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What damages are recoverable in a fatal motor vehicle accident?

It is one thing to understand that if you have lost a loved one in an automobile accident that you may have recourse to the law to seek recompense for the costs connected with the untimely death of that person. But aside from theory, what exactly are you entitled to seek when negotiating with an insurance company or seeking resolution through court?

The answer to this question can be found in the civil jury instructions of Connecticut. These instructions summarize and standardize the damages that you and the other survivors of the deceased may be entitled to in connection with an action for wrongful death.

If you have prevailed in such a lawsuit, your damages award can be divided into two general types: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages are those that relate to losses that lend themselves to calculation. They include medical expenses of the deceased that were incurred before the death, and the lost expected earning capacity of the deceased, as well as funeral expenses.

Non-Economic damages are not as capable of certain calculation as economic damages, but nonetheless represent compensation for emotional loss (pain and suffering), lost relationships (loss of consortium), and the intangible loss reflected in the death itself. If the conduct leading to the death was sufficiently wrongful, non-economic damages can also be multiplied by a factor of two or even three.

The actual calculation of damages is for the jury to decide in a trial. Persuading the jury of your case and of the harm that you have suffered from the wrongful death of a loved one is for your personal injury attorney to assist you with.

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