation.

There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations. For example, sometimes an act of negligence is not known immediately or does not cause a person to die right away. That is why the Connecticut wrongful death statute also says that no claim can be brought more than five years from the date of the act or omission complained of.


What Are Forms of Compensation Available?

The wrongful death statute says that the Estate can recover just damages, which may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life activities
  • Loss of income
  • Conscious pain and suffering prior to death


You are also entitled to compensation for:

  • Necessary medical and hospital services
  • Nursing services
  • Reasonable funeral and burial expenses


And if you are a surviving spouse you may recover for a loss of consortium which is the loss of your spouse’s companionship, society, and affection.

D’Amico & Pettinicchi’s Connecticut personal injury lawyers are well-versed in the Connecticut wrongful death statute. We know how to apply that understanding to your claim to achieve a favorable outcome.

Contact our firm today to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation. We will help you determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit and how to proceed if you do.