Nothing can undo the pain caused by a loved one’s death. However, that doesn’t mean that the person responsible should not be held accountable for the damage they have caused. While no legal action can bring your loved one back, financial compensation can help survivors cover final expenses, settle debts, and prepare for the loss of the decedent’s income.
An Overview of Wrongful Death Claims
Per Connecticut law, a wrongful death claim holds a party accountable for the injuries they cause that result in death. With this type of claim, the onus is on the plaintiff to prove the other party’s negligence or recklessness. This is a civil suit that is entirely separate from any criminal proceeding that may have been initiated because of the death. However, criminal charges and convictions can serve as evidence to help substantiate a civil claim.
The executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate must be the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim. In the event that the decedent does not have estate planning documents that name an administrator or executor, the court must name someone.
Accidents Most Likely to Cause Fatalities
Car accidents are a common cause of death in the United States. The most dangerous type of crash is a head-on crash; more than half of all car accident fatalities occur in head-on crashes. Other types of crashes that are associated with high fatality rates include rollover crashes and T-bone collisions.
In the vast majority of fatal car accidents, the crash can be traced to a driver’s negligence or error in judgment. Common causes of fatal crashes include:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Driving too fast for weather conditions
- Failure to adhere to posted signs and warnings
- Impaired driving
What to Do After a Loved One’s Death in a Car Accident
The death of a loved one can turn your world upside down, and it’s likely that pursuing legal action is low on your list of priorities. However, it is crucial to consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. After a fatal car crash, you must move quickly to preserve crucial evidence and consult experts. Your attorney may work with investigators, forensic specialists, and other experts to recreate the accident.
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations for a car accident death in Connecticut is two years. If you wait that long to begin building a case, though, your attorney will be at a serious disadvantage. After two years, it may be difficult or even impossible to track down witnesses or get their statements.
Evidence may become contaminated or unavailable for testing, making it harder to prove liability or cause of death. We know it is difficult to focus on anything other than grieving and picking up the pieces after a loved one’s death, but if someone else was responsible for it, make it a top priority to secure a personal injury attorney you can trust.
Possible Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit
Plaintiffs in wrongful death cases may be able to pursue several types of compensation from the responsible party and their insurance company. Your attorney will explain different options to you and figure out a reasonable settlement amount. Types of compensation in a wrongful death case include:
- Loss of the loved one’s earning potential
- Final expenses, including burial and funeral costs
- The family members’ pain and suffering
- Medical expenses related to the accident incurred by the decedent prior to their death
There are many factors that might impact how much you can ask for. For example, consider the loss of the decedent’s income. The amount awarded to the plaintiff may depend on the decedent’s level of education, salary prior to death, and projected career path prior to death.
Connecticut also allows plaintiffs to recover double or triple damages in certain circumstances. This is only an option if the liable driver displayed a reckless disregard for traffic laws and safety at the time of the crash. This recklessness must have been a substantial factor in the accident and the victim’s death.
Contact APEX Law Firm, LLC for Help with Your Wrongful Death Case
The experienced attorneys at APEX Law Firm, LLC handle wrongful death claims in a manner that respects the family’s grief and healing process while still aggressively pursuing compensation and holding the other party responsible for the damage caused. We understand the difficulties you face after a loved one suffers a wrongful death, and we are dedicated to helping you take the next step forward. Contact us at 860-385-8360 to schedule a consultation.