Who Is Entitled to Wrongful Death Benefits in Connecticut?

Posted on 06/02/23

Wrongful Death Benefits in Connecticut

After suffering the loss of your loved one, can you and your family members recover compensation from the negligent party who caused their death? Connecticut allows certain family members to file wrongful death claims. Learn more about these sorts of cases, then contact a wrongful death attorney in Connecticut to request assistance.

Legal Causes of Wrongful Death

In Connecticut, wrongful death claims stem from incidents that result in a loved one’s death through the negligent actions or inaction of another individual or entity. Common causes of wrongful death include:

  • Accidents, such as car accidents, truck accidents, or work accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Crimes or other intentional acts

Wrongful death cases are civil suits that allow a decedent’s loved ones to recover damages from the negligent party for their financial and emotional losses due to the loss of their family member.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Connecticut has strict laws about which parties may file a wrongful death claim. The decedent’s estate (established through their final will and testament or a trust) may file a claim. If the decedent passed away without a will or trust, the probate court will need to appoint an administrator to file the claim and close out the affairs of the estate. 

The Decedent’s Estate

The executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate can recover certain damages on behalf of your deceased loved one, including:

  • Funeral, burial, and cremation expenses
  • Medical expenses incurred before the decedent succumbed to their injuries
  • Damages your loved one would have been entitled to if they survived

Any awards the court grants in your wrongful death claim will be disbursed to the decedent’s estate for the administrator to pay for final expenses and distribute to you and your minor children.

The Surviving Spouse

The surviving spouse or civil partner may join a loss of consortium claim to the estate’s wrongful death claim in a single wrongful death action. Loss of consortium damages that a spouse may recover include:

  • Loss of moral support
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of affection
  • Loss of services

Minor Children

Minor children have the right to pursue compensation for the wrongful death of a parent. Their loss of consortium claim for losing the love and guidance of a parent must join a surviving spouse’s claim.

Adult children only have a claim if the wrongful death occurred when they were still a minor, and compensation will only be awarded to cover the period of loss from the date of the parent’s death until the date of the adult child’s 18th birthday.

Statute of Limitations to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death attorney in Connecticut can help you understand your filing deadlines for the statute of limitations. You must file your claim within two years of the date of your loved one’s death but prior to five years from the incident that caused their death.

If your loved one died due to someone else’s criminal activities, and that person was convicted or found not guilty due to mental disease or defect, you may file a wrongful death claim at any time. Crimes with no statute of limitations for wrongful death include:

  • Murder with or without stipulations
  • Manslaughter in the first degree
  • Manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm

Contact a Connecticut Wrongful Death Attorney

At the Law Offices of James A. Welcome, we have over 18 years of experience representing the families and estates of wrongful death victims. Call us today at 203-753-7300 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a wrongful death attorney in Connecticut.