After the untimely death of a loved one, there may be a lot of questions you want answers to. While it is important to take time to grieve, any suspicions of medical malpractice or negligence need to be acted on fairly quickly.
Your timeline varies on your state. In Rhode Island, a claim must be brought within 3 years of death. In Connecticut, a claim must be brought within 2 years of the death. Some state and municipal notice periods must also be taken into consideration, depending on the case.
It is vital that you seek the aid of a knowledgeable attorney as soon as you are able. Waiting too long to discuss your options may mean you are never able to get the answers and closure that you deserve.
You Deserve Justice in the Event of a Preventable Tragedy
Our firm is dedicated to helping you and your family find answers, as well as financial compensation. While money cannot bring your loved one back, it can make up for the lost income and support that your family depended on and serves as the only remedy that the courts can offer.
Even if you do not feel comfortable accepting money as compensation, it is important to prosecute medical malpractice cases to help prevent future tragedies for other families. Contact Law Firm of Stephen M. Reck and Scott D. Camassar LLC for more information.
Five Things You Should Know About Wrongful Death in Connecticut
Connecticut law provides for a cause of action for wrongful death, see Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-555. Recovery in a wrongful death case is based on the loss to deceased
(the Estate). There are five elements of recovery:
Conscious pain and suffering prior to death
The death itself
Destruction of capacity to carry on and enjoy life's activities
Destruction of earning capacity (the net loss to the estate) and
expenses and funeral / final expenses
In Connecticut, a claim must be brought within two years of the death (the statute of limitations). In addition, sometimes there are even shorter state or municipal notice periods that must be met, depending on the facts of the incident
An Estate may recover compensation only for conscious pain and suffering. See Waldron v. Raccio, 166 Conn. 608, 618; Chase v. Fitzgerald, 132 Conn. 461, 470. This means there is no award of damages for pain and suffering if the deceased died immediately, or was rendered unconscious and then died, no matter how severe the injuries
Earning capacity refers to the ability to carry on the activity of earning money. To determine compensation for the destruction of earning capacity, one looks at probable net earnings during the probable lifetime of the deceased, i.e., actual loss of earnings reduced by the liability for income taxes and reasonable personal living expenses (i.e., for housing, food, medical attention and care) during the probable duration of their lifetime. Floyd v. Fruit Industries, Inc. 144 Conn. 659, 671, 676 (1957)
Only a surviving spouse can recover for loss of consortium, a claim that includes the intangible elements of the marital relationship, including love, affection, companionship, sexual relations, etc. Damages may not be awarded for the loss, sentimental or financial, to the deceased’s family or children. Lengel v. New Haven Gas Light Co., 142 Conn. 70, 78; Floyd v. Fruit Industries, 144 Conn. 659, 676 (1957); Mendillo v. Board of Education, 246 Conn. 456, 482, 484-486 (1999)
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