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East Hartford, CT personal injury attorney wrongful death

The term “wrongful death” is exactly what you would expect it to mean -- it refers to the untimely death of a person due to the negligence of another person. Dealing with death is difficult, but it can prove to be especially challenging if you know that your loved one’s death was due to the negligence and carelessness of another person. Fortunately, Connecticut has wrongful death statutes that allow you to collect compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering if he or she had not died in the accident. Wrongful death cases can be complicated, which is why it is recommended that you get help from a personal injury lawyer if you are seeking compensation for your loved one’s untimely death.

Available Damages to Claim in Wrongful Death Cases

The entire premise of a wrongful death lawsuit is to allow a person’s family members to file what is essentially a personal injury lawsuit in the place of the deceased. Before any damages are awarded, the court must determine whether or not there is actually a case for negligence. If the defendant is determined to be held liable for a person’s wrongful death, they may be ordered to pay certain damages. These types of claims can be brought against someone after a fatal car crash or slip-and-fall accident. In some cases, a driver may have been intoxicated or a property owner failed to maintain a safe and secure environment for guests.   

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verdict, Connecticut personal injury attorneyWhen most people think about a personal injury lawsuit, an auto accident dispute between two strangers may come to mind first. Or, their thoughts may turn to a slip-and-fall incident at a retail store, leading to months of litigation by the victim against a large corporation and their insurance companies. Sometimes, however, a personal injury case may begin as a disagreement between friends which escalates to unnecessary violence. Such was the case between two college students whose case was recently decided by a Derby Superior Court jury.

A Physical Altercation

According to court documents, the incident took place in April of 2014 following a party at Quinnipiac University in Hamden. The plaintiff was riding in the front seat of the defendant’s car when he reportedly became concerned about the defendant’s ability to drive. The driver had allegedly been drinking and his driving had become erratic. The plaintiff claims that he repeatedly asked the driver to pull over, and the driver got angry and violent, punching the plaintiff in the head.

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loss of consortium, Supreme Court, Connecticut personal injury lawyerA new chapter has just begun in the story of personal injury law in the state of Connecticut. A noteworthy decision by the state Supreme Court last month recognized, for the first time, the rights of minor children to file a loss of consortium claim following an injury to a parent. Legal experts around the state and throughout the country have recognized the ruling as a large step forward, as a majority of jurisdictions in the United States already permit such action. In its decision, however, the Court included certain restrictions that may limit loss of consortium claims in particular situations.

The Case

In 2008, a West Haven man was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. He died three days later, and his wife filed suit against the car’s driver on several counts, including wrongful death, loss of spousal consortium, and loss of parental consortium on behalf of the couple’s three children. The trial court determined appropriate wrongful death damages to be almost $3 million, along with a $1 million award for the loss spousal consortium. Due to contributory negligence findings, the awards were reduced by 42 percent, and the actual awarded damages totaled about $2.3 million. The loss of parental consortium claim, however, was rejected. The children appealed, and Campos v. Coleman eventually made its way to the state Supreme Court.

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