Archive for the ‘Wrongful Death’ Category

SIDS – Advances in Prevention

SIDSSIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is one of the most devastating and heartbreaking events that a family can experience.

Roughly 3,000 infants die each year while they are asleep, and though there have been some advances in our understanding of the causes, there has been no decrease in the overall death rate since the 1990s.

Most of the improvement that was seen at that time is a result of better parent education and understanding of what constitutes a sleep environment and healthy positioning during sleep. But there are causes of SIDS that have nothing to do with the child’s environment, and which sometimes warrant a wrongful death lawsuit against those involved in the child’s prenatal care and birthing process.

A Safe Sleeping Environment

The biggest advances in SIDS prevention have come with improved recommendations on infant positioning and bedding. Parents are advised to:

  • Use skin-to-skin contact for newborns
  • Position infants on their back to sleep
  • Use firm sleep surfaces in cribs
  • Share room with parent
  • Always have infant on a separate sleep surface, designed for infant use
  • Avoid soft bedding
  • Do not use blankets
  • Avoid overheating
  • Avoid smoking during pregnancy
  • Avoid exposure to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs
  • Breastfeed
  • Follow recommended schedule for immunization
  • Use a pacifier
  • Keep sleeping infants away from couches and armchairs

Malpractice and Wrongful Death in SIDS

SIDS can sometimes be caused by birth injuries or prenatal distress that had previously been undetected and are only discovered on autopsy.  These can be as a result of:

  • If blood is detected in the spinal cord, it suggests injury caused by trauma during birth
  • If lungs are found to be damaged, it may be a result of limited oxygen in the womb
  • If brain damage is discovered, it can be a result of stress in utero during a difficult delivery

The loss of a child is devastating, and the search for answers is painful, especially when faced with the possibility that the death could have been prevented. The wrongful death attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are compassionate and understanding but also dedicated to helping you get the truth. If you suspect that your child’s death from SIDS is a result of negligence, contact us today. We will conduct a thorough investigation aimed at getting you the answers you need and the justice your baby deserves.

Establishing Legal Liability in a Wrongful Death Suit

When a loved one passes away due to the negligence of another, it is an emotionally charged time. In many cases, the family isn’t necessarily concerned with financial compensation. Instead, they are seeking justice. However, these cases go beyond finding justice for someone who has died. The cases look at who is liable for the actions that have occurred and led to the death.

The first part of the case is understanding that a wrongful death suit is a civil suit for monetary damages and not a criminal case. This means who you are suing is not necessarily the person who committed the wrongdoing, and the cases are handled differently. In a criminal case, you are seeking a type of punishment for a crime, such as a fine or imprisonment. In those cases, the family would not be compensated for their damages.

Who is the Defendant in a Wrongful Death Case?

In a wrongful death case, the plaintiff is the close family member that is bringing the claim on behalf of the heirs of the deceased. When the deceased has a will, the executor or personal representative of the estate will often be the plaintiff in the case. This person, again, brings the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s heirs. The defendant in the case is the person or entity that acted intentionally or negligently and is responsible for the untimely death.

What Must Be Proven in the Case?

In order to be successful in a wrongful death case, there are various elements that must be proven. It is up to the plaintiff to show the court that the defendant was negligent and that the negligence caused the deceased’s death. Typically, the following elements must be proven:

  • Duty of Care. It must be proven that the Defendant had owed the deceased victim a duty of care to have a case. For example, a doctor has a duty of care to their patients whether it is a first time visit or they have been coming for years.
  • Breaching that Duty of Care. Once it is established that a duty of care was owed, it must be proven that there was a breach of that duty. An example of breaching a duty of care is when a doctor fails to recognize symptoms when another doctor of the same experience would reasonably diagnosis the issue.
  • Cause. Once duty of care and breach of that duty of care is established, it must be proven that this led to the victim’s death. It is not enough to show there was negligence; it must be shown there is a direct causation between the two.

If someone you love has passed away due to the negligence of another person, contact us today. We understand the laws as they apply to wrongful death cases and will fight on your behalf.

Can a Wrongful Death Suit Be Filed at Any Time in Connecticut?

The short answer is “no.” On one hand, there is more to consider in a wrongful death suit than just a statute of limitations. On the other, there is a deadline that cannot be exceeded. In Connecticut, the executor or administrator of an estate has up to two years from the person’s death to file for wrongful death. However, there are some situations where that deadline is not possible.

When there are extenuating circumstances, the executor can have as long as five years to file. After that time, it is no longer valid. This is to help ensure when an executor doesn’t have all the information or doesn’t realize they can file for wrongful death, that there is still an opportunity to file for the damages they deserve. In these situations, it pays off to have a good, experienced attorney that has specific experience in dealing with wrongful death cases in Connecticut.

What is Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim. The key difference is that the injury results in death and that the case is filed by an executor or administrator rather than the victim. These types of cases are commonly filed when a person or company has acted negligently, recklessly, or there is proof their intentional behavior caused a death or injury that led to death.

Pursuable Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

The damages from this type of claim are paid out to the estate of the deceased. The amount awarded depends on the jury, or judge when there is no jury, meaning awards can vary greatly. The categories of damages include:

  • Medical expenses related to the illness or injury that led to death.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Lost earning capacity.
  • Conscious pain and suffering before death.
  • Loss of capacity to “enjoy life’s activities.”

Not all damages are linked to earning capacity under Connecticut law. The Connecticut Supreme Court found that some damages are pursuable for the death itself, even when instantaneous.

If your loved one has passed away due to the negligence of another, you need legal representation to suit your needs. Contact our Connecticut wrongful death lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers today to find out how we can help.

Wrongful Death Claims in Connecticut: Important Questions Answered

There are few times in life more emotionally-charged than losing a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful act of another person. Despite the emotions, it’s important to have the right information and important questions answered before pursuing legal action. While many will want to immediately hold the person accountable, it can pay off to take a step back and full understand what comes with the territory of a wrongful death claim.

What is a wrongful death claim?

The compensation gained from a wrongful death claim is meant to help financial aid family members following a fatal accident. This is often when the family members had been financially and emotionally dependent on the deceased.

Who can seek damages?

A good rule of thumb is whether the person is part of the estate. Surviving spouses and children are the most common, but surviving parents and other family members may also be able to seek damages.

What damages can be covered?

Damages following a wrongful death fall into two categories: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages include monetary losses and the expenses that came as a result of the death such as funeral arrangements and medical bills. Noneconomic damages cover losses and injury that are harder to quantify, such as lingering effects of injuries.

Can I be compensated for pain and suffering?

In a wrongful death suit, pain and suffering may be sought when the victim did not die instantaneously. Collecting for your own pain and suffering is much more difficult to claim.

Can I claim emotional distress as a bystander?

In some circumstances, damages can be sought as a bystander. Family members who witnessed the death or saw their loved one at the scene of the accident may be able to collect compensation for their emotional distress. They might be compensated for emotional and psychological injuries that would be expected from the loss of a loved one.

Can I seek damages for loss of consortium?

When your spouse passes away and you have children, you are losing your parenting partner. In Connecticut, you can seek compensation for the loss of the ability to enjoy their companionship such as the spouse’s affections, companionship and sexual relations.

If you have lost a loved one suddenly due to the careless actions of another person, contact the Connecticut wrong death lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to find out how we can help.

In Your Time of Need, a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help – What We Do to Ease Your Burden

The death of a loved one is never easy to accept, but when you lose someone as a result of negligence or carelessness on the part of another person or entity, it is an even more bitter pill to swallow. In addition to the grief and pain caused by your loss, there is also the very real possibility that the death can create an economic hardship on those who were left behind. This hardship may be related to the medical bills and hospital expenses related to their death, the costs of burial, or the degree to which the person was financially and emotionally supportive of those who depended on them. When this is the case, those left behind are often able to file a specific type of lawsuit known as a wrongful death suit. A wrongful death lawyer from Jonathan Perkins Attorneys at Law can help you as you deal with the loss of your loved one, getting you the compensation that you need to ease your burden.

At Jonathan Perkins Attorneys at Law, we understand that no amount of money can mend the hole that is left behind when someone that you love has died. However, even in the face of your grief it is important to understand that when a death has resulted because of somebody else’s negligence or wrongdoing, then justice needs to be done and others need to be protected from similar negligence in the future. That is the purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit. It provides compensation to those beneficiaries and dependents who have suffered – and will continue to suffer – as a result of the death, and in making the responsible parties pay it also serves as a potent warning to those responsible and others regarding the need to act responsibly and with care. In many ways, a wrongful death lawsuit is filed on behalf of the person who has died.

There are many situations that can give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit, including:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Truck accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Work accidents
  • Fatal dog attacks
  • Assault

In the state of Connecticut, a wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the executor of the deceased’s estate, and it is the estate to which payments are made. The compensation that may be sought includes the loss of earning capacity based upon the amount of money that the deceased earned or could have been expected to earn, the financial support that they provided, any medical and funeral costs that were incurred leading up to or as a result of the death, and loss of companionship. Damages can also be sought to compensate for the pain and suffering that the person suffered before their death.

If you have lost a loved one upon whom you depended for financial support and you believe that their death was caused by the careless of another, then call Jonathan Perkins Attorneys at Law today. We will provide you with the legal guidance you need to determine your best next step.

Learn more about Wrongful Death Lawsuits HERE.

Common Problems That Lead to Wrongful Death from Defective Products – How a Lawyer Can Help Your Family

When a company makes the decision to create or sell a product to the public, they do not do so without bearing a certain amount of responsibility. Manufacturers are expected to make sure that the items that they sell are safe for use. This is true for products of all types, from automobiles and their parts to medication to toys and household appliances. Unfortunately, there have been many cases where this duty of care has not been fulfilled, and the innocent consumers who have used the products end up getting hurt, or even killed. When a person is injured by a defective product they are able to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for the damages that they have suffered, but what happens when the defective product causes a death? When there is a wrongful death from a defective product, an experienced lawyer can help the family that is left behind. At Jonathan Perkins Attorneys At Law, we have the experience and knowledge that you need to get your family the compensation that they deserve.

There are many different ways that a defective product can lead to death, including:

  • Children’s products, including toys, cribs, highchairs, strollers, car seats and clothing
  • Industrial machinery
  • Medical devices such as respirators, defibrillators, and blood filters
  • Prescription medications
  • Automobile parts, including airbags, brakes and tires

Those responsible for defects can include the manufacturer of the product, as well as those responsible for distributing it, assembling it, installing it or designing it. In order to prove that a product was defective, the general standard is that the product will meet the expectations for its performance, and there are three types of defects that can cause a product to fall short of that expectation. These include defects in the way that it was designed that made it inherently unsafe; defects in the way that it was manufactured; and defects in the way that the products correct use was communicated (meaning insufficient in incorrect instructions, improper labeling, and insufficient safety warnings).

At Jonathan Perkins Attorneys at Law, we understand that it can be uncomfortable to think about money in the face of the loss of a loved one. But when there is a wrongful death from a defective product, not only does the family that is left behind suffer emotionally, but also financially. The loss of your loved one may leave your family without the economic support that they provided, as well as with medical bills, funeral bills, and the devastating absence of their guidance and care. Call us today to see how we can help you fill the financial hole that has been left behind and help to put your family in a place of financial stability.

Learn more about Wrongful Death Lawsuits HERE.

Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers Win Prestigious 2015 Litigator Award

Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers is proud to announce it has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Litigator Award for extraordinary achievement within the field of Wrongful Death Litigation.

We are pleased to receive this unrivaled annual honor, which recognizes trial lawyers who have attained extraordinary litigation achievement within one or more of 72 pre-defined “Practice Specialty” categories. The Litigator Awards are based strictly on “Verdict and/or Settlement” dollar achievement rather than peer popularity, and they are perhaps the most rigorous and openly judged trial law ratings. Simply being nominated is an honor within the profession. Those awarded are generally considered among the finest trial lawyers in the nation, and we are proud to be among them.

To be Award Eligible, we had to prove our achievement of litigation “Performance Benchmarks” that included:

a). One verified “Verdicts or Settlements” of at-least $1 Million Dollars in any one Practice Specialty category within the preceding 5 year period prior to Nomination*, or

b). One verified “Verdict or Settlement” of at-least $5 Million Dollars in any one Practice Specialty category within the preceding 10 year period prior to Nomination**, or

c). One verified “Verdict or Settlement” of at-least $10 Million Dollars in any one Practice Specialty category within the preceding 20 year period prior to Nomination.

It is a feat achieved by fewer than 1% of all Lawyers, and we are proud to have achieved this settlement level for our clients.  Of the nearly 1.1 Million lawyers considered, only a select few per State or DMA, achieve the distinction of being awarded annually in any given Practice Specialty*.

Winning a 2015 Litigator Award is a “Powerful Endorsement” of superior litigation achievement that provides discerning clientele, as well as referring professionals, with a strong reason to trust their case with Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers.  Learn more about our Wrongful Death Litigation Services.