Wrongful Death Attorneys
The call to a Hartford County wrongful death lawyer is not something that anyone wishes to make. However, it would be favorable to the alternative of letting the defendant get away with their fatal recklessness. The sudden loss of a loved one can be damaging in more ways than one. You may end up losing your family’s breadwinner, your life partner, or your co-parent due to someone’s careless actions.
Seeking compensation is a must in wrongful death cases. Go after the negligent parties and make them pay for what they have done. The Connecticut wrongful death attorneys at Hassett & George, P.C. will utilize all legal means to ensure that the guilty party is held accountable.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
Learning that your loved one was involved in a fatal accident in Simsbury or Glastonbury, CT, is the kind of news no one ever wants to hear. No one deserves to go through such a tragic occurrence. But, unfortunately, wrongful deaths do happen. In the aftermath of that fatal accident, you may have questions. First, you are wondering how things turned out that way.
Wrongful death cases may feature an element of malice. Someone driven by an urge to cause harm may be the one who injured your loved one initially. The serious injury that eventually killed your loved one could lead to wrongful death.
Many wrongful death cases also involve negligence. For example, it could come in the form of a driver who caused an accident after maneuvering their vehicle recklessly or a property owner who failed to keep their establishment safe. Do not allow the negligence or maliciousness exhibited by the guilty party to go unpunished. Hire personal injury lawyers and hold them responsible for the harm they have inflicted upon your family.
What Are Examples of Wrongful Death Cases?
Chances are that you have not read much on wrongful death cases before. Because of that, you may not be completely certain if what happened to your loved one could qualify as a wrongful death case.
We understand how that can be confusing, and we want to offer some guidance on the matter. Detailed below are some examples of wrongful death cases. Read them to gain clarity on what kind of case you have.
A wrongful death may occur because a medical professional did something wrong while treating their patient. Plaintiffs need to establish three key elements if they want to get a wrongful death claim stemming from medical malpractice to stick.
First off, the plaintiff must establish what the standard of care should have been for their loved one. After that, they need to demonstrate that the defendant deviated from that usual standard of care when treating their patient.
Lastly, Connecticut law also requires plaintiffs to highlight how the medical professional’s unusual actions led to their loved one getting injured. You will need to partner with an experienced wrongful death lawyer if you wish to put forth those claims. We are ready to help you out in that regard.
Your loved one may have also died after being involved in an accident. That could be the case, especially when vehicles are involved. If your loved one died due to injuries they sustained from an accident, you or your car accident lawyer must make the case that the other party was negligent. Since Connecticut also operates under the principle of comparative fault, you will also need to prove that the other party shares the lion’s share of the blame if you wish to claim compensation.
According to Connecticut law, a defendant can only be held liable for their proportionate share of the blame. That could reduce the compensation that you will reduce via the wrongful death lawsuit.
Partner with experienced Connecticut lawyers if you intend to put forth a lawsuit alleging that another party’s negligent actions led to an accident that proved fatal. You may have a hard time proving that the defendant is mostly to blame for the accident without legal assistance.
Lastly, the wrongful death in your case may have been the result of a criminal act. For example, after a heated argument inside a bar, your loved one may have been assaulted by one of the patrons. As a result of that vicious attack, your loved one sustained serious injuries that eventually caused their untimely death.
You can sue the person who assaulted your loved one while also accusing them of a crime. This is a common practice in these types of cases since plaintiffs have a lower bar to clear if they wish to claim damages from the defendant.
What to Do Immediately after a Wrongful Death Accident
Taking action immediately after the wrongful death of a family member is essential. However, you can make the process of filing the lawsuit significantly easier by handling certain matters right away. Allow us to provide some guidance so you can navigate that difficult situation.
Visit the Accident Site: Assuming your loved one is already at the hospital, you can visit the accident site in search of evidence. Take pictures of the accident site and talk to witnesses who saw what happened. Gather as much evidence as possible to bolster your personal injury lawsuit.
Obtain Documents Pertaining to Your Loved One’s Accident and Treatment: Continue securing evidence for your case by obtaining some crucial documents. You specifically want to focus on the police report of the accident and the medical documents related to your family member’s treatment. Those documents will be critical to forming your case.
Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney: Lastly, you must partner with a wrongful death law firm as you pursue compensation on behalf of your deceased family member. Wrongful death lawsuits can be difficult to handle. It would be ideal if you had a legal expert helping you out.
What Are the Damages You Can Claim from a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The financial award you may receive from a personal injury lawsuit often includes compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. Those are some commonly highlighted items, but there may be more included in the final compensation package.
The compensation awarded in wrongful death cases adds a few more items to that list. The court may order a defendant to cover the funeral and burial expenses for the person who died due to their negligent actions. They may also need to compensate you for the loss of a life partner if your spouse was the one who died.
Compensation awards handed down in wrongful death cases often end up bigger compared to other personal injury lawsuits. It is your right to go after that kind of compensation after you have suffered such a tremendous loss.
What Does a Wrongful Death Lawyer Do?
The services of a wrongful death attorney can prove invaluable in the wake of the tragic accident that took the life of your loved one. The reasons below explain why their assistance is so vital during this time.
Give You Time to Grieve
Losing a loved one is a massive change that no one is ever truly prepared for. That is especially true in cases where the death was caused by an accident. You may be unable to focus on the legal matters surrounding your family member’s death. Therefore, it would be best to let your lawyer handle that matter.
Demonstrate the Innocence of Your Loved One
Connecticut has adopted the principle of modified comparative negligence, and the state uses it to determine compensation packages in personal injury lawsuits. As a result, Glastonbury, Hartford, and Simsbury, CT, residents who are more than 50% to blame for an accident cannot receive damages in their personal injury case.
The defense may pounce on that and use it as a way to escape responsibility. Your lawyer can show that your loved one deserves no blame for what happened. That will allow you and your family to obtain rightful compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death.
Tell You How to Proceed with Your Lawsuit
Rules for wrongful death lawsuits differ from those that govern other types of personal injury cases. You must follow the proper procedure to hold the guilty party responsible. Listen to your wrongful death law firm, as they can tell you how you should move forward with your lawsuit.
Determining Liability in a Wrongful Death Accident
Proving liability in a wrongful death case usually involves establishing three different elements. Those elements are the duty of care, the violation of the duty of care, and proof that the violation led to the wrongful death. Let’s examine those elements in greater detail.
Duty of Care: We are often saddled with a duty of care when we interact with others in some way. As a driver, you owe a duty of care to the other motorists around you. That means you must drive responsibly and obey traffic rules. Property owners are also obligated to keep their commercial establishments safe, and manufacturers must only release products they have rigorously tested.
Violation of the Duty of Care The evidence you are gathering in your wrongful death case is supposed to prove that the defendant violated the duty of care they owed to your loved one. The violation could be drunk driving or leaving electrical wires exposed in their store.
The Connection between the Violation and the Wrongful Death Finally, you must demonstrate that your family member’s untimely demise was by the other party’s inability to afford them proper duty of care. Again, the medical documents provided by the doctor will be essential for proving that connection.
Who Is Eligible to Receive Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Connecticut?
The compensation awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit must go to specific beneficiaries. Those beneficiaries include the estate of the person who passed away, their surviving spouse, and their children.
The decedent’s parents may also receive a portion of the compensation package if the decedent left no will behind. Notably, Connecticut law only allows the executor of the decedent’s estate to file the wrongful death lawsuit. Therefore, if the decedent had no will, the court would appoint an executor who could file the claim.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases in Connecticut?
We all need time to grieve after the passing of a loved one. Some may not have any appetite whatsoever to pursue legal action against the responsible party because they are still in despair. It is important to note that you do have some time to act if the incident took place in Connecticut.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Connecticut states that you have two years to act from the death of your loved one. You can use that time to get things in order before you decide to move forward with a lawsuit.
Notably, Connecticut law also requires plaintiffs to act no more than five years after the incident that led to the wrongful death. Keep that in mind, or you could lose your opportunity to claim rightful compensation for your tragic loss.
Also, the executor of the deceased’s estate is the one who must file the lawsuit. If your loved one had a will, the name of the executor would be on there. If there is no will available, the court will be in charge of naming an executor.
Connecticut Wrongful Death Law Firm
Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. While you deal with your loss, we at Hassett & George, P.C. can handle legal matters for you. Reach out to us today if you need the help of legal experts.
Some of the locations in and around Hartford County our lawyers serve include: Hartford, Simsbury, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, Manchester, Windsor, Farmington, Windsor Locks, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Avon, Bloomfield, Bristol, Enfield, Newington, South Windsor, Southington, Plainville and more.