Wednesday, October 15, 2014
How is A Connecticut Wrongful Death Case Valued?
Connecticut law imposes specific regulations over the damages that a jury can grant a plaintiff in a wrongful death case. The jury must make its decision based on reasonable probabilities according to the evidence and is not entitled to speculate or guess about the injuries or losses that the decedent suffered. One of the types of damages that a jury may award is economic damages for expenses and monetary losses that the plaintiff incurred because of the negligence of the defendant. Included in economic damages are the necessary and reasonable costs for medical treatment that the decedent received for the injuries suffered prior to death. It also includes reasonable funeral and burial costs. The plaintiff has to prove that these expenses were sensibly essential and that the defendant's negligence resulted in those expenses. The jury may also award the plaintiff for the destruction of the decedent's ability to earn money. This is based on the decedent's wages prior to injury and death and on the probable length of time that the decedent would have lived had death not occurred because of the defendant's negligence. Probable income taxes and necessary personal living expenses are deducted from the probable lifetime earnings, resulting in the fair amount of damages that the plaintiff could be awarded. The administrator of estate of a decedent who, for example, dies in a work-related accident because of the employer's negligence has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer. If the decedent did not receive medical treatment prior to death, a jury may award the administrator of estate economic damages for funeral and burial costs and for the destruction of earning capacity. However, the administrator of estate might also receive economic damages for medical costs if the decedent received treatment prior to death. Source: Connecticut Judicial Branch, "3.4-7 Damages - Wrongful Death", October 07, 2014