Under Massachusetts law, a person or company may be liable for wrongful death, if the death of another is caused by (1) negligence, or failing to exercise reasonable care, (2) a “wanton or reckless act,” or (3) a breach of warranty.
In order to bring forward a wrongful death claim, the surviving individual must have suffered damages due to the untimely death of another. Precisely who those survivors can be varies from state to state. Massachusetts requires “the executor or administrator of the deceased” to file a wrongful death claim in court. This refers to the person responsible for following any instructions left in the deceased person’s will or for paying the deceased person’s final debts. This person is now called a “personal representative” and he or she can file a claim on behalf of the surviving individual(s).
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit, which differs from a criminal case. This means it must be filed by the personal representative directly, and any liability is expressed solely in terms of monetary damages.
A Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit may compensate damages for the following reasons:
- The loss of the deceased person’s expected income.
- The loss of care, companionship, comfort, guidance, and nurturing the deceased would have provided to family members.
- The medical treatment costs that the deceased victim incurred as a result of the injury prior to death.
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses.
If you have suffered a loss due to wrongful death, our office is here to help. The process of filing a wrongful death claim can be complicated, but we’ll be with you every step of the way.