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Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death

No one wants to think about losing a loved one in a tragic accident; however, it is important to know that in Massachusetts the surviving family members can bring a wrongful death claim against the person they believe to be at fault.

Massachusetts wrongful death statute allows a decedent’s estate to bring legal action against a defendant who negligently causes a person’s death, or who, “by willful, wanton or reckless act” causes the death of a person under such circumstances that the deceased could have recovered damages for personal injuries if their death had not occurred.

Under the statute, only specific people can recover damages from a wrongful death claim:

  • The spouse of the decedent, who is entitled to recover all damages if the decedent does not have any children;
  • The children of the decedent or the lineal descendants of a deceased child; who will also share any recovery with a surviving spouse; and
  • The next of kin, if there is no surviving spouse, children or other lineal descendants.

There are also specific types of damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death claim:

  • The value of the income that the decedent could have reasonably been expected to earn during his or her lifetime;
  • Loss of consortium damages – they are intended to compensate for the loss of the relationship between the decedent and the beneficiaries and include such things as care, companionship, comfort, support, and advice;
  • Conscious pain and suffering between the time of the injury and the time of death;
  • Medical expenses; and
  • Funeral and Burial expenses.

Additionally, if a court finds that the decedent’s death was caused by "malicious, willful, wanton or reckless conduct" or gross negligence, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the wrongdoer, and send a message to similar parties that such behavior will not be tolerated. These damages are paid in addition to the other damages which are meant to compensate the beneficiaries for their loss.

It is important to note that a wrongful death claim may only be brought by the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate. An executor is a person selected by the decedent in his or her will; where an administrator is selected by the court to be the decedent’s personal representative if the will does not select an executor or there is no will.

A law known as a “statute of limitations” sets the deadline for when a wrongful death claim must be filed in court. The executor or administrator has three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. Alternatively, a wrongful death claim may be filed within three years of the date when the executor or administrator knew or should have known of the basis for the claim.

CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION OF YOUR CASE TODAY

Wrongful death claims are very serious matters, and it is important to have a serious attorney to help you navigate the legal system during this difficult time. At DelSignore Law we will be with you every step of the way, and will work hard to ensure that you and your loved ones are compensated.

If you have any questions, visit our website for more information or you can contact us directly by calling or texting 781-686-5924.

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Michael was very professional and explained the process clearly and told us to be patient. After one year the charges got dismissed in the trial. Excellent knowledge of the court systems in the area of Boston. Would highly recommend him Ashwani
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A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
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Mike stuck with my case for 3.5 years and always kept me informed regarding the status. Ultimately, because of his due diligence, we ended up with an OUI not guilty verdict. This case could have gone many ways but his thorough review of the case and exceptional preparedness for trial ultimately drove a positive outcome. Thank you Mike! David
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Michael DelSignore did an amazing job with my case! Either him or his partner Julie was always available to answer any questions I had and helped walked me through the entire process. I could not have done it without them! I highly recommend choosing this law firm to deal with your legal needs, you will not be dissatisfied. Ashley
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I cannot express the gratitude towards both Michael and Julie for their amazing work and help. It was a very stressful event and they certainly put me at as much ease as possible. From start to finish it took 14 months and all the way through they were both very engaged with me. Today was worth the wait, Michael was great in court and I was rightfully found not guilty. I would recommend Michael and Julie over and over again. Claire
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