Who Can Initiate a Wrongful Death Claim in Connecticut?

The unexpected loss of a loved one is devastating and painful. When a person dies due to another party’s action, it is possible that the deceased suffered a wrongful death. Various surviving parties can file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation for damages associated with the victim’s passing. Initiating a claim or lawsuit in the wake of a tragic loss can be overwhelming and arduous. Enlist the help of a Hartford County wrongful death attorney to ease your legal concerns and ensure the rights of your loved one are protected.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in CT?

The laws on who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim vary from state to state. Under Connecticut state law, the executor of the deceased person’s estate has the right to file a wrongful death claim. In many instances, an executor or personal representative is not appointed by the deceased before they pass. Some states would then allow a court to appoint an executor on the departed’s behalf.

However, in Connecticut, if there is no executor named the right to initiate a claim will fall to the deceased’s surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, the right to file is granted to the next of kin which could be a parent or child. It is important to note that only one wrongful death claim can be filed so if there are multiple eligible next of kin they will have to sort out who will initiate the claim or lawsuit.

How Can Liability Be Established in a Wrongful Death Case?

When filing a wrongful death case it is imperative that the initiator is prepared for the legal proceedings. The prosecution must prove the defendant’s liability in order to successfully charge them and be awarded compensation for the various economic and non-economic losses associated with the death. With the help of a skilled attorney, you must prove the following.

  • The plaintiff must show the court that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim. Suppose the death occurred because of a prescription medication. It has to be proven that the doctor had a responsibility to inform the victim of the dangers and risks of the drugs.
  • Once duty of care is established it must be proven that the defendant breached that duty by acting with negligence, recklessness, or disregard for human life.
  • The plaintiff then has the burden of proving that the breach of duty was the direct cause of the victim’s death and that they would not have passed away if it were not due to the action or inaction of the defendant.
  • The point of a wrongful death claim is to bring justice to the liable party and gain compensation. The last thing that must be proven is the damages that resulted from the wrongful death, whether that be medical expenses, funeral or burial costs, loss of income, etc.

It can be daunting to build a case that proves to a court the liability of the defendant. Contact a skilled attorney to discuss your options and build a case with strong evidence and reasoning.

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