When one member of a family dies suddenly, it affects everyone. Any such loss will disrupt your family life, but unexpected death often creates the most difficulty. After all, an accidental death likely means you didn't have a chance to say goodbye or resolve any conflicts in your family. If the person who passed away was still relatively young, they may not have taken the time to create a thorough estate plan before their death.
It is also possible that the death of a loved one will leave your family with significant financial concerns that they will have to address for years to come. When this has resulted from a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else, it may be in the best interest of the surviving family members to pursue a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for the accident.
Take the time to grieve, but also understand your legal rights
Handling a sudden loss in your family may mean taking time off from work. There can be emotional fallout, especially if you have children. Kids can struggle with understanding death, and they may not always have the healthiest ways of expressing their grief. It's important that you make sure your needs are met while you also provide support to the members of your family struggling with this loss.
You may need months or years to accept and process things, but you should keep your legal rights and financial needs in mind. While Connecticut law is more favorable than other states are toward wrongful death lawsuits, there is still a limited five-year windowin which you can file a claim. You cannot put off a wrongful death lawsuit indefinitely, or you will eventually lose your right to seek compensation for your losses.
A civil suit can give your family a chance for justice
There are two main reasons most families bring wrongful-death actions against a driver who caused a crash. The first is to seek a sense of justice.
The driver's negligence means that someone you cared for is no longer with you. Having a court rule that the person responsible for the crash is culpable for the death of your loved one may provide a sense of justice for you and other people who loved the deceased.
Wrongful death claims can help you financially recover from a sudden loss
The second reason many people bring wrongful death claims against negligent drivers is financial: It helps offset the financial implications of such a death. Many times, there are medical expenses and funeral costs the family must shoulder after an accident. They also have to readjust their lives, as they may have depended on support or income from their deceased loved one.
A wrongful death lawsuit allows you to seek compensation for medical costs, funeral costs, loss of future inheritance, loss of income and loss of support, among other things. Securing a settlement or judgment in a wrongful death case can help ensure that your family does not have to suffer twice for someone else's mistakes.