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Wrongful Death Lawyer | 15 Key Wrongful Death Questions

Top-rated Wrongful Death Attorney Answers Many Critical Questions

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Wrongful death law firm Bartlett Legal Group will fight to get you and your family fair and just compensation for your loss of a loved one

Below are valuable questions about wrongful death claims that we have repeatedly been asked over the years by clients.

Q1) WHAT IS A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?

What is wrongful death?

A1)

A wrongful death is a death due to the negligent, willful, or wrongful act, omission or fault of another. Wrongful death or accidental death lawsuits are meant to compensate those family members left behind after a fatal accident.  You also are hurt if you relied on the decedent for financial and emotional support.  A wrongful death may be the result of a negligent or careless act, murder, reckless driving, medical malpractice, or many other causes listed below.

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Q2) DO I HAVE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?

A2)

This depends on many factors. An experienced wrongful death attorney at Bartlett Legal Group can help you determine the answer today. Clients often are unsure if they have a viable wrongful death case. You have nothing to lose by scheduling a free consultation. It is critically important to not delay contacting an experienced attorney.

Q3) CAN YOU HELP ME IF I LIVE IN A STATE OTHER THAN CONNECTICUT?

A3)

Yes, we help families nationwide. Over the years we have built an extensive network of top-rated wrongful death attorneys and experts across the country that we work with regularly.

Over 5000 people a year from across the country reach out to Bartlett Legal Group for critical answers to questions about Wrongful Death. Four out of five live in a state other than Connecticut.
Map of US showing distribution of people reaching out to our firm annually

Q4) WHO CAN FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?

A4)

In Connecticut for example, parents, surviving spouses, and dependent children may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim depending on the circumstances. Normally the plaintiff is the estate of the decedent. Our family law and probate attorney can assist attorney Bartlett and the surviving family members in setting up the necessary probate estate that would allow the family to pursue a claim.  For additional information about laws by state click here

Q5) WHAT DAMAGES ARE RECOVERABLE IN A WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT?

A5)

In a wrongful death action, there are two general types of damages, economic and non-economic. Economic damages are monies awarded as compensation for monetary losses and expenses that have been incurred as a result of the defendant’s negligence. They are awarded for such things as the cost of reasonable and necessary medical care, funeral expenses and lost earnings. Non-economic damages are monies awarded as compensation for non-monetary losses and injuries that the plaintiff’s decedent has suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence. They are awarded for physical pain and suffering and the destruction of the ability to enjoy life’s pleasures.

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Q6) I LOST MY SPOUSE’S INCOME. WHAT WILL I DO?

LOSS OF EARNING CAPACITY DUE TO A WRONGFUL DEATH.

A6)

The destruction of earning capacity, that is, the capacity to carry on gainful employment or other means of earning compensation during the decedent’s probable lifetime, may be compensated. An estate must deduct probable income taxes and necessary personal living expenses and adjust for inflation. This value is then reduced to its present value. Our wrongful death attorney will work with an expert in economics to derive the present value of the decedent’s potential earning capacity.  This will provide a fair figure for the loss of the decedent’s earning capacity as a result of the wrongful death.

Q7) THEY HAD THEIR WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF THEM. WHAT IS THAT WORTH?

DESTRUCTION OF CAPACITY TO ENJOY LIFE’S ACTIVITIES.

A7)

Damages are allowed for the destruction of the decedent’s capacity to enjoy life’s activities such as family, work, sports, recreation and other aspects of life.

Q8) CAN WE BE COMPENSATED FOR THE WRONGFUL DEATH ITSELF?

A8)

The rule is that insofar as money can do it, the plaintiff may be awarded fair, just and reasonable compensation for the loss of life. As in the other categories of damages, there is no precise mathematical formula. Working with our experienced wrongful death lawyer will allow the estate to clearly articulate the value of the decedent’s life so as to maximize the compensation awarded.

Q9) MY HUSBAND SUFFERED SO MUCH. IS THAT A FACTOR?

ARE PAIN AND SUFFERING RELATING TO A WRONGFUL DEATH COMPENSABLE?

A9)

Pain and suffering prior to the decedent’s death may be claimed if the loved one did not die instantaneously.

Q10) I LOST MY SPOUSE, MY LOVE, MY PARTNER IN LIFE.  CAN I SUE FOR MY LOSS?

WHO CAN PURSUE A RELATING LOSS OF CONSORTIUM CLAIM?

A10)

The surviving spouse, and due to a recent Supreme Court ruling, the children of a person who has died as a result of another person’s negligent, reckless or intentional act can recover for the loss of their ability to enjoy the companionship of their spouse throughout their lifetime. Such a claim is derivative of the claim for wrongful death but accrues in favor of the surviving spouse, rather than of the estate. Compensable damages for loss of consortium include loss of the spouse’s affections, companionship, and sexual relations. Our lawyer assists loved ones in articulating and quantifying the value of a claim for loss of consortium.

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Q11) CAN A BYSTANDER PURSUE A CLAIM FOR EMOTIONAL DISTRESS?

A11)

Under certain circumstances, family members who witness the death of a family member are entitled to pursue a claim.  The claim is for bystander emotional distress for the shock and emotional and psychological trauma they have endured. If a person is a close family member (child, parent, spouse or sibling) and they either witnessed the death of a loved one, or arrived on the scene of the accident and witnessed the deceased person in the same or similar condition as when they had passed away, the family member may be entitled to compensation.

Compensable damages for bystander emotional distress.

These may include the emotional and psychological injuries occasioned by the actual event of witnessing the loved one’s death, above and beyond the emotional injuries that would be expected from the loss of a loved one. As such, the pursuit of a claim of bystander emotional distress requires expert testimony and a skilled attorney to differentiate these claims. You may also be entitled to double or treble damages depending on the circumstances. It is very important to seek experienced counsel as soon as possible.

Q12) WHAT ARE SOME TYPES OF WRONGFUL DEATH CASES?

A12)

These are the most serious personal injury cases and can arise out of many types of accidents. Accordingly, handling this type of case requires a high level of knowledge and skill in personal injury law.

Our firm has successfully handled hundreds of cases involving:

Q13) HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?

WHAT IS THE WRONGFUL DEATH STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS?

A13)

It depends on the state. As an example, pursuant to Connecticut General Statute § 52-555, a wrongful death claim must be brought within two years of the date of death, except that no such action may be brought more than five years from the date of the act or omission which ultimately resulted in the person’s death. (https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_925.htm#sec_52-555). In addition to this general statute of limitations of two years, depending on the particular facts and circumstances that led to the death, certain parties may need to be put on notice of a potential claim much earlier. Accordingly, should you wish to pursue a claim stemming from a loved one’s death, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations by State

wrongful death statute of limitations

 

Q14) HOW DO I FIND A WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY?

A14)

  1. Read attorney reviews left by clients.
  2. Look at ratings from independent rating services and choose a firm that focuses on wrongful death cases.
  3. Experience in the courtroom is very important. How many cases have they brought to trial?
  4. Use Google to research who will be the best fit for you and your family.
  5. Read attorney biographies.
  6. Talk to the attorney.  If you like the attorney so will the jury.

Choose us because we care. Bartlett Legal Group is one of the top-ranked wrongful death law firms in the country. Don’t settle for less. We will strive to mount the strongest case possible for your claim.

Experience, integrity, and results

results awards

  • Your legal team at Bartlett Legal Group will conduct an in-depth investigation of your case based on years of wrongful death experience.
  • Your team will gather evidence from many sources.
  • We have an extensive network of experts and attorneys nationwide that we have built over the years that will help you obtain just and reasonable compensation for all injuries and losses, past and future, that were caused by the defendant’s legally proven negligence.
  • One of our goals is to allow you to focus on personal matters and help your family get back to a normal life. While money can never replace a loved one, it may help mitigate the financial hardship such a tragedy has caused.
  • At Bartlett Legal Group we know that no amount of compensation can change the outcome of an accident or replace your loss. Our firm will provide you with dedicated, compassionate counsel, allowing you to focus on other matters during a difficult time. While we cannot turn back the clock on an accident, we can help you seek justice by obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled.

Our mission at Bartlett Legal Group is to be the best wrongful death law firm and to have the highest level of client satisfaction. Choosing the best attorney for you and your case can be difficult.

Q15) What Are Your Wrongful Death Attorney Fees?

A15)

No fee unless we win. We work on what’s called a contingency fee basis.  In other words, we pay for everything associated with your case and are only repaid for our expenses and time if we win at trial or you agree to settle your case.  If we don’t win at trial or settle your case you owe nothing.  Our fee is the typical 1/3 of the award or settlement.

Please consider calling our firm right now. You’re under no obligation and the consultation is free. We are here to help you and your family take the fear out of the legal process and to maximize your rightful compensation.

Call 203-439-7717

We have the critical experience to fight for your rights during negotiations and in court. We understand that you have suffered the ultimate loss, and offer compassionate counsel and aggressive representation with the goal of securing justice.

If you have lost a loved one due to a wrongful death, please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

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Attorney case referral – Please go to the firm overview page and click on the attorney case referral link.

Recent Wrongful Death Case Results

$234,000 Settlement for family of woman struck and killed walking across Interstate 91.
A young woman was struck and killed by a tractor trailer while walking across interstate 91 at the Connecticut/Massachusetts border. Although the woman’s mother was told by four different attorney’s that she didn’t have a case because the autopsy report indicated that her daughter was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the accident and the police report found that the tractor trailer driver did nothing wrong, Attorney Bartlett agreed to take the case. After receiving denials from the insurer of the tractor trailer as well as the driver of the car in which the plaintiff was previously a passenger, through the use of an accident reconstructionist, Attorney Bartlett was able to establish that, had the driver of the tractor trailer been traveling at the speed limit, he would have been able to stop in time to avoid the collision. He was then able to negotiate a favorable settlement with the tractor trailer driver’s insurer as well as a policy limit settlement with the insurer of the driver of the car she was previously in for stopping on the side of the highway and letting the woman out of her car, when she was only a tenth of a mile away from an exit.
Confidential Settlement in CT nursing home death
Bartlett secures settlement on behalf of the estate of a patient who suffered a subdural hematoma as a result of a slip and fall accident at a nursing home. The patient's family alleged that, despite numerous prior falls, the nursing home failed to take adequate precautions to prevent the patient's fall.
Homeless man struck and killed by passing vehicle. Policy limit settlement
A homeless man was struck and killed by a passing vehicle when he was walking across the Berlin Turnpike in the early morning hours. In spite of the fact that the police report exonerated the driver of the vehicle and found the homeless man responsible for the accident, through the use of an accident reconstructionist, Attorney Bartlett was able to establish that, due to the lack of skid marks prior to the point of impact, the driver of the vehicle took no evasive action prior to striking and killing the man. Armed with this information, Attorney Bartlett was able to negotiate a settlement which included the full insurance policy limits, as well as an additional contribution from the driver, a prominent medical professional.
Woodbridge teen killed racing. Family receives policy limit settlement
Two teenagers were racing down a back road at high speed when the first vehicle left the roadway, striking an embankment and a tree, killing both occupants. After being turned down by numerous attorneys, the driver’s family contacted Attorney Bartlett who agreed to take the case. The other driver’s insurance company initially denied the claim due to the fact that there was “no contact” between the vehicles. Attorney Bartlett filed suit against the driver of the other vehicle and retained an accident reconstructionist to establish the speed of the vehicles and to show that the driver of the second vehicle was tailgating the first, pushing him to go faster. After retaining an economist to demonstrate the significant loss in earning capacity the teen sustained, Attorney Bartlett was able to negotiate a settlement of the case for the full insurance policy limits of the second driver.

For additional cases and details please go to RESULTS on the main menu.