A negligent party could be held liable for wrongful death if the death was caused by negligence, a reckless act, or a breach of warranty. Auto accidents, medical malpractice, and defective products are all situations that might give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit.
The key to these cases is if the deceased person had lived, could they have filed a personal injury for their lawsuit. If the answer is yes, then the wrongful death case has merit. By speaking with a Brockton wrongful death lawyer, families and executors of the deceased person’s state could find out if they have a valid claim and how to pursue it. To get started on your case, contact a compassionate personal injury attorney.
Massachusetts General Laws 229 §2 outlines who may file a wrongful death lawsuit. According to this law, it is the deceased person’s executor or administrator.
Usually, this is the same person who is tasked with following the deceased instructions in their will and the person who would pay any debt they had at the time of their death. If the plaintiff receives a settlement or the jury sides in their favor, they do not personally collect compensation. Instead, the compensation goes directly to the estate of the person who died.
Families of the deceased and the plaintiff should understand that a criminal case is separate than a civil case for death. In a criminal case, the state charges the defendant instead of the plaintiff. The defendant might be given prison time, fines, probation, and community service if found guilty of a criminal offense.
A guilty criminal case does not mean a plaintiff would automatically win a wrongful death case, although it may help their case. In a wrongful death case, the lawsuit is brought by the plaintiff or their Brockton wrongful death lawyer, and if the plaintiff wins, the defendant would owe them monetary compensation for the losses of the deceased’s estate.
Massachusettes gives potential wrongful death plaintiffs three years from the date of the death to file a lawsuit. In some cases, this date may extend to three years from the date that the plaintiff learned of the death or should have reasonably known about the death. If the plaintiff wants to file a wrongful death suit that is successful, they must do so within this important deadline.
The statute of limitations helps make lawsuits fair for both sides. With such a statute in place, defendants cannot have cases filed against them that are several years old because they may not be able to produce sufficient evidence to defend themselves. If a case is important to a potential plaintiff, they should pursue their options as soon as possible by contacting an accomplished lawyer.
Compensation for damages will never bring the deceased person back. However, it could help settle their estate. A Brockton wrongful death lawyer could seek damages on behalf of the plaintiff for such things as monies the deceased could have earned over their lifetime as well as the care, companionship, guidance, and advice the that deceased would have provided to family members. To get your case started, call today.