Money damages that may be recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit

If you are injured by the act of another, it is not difficult to contemplate a legal claim against that person to secure financial redress for those injuries. But what about a situation in which an injury not only happens to a family member, but also results in his or her death? What recourse might you have under the law in that situation?

The laws of Connecticut provide for the case in which you can have a legal claim against another based on that person’s causing the death of a family member. The basis of the claim is wrongful death. Basically, this means that if you can prove the required elements of the claim, then you can receive compensation for your loss.

This post will not go into the details of how to prove a wrongful death claim, but will instead focus on some considerations that go into measuring the amount of money that you might seek if you do file such a lawsuit.

The starting point for this examination is that in a wrongful death action, you need to be able to prove your money damages. Speculative damages are not allowable. So, what kinds of damages can you seek to prove? They can include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • What might have been the wage earning capacity of the decedent had he or she not died?
  • Did the decedent or his or her family incur any medical expenses in connection with the fatal injury? Funeral expenses, too, may be something to factor in.
  • Did the family members of the decedent lose the prospect of an inheritance they might have otherwise received?

As you may imagine, proving these kinds of damages can be a complex matter. Expert testimony may sometimes be required. Also, assuming that you prevail in your wrongful death lawsuit then the court may modify any jury award that you may receive.

Taking legal action against a negligent party for the loss of a loved one can be overwhelming. In addition to arguing a case, a person must also understand what damages may or may not be available and appropriate. Rather than try to navigate this complicated process alone, people considering a wrongful death claim may be wise to work with an attorney. 

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