Waterbury Woman Arrested on Manslaughter Charges | Law Offices of Brian J. Mongelluzzo

Mar 14, 2021

Last month, a Waterbury woman was arrested on manslaughter charges following a fatal Naugatuck car crash that occurred last October.

Police arrested the 41-year-old after the investigation revealed she had crossed the center line and collided head-on with a vehicle driven by a 69-year-old Naugatuck woman who was pronounced dead at the scene. Her passenger also suffered significant injuries.

Alcohol impairment is one of the leading causes of traffic collisions. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was an alcohol-impaired traffic fatality every 48 minutes in 2017.

If you have lost a loved one in a DUI crash, you may be wondering what legal action you can take. Depending on the specifics of the case, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

WHAT IS A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?

Wrongful death laws allow survivors to pursue monetary compensation for those who have died due to the negligent or reckless act of harm caused a loved one’s death. Each state has its own wrongful death statute which governs how a wrongful death action is brought and the types of civil damages that are recoverable.

Connecticut General Statute Section 52-555 states that a wrongful death claim is simply a claim “for injuries resulting in death.” In this way, it is like a personal injury claim. A wrongful death claim is typically filed against a person or company whose negligent and/or reckless behavior is believed to have caused the death of another. Because the injured person is no longer available to bring the claim for himself or herself, another party must step in to bring the case to court on behalf of the deceased person’s survivors and estate.

HOW STATE LAWS AFFECT DAMAGES

Damages in a Connecticut wrongful death claim are paid to the estate of the deceased person when the wrongful death lawsuit succeeds in court. The monetary amount of damages to be paid is determined by the jury, or by the judge if there is no jury. Damages may be paid for the following categories of losses:

  • reasonably necessary medical, hospital, and nursing expenses related to the deceased person’s final illness or injury.
  • funeral and burial expenses
  • damages for lost earning capacity
  • damages for conscious pain and suffering endured by the deceased before death, and
  • damages for “the loss of the capacity to enjoy life’s activities.”

Connecticut General Statutes also state that double or treble (triple) damages may be awarded in a wrongful death case if a driver’s deliberate violation of traffic laws or “reckless disregard” for traffic laws was a “substantial factor” in the death. To seek double or triple damages when a car accident results in a death, the executor or administrator filing the wrongful death case must specifically “plead” (meaning allege in the Complaint that is filed to open the case) that the driver acted deliberately or with reckless disregard, and that the driver’s actions caused or substantially contributed to the death.

WHEN TO FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT IN CONNECTICUT?

Each state has a statute of limitations which sets a deadline for filing different kinds of civil actions in civil court. In Connecticut, the executor or administrator of a deceased person’s estate must file a wrongful death lawsuit within 2 years of the date of the decedent’s death.

In some situations, a wrongful death suit may be filed after the two-year deadline has passed, if the case meets certain exceptions. However, in Connecticut, no wrongful death claim can be filed once five years have passed since the decedent’s death. So, it is important to speak to an experienced Connecticut attorney right away if you think you have a valid wrongful death claim.

LEGAL HELP FOR WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIMS IN CONNECTICUT

If you are considering filing a wrongful death claim, it’s wise to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can answer any questions you have about your case.

The Law Offices of Brian J. Mongelluzzo represents many families who have lost loved ones in tragic accidents. Our team of compassionate attorneys understands the importance of working quickly to gather evidence that can be used to help us fight for the justice you deserve. We have extensive experience representing victims’ families, including wrongful death claims in Connecticut.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, call (203) 663-3695 for a FREE case evaluation

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