There is a statute of limitations on wrongful death in Connecticut, although there are a few exceptions. It is best to consult with an attorney regarding the circumstances of a specific case in order to determine whether the statute of limitations applies.
What Damages Are Available In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit includes all the damages that were suffered by the person while they were alive, including harm to their body, harm to their person, harm to their career, harm to their life, and harm to their economic interests. If they were conscious, then it would include their conscious suffering, both from the injuries and from the act of dying. The act of dying itself can give rise to hedonic damages, which are recognized by Connecticut courts as an area of compensation. In addition to that category of damages, the wrongful death statutes recognize damage for the loss of life itself, loss of future enjoyment of life, and loss of all the economic benefits that the person would have been able to bring in for the benefit of themselves or their family.
How Long Does A Wrongful Death Claim Typically Take To Get Resolved?
The length of a wrongful death case will depend on a number of factors, such as how clearly understood the cause of death is, and the willingness of the at-fault party or parties to accept legal accountability for the death. Even if a party knows in their heart of hearts that they are responsible, there is a tendency to want to explore potential defenses and limit legal liability to the extent that the law allows for apportionment of responsibility to multiple parties, including the party who died if it can be shown that they were partially responsible for their own death. In most cases, the underlying motive for attempting to limit accountability is financial in nature.
Oftentimes, litigation will be required for a determination of the relative weights of liability. Defendants will sometimes challenge the reasons for the death or try to blame the death on extenuating circumstances as opposed to the event that is being claimed as the precipitating cause of death. For all of these reasons, litigation is more often than not the rule, and the process of litigation can vary greatly depending on the type of case being litigated. Auto accident cases often take two to three years to litigate, wrongful death in an auto accident or medical malpractice case can take three or four years to litigate, and under strange circumstances, litigation for wrongful death cases can go on for a decade.
What Do You Have To Prove In A Wrongful Death Suit?
In a wrongful death suit, it must be proven that the party or parties that are alleged to have caused the death are legally responsible to at least a certain percentage, which is typically 50 percent. Depending on the kind of case, sometimes one doesn't need that high of a percentage. It must also be proven that the reason for the death was approximately and factually caused by the precipitating mistake or failure, whether it was active conduct or omissions that brought about the alleged death.
How Long Do You Have To Sue A Hospital For A Wrongful Death?
There is a specific statute of limitations in Connecticut for wrongful death claims, but there are exceptions and common law equitable totaling doctrines which can extend the time period. If there are governmental actors involved and shorter notification periods are required separate and apart from the initiation of the suit within the statute of limitations, then regardless of whether the suit was filed within the statute of limitations time period, it would fail if the necessary notifications were not provided. Once medical care and the basic needs of the affected parties have been addressed, it is wise to have a competent lawyer review the circumstances of the case at an early juncture, review the claimant's legal rights, determine whether notifications have to be given and what statute of limitations applies, and collect and preserve evidence.
For more information on Statute Of Limitations For Wrongful Death Claims, a free & confidential consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (860) 322-5302 today.