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Stratford Wrongful Death Lawyer

The passing of a loved one due to the negligence of another is an unimaginable tragedy. When you are ready to discuss your wrongful death case, one of our Stratford wrongful death attorneys at Connolly Brennan Ralabate, PC will consult with you for free, and determine how we can pursue full compensation on you and your families’ behalf.

Although we cannot make up for this type of loss, we can offer the legal support and guidance your family needs at this time. Call (203) 493-0093 to get in touch with our Stratford office today.

Why Choose Our Law Firm?

  • A wrongful death lawyer from our law firm will work with you one on one and stay in constant contact to help you, and your family with all legal matters related to the loss of your loved one.
  • Our Stratford personal injury lawyers have a proven record of success, by having obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients.
  • We care about our clients and offer quality legal representation without any costs upfront, and will only be paid when you are.

Connecticut’s Definition of Wrongful Death

Under Connecticut Code Section 52-555, a wrongful death claim is an action, “for injuries resulting in death,” allowing for damages to be recovered from the “party legally at fault for such injuries.”

A simple way to determine if the family of a deceased loved one has the grounds for a wrongful death claim is to establish if the deceased individual could have filed a personal injury lawsuit had they survived. If the at-fault party’s actions were negligent, reckless, or intentional, then your loved one would have been able to pursue a lawsuit.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, a wrongful death lawsuit can only be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. That would be an individual who is designated as an executor or administrator in the decedent’s will or estate plan unless someone is not named or there is no will or estate plan at all. Then an executor will be appointed by the court.

The decedent’s spouse, children, financial dependents, and other surviving family members may receive benefits from the claim.

How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?

The burden of proof rests with the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim in Connecticut. If you are the person filing the claim, this means it is up to you or your attorney to prove the defendant is at fault for your loved one’s fatal injury. Fault in a wrongful death claim generally comes down to negligence, which consists of four elements. In order to claim compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove:

  • The at-fault party owed the deceased a duty of care.
  • The at-fault party breached that duty, by failing to act with the same level of care a reasonable person would provide in the same or a similar situation.
  • The breach of that duty of care led to the individual’s death.
  • The surviving plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the wrongful death.

If your attorney can prove these four elements as more likely to be true than not true using clear and convincing evidence, your family could recover compensation for wrongful death. A Stratford wrongful death lawyer will help you gather the necessary evidence to use as grounds for filing the claim, and as proof of liability.

Recoverable Damages

Generally, the damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit are those incurred by the survivors, which can include:

  • Medical bills for the deceased’s treatment
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of financial support and benefits
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of companionship, love, and guidance
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages in exceptional situations where the defendant was reckless, willful, or malicious in causing the death.

Causes of Wrongful Death

Many common types of accidents in Connecticut can lead to fatal injuries and wrongful death claims. There are many examples of human error and negligence that can lead to catastrophic accidents on the road, at work and even right at home. 

At Connolly Brennan Ralabate, PC, our attorneys have experience representing individuals and families in many different types of accident claims. We know how to handle cases involving all of the most common causes of wrongful death, including:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
  • Falls
  • Workplace accidents
  • Dog attacks
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Dangerous or defective products
  • Medical malpractice
  • Abuse or violence

Many fatal accidents are not actually accidents at all; they are preventable incidents that could have been avoided with due care and diligence. If your loved one lost his or her life in any of these tragic ways in Stratford, your family may be eligible for financial compensation for wrongful death. These are all examples of preventable accidents that can stem from careless, reckless or criminal behaviors.

Timeline of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

It is important to act quickly if you believe you have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Stratford. All civil lawsuits in Connecticut must be filed by their statutes of limitations, or else the plaintiff will give up the right to recover. A statute of limitations is a legal deadline on the ability to bring a cause of action. Every state has unique statutes of limitations, and they vary according to the type of case. In Connecticut, you must bring a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of death.

Once you file your claim, it will initiate a set of procedures:

  1. Notifying the defendant. Your lawyer will submit a notice of the intent to sue to the defendant, after which the defendant will have the opportunity to respond to your petition.

  2. Settlement negotiations. If the defendant accepts your claim, both parties will enter into settlement negotiations. Having an attorney negotiate for you can increase the chances of the insurance company offering a fair amount for your devastating loss.

  3. Discovery. Most wrongful death claims end at the settlement stage. If the insurance company refuses to settle, however, your case will proceed to trial. The first phase of a trial is discovery, where both sides can learn what the other side knows.

  4. Wrongful death trial. Your case can still settle at any point before the actual date of your trial. Otherwise, your attorney can represent you in court to present as strong a case as possible against the defendant.

  5. Deliberations and verdict. Once the jury hears both sides of the case, it will determine whether or not you and your attorney fulfilled the burden of proof. If so, the jury will award a settlement amount it deems fair.

If your wrongful death case goes to trial but has an unfavorable outcome, your attorney may be able to file an appeal on your behalf. The vast majority of wrongful death claims in Connecticut, however, never see the inside of a courtroom. Instead, they are resolved at the insurance stage with successful settlement agreements.

Speak to a Stratford Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

Following the loss of a loved one, it is best to act quickly. In Connecticut, you generally have two years from the date of the death to bring a wrongful death claim against a negligent party. We offer free consultations at our law firm in Stratford and online. Reach us at (203) 493-0093, or by filling out our online case evaluation form.