Losing a family member can be catastrophic for a spouse, a parent, a loved one, a family and their community. In addition to the devastating emotional loss, there can also be a financial loss after a death. We work to hold the responsible party, and their insurance company or insurance companies, legally responsible for negligence in death cases throughout Massachusetts. I represent my clients aggressively and effectively. Of course, money cannot replace the love, companionship and society after a loved one dies. However, it can help replace income. Our clients often express feelings of anger and confusion. They often face becoming a witness a criminal prosecution against the person responsible for the death, especially if the death is associated with a motor vehicle accident involving negligent driving or alcohol.
Massachusetts Wrongful Death Law
The law in Massachusetts for wrongful death involves compensation damages which can include some or all of the following measures of damages:
- Conscious pain and suffering before death
- Loss of the society, affection and support, or the “consortium” of the deceased
- Loss of income for the life expectancy of the deceased
- Punitive damages if the conduct was “malicious, willful, wanton, reckless or grossly negligent”
- 93A Consumer Protection Statute, multiple damages and attorney fees
Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Massachusetts
The wrongful death law in Massachusetts is very specific with respect to how you can bring claims. For example, you must administer the estate of the deceased in Probate Court, and only the Administrator or Executor can file the claim. That is, there can only be one plaintiff, the executor or administrator of the estate. Other loved ones must go through the estate to secure a portion of the proceeds of any wrongful death claims.
Furthermore, there is a statute of limitations, which requires the family to file a lawsuit within a set amount of time. If you fail to file the lawsuit within that time, you are barred from ever filing a claim against the person or company that caused the wrongful death. The effect of the statute of limitations can vary which is why it is critical to retain an experienced attorney for personal injury, wrongful death and any serious injury case.
Wrongful Death and Serious Injury Claims in Same Accident
Many times there is a death associated with a motor vehicle accident, fire or some other catastrophe in addition to serious injuries to others. Often there are friends or family members involved in these cases. You need an attorney who is experienced with working through these matters. For example, there may only be limited insurance coverage. How does it get divided up? Is a wrongful death case worth more than a long-term, permanent injury? These can become significant and troubling problems to resolve among friends and family. Only an experienced attorney can evaluate the pain and suffering and lost earnings of all parties to enable you to evaluate how to settle a case, or how to approach a jury.
Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
You want an attorney experienced in the wrongful death law and probate law to effectively prosecute your family’s claims. I have been helping families recover monies in wrongful death cases for over 25 years. We have experience in representing families who have lost loved ones in cases ranging from house fires, truck accidents, to the negligent maintenance of premises. To contact a wrongful death attorney please call us at 617-7-227-7423 or contact us through our website.