When a car crash, surgical error, vicious dog, or criminal act takes your loved one from you, this can forever change your life in an instant. While the law cannot bring your family member back to you, it can give you a platform to speak out against what happened. Filing a claim against those who caused your loved one’s death can be a freeing and empowering way for you to seek compensation and use your voice for good.

And you don’t have to take this important step alone. We encourage you to work with a Connecticut wrongful death lawyer at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC. Our team of personal injury attorneys provides a high level of client service and compassion you seldom find in other law firms. And, as the only law office in Connecticut with an in-house focus group courtroom, we have a unique ability to develop responsive and well-researched strategies.

Someone’s Actions Caused My Family Member’s Death. Do I Have a Case?

When a person or company’s actions or failure to act leads to someone’s death, those who live on may have an opportunity to hold them accountable. For example, if a drunk driver hits a pedestrian crossing the street, the deceased person’s family may be able to sue. Unlike other types of lawsuits, a wrongful death claim involves the executor of the victim’s estate taking action on behalf of the victim.

Under Connecticut General Statutes § 52-555, whenever the executor files suit, they should make sure it’s before the second anniversary of the death and the five-year mark after the fatal incident (e.g., car crash). However, there are exceptions to this deadline.

For example, the executor may not have to follow this rule if the basis for the claim is that someone’s criminal actions killed the deceased. The regulations explain what types of fatal crimes may trigger this exception, which includes murder, manslaughter, and arson. The special rule may also apply if the perpetrator receives or uses an insanity defense to dodge a qualifying conviction.

Losing a loved one can bring enormous challenges, from having to unexpectedly plan a funeral to trying to learn how to live on. Lean on our compassionate Connecticut wrongful death attorneys to handle the legal aspects and help you seek justice. You deserve the space to focus on mourning and healing without the added stress of being in charge of court matters.

What Compensation Is Available in a Wrongful Death Case (and Who Receives It)?

As Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-555 explains, the executor may demand fair damages from the individual or business to blame for a person’s death. While each case may resolve differently, a compensation package might include paying for medical costs for treating your loved one between the incident and their passing; conscious pain and suffering before death; and loss of enjoyment of life. The responsible party may also have to pay funeral and burial costs.

If you’re the deceased’s spouse, you may qualify to file a lawsuit for loss of consortium. Under Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 52-555a and 52-555b, this might be part of the main wrongful death case; however, the court would calculate this form of compensation separately.

As explained in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 45a-448, most of the settlement from the lawsuit would be distributed based on the instructions in the person’s will or the default rules for when someone doesn’t have a will. However, before transferring this sum to the estate, the executor may use it to pay the court-related costs, medical bills, and funeral expenses. Our wrongful death lawyers in Connecticut are well-equipped to help you understand what compensation may be available to you for your loved one’s death and how to receive it.

Speak With a Connecticut Wrongful Death Attorney Now

When your loved one dies because of the careless or malicious actions of another, it can inflict a unique type of pain. On top of the grief of losing someone you care about, you may also grapple with the injustice of why they died. Our legal team understands and respects your pain, and we can help you fight back against those responsible.

Connect with a Connecticut wrongful death lawyer at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, to discuss your legal options during a free, no-obligation consultation. We offer flexible remote and in-person appointments because we know life does not stop when legal matters arise.