If you sue for damages with a wrongful death lawsuit in Connecticut, you can recover important kinds of compensation, but they might be different from what you’d expect.
Wrongful death is a branch of personal injury law that deals with the impact that a death can have on those the deceased leaves behind when someone else is responsible for the death occurring. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil matters, so any criminal charges surrounding a death – if any are present – don’t always align with the outcome of a wrongful death lawsuit.
A famous example of this is the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, which ended in an acquittal of all charges. Despite this, a civil jury found that Simpson was liable for wrongful death in the double murder and awarded $33.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the Brown and Goldman families.
Recoverable Damages in a Connecticut Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Connecticut law offers a relatively unique approach to determining damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Whereas in most other states these lawsuits focus on compensating for the loss experienced by the decedent’s loved ones, Connecticut focuses on damages from the decedent’s point of view.
As a consequence, the damages available in wrongful death cases may resemble those in personal injury lawsuits with a few differences here and there.
Specifically, these damages may include the following:
- Final medical expenses related to the incident that resulted in death, if any
- Pain and suffering experienced by the decedent, while conscious
- The decedent’s loss of the ability to enjoy life and everyday activities
- Lost wages and loss of the decedent’s earning capacity
- Funeral and burial expenses
In other states, spouses can sue for loss of the docent’s companionship, support, income, and their own emotional loss in a wrongful death case, but as we alluded to above, this is not possible in Connecticut. Instead, spouses can pursue recovery for these types of damages with a separate lawsuit unrelated to the wrongful death lawsuit.
Punitive Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Whether or not punitive damages can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit depend on the circumstances of the incident that caused the decedent’s death. In most cases, punitive damages are only awarded when the defendant’s conduct is considered to be egregiously malicious or reckless.
Do You Need Help with a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If you experienced an untimely death in your family as a result of another person’s negligence or recklessness, you can pursue a recovery for the financial losses caused by this death.
Fitzpatrick Santos Sousa Perugini P.C. can provide the legal representation you need to win important kinds of compensation that can help your family move forward after your loss.
If you want to learn more about how we can help, contact us online now.