Who Can Sue for a Wrongful Death in Connecticut?

When coping with the untimely and preventable loss of a family member, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be an important part of the recovery process. Not only can legal action provide closure, but it can also provide much-needed relief from the financial strain stemming from your loved one’s death. While filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Connecticut is important, it is not easy. In addition to proving the at-fault party’s liability, family members have strict rules they need to follow, including the family members’ eligibility to file a claim and recover damages. For more information on who can sue for wrongful death in Connecticut, please read on, then contact one of our experienced Hartford County wrongful death attorneys today.

Who is eligible to sue for wrongful death in Connecticut?

While some states allow certain family members to file wrongful death claims directly, Connecticut does not. In the Constitution State only the decedent’s executor – also referred to as an administrator or personal representative – can file a claim of wrongful death. To determine a wrongful death victim’s executor, one should start by looking at the victim’s will. If the victim prepared an estate plan, his or her will should designate someone for this role. If the victim did not prepare an estate plan, or if the victim’s will does not mention an executor or has become outdated with regard to naming an executor, the probate court will appoint an executor. In most cases of the latter scenario, the probate court will appoint the victim’s spouse, adult child or another close family member, unless it has good cause to name someone else.

What can an executor sue for in a wrongful death case in Connecticut?

Under Section 52-555 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the executor can recover the damages that the victim, not the victim’s family members, suffered. As such, the executor can recover the following losses in a wrongful death action:

  • The decedent’s pain and suffering prior to death
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Other forms of non-economic damages

The General Statutes permit surviving spouses to seek compensation for loss of consortium.

How do you prove a wrongful death case in Connecticut?

The Connecticut General Statutes mentioned above define wrongful death as a claim for injuries resulting in death. In determining how to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must ask whether your loved one would have had a personal injury case against another had they survived.

Please reach out to one of our skilled Hartford County personal injury attorneys if you have any further questions or would like to begin preparing your case.

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If you face a matter relating to real estate, personal injury, criminal defense or estate planning, contact Marc N. Needelman today.

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