Wrongful death matters in Massachusetts are cases in which the negligence of an individual caused the death of another. These include deaths from car accidents, collisions with trucks, pedestrian accidents, bike accidents, burn injuries, fire cases, workplace accidents and many other dangerous situations. We cannot bring back your loved one, but we can secure monies for lost income and pain and suffering.
You should consider hiring an aggressive and experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible because the negligent party’s insurance company will absolutely be working from the minute they learn about the catastrophe. You need police reports, fire reports, photographs and witness statements. All of this can, and will, be secured by an aggressive personal injury attorney. There is a statute of limitations for all lawsuits; an experienced personal injury attorney knows the law on this.
Massachusetts law on wrongful death allows victims to receive money damages for the following losses: loss of income for the work life expectancy of the deceased, loss of the society, affection and emotional support of the deceased, loss of consortium, conscious pain and suffering before death, punitive damages for gross negligence or conduct that was malicious, willful, wanton, or reckless, and even multiple damages if there was a violation of the Consumer Protection Statute, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 93A.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Massachusetts?
Who can bring a claim? Can there be multiple claims? Massachusetts law requires that only one party bring a lawsuit on behalf of all of the victims of the wrongful death. That party is the executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased. Thus, the first step is to get appointed executor of the estate (if there is a will) or administrator of the estate (if there is no will). This would be at the Essex Probate Court. The second step is for the executor or administrator to file the lawsuit, on behalf of the estate.
Who recovers the monies? Any settlement or proceeds from a judgment are distributed to the executor or administrator to distribute per the will, or the distribution statute.
How Do Wrongful Death Claims and Lawsuits Work?
Many cases do not need a lawsuit; a claim against the negligent party’s insurance company, with a properly organized demand package will show the insurance company that there is overwhelming evidence to pay the full insurance policy. We pursue any and all police reports, fire department reports, medical records, photographs and witness statements and forward them to the insurance company at the appropriate time.
Many cases do need to go to court. Does this mean there will be a trial? Not usually. Many times the insurance defense trial lawyer simply needs proof, in the form of deposition testimony and certified records, to show the insurance company that there is a strong wrongful death case. An aggressive personal injury attorney will be sure the evidence is ready. Many times, the evidence causing the wrongful death is hard to find, or prove, and your attorney will pursue that evidence. Sometimes, the evidence is not sufficient to the insurance company, or the demand for settlement is so high, that a trial is necessary. You want an experienced attorney for that trial.
Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
Attorney Tim Houten has been practicing law since 1983. He is located in Middletown. He will work with you and your family to explain the law, research the case, aggressively fight for your rights, and get the best possible results. He has the experience you need. If you have lost a loved one, call for a free consultation.