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Who can sue for wrongful death in Connecticut?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2024 | Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident

A family deserves justice when it loses a loved one in death because of someone else’s negligence. Connecticut’s wrongful death statutes help families obtain compensation for their loss.

However, residents must follow specific rules to pursue these claims. Knowing who can file for wrongful death damages in Connecticut is key.

Who can sue for wrongful death damages in Connecticut?

Connecticut state law says that only the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. This executor acts on behalf of the estate.

The person seeks compensation for losses the deceased suffered before death. These losses include medical bills, funeral expenses, emotional anguish and lost earning capacity. Unlike some states, Connecticut does not allow individual family members to file wrongful death claims directly.

However, surviving spouses or civil partners can bring a separate claim for loss of consortium. Loss of consortium covers emotional and relational losses like companionship, affection and moral support. The law requires that they join this claim with the estate’s wrongful death claim.

How does the family receive compensation?

Compensation from a successful wrongful death claim goes to the deceased person’s estate. The estate then distributes the funds according to the person’s will. The executor ensures all assets and compensation reach the named beneficiaries. If the deceased had no will, Connecticut’s intestate succession laws decide how to divide the estate.

Under these laws, if the deceased leaves behind a spouse but no children or parents, the spouse receives the entire estate. If there are parents but no children, the spouse gets the first $100,000 plus three-quarters of the remaining estate. The parents receive the rest.

If the deceased leaves children from another relationship, the spouse gets the first $100,000 and half of the remaining estate. The other half goes to those children. Other close relatives like siblings do not receive part of the estate unless the will specifically names them.

While recovering financial damages does not make up for the loss of a loved one, a wrongful death suit is important. It helps bring closure and justice to grieving families by holding the responsible parties accountable.