It is always difficult when a loved one passes away, but if their death is due to the negligent, reckless, or careless misconduct of another person, it may be even more challenging for surviving family members to move on. If you experience a situation like this, it may help to know that you have the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.
While a wrongful death suit cannot change the past, it could help with the future by easing the financial burden of the death and helping you and your family move forward. Anyone who has suffered a loss due to the negligent actions of another person should speak to a Somerville wrongful death lawyer right away. There are many laws surrounding wrongful death lawsuits in Somerville, and a compassionate personal injury attorney could help you make sense of them.
In other states, any close relatives may file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Massachusetts, however, only the executor or the administrator may do so.
An executor is a person named by the deceased in their will to handle matters of the estate in the event of their death. If there is no executor named in the will, or if the deceased did not have a will, the court may appoint an administrator to handle matters of the estate.
Family members can often suggest to the courts who should be named administrator—it may even be a Somerville wrongful death lawyer. Regardless of who specifically is chosen, the executor or administrator would then represent the deceased in court, argue the wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf, and distribute any compensation awarded to their beneficiaries.
There are instances in which fetuses may be lost in certain accidents. If a pregnant woman is in a serious car accident, for example, the trauma may pose a risk that she could lose her unborn child.
Other areas do not allow wrongful death lawsuits to be filed for fetuses, but in Somerville, they may be filed if certain requirements are met. The fetus must have been viable at the time of the accident, and the pregnancy must have resulted in a miscarriage or stillborn birth either at a later date or soon after the accident. A fetus is considered viable if they are at 22 weeks of gestation or later. For more information on the certain requirements involved in the wrongful death of a fetus, reach out to a Somerville wrongful death attorney today.
Like most personal injury cases in Somerville, wrongful death claims have a statute of limitations, or a time limit, of three years to be filed. This three-year timeframe begins on the date of the death or accident, or at the time the estate should have known the death was caused by the negligent actions of another person or entity.
In some medical malpractice cases, for example, the cause of death may not become apparent for months, or even years in some instances. Furthermore, when there are minor children outlined as beneficiaries of the deceased, a wrongful death claim may also be delayed until the child or children turn 18 years of age.
Cases in which the surviving family members do not realize the cause of death until long after the accident or injury can greatly complicate adhering to a statute of limitations. A Somerville wrongful death attorney could argue that the standard statute may not apply because the family members had no way of knowing the actual cause of death.
No one should ever have to lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness. If you experience a wrongful death like this, an experienced attorney could outline our options and help you pursue compensation for the losses you and your family may suffer as a result.
While there are many laws surrounding wrongful death in Somerville, there may also be compensation available that could help your family move forward, and a Somerville wrongful death lawyer could help you get it. When you are ready, schedule a private consultation to get started on your case.