When tragedy strikes in the form of a fatal accident or injury, families in Connecticut face not only emotional turmoil but also the daunting task of navigating legal avenues to seek justice and compensation. Two critical pathways are wrongful death lawsuits and survival actions. While both serve to address grievances arising from the death of a loved one, understanding their differences is paramount for families seeking compensation.

With the intention of clarifying the distinctions between initiating a survival action and filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Connecticut, this article aims to clarify the legal complexities and assist individuals affected in making informed decisions concerning the future of their families.

Tragically, fatal accidents frequently occur in Connecticut. Our firm, with decades of experience representing the families of victims, is committed to informing you about your rights in the wake of such heartbreaking losses. We're dedicated to providing the support, guidance, and compensation you deserve according to state law. Should you have any inquiries or require the expertise of a seasoned Connecticut wrongful death lawyer, Brandon J. Broderick is here to help you, any time of the day or night.

In Legal Terms, What Is Wrongful Death?

Connecticut law defines wrongful death as a death resulting from another individual's wrongful act, neglect, or default.

How Can One Prove That a Wrongful Death Occurred?

Connecticut upholds a "duty of care" standard for everyone within its borders, whether they are residents or visitors. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys will familiarize themselves with you, your family, and the specifics of the incident to demonstrate that the responsible party failed to uphold this duty of care.

To build a strong case, we must establish that:

  • The defendant had a responsibility to ensure your loved one's safety
  • The defendant failed in this responsibility, also known as committing negligence, and
  • This failure or negligence, was the direct cause of your loved one's death

A typical example of "duty of care" is the obligation of all drivers in Connecticut to pay attention to the road and adhere to all traffic regulations. When a driver neglects these responsibilities, their actions are considered negligent.

Which Types of Accidents Can Result in Wrongful Death?

Numerous accidents can lead to wrongful deaths. Among the most frequent accidents causing fatalities are:

The responsible party varies with each case, based on the circumstances. For example, a careless driver could be liable for a vehicular accident. Alternatively, a worker's death could result from an employer's negligence in following safety protocols. These examples are just a snapshot. If a loved one's death occurred due to another's negligence, you might have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.

In Connecticut, What Are the Distinctions Between Filing Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Survival Actions?

Wrongful death lawsuits and survival actions represent two key legal strategies for addressing the consequences of a loved one's death. Recognizing the distinctions between these approaches is crucial for families aiming to secure compensation.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Connecticut

A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action that the estate of a deceased person brings against those whose negligence or wrongdoing caused the death. In Connecticut, this lawsuit seeks to compensate the deceased's beneficiaries for the losses they have suffered due to their loved one's untimely demise. The damages awarded in a wrongful death claim can cover a range of losses, including:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost income and potential future earnings of the deceased
  • Medical expenses incurred prior to death
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before their passing
  • Loss of companionship, care, and guidance for the survivors

This legal action centers on the impact of the loss on the family and the economic support the deceased would have provided had they lived.

Survival Action in Connecticut

Conversely, a survival action is brought by the estate of the deceased but focuses on the pain, suffering, and incurred expenses of the deceased from the moment of injury until their death. Unlike wrongful death lawsuits, survival actions compensate the estate for the losses the deceased person "survived" through until their passing. These can include:

  • Medical costs due to the injury before death
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased until their demise
  • Loss of income during the period from injury to death

The key distinction here is that survival actions address the damages suffered by the deceased, whereas wrongful death claims focus on the impact on the survivors.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit or Survival Action in Connecticut?

The executor or administrator of the deceased's estate typically files a wrongful death claim in court under Section 52-555 of the Connecticut General Statutes on behalf of the deceased's heirs. This individual is often designated in the deceased's estate plan. In cases where the deceased did not have an estate plan, the court has the authority to assign an administrator.

Given the intricate nature of wrongful death and survival actions, securing experienced legal representation is advisable. An experienced Connecticut wrongful death attorney can provide invaluable guidance, from assessing the merits of your case to navigating the legal system and advocating on your behalf. The right lawyer will work tirelessly to ensure that your family receives the maximum compensation possible, whether through a wrongful death lawsuit, a survival action, or both.

Connecticut's Deadline for Filing Wrongful Death Claims

The timeframe for filing wrongful death lawsuits in Connecticut is outlined in Section 52-555 of the Connecticut General Assembly statutes. Under this provision, any legal action for death due to injuries must be filed within two years from the date the individual passed away. No lawsuit can be initiated more than five years after the event or failure to act that led to the complaint, irrespective of the death's timing.

This stipulation effectively bars any claims from being filed more than five years following the wrongful act, even if there's an allowance for extending the two-year deadline.

Promptly consulting with a wrongful death attorney in Connecticut is crucial. As time passes, witnesses' memories may fade, and crucial evidence might be lost, complicating the compensation process, which begins long before the actual lawsuit filing. Acting quickly helps ensure you don't forfeit your right to pursue a claim.

Work-Related Wrongful Death Claim in Connecticut

Typically, the Connecticut Workers Compensation Commission manages cases involving fatalities at the workplace. In Connecticut, death benefits are available to the deceased worker's surviving spouse and children. Should the worker have no dependents, benefits for up to 312 weeks are payable to individuals who relied financially on the deceased.

If a work-related accident resulted in the loss of a loved one, it's advisable to consult with a wrongful death lawyer to explore your legal options. Brandon J. Broderick specializes in personal injury law and workers' compensation, offering the expertise needed to guide you through the process.

Who Receives the Compensation Secured After a Wrongful Death Lawsuit or Survival Action Claim?

In Connecticut, a wrongful death settlement may be allocated to the deceased's spouse, civil partner, and surviving children. The number of surviving beneficiaries affects the exact distribution, with the spouse receiving a share by default. Children and parents might also be entitled to a portion, contingent on the surviving family members. It's crucial to realize that the deceased's will has no bearing on the disbursement from a wrongful death claim. Conversely, funds from a survivor claim are paid to the deceased's estate and distributed according to the will's stipulations.

Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law: Peace of Mind for You, Justice for Your Loved One

Losing a loved one is an indescribably painful experience, and while no amount of money can undo the loss, achieving a sense of justice can provide a measure of solace. If you're navigating the aftermath of a loved one's death in Connecticut, understanding the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action is the first step towards making informed decisions about your legal rights and options.

Remember, you're not alone. The compassionate legal professionals at Brandon J. Broderick are ready to support you every step of the way. Our team has assisted many individuals in overcoming the aftermath of tragic incidents resulting from others' negligence. Operating on a contingency fee basis, our wrongful death attorneys ensure you owe us nothing unless we secure a victory for you. A significant number of our clients report feeling a significant amount of relief after reaching out to us for the first time.

Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you in navigating through this challenging period.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Mon, 05/20/2024 - 22:02

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