Nothing can prepare a family for the loss of a loved one, especially when that loss was caused by another’s negligence and could have been prevented.
The Boston wrongful death attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers are dedicated to helping families through the grieving process while pursuing the financial security you need to move forward. If a family member died due to the carelessness of another, you may be able to recover compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Please call us at 800-577-5188 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation.
Our team prides itself on our dedication to service, ensuring each client receives the personal support they need. We will do the same for you. That is the Stone Cold Guarantee. You don’t need to worry about how to pay us–our team offers free case reviews and handles wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, meaning we won’t get paid unless we get money for you.
What is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case intended to provide compensation for loved ones of the deceased individual when the individual’s death was the result of another party’s negligence. This type of lawsuit is meant to hold the careless or reckless party who caused your loved one’s death accountable for his or her actions.
Wrongful death cases are not criminal matters, and it is not necessary to prove that the at-fault party intended to harm the decedent. Wrongful death cases often arise as a result of:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Defective products
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability/slip-and-fall accidents
Who can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, a wrongful death claim can only be filed by the “personal representative” of the deceased. There are two types of personal representatives:
- The executor of an estate (named in the decedent’s will)
- An administrator of the decedent, which must be petitioned in probate and granted by the court
While these are the only people who can technically file a wrongful death lawsuit, we often work with immediate family members and other beneficiaries to facilitate the filing of these actions.
Executors and administrators perform the same estate management functions; the primary difference is how the titles are appointed. If compensation is awarded in a wrongful death case, the estate collects awarded money and distributes it according to the deceased’s will.
If there’s no will, a court will determine the future of the estate using Massachusetts’s intestate succession rules. The order of preference commonly awards compensation to survivors in this order:
- Next of kin
If your loved one passed away without a will, our attorneys can help you file the necessary paperwork—without additional cost—to create an estate and have you appointed as the administrator. There is a charge for the filing fee in these circumstances.
Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases
No amount of money can compensate for the loss of a loved one, but a successful wrongful death claim can provide financial relief to survivors. In Massachusetts, compensation in wrongful death cases may include money for:
- Lost income: You can recover compensation to cover the income missing since your loved one passed away. This consists of the full value your family member would have likely earned during the remainder of his or her lifetime. Recovering this type of damage can be especially crucial if the breadwinner in the family passes away.
- Loss of support and other losses: You can collect damages to cover the loss of services your loved one previously provided, including comfort and care, companionship, guidance, and advice.
- End of life expenses: We will document and attempt to recover the full value of any end of life expenses such as funeral and burial expenses.
- Punitive damages: Sometimes, a judge will award punitive damages in a wrongful death case. Rather than compensating you for your loss, these damages punish the negligent party for intentional harm, gross negligence, or other particularly bad behavior. Judges and juries award these damages to deter other parties from acting in a similar way.
In some cases, you may be able to pursue a survival action as well. This is another type of civil suit that allows family members to recover compensation for their loved one’s losses, such as medical bills.
There are limitations to Massachusetts’s compensation rules related to wrongful death cases. For example, there’s a $500,000 damage cap in medical malpractice cases, and punitive damages are only awarded if the death was caused by malicious or reckless conduct. There may be ways around this cap, and your attorney will help you understand your compensation expectations based on the specifics of your case.
Call us today, and we can discuss your options for pursuing the full range of damages you need and deserve after the death of your loved one.
Let Us Build a Solid Case for Compensation on Your Behalf
A wrongful death suit, like other personal injury suits, relies on our ability to build a strong case that proves the at-fault party caused the incident and fatal injuries. To recover compensation in your wrongful death suit, we need to show that the at-fault party caused your loved one’s death by acting negligently or unreasonably, recklessly or intentionally, or by a breach of warranty. To prove this, we will retrieve and compile as much evidence as possible.
We conduct a full investigation and collect all available evidence to prove liability. As a part of this process, we will also obtain bills, receipts, and other documentation to establish the value of your losses. We will also manage all communication with the liable party’s insurance company and/or attorney. We will ensure your right to recover full compensation remains intact.
Act Now to Pursue Wrongful Death Compensation
According to the Massachusetts statute of limitations, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the death, or within three years of the date the personal representative knew—or should have known—a wrongful death claim was viable.
Despite the three-year window, it’s in your best interests to act swiftly in filing a wrongful death claim. In most cases, insurance providers will launch immediate investigations and attempt to avoid or limit compensation. We know you are grieving and navigating a difficult time in your life, but if we do not act within the time allowed, evidence will get lost, memories will fade, and if it is too long, the law will likely bar us from taking legal action in your case.
Working with an experienced wrongful death lawyer can be instrumental in recovering the financial peace of mind you and other surviving family members need.
Talk to a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Massachusetts
At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, a member of our team is standing by to answer your call and explain your options for recovering damages in a wrongful death case.
To schedule your free consultation and learn how we can help you, call Jason Stone Injury Lawyers today at 800-577-5188 or contact one of our Boston-area locations online. We can meet you in person or via Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangouts.
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers is the only Boston law firm to offer the Stone Cold Guarantee®, which includes our pledge that we don’t get paid until you get paid.