Wrongful death occurs when a death is caused by an accident. The death is the result of someone else’s negligence. You can sue an individual person or a group of people for wrongful death. For example, you can sue a company, business, or government bureau for wrongful death. If you think that your loved one’s death fits in this category, you can make a wrongful death claim. If you win your case, you will receive compensation for the death of your family member. This section will give you a basic guide to the wrongful death claim process.
Filing a Claim
In order to file a wrongful death claim, you must be related to the victim. You also have to be financially injured by the victim’s death. Generally, this means that spouses and children can file for a wrongful death lawsuit. In some cases, more distant relatives can sue. But, spouses and children are generally the people who are financially impacted by death.
Once you have determined that you can file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove your case. You have to do this in order to receive compensation. You must prove that the victim died as a result of misconduct. This misconduct can be an inappropriate act or the failure to act. You must prove that the defendant either intended to cause harm or was being careless. Also prove that these actions contributed to your loved one’s death.
Proving Financial Injury
If you can prove that you were financially injured by the death of a relative and that the defendant’s negligence caused the death, you could get compensation. The value of each claim will vary. They will depend on the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. You could recover damages for your personal pain and suffering. You might also get damages the destruction of your loved one’s earning capacity. An expert will calculate how much money the deceased would have made in their lifetime. The defendant will owe you that money to compensate for your loss. Because of this, the damage awards in wrongful death lawsuits can be extremely high.
Also, compensation can pay for other reasonable expenses and the death of your loved one. You can also receive compensatory damages for direct expenses. This includes funeral bills or medical bills, as well as long-term expenses.
In addition to these types of damages, you might be entitled to punitive damages. These damages are designed to punish the person or entity responsible for their recklessness. A jury will award these damages on a case-by-case basis.
If you have lost a loved one as a result of wrongful death, you are probably feeling shocked and overwhelmed. You probably want to put the experience behind you as soon as possible. But you need to think about your financial future. Suffering from loss of income or large medical/funeral bills will be financially difficult. For this reason, it is important that you seek compensation from the at fault party.
Distribution of Recovery When Deceased has Will
The sudden loss of a loved one due to a motor vehicle accident can be devastating. The stress of dealing with grief and trying to get your life back on track can make for a difficult time. Fortunately, if your loved one had a will drawn up before their death, this process can be a little easier. Instead of guessing at what the deceased would have wanted, fighting over assets, or having a court decide who gets what, you can follow the instructions left by the deceased. In most cases, if the deceased has left a valid Will, then the recovery will be distributed among the survivors as the deceased wished. But, there are some exceptions to this that are set up by Connecticut law. Familiarizing yourself with these exceptions can make the process as easy as possible.
Exceptions to the Will
One exception to the Will of a person killed in an accident can happen if the deceased has a surviving spouse. The surviving spouse can request a statutory share of the deceased spouse’s property. This means that the spouse is entitled to one-third of all property mentioned in the Will. This includes both real and personal property. Once all the deceased’s debts get paid, one-third of the remaining property can go to the spouse. This happens as long as the spouse gives written notice of wanting the statutory share. This happens regardless of the terms of the Will. In the case of the surviving spouse deserting the victim before their death, the spouse will not get statutory share. This share is meant to help the surviving spouse make up for the loss of a spouse in financial terms.
Another exception to the deceased’s Will can be made by a judge of the probate court. This exception can be made for the benefit of a victim’s surviving spouse or any children. If the judge feels that a larger amount of the deceased’s property should go to their spouse and children, this property will go to these people. This is another exception meant to help the family compensate for the death of a provider.
Distribution of Recovery with No Will
The sudden death of a loved one can be shocking and devastating. A sudden death can mean that the deceased did not have time to compose a Will. When there is no Will involved, distribution of assets can be difficult to determine. If the victim did not have a Will, who receives compensation is decided by the law. These different scenarios and laws can be complex. It is important that you familiarize yourself with your relationship to the deceased. This will determine how the distribution of the victim’s assets affects you.
Before any recovery from a wrongful death claim can happen, a Judge approves where the money is going. Keep in mind that each situation is different. You may or may not receive compensation depending on your relationship to the deceased. This will also depend on who else survived the victim. The state of Connecticut has laws that determine how money should get distributed. Some of the most common situations get discussed here.
The net estate of the deceased Will go to a spouse in the case that the victim has no children or parents. If both parents and a spouse and there are no children the money goes to these family members. But, the money will not get split equally in this case. First, the spouse will receive the first $100,000 awarded by the wrongful death claim. Also the spouse will receive three-fourths of any subsequent payment. The parents will receive the remaining one-fourth. If a spouse and children survive the victim, the spouse will receive the first $100,000 of the net estate. They will also get one half of the balance. What remains will be divided equally between the children.
If a victim is survived by a spouse and children from a previous marriage, the net estate will be split between the spouse and children. Half of the estate will go to the spouse. The other half gets split among the children. If only children survive a victim, the net estate will be divided among those children. In the case that a victim is only survived by parents, those parents will split the net estate.