What should you know before filing a wrongful death lawsuit? | Loughlin FitzGerald, P.C.
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What should you know before filing a wrongful death lawsuit?

The death of a loved one is often a devastating experience for people in Connecticut, and elsewhere. These already difficult situations can be compounded when deaths are caused by the negligent, or intentional, actions of others. In these cases, the families who are left behind may be left unprepared, and thus, facing a financial crisis. For some, filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the person responsible for causing the death may provide some type of relief. Being prepared may help families to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.

Often, families are eager to see those responsible for the death of their loved ones held liable. However, Section 52-555 of the Connecticut General Statutes stipulates that only the executor or administrator of a decedent's estate may file wrongful death claims. Therefore, it is important to understand who has received this designation and may take legal action. This can help get the process underway, and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

When preparing for a wrongful death lawsuit, it is also important for people to be familiar with the types of damages that they may seek. For those involved in wrongful death claims, it is crucial that they comprehend the purpose is not to place a price tag on the worth of the decedent's life. Instead, damages in these cases may be awarded for certain economic and non-economic losses resulting from the death. These include medical expenses, funerary costs, lost wages, the decedent's pain and suffering prior to his or her death, and the loss of consortium due to the death of a spouse, among others. Entering into these lawsuits with false expectations may impact families' preparedness.

Just being involved in an incident that results in a person's death does not automatically make a person liable. For example, if two cars crash and one of the drivers dies, the other driver may not necessarily be responsible. The plaintiffs in wrongful death cases have the burden of proof. This means that they must prove that the other person was responsible for causing the death. So, in order to be awarded damages, the family of the deceased driver in the example would have to provide evidence showing that the other motorist caused the collision.

This post has provided a general overview of how to prepare for wrongful death cases. However, it should not be considered professional legal advice.

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