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How Are Damages Calculated in Wrongful Death Cases?

Posted on March 13, 2023 in

Damages can often be difficult to calculate – especially in cases where someone has passed away. This process can vary state-by-state and requires the help of a seasoned attorney. Reach out to a Connecticut wrongful death attorney from Connolly Brennan Ralabate to learn how damages will be calculated in your wrongful death case.

What Is Considered Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death occurs when someone dies as a result of the legal fault of another person.  This can include accidents involving negligence, medical malpractice, or intentional acts. Surviving estate managers are subsequently able to file a claim against the party that caused the wrongful death of their loved one, making it potentially liable for pain and suffering, income loss, loss of life’s enjoyment, and more.

Calculating and Recovering Wrongful Death Damages

Connecticut has a unique statute for wrongful death lawsuits that considers the damages from the perspective of the person who passed away: the decedent. The amount of damages that could potentially be recovered is based on what the decedent lost – not what their family members lost. This means that, except in certain circumstances, damages cannot be awarded for sentimental or other losses that the family may have suffered.

However, according to this statute, damages can be claimed by – and only by – the executor or personal representative for things like what the decedent would have enjoyed in life and the money they would have earned if they were still alive. The prosecuting party can also ask for damages for any pain and suffering the person went through before they passed away. Additionally, the court can award adequate amounts of money to cover losses such as medical and funeral expenses.

Although seeking recovery for such damages is not allowed under the wrongful death statute, the decedent’s spouse has the right to file a separate lawsuit under a separate statute to recover damages for the loss of support, companionship, and income caused by the deceased’s death. Moreover, the spouse can also seek compensation for emotional distress.

How to File a Claim in Connecticut

Some examples of wrongful deaths in Connecticut include fatal car accidents, intentional acts of violence during an altercation, and medical malpractice by an unlicensed physician. Wrongful deaths can take many forms, but ultimately should be addressed in a court of law to seek damages. To file a wrongful death claim in Connecticut, a party must file within two years of the date of the person’s death. Furthermore, no claim can be brought over five years from the date of the act that caused the individual’s death.

In any case, the very first step to filing a wrongful death claim is contacting a Connecticut wrongful death attorney from Connolly Brennan Ralabate who will immediately begin researching your case. Our offices are available 24/7 and offer free consultations – clients just need to call 203-493-0093 or message us online to take advantage of our experienced attorneys who boast successful case rates of over 99%.