Wrongful Death Attorney in CT
At Buckley Wynne & Parese, we understand that coping with the loss of a loved one is difficult and often life changing. The situation can be more complex when a loved one dies as a result of a wrongful death. While these difficult times may make legal advice seem unnecessary, it is important that you contact Buckley Wynne & Parese immediately. Early investigation is necessary and there are time restrictions under Connecticut law.
What is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death can result from negligent and/or reckless act(s) of a person, group of people, company or organization. The action(s) can be either intentional or negligent. Negligence occurs when a party fails to act in such a fashion that a reasonable, prudent party would have acted under normal circumstances. Recklessness occurs when a party disregards substantial and justifiable risk and that the risk is of the nature and degree that disregarding it constitutes a gross deviation from how a party would act under normal circumstances. A wrongful death action serves to provide justice to the victim’s loved ones and to provide financial compensation for their economic and noneconomic burdens.
To summarize, the key elements of a wrongful death claim and case will include the following:
- The incident that caused the death was partially or wholly caused by another party
- The incident resulting in death came from the negligent or careless actions of someone else
- The death led to significant losses for the family members of the victim
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Whether the injury or death was intended or not, wrongful death can come from a variety of different incidents. That said, the most common causes of wrongful death cases come from one of the following:
- Car Accidents/ Truck Accidents/ Motorcycle Accidents/ Bicycle Accidents/ Pedestrian Accidents - Drunk or reckless driving and equipment malfunctions result in thousands of fatal accidents per year, regardless of the type of vehicle involved. Typical causes are distracted driving, driving under the influence, and reckless driving.
- Workplace/ Construction Site Accidents – When a workplace fails to follow proper safety standards, it creates serious safety risks for employees. Incidents can range from falls to motor vehicle and equipment accidents or fires and anything in between. Unfortunately, these incidents can lead to serious injury and even death.
- Healthcare Provider/ Facility Medical Malpractice – Though doctors and other medical professionals are expected to uphold a basic standard of care, occasionally there are mistakes made related to dangerous drugs, prescription mistakes, or the failure to diagnose an ailment correctly.
- Negligent Security – Any workplace should have some sort of safety or security system in place, not only to protect the premises or commercial area, but also to ensure the safety of those who might visit. When a workplace is not safely secured, it can create a dangerous situation that can lead to injury or death.
- Drowning accident in an unsecured swimming pool – A four-sided fence is often adequate to prevent accidental drownings. However, when anyone is swimming, it is important to assess swimming ability and whether or not a life jacket is needed. Even more so, the presence of drugs or alcohol in the system of the swimmer can greatly impact their ability to swim safely. Though swimming in an unsecured swimming pool can lead to a wrongful death, so too can these other situations.
- Birth Injuries – The birth of a new baby should be an exciting and joyful time in your life. However, there are instances where birth injuries can occur. Common birth injuries can stem from large babies, premature births, cephalopelvic disproportion, dystocia, prolonged labor, abnormal birthing presentation, and maternal obesity. Sometimes, injuries include result in fractures, brachial palsy, bruising from forceps, caput succedaneum, or other. And in the worst of these situations, birth injuries can result in death.
- Product Liability – From buildings to manufacturing practices, companies have an obligation to consumer safety. Yet, negligence and turning a blind eye have resulted in employers becoming exposed to asbestos and then later experiencing the consequences from tampering, accidental contamination, food poisoning, unsafe manufacturing practices, packaging, and design, and/or a lack of safety warnings.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Connecticut?
There are different rights afforded to a victim’s family members. In some states, just being a surviving family member allows a loved one to file a wrongful death claim. Under Connecticut law, usually a surviving family member must also be the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate in order to file a lawsuit. Spouses, parents/ grandparents, and children/grandchildren can petition to be the estate’s executor or administrator.
Types of Damages to Expect in a Wrongful Death Case
When a wrongful death case is reviewed in Connecticut, it is important to note that statutes determine the types of damages that family members might be entitled to. Damages from a wrongful death case can be grouped into the following categories:
- Economic damages that cover the actual expenses that are incurred as a result of the wrongful death. Typical expenses include medical, funeral/burial costs, and loss of ability to earn wages.
- Non-economic damages are the costs that are harder to quantify, such as pain, suffering, or diminished quality of life.
Available Damages to Anticipate in a Wrongful Death Case
If you are the applicable beneficiary of a wrongful death claim, you may be entitled to the following damages:
- Reasonable and necessary expenses for medical, funeral, and burial expenses
- Loss of earning capacity related to the loss of your loved one’s income
- Inability for the decedent to enjoy life
- Compensation for death related to the actual loss of your loved one’s life
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of the enjoyment of life’s activities.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Case in Superior Court
In the state of Connecticut, wrongful death claims are not heard in probate court. Rather, wrongful death cases are brought to one of Connecticut’s superior courts. The wrongful death attorneys at Buckley Wynne & Parese will first attempt to resolve your claim with the insurance company of the responsible party.
Buckley Wynne & Parese Wants to Help You in a Wrongful Death Case
No one ever expects to face the sudden loss of a spouse, child or parent as a result of someone’s negligence or recklessness. Buckley Wynne & Parese understands through experience the shock and grief that a family goes through during this difficult time. For over one hundred years, our attorneys have been helping loved ones find answers, seek justice and get back on their feet after wrongful death tragedies.
Wrongful death cases are often contested, highly technical and vigorously defended. Disputed issues can include who was really at fault for the incident that led to wrongful death, comparative fault, contributory negligence, the assumption of risk and issues related to causation. Buckley Wynne & Parese has the necessary knowledge and experience to guide loved ones through the process and maximize a loved one’s recovery.
While financial compensation will not heal the emotional wounds after a loved one’s death, it will help to ease the financial burden and provide justice. Below are some economic and noneconomic areas in which BWP can help families recover.
- Medical Expenses Prior to the Decedent’s Death
- Funeral & Burial Expenses
- Loss of the Decedent’s Future Earnings, Financial Support/ Contributions
- Loss of Love, Companionship, Guardianship, Affection, Guidance, Attention
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Your legal fees are paid on a contingency fee basis unless otherwise specified. That means that we are not paid unless we recover compensation for you.
The Latest News
Buckley Wynne & Parese Recognized in “Best Law Firms” 2024 Rankings as Top Tier Law Firm
Posted on Nov 15, 2023
Buckley Wynne & Parese is pleased to announce that Best Lawyers has nationally ranked the firm in the 14th edition of the U.S. News-Best Lawyers® 2024 publication. The New Haven based law firm was listed among the top metropolitan tier in the “Best Law Firms” awards list for the practice area of personal injury litigation.
Department of Insurance Flubs Opportunity to Protect Consumers. Injustice Prevails.
Posted on Aug 28, 2023
This is not the first time our Insurance Department has sought to insulate the insurance industry from legal accountability. I presume the cost benefit analysis is one premised on giving insurance companies greater latitude with regulatory compliance in order to keep jobs here in Connecticut. Whether letting insurers break our laws in order to keep jobs here makes any sense is a political calculation above my paygrade. But seeing it over and over from this side of the table is certainly frustrating.
Attorney John F. Buckley Celebrated in the 30th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
Posted on Aug 21, 2023
This year's inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2024 particularly commendable, as Best Lawyers conducted a comprehensive peer-review survey with over 13.7 million confidential evaluations. Out of nearly 25,000 voters, Attorney Buckley emerged as a clear leader in his domain. Such an accolade is indicative of the respect and admiration he holds among his peers and underscores his stellar reputation in the industry.