Preventable deaths are some of the most difficult ones to cope with, and if your loved one has succumbed to a devastating injury brought about by the reckless, irresponsible, negligent, or wrongful act of another, you may be able to seek damages through a Massachusetts wrongful death claim.
However, there are many legal aspects of MA wrongful death lawsuits that you may not be aware of. If you want to do everything possible to bring the person or persons who are to blame for your family member’s passing to justice, it may be to your benefit to consult with a wrongful death lawyer.
Read on to learn more about who has the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit and the various losses that may be taken into consideration when calculating the value of your claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Prior to filing the lawsuit, you need to be sure that you have the authority to file a wrongful death claim. In Massachusetts, only the executor of the deceased has the right to pursue the claim. In many cases, the decedent will have already assigned this individual into their will.
This person will be responsible for carrying out any instructions the decedent may have left, as well as handling the rest of their estate. If the decedent did not have the opportunity to choose an executor, then the courts may do so on their behalf.
Once the executor of the estate has been established, this party will have just three years from the date of the decedent’s passing to file the claim. This deadline, known as the statute of limitations, begins on the date of their death and will run for three years. After this time limit passes, the MA courts will refuse to hear the case.
Damages That Can Be Sought in Your Claim
Any damages awarded by the courts will be paid to the decedent’s estate. As such, there are very specific losses that can be sought in a Massachusetts wrongful death claim, which include the following:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses
- The value of the deceased’s lost earning capacity
- Loss of companionship and love
- Guidance, advice, and support provided by the deceased
Additionally, punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the court finds that the actions of the liable party were caused intentionally, maliciously, or recklessly. Depending on the evidence presented in court, the executor of the estate could be awarded a sum of $5,000 or more.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawyer
The death of a loved one is often devastating, but with the assistance of a Massachusetts wrongful death lawyer at Joel H. Schwartz, PC, you may be able to obtain compensation for your suffering, and that of your deceased family member.
You can call our office at 617-742-1170 or fill out the quick contact form we have provided at the bottom of this page when you’re ready to schedule your free claim evaluation.