Wrongful Death Overview
The death of a loved one is always difficult. A tragic loss becomes even more difficult when it is unexpected and caused by a preventable incident. Unfortunately, many families experience such a loss and the following is some general information about wrongful death claims.
Causes of Wrongful Death
The law generally defines a “wrongful death” as a death that happens due to the negligence or wrongful act of another party. That party can be another person, a company, or even a government entity depending on the circumstances. In order to bring a legal claim, however, you must identify the negligent or wrongful party and must be able to prove how their actions caused your loss.
The evidence needed to prove a wrongful death claim will depend on the type of incident that caused your loved one’s death. Some of the common incidents that lead to wrongful death can include:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Bike accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Falls from heights
- Dangerous or defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites or attacks
- Violent assaults
Who Can File a Claim?
Not just anyone who is close to someone who died can file a wrongful death claim. Under state law, only certain people are allowed to seek financial recovery and justice through this type of lawsuit, some of which may include the following:
- Spouse or domestic partner of the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- If there is no spouse, domestic partner, or children, then others who would be in line to legally inherit the deceased’s property can file a claim, including parents or siblings
- Others who were financially dependent on the deceased, including stepchildren or parents
Recovering for Your Tragic Loss
Some family members file a wrongful death claim because they want a sense of justice by holding the party that caused the death legally accountable. However, in most cases, families also experience significant financial losses due to a sudden and unexpected death. A wrongful death claim allows you to seek many different types of damages depending on your specific situation and losses. Examples of damages commonly awarded in these cases include:
- Costs of burial and funeral
- Medical expenses to treat their condition before they died
- The lost financial contributions of the deceased
- The lost household services of the deceased
- The lost love, moral support, affection, and guidance the family members would have received from the deceased
As you can imagine, calculating some the above damages can be complicated, as many losses do not involve a tangible monetary figure. An experienced wrongful death lawyer will know how to accurately calculate your losses so that you seek the full amount you deserve.
Call to Speak with a Dedicated New London Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
After a tragic death, it is understandable that your family wants to take time to grieve and beginning the legal process is likely not your first priority. However, it is important to remember that you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim. The laws regarding wrongful death claims vary widely among the states and there are significant and important differences between Connecticut wrongful death claims and Rhode Island wrongful death claims. The wrongful death attorneys at Polito & Harrington provide compassionate representation and strive to make the legal process as stress-free as possible in your difficult time. Please call (860) 447-3300 for a free consultation today.