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Surviving dependents have rights after a fatal Connecticut crash

Motor vehicles are a major source of convenience, allowing people the freedom and independence to travel anywhere they wish with a little bit of planning and gas money. Most people in Connecticut depend on motor vehicles to make their daily commute to work, run errands and care for their families.

All too often, drivers don't consider the potential risks before they get behind the wheel. After all, most people arrive safely. For a small fraction of people, a standard drive can turn into something tragic or even fatal. Crashes that result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities are not common, but they do happen every day. For those who lose a loved one to a deadly crash, there is the potential to seek compensation and justice if the other driver was responsible for the collision.

Connecticut wrongful death laws permit civil lawsuits after a crash

If documentation from law enforcement makes it clear that they believe the other driver was responsible for the fatal collision, surviving family members have the right to consider a wrongful death lawsuit.

Depending on the scenario, certain surviving members of the deceased's family may have the right to ask the courts to award them compensation. Connecticut law restricts that right to family members, such as spouses, dependent children, parents and even siblings, in some cases. These individuals have the right to seek a wide range of compensation, including lost wages, medical costs, funeral expenses, loss of service and other practical expenses related to the death.

It is often very difficult for people to put a price tag on their loved one's life and services but doing so can help your family address the financial consequences after an accidental death.

When does a fatal crash qualify as a wrongful death?

Not every deadly car crash results in liability for the person who causes the crash. Instead, the law requires that the case meets a certain standard. The plaintiffs (or their attorney) should be able to demonstrate to the courts that either negligence or a wrongful act on the part of the driver who caused the crash was the primary cause for the death of their loved one.

A crash that results from severe inclement weather and involves multiple vehicles may not provide grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. A crash caused by a driver who is texting or drunk at the wheel, however, may result in a successful wrongful death claim.

If you think there may be a case for a wrongful death claim after the loss of your loved one, take steps to look into that as soon as possible. Families must file a lawsuit no later than two years after the date of death. The longer you wait, the more significant the risk of running out of time before you file your lawsuit. In other words, if you believe the other driver should be held civilly accountable for your financial losses after a crash, take action sooner rather than later.

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