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News that a loved one has died in an auto accident comes as a shock. You want to know immediately how it happened and who is responsible. If it turns out that the crash was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of the other driver, you and your family may want to hold the at-fault party responsible. This is done through a wrongful death lawsuit.
In Connecticut, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by the representative of the decedent’s estate. Typically, this is the person named as executor in the victim’s will. If there is no will, the representative is usually the court-appointed administrator of the estate. If the wrongful death case is successful, the damages are awarded to the estate and then turned over to the estate’s beneficiaries according to the decedent’s will or to state intestacy law.
In general, compensation for wrongful death in Connecticut is based on losses suffered by the decedent, not by family members. Damages for which at-fault parties and their insurance companies could be liable include the following:
Nevertheless, since these damages are paid to the estate, they then typically go the decedent’s surviving spouse and children.
In addition, as part of a wrongful death action, the decedent’s surviving spouse can file a claim for loss of consortium (defined as loss of society, companionship, affection, moral support and other services the decedent had provided) and minor children can at the same time seek compensation for loss of their parent’s love, care, companionship and guidance.
As difficult as it is to think about legal action after the tragic loss of a loved one, you should try to locate and speak to a qualified lawyer soon after the accident. One reason is that there are time limits for filing a lawsuit. In Connecticut, a wrongful death action must be brought within two years of the death or within five years of the accident, whichever deadline comes sooner.
Contacting a wrongful death lawyer early on provides an opportunity to gather and preserve evidence while it is still fresh. Photographs or videos of the accident scene can be obtained before they disappear. Witnesses can be interviewed before their memories fade. The better the quality of the evidence, the stronger your legal claim.
The attorneys of Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. aggressively pursue wrongful death lawsuits with the goal of obtaining the full compensation that grieving families deserve. Call 203-745-0942 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our Hamden or East Haven office.
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Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. is located in Hamden, CT and serves clients in and around North Haven, Hamden, Waterbury, Bethany, Milford, Wallingford, Prospect, Woodbridge, Northford, Madison, Beacon Falls, Branford, Cheshire, North Branford, East Haven, Naugatuck, Meriden, Ansonia and New Haven County.
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