There is nothing more devastating than losing a loved one. The grief and distress of this event can be made even worse when the loss is unexpected. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident or another incident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. While no amount of money can bring your loved one back, the compensation can help offset the expenses that often pile up after the death. Based in the Kingston area, experienced Plymouth County wrongful death lawyer Michael S. Mehrmann can analyze the facts of your case and help you navigate the legal process accordingly.Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Fatal Accident
Under Massachusetts law, a wrongful death takes place when someone causes the death of a person due to negligence, a wanton or reckless act, or a breach of warranty. Put simply, a wrongful death is typically an accidental death that occurs when a victim loses their life due to the negligent action or inaction of another party. These incidents can have a number of different causes, of which the most common include:
- Automobile accidents;
- Pedestrian accidents;
- Truck and bus accidents;
- Work accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Nursing home neglect or abuse;
- Construction accidents;
- Slip and falls;
- Defective products; or
- Motorcycle accidents.
In Massachusetts, a wrongful death claim may be filed if the deceased person would have been able to file a personal injury case based on the same incident had they survived. As mentioned above, wrongful death claims are usually rooted in the theory of negligence. This simply means that in order to win on a wrongful death claim, a wrongful death attorney in Plymouth County must show that the defendant’s negligence was a direct cause of the decedent’s death. Negligence occurs when an injury or death was a result of an individual or business failing to use reasonable care in their actions. Reasonable care is most often defined as how a reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.
Under Massachusetts law, the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate must file the wrongful death claim in civil court. This can be a person designated in a will, but if there is no will, the court can appoint this person. Any damages that are recovered through such a lawsuit are then paid to the deceased person’s estate and distributed according to the decedent’s will, if any. If there is no will, the damages are typically distributed through intestate laws to the closest surviving family members, such as a spouse or partner, biological or adopted children, or biological or adoptive parents.
The unexpected death of a loved one can put you in a difficult financial position, which is why Massachusetts law permits relatives of victims to recover certain damages. These damages typically include medical expenses incurred prior to the decedent’s death, funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, loss of society, and any other losses related to the death. The Massachusetts wrongful death statute also permits an award of punitive damages in cases in which the person’s death was caused by either the defendant’s gross negligence or malicious, willful, wanton, or reckless conduct.Discuss Your Case with a Plymouth County Wrongful Death Attorney
If your loved one has been killed in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, you should reach out to a skilled attorney who can assess the merits of your case. Time is of the essence in these cases, so it is important to act without delay. At the Law Offices of Michael S. Mehrmann, we understand the nuances of this complex area of law. Wrongful death cases are understandably deeply emotional, and we can handle your case with the utmost compassion and concern, whether it arises from a motor vehicle collision, a slip and fall, an incident of medical malpractice or nursing home negligence, or a defective product. We represent families in Kingston, Plymouth, Marshfield, Hanson, Pembroke, Carver, and Duxbury. To speak to a wrongful death lawyer in Plymouth County in more detail, call (781) 585-3911 or contact us online.