Fighting for Families of Wrongful Death Victims in Connecticut
The death of loved one is a life-changing event, especially if the one you loved lost his or her life far too early because of the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of another. You are enduring a situation that neither your loved one, nor you, deserve. Those seeking justice due to the wrongful death of a family member can rely on Berkowitz Hanna to aggressively protect their legal rights and interests.
We believe that when someone –intentionally or not – causes a death, they should be held accountable for their actions. Our attorneys are committed to providing dedicated and compassionate legal representation for those affected by wrongful death.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is the legal term for when someone loses their life because of the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of a person, group of people, company. or organization. When this occurs, surviving family members may be able to pursue claims for compensation due to their pain, suffering, financial losses, and punitive damages, depending on the circumstances.
These types of incidents could happen in many ways, including:
- Medical negligence or malpractice
- Vehicle accidents (auto, truck, and motorcycle)
- Airplane and other commercial transportation accidents
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
- Workplace accidents or exposure to toxic materials
- Dangerous or defective drugs or products
- Being the victim of a crime
How the incident occurred is not as important as why: because of the acts, or failure to act, of another person, organization, or company. If the death was caused by an illegal, negligent, or reckless act of another, legal action could be filed.
Wrongful Death and the Law
Since the injured person cannot bring the lawsuit for him- or herself, another party steps in to act as the plaintiff, filing the case in court on behalf of the deceased person’s survivors and estate. If the deceased made a will, the person named as being in charge of the estate could be the plaintiff. If there is no will, or that person cannot serve as a plaintiff, a court may appoint an executor or administrator who can file a legal claim for wrongful death.
Each wrongful death case is unique. The facts of the case determine which laws apply. Most wrongful death cases have these basic elements:
- The defendant(s) completely or partially caused the death
- The defendant(s) acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally
- There are immediate family members (surviving children and spouse) and/or other beneficiaries impacted by the death
- Monetary damages were suffered as a result
A lawsuit and monetary award cannot bring your loved one back, but it can help you and your family recover and move one with your lives. A successful case can also bring some sense of justice to you and your family. Financial compensation can be awarded in wrongful death cases for economic, as well as noneconomic, damages. Economic damages include, for example, reasonable and necessary medical and funeral expenses, as well as the value of the deceased’s lost earning capacity. Noneconomic damages include the destruction of the decedent’s capacity to carry on and enjoy life in the same way that he or she would have had his or her loved one not died, as well as any pain and suffering caused by the death.
Also note that, under Connecticut General Statute, damages could be doubled or tripled in a wrongful death case when a driver’s deliberate violation of traffic laws or “reckless disregard” for traffic laws was a “substantial factor” in the death.
Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant for the outrageous behavior that led to the victim’s death. The plaintiff would have to establish facts showing that the conduct of the defendant was beyond negligent, but was reckless without justification, indicating that the person acted indifferently or intentionally in a way that produced harm.
Contact Berkowitz Hanna to Discuss Your Wrongful Death Case
If an insurance adjuster or attorney has contacted you about the death of your loved one, you should avoid speaking to them before talking to an experienced wrongful death attorney. You may unknowingly say things that could impact your case, and negotiating a settlement without legal representation could result in a substantial loss in compensation. In Connecticut, with rare exception a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the decedent’s death.
If you believe that your loved one died due to preventable causes, contact the Connecticut wrongful death lawyers at Berkowitz Hanna for qualified, aggressive, and experienced representation in your case. For more information, or to schedule a free consultation with a Connecticut wrongful death attorney, contact us today. Our offices in Danbury, Bridgeport, and Stamford handle wrongful death cases from across the state. Call us at (866) 479-7909 or send us an e-mail through our contact us page.