Law Offices of James L. O'RourkePersonal Injury Law
203-864-4427
Free Initial Consultation
800-658-1245
Don't Wait - Call Now!
Office Locations

Injured? Free Case Evaluation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

What are the damages in a Connecticut wrongful death action?

The loss of a loved one carries severe emotional and financial challenges. A wrongful death action in Connecticut imposes economic and noneconomic compensation against a negligent party for the death of a family member to address these challenges.

Damages are not awarded to punish or penalize a defendant but to provide just and reasonable compensation for losses caused by their negligence. Plaintiffs bear the burden of proving entitlement to damages by a fair preponderance of evidence.

A court, once it has determined liability, must determine the nature and extent of each injury or loss and whether the defendant's negligence was the legal cause. Next, the court has to determine the amount of fair, just and reasonable compensation. Mathematical calculations are required for some determinations while others rely on the use of human experience and common sense.

Economic damages are compensation for monetary losses and expenses resulting from the defendant's negligence. Reasonable and necessary medical care funeral expenses fall within these damages.

The value of the decedent's lost earning capacity is also considered as economic damages. Lost earning capacity does not include deductions for the decedent's living expenses taking into consideration that cash payments will be made. A jury may consider the decedent's probable lifetime net earnings, general experience as a wage earner and qualifications for conducting a gainful occupation. The court should also consider that the decedent would have had to pay income taxes on any wages.

Noneconomic damages are comprised of compensation for the destruction of the decedent's earning capacity to carry on and enjoy life's activities in a way that the decedent would have done without dying. These activities include family, work, sports, recreation and other aspects of life.

Noneconomic damages also include compensation for the death itself. A court may also award damages for pain and suffering and loss of consortium.

Parties who suffer the loss of a family member should promptly seek representation to help determine whether a party's negligence led to the death and to obtain fair and just compensation. Legal assistance helps protect a party's rights in settlement negotiations and court proceedings.

Source: State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, "Civil jury instructions: 3.4-7 Damages-wrongful death," accessed Nov. 23, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
address

Law Offices of James L. O'Rourke

Stratford Office
1825 Barnum Avenue, Suite 201
Stratford, CT 06614

Phone: 203-381-9800
Fax: 203-377-2770
Stratford Law Office Map

Shelton Office
221 Nells Rock Road
Shelton, CT 06484

Phone: 203-380-8297
Fax: 203-377-2770
Shelton Law Office Map

Stamford Office
141 Briar Brae Road
Stamford, CT 06903

Phone: 203-378-1926
Fax: 203-377-2770
Stamford Law Office Map