A wrongful death victim's tombstone with a white rose placed on top of it during a funeral.Facing the loss of someone you love is a devastating and traumatic experience. Although accidents happen all the time, when they occur because of someone’s negligence, the loss of a loved one becomes that much more painful.

Surviving family members can take one small bit of solace in the fact that they can be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death claim filed against a liable party. A successful claim allows them to repay the costs of their deceased loved one’s medical expenses, funeral, burial, and loss of income they brought to the household.

If you lost your loved one because of someone else’s negligence, Bert McDowell Injury Law is here to listen. Our legal team will help you understand your options and whether you have a wrongful death case.

Call to schedule your no-obligation case review with your local Connecticut wrongful death attorney, who can help you file a claim for your medical treatment costs and other damages, when you call (203) 590-9169 or contact us online.

What Are Some Examples of Fatal Accidents That Became Wrongful Death Cases?

Not all accident cases are considered a wrongful death scenario. Wrongful death accidents are a result of some negligent action or a failure to act as required, which caused the death of a victim and resulted in serious negative impacts to their dependents and other loved ones.

For example, if the victim was one of the primary income earners of a household, their loss would have serious financial impacts on their surviving family. The situation may mean the inability to earn income, put food on their table, or keep a roof over their heads.

“Wrongful death” can also refer to cases of reckless disregard for the safety of others (sometimes termed gross negligence) and intentional acts of harm, all of which lead to the death of the victim.

Some examples of parties that can be held liable for a wrongful death include:

  • At-fault drivers in car accidents or truck accidents
  • Manufacturers of defective products
  • Bartenders providing alcohol to an impaired driver
  • Governmental entities that build or design defective roadways or fail to place appropriate signs
  • Third parties responsible for a fatal occupational injury or illness
  • Property owners who let a dangerous hazard develop or persist
  • Negligent owners of a vicious dog

What Are Some Common Causes of Wrongful Death?

Some leading causes of wrongful death in the United States include:


  • Bicycle accidents
  • Car and truck accidents
  • Defective products
  • Medical malpractice
  • Criminal acts
  • Slip-and-fall and other property hazards
  • Dangerous dogs

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In a wrongful death case, the victim will not be able to file a claim, but an immediate family member can.

The members who can file a wrongful death claim in Connecticut on their behalf are:

  • Spouses
  • Parents or siblings of the deceased
  • Children
  • Other immediate family members
  • Any personal representative of the deceased person’s estate

Surviving Family Members Should Consult With a Wrongful Death Attorney Right Away

The sudden loss of a loved one may compromise a loved one’s financial stability, cause significant emotional pain, and create other damages.

Qualified wrongful death attorneys can increase your odds of recovering compensation for the loss of a loved one. With an experienced and knowledgeable team by your side, you can expect a full case analysis, in-depth evidence gathering, and accurate valuation of all damages suffered by you and your loved ones.

Your attorney will be able to:

  • Provide legal advice throughout your case
  • Represent you throughout the claims process
  • Act as your advocate during negotiations and in court, if necessary

A successful wrongful death lawsuit may provide compensation for losses contingent on the death of your loved one. These claims typically consist of compensation for:

  • Emotional suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium
  • Medical treatment expenses made necessary because of the accident or wrongful act
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of household income and benefits
  • Loss of domestic services rendered to the household

Compensation for wrongful death is paid out through a settlement or a court award. The victim’s dependents may receive the agreed-upon compensation in a lump sum or in a structured manner.

Who Has Immunity in a Wrongful Death Case?

While there are many ways that someone or a company may be liable for a wrongful death case, there are some cases where the negligent party will have immunity for any damages caused to the victim, including to their surviving family.

Examples of parties that cannot be held liable for a wrongful death include:

  • A government employee who was acting within their scope of duty.
  • Employers (any compensation should instead be requested from an applicable worker’s compensation policy)

If you are unsure whether the negligent party of your claim has immunity, speak to a wrongful death attorney immediately.

What Are the Types of Fatal Accidents in Wrongful Death Cases?

The types of wrongful death cases are either intentional, negligence-related or the direct result of malpractice. Each of these cases has its own unique circumstances that lead to fatal injuries to the victim.

Intentional Acts

Although one initially thinks that wrongful death accidents are caused by sheer negligence, sometimes they are the result of intentional actions. For example, if an aggressive driver is frustrated at a motorcycle operator in traffic and rams them with the front of their vehicle, killing them, that is an intentional act.

In many cases of intentional acts, it is not uncommon to find a criminal charge alongside a wrongful death case since there was the intention to complete the harmful action —- or intentionally fail to act in a way that resulted in another’s death.

Negligent Acts

Negligent acts are committed with little to no regard for the safety of others. For example, a driver speeding in a school zone knows that children may be crossing the road but chooses to speed anyway.

The action shows little regard for the children and is likely to result in a serious injury or fatality.

Another example could involve a nursing home that fails to provide food and help with bathing and changing, as needed. When the facility forgets to feed its elderly residents or allows them to sit in an unhealthy state for days, it is neglect, and if the resident passes away because of the facility’s inability to meet their duty, it may now qualify as a wrongful death case.


Malpractice is a form of professional negligence. Wrongful death cases involving malpractice will see a victim dying because of an action or inaction of a medical care provider. As an example, staff at a hospital may fail to provide food or medication to a patient, or they may give them the wrong dose of medication, leading to their death.

Medical malpractice cases carry unique complexities. Namely, it must be proven that the facility or provider violated a specific standard of care, leading to the death of the patient.

Unlike many other states across the country, Connecticut has no caps on medical malpractice cases.

Can Dependents File for Survival Actions in Connecticut?

A survival action is a separate type of claim from a wrongful death.

Survival actions are filed to reclaim the costs suffered directly by the victim prior to their death, which would reduce the value of the remaining estate. They work much like a personal injury lawsuit, except the victim, in this case, is having damages reclaimed by a representative of their estate. Since parties who pass from their injuries are often hospitalized for an extended period of time, often requiring multiple surgeries and intensive, life-saving care, their losses caused by medical bills can be quite substantial.

Damages that can be recovered in a survival action include:

  • Bills for medical care made necessary by the fatal injury the victim suffered
  • Any other out-of-pocket expenses endured by the victim
  • Income the victim lost because of the accident, prior to their death
  • The pain and suffering of the victim prior to their death

Find Out if You Have a Wrongful Death Claim When You Schedule Your Free Case Review

Losing someone may already feel unbearable, but when the death is a direct result of someone else’s negligent actions, the pain of the loss is even more devastating. Sometimes, families learn that the liable parties will try to avoid taking accountability for their actions, worsening their grief as they try to move past their loss.

Losing someone because of a negligent party is painful enough, and although there is nothing that can be done to bring them back, there is a way to seek compensation for any losses when you file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party.

Call Bert McDowell Injury Law today to learn more about your options in pursuing a claim when you schedule your no-obligation consultation. Our team is ready to show you your options and get started on working towards the compensation we believe your case is worth.

Call (203) 590-9169 or connect with us online to schedule a free case review with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Connecticut today.