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When could I pursue a wrongful death lawsuit?

Traffic accidents rank among the deadliest risks that Connecticut residents face on a regular basis. The incidence of these events is high and their potential outcomes are disastrous. With all of this in mind, you might feel that the criminal court system takes car accident deaths too lightly — and you would not be alone. You could pursue such a matter in the civil courts up to two years after the fatal collision took place, in most cases.  

There are multiple reasons that many victims' families file wrongful death cases in addition to the state's criminal charges. Your own situation would probably resonate with at least one of these examples:

  • Criminal decisions often do little to secure the survivors' futures.
  • Plea bargaining and other negotiations tend to allow criminal defendants to accept relatively mild censure in exchange for concessions.
  • State's attorneys' investigations do not fall under the victims' families' control. 

Aside from the questions of when and why, you might, in certain situations, question your ability to file a case in the first place. Whether or not you would be able to file a case would depend on several key factors, including the legal nature of your relationship with your loved one and any statements he or she made in a will.

According to FindLaw's section on wrongful death lawsuits, you could file if you were either the executor or the administrator of the estate in question. These are both titles you would have if you were responsible for the estate. The difference is that executors are those named in wills, while courts appoint administrators.  

There are many complications that could come up while pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. As such, please do not regard this as legal advice. It is meant to be background information.

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