A wrongful death lawsuit is generally filed to provide compensation to cover costs associated with a loved one's death, such as a funeral or burial, as well as a sense of justice and closure to surviving family members who are left behind.
However, it's important to submit your wrongful death claim in Connecticut before the deadline. The right to bring this kind of litigation has a stringent deadline set by a law known as the statute of limitations. A wrongful death claim in Connecticut has a two-year statute of limitations.
There is also something known as the discovery rule that may apply to your wrongful death claim. This rule states that if the act of negligence or wrongdoing is not discovered immediately, the claimant can have two years from the date of discovery to file a lawsuit.
We will examine this more in the article below. A wrongful death lawyer in Connecticut can help you sort through any issues you may have with your case and get you on the right track. Brandon J. Broderick has been providing his legal services to clients in Connecticut for years.
Statute of Limitations Explained
A law that establishes a deadline for a claim is known as a statute of limitations. It is intended to promote the timely filing of claims. Without a deadline, a plaintiff could theoretically wait as long as desired before bringing a claim against a defendant. The legal system views this as unjust to the defendant, who shouldn't constantly be concerned with the possibility of a lawsuit. The integrity of the evidence also depends on the timely submission of claims. Waiting too long can result in the destruction of important evidence that the defendant might need to support their defense.
This is why it’s important to retain legal counsel to help file your wrongful death claim as soon as possible.
What is the Connecticut Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations?
The wrongful death statute of limitations in Connecticut is found in Connecticut General Assembly Section 52-555. According to this rule, any lawsuit filed for injuries that result in a death must be submitted within two years of the death. No action, regardless of the date of death, may be brought more than five years after the act or omission that is the subject of the complaint.
This means that no claim may be filed more than five years after the date of the wrongful act, even if there is an exception to the two-year statute of limitations.
Although they are uncommon, exceptions to the statute of limitations do exist in Connecticut. One exception is if a criminal case, such as a homicide or manslaughter case, has been brought against the same person for the person's death. If the defendant is found guilty (or not guilty by reason of insanity) in this case, a wrongful death cause of action may be filed at any time following the act or omission that gave rise to the complaint, even if it is more than two years after the date of the decedent's passing.
The discovery rule exemption may also be applicable to your wrongful death lawsuit. According to this rule, the claimant has two years from the date of discovery to initiate a case if the negligent act or wrongdoing is not immediately found. Yet again, a wrongful death claim in Connecticut cannot be filed more than five years after the cause of action first arose.
Don't Wait! Take Action Now After A Wrongful Death
Although two years may seem like a long time, the deadline could come up fast. Do not put off speaking with a CT wrongful death attorney or filing a lawsuit because doing so could result in you losing your right to seek compensation. Also, compiling evidence to back up your claim requires prompt action on your part.
The longer you wait, the greater the chance that important evidence will be lost or damaged.
The team at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law are here to help. If you have reason to believe that someone is to blame for the death of your loved one, either purposefully or negligently, consider your legal options. The time is running out, so don't delay.
Contact us today. We will schedule a free consultation and discuss your options.