Wrongful Death Cases in CT

Wrongful Death Cases

The common law definition of a wrongful death claim is a civil action that arises where damages are claimed against a party for causing the death of another, due to a negligent or careless act, possibly a criminal or reckless act. The breach of an established standard of care and the resulting harm ultimately leads to the death of an individual, giving rise to the claim. A wrongful death claim gives recognition to the fact that there is value in life. If a life is lost due to a negligent act, or a failure to act, there are lives left behind: spouses, children, and parents. The estate of the deceased individual has the right to pursue compensation for the things that those left behind have lost—the balance of enjoyment in their life, the companionship of those they had been with, their ability to contribute to  the welfare and safety, both economically and non-economically, of their family members.

Wrongful death claims are a type of personal injury claim, and require experienced and sophisticated analysis. The demands of these cases, both from a case management standpoint and a client counseling standpoint, include making the families aware of the process and potential outcome. Experienced attorneys, proficient in handling wrongful death claims, will diligently keep the family apprised of the progression of the case, help manage expectations, and clearly explain the process as it unfolds.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The individual who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit is left up to the probate court. An application is filed with the probate court after the decedent’s death, seeking an appointment as the fiduciary of the estate of a deceased person. The fiduciary is either someone who is named in the will, if the individual did have a will, and if not, most often a family member who applies to be the fiduciary of the estate. The fiduciary of the estate then has the ability to hire a lawyer on behalf of the estate, and pursue a wrongful death claim.

Misconceptions About Wrongful Death Cases

  1. The person bringing the action is solely looking for monetary compensation. More often than not, the parties or family members that are bringing these claims are looking for answers. They are looking for accountability. They are looking to make changes in the way people conduct themselves, or facilities conduct themselves, or the way that individuals are being treated. Often, they have a sense that somebody did something wrong or that an event occurred as a result of someone’s negligence or failure to act.
  2. The generalization that when hiring a law firm to pursue a catastrophic loss or wrongful death claim, the outcome will likely be the same from firm to firm. It may be thought that a wrongful death claim has a certain value, and that going to one lawyer or another is an interchangeable experience. There are several considerations when hiring an attorney in a wrongful death claim and results may vary from firm to firm based upon the experience, talent, and persistence of the principal attorney pursuing the case on your behalf. There is much more at stake for most families than monetary compensation. Answers, explanations, and accountability most often remain of primary concern.

Can a Wrongful Death Claim be Handled Without an Attorney?

There is not a legal requirement that a claimant have an attorney. The question of whether a lawyer is necessary is secondary to the overriding question of whether a lawyer provides value. In our experience, a pro se party, which is a party representing themselves, is a risky and dangerous approach. The courts are not in a position to give legal guidance to an unrepresented party. Experienced legal guidance is of the utmost importance here.

Courts, and the tort system in general, are a rule-driven infrastructure. It is similar to driving on the highway. If you do not know the rules, you are going to cause an accident, you will get lost, and you are going to be confused. Oftentimes the probate court will advise parties to seek a legal representative. They cannot give them legal advice. They very often identify situations where they believe the fiduciary needs legal assistance and direction. Obtaining capable legal representation is the recommended method to handle these matters.

Want to learn more about wrongful death cases and other beneficial information related to personal injury cases in Connecticut? I encourage you to download our pocket guide for free via this link: https://mailchi.mp/c0a77d196567/book-download

Life Altering Injuries in CT

What is a Life Altering Injury?

A life altering injury is a permanent injury which substantially interferes with one’s daily life. Generally, catastrophic injuries are defined as injuries that result in long-term medical problems, permanent disability, shortened life expectancy, and anything that is life changing for the individual who has been injured. It often goes beyond what you might envision as a catastrophic injury, such as loss of limb, brain injury, or life. Analysis is expended in determining exactly how an injury does alter an individual client’s life, because it is different for everybody. The client’s ability to earn, conduct life activities and normal routines, and how they comfort themselves and live their lives can be greatly affected in varying degrees. These are important factors in every case.

Life Altering Injuries in the Context of CT Law

Life altering injuries are not specifically defined by Connecticut statute. However, the law that we rely on in instructing juries is somewhat helpful. Financial recovery is allowed for any complete or partial loss of any type of bodily function. You can think about the functions that the body parts serve, such as walking, bending, lifting, sitting, reaching, using your hands, or thinking. This can also include any of the five senses, whether it is hearing, seeing, or someone’s emotional state. All these things can be injured, and can be considered life altering in many ways.

There is the resulting loss of income in many cases—a loss of career or livelihood. As well as punitive losses, both past and present. Further, there is the non-economic aspect of the loss of enjoyment of one’s life. If one is limited or restricted, not just in what they earn but how they live their life or how they enjoy their life, these elements become items of damages that are considered to be compensable. Thus, the definition of life altering injury can be quite varied. Everyone’s definition is going to be different, as every situation and case has wide variations and distinctions.

Accidents That May be Considered Life Altering

As the term “personal injury” is very broad, it’s important to note that there can be many different situations and circumstances that may inflict a serious injury onto an innocent individual. The accidents can result from incidents that happen on the highway, in public places, and that often happen in the workplace.

Some common causes of physical injuries may include (but are not limited to):

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Defective products
  • Dog and animal bites
  • Lead poisoning and asbestos
  • Medical malpractice cases
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Premises liability
  • Slip and fall
  • Wrongful Death
  • Workplace Accidents

There really is no simple classification of what a life altering injury is. It does not matter whether it happens at work, at home, while you are engaged in some recreational activity, or at a social event. Generally, accidents occur as a result of someone’s negligence or carelessness. Construction accidents, things that occur as a result of medical negligence, or injuries that occur as a result of the manufacturing, production, or design of a defective product. Negligence can involve machinery and all types of equipment on the job. It can also involve motor vehicles, trucks, and tractor trailers. We encounter premises cases with defective premises for all sorts of reasons arising out of negligent maintenance or construction.

Want to learn more about life altering injuries and other beneficial information related to personal injury cases in Connecticut? I encourage you to download our pocket guide for free via this link: https://mailchi.mp/c0a77d196567/book-download

Life Altering Injuries, a Connecticut legal Roadmap

Greetings! Attorneys Paul Levin and Kelly Kasheta have authored a new book, now available on Amazon and shortly Kindle as well.

You may want to  read this book because you have been hurt, or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident. You might have a life altering, catastrophic injury. You may have a Connecticut workers’ compensation claim, personal injury, or wrongful death case. Or, you may be reading this to educate and prepare yourself in the event you find yourself injured and needing guidance and assistance. More than anything, you want to heal and get back to your life. But, someone is at fault for the injuries and pain, and for your loss of life enjoyment. If you have been injured in the course of your employment, you may be wondering who is supposed to pay the bills. What if things do not get better? What will happen if I cannot return to the same kind of work? Your days were full and busy before the accident — where will you find the time it takes to deal with insurance companies? How can you get fair compensation for all you have to go through? Even more catastrophically, what if a loved one has lost their life in, or as a result of an accident. Our book provides the answers to many questions you may have to help you get started, as well as how to understand what factors impact case valuation, and questions to ask before hiring a lawyer to make sure that they do a good job for you.

To our Friends and former clients, please do not buy this book. We would like you to have it for free. Simply click the link below, fill in your email address and proceed to download a pdf version of this pocket guide for dealing with serious personal and work injuries that occur in Connecticut.

Book PDF