When the driver of a motor vehicle fails to notice or yield to pedestrian traffic, the end result can be tragic. After all, a vehicle weighs dozens of times as much as the heaviest person, and a pedestrian has no protection against the force of impact. In the wake of such a tragic incident, your life can change profoundly.
Losing someone you love is very difficult. When that loss is the result of a preventable accident, your grief and denial may be stronger. While you should certainly take the time and space you need to process your emotions and adjust, you should also consider your options for protecting your family and holding that driver accountable.
Connecticut law allows family members to pursue wrongful death claims
In situations where one person’s actions, inaction or negligence directly results in the death of someone else, Connecticut law allows for a wrongful death lawsuit. Under state law, families can pursue such claims against anyone who causes injuries that result in death.
Connecticut law also differs from that of many other states in that it does not allow for any family member to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Instead, only the executor or administrator of the estate for the person who died can seek compensation. Like many other states, however, there is a two-year statute of limitations on filing that begins on the day a person passes away due to an accident.
Understanding what compensation you can receive
Typically, a wrongful death lawsuit involves seeking specific damages from the person responsible for the death. Damages will depend on the specifics of your situation, but they will extend beyond basic medical expenses and funeral costs. In addition to those damages, a wrongful death lawsuit can also seek compensation for lost income, conscious pain and suffering suffered by the person who died, and damages related to the loss of the ability to enjoy life.
In situations in which the driver deliberately broke traffic laws or behaved with reckless disregard for the law, plaintiffs in wrongful death suits may seek double or triple damages. To do this, the person bringing the lawsuit must make the request for the increased damages in the initial complaint filed with the courts. Drunk driving or texting while at the wheel are examples of disregard for the law and the safety of other people.