The sudden loss of a loved one can be traumatic. In addition to the emotional harm that can be caused to surviving family members, there can be extensive financial damages. The death of a wage-earning spouse, for example, may result in significant medical expenses, funeral costs and lost wages. Trying to make ends meet in the aftermath of one of these deaths can be troublesome.
Yet, if the loss of a loved one was caused by the negligence of another, then a wrongful death lawsuit may be justified, and it could lead to the recovery of much needed compensation that can help with some of the financial fallout. Moreover, wrongful death suits are not limited to wage-earning adults. Children and the elderly can also be taken before their time due to another's negligence. It can be difficult, though, to put a price on the loss of a child or an elderly loved one. Whereas a wrongful death lawsuit involving a wage earner can at least look at the deceased individual's income at the time of death to calculate some damages, children and the elderly don't provide any data for that calculation.
Thus, determining damages in these instances is often based on speculation, especially when dealing with the wrongful death of a child. When awarding compensation on such a wrongful death claim, a judge and jury will consider factors such as the child's age, life expectancy, work expectancy, earning potential and the relationship of the claimant to the child.
Recovering wrongful death compensation for the death of an elderly individual can be tough, too. This is primarily because most elderly individuals are retired and therefore don't earn a wage. Yet, the damage caused by the sudden loss of a loved one can take quite an emotional toll. To learn whether or not compensation may be available for those damages, surviving family members may want to consider seeking out legal assistance from a qualified Connecticut wrongful death attorney.
Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death Cases: Children and the Elderly," accessed on Jan. 23, 2017