Losing a loved one can be one of the hardest things to go through.
If the cause of death was wrongful or negligent in nature, it can compound the stress, anxiety and grief already being felt by surviving loved ones.
At Swartz & Swartz P.C., we can help and support you and your family by guiding you through the wrongful death claim process. Rest assured we will treat your case with the sensitively and respect it deserves as you and your family navigate this difficult time.
Like a personal injury claim, wrongful death suits proceed on many of the same principles – the at-fault party must have acted negligently, there must be an injury, and victims must prove damages. However, there are specific requirements that surviving loved ones need to be aware of. For example, wrongful death claims are filed based on the principle that the victim could have filed a personal injury claim if they had survived. Also, lawsuits must be filed on behalf of a duly appointed Estate Administrator, typically an inlaw or close family member of the deceased.
So, who can file a wrongful death claim in the State of Massachusetts? Generally speaking, referred above, wrongful death claims are files on behalf of the victim’s estate. This can include a husband, wife, child, parent, or any other dependents who have suffered a loss because of the death of the victim.
Generally speaking, referred above, wrongful death claims are files on behalf of the victim’s estate. This can include a husband, wife, child, parent, or any other dependents who have suffered a loss because of the death of the victim.
Based on our experience working with families to file wrongful death claims, more often than not, probate courts look at the victim’s immediate household when deciding the order of who can pursue a claim. Priority is normally given to spouses, children, and grandchildren. If the victim was unmarried or had no children, the courts usually give priority to the victim’s own siblings or cousins. Like a personally injury claim, wrongful death claims need to have a plaintiff – a representative of the victim’s estate.
In some cases, this person has been identified in the victim’s will – referred to as the executor. Regardless, the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim needs to have the legal authority to bring a claim on behalf of the victim’s surviving family. It’s important to note, that if there is nobody available, a attorney or other fiduciaries can step in to pursue a claim. The victim’s estate can seek damages for medical expenses that happened before the time of death, estimated financial loss, and even the loss of love and intimacy.
Call the attorneys at Swartz & Swartz P.C.
The victim’s estate typically has up to three years from the time of death to file a claim against the at-fault party. Our attorneys at Swartz & Swartz P.C. are here and ready to talk to you about bringing a wrongful death claim. You can trust to have your backs during this incredibly difficult time. Please call us at 617-742-1900.
Joseph A Swartz is an accomplished trial attorney with over 35 years of experience litigating cases in New England and around the country focusing in the areas of personal injury, including but not limited to wrongful death, products liability, medical malpractice, brain injury, dram shop (liquor) liability, automobile liability and premises liability.
If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.