Can the Victim’s Family Sue for Vehicular Homicide in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, vehicular homicide occurs when a driver causes a death through the negligent or reckless operation of their motor vehicle. After fatal accidents, victims’ families can endure severe emotional trauma and financial distress.

Fortunately, the victim’s family can sue for a vehicular homicide in Massachusetts by filling a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. There are multiple categories of monetary damages that may be sought. The compensation awarded through wrongful death lawsuits can provide victims’ families with necessary support during their periods of hardship.

If your loved one was killed because of an accident caused by careless or reckless driver in Massachusetts, get help seeking the financial compensation you deserve. Contact our Cambridge wrongful death lawyers today by calling The Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407. Our experienced attorneys can review your case for free.

Suing for Vehicular Homicide in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, the crime of vehicular homicide may be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. Under Mass. Gen. Laws. Ch. 90, § 24G(b), misdemeanor vehicular homicide can be charged against motorists who cause fatal accidents by driving recklessly, negligently, or under the influence. Furthermore, according to Mass Gen Laws. Ch. 90. § 24G(a), felony misdemeanor homicide can be charged against motorists who drive under the influence while simultaneously exhibiting reckless or negligent behavior. Those who are charged with vehicular homicide can face multiple criminal penalties, including jail time.

Additionally, motorists who commit vehicular homicide can be held liable for civil penalties through wrongful death lawsuits filed by victims’ families. A wrongful death is one that occurs because of another person’s intentional or negligent act. Therefore, deaths caused by vehicular homicide will be considered wrongful deaths.

There are multiple forms of compensation available to plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits. For example, victims’ families can pursue compensation for their lost financial support, loss of companionship, among other damages. If your family member was the victim of a vehicular homicide, you should reach out to our experienced Boston wrongful death lawyers. Our attorneys can help build your case and negotiate for fair payment.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Vehicular Homicide in Massachusetts?

After a vehicular homicide in Massachusetts, the wrongful death lawsuit must be brought to court by the administrator of the victim’s estate. The administrator is the person who has been chosen to manage the estate of the deceased. There can be co-administrators to an estate.

The aftermath of a fatal accident can be complicated. If your family member was the victim of a vehicular homicide, our Massachusetts wrongful death lawyers can help find the right person to file your case.

How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Vehicular Homicide in Massachusetts?

After a vehicular homicide in Massachusetts, the victim’s family will typically have three years from the date of the death to file their wrongful death lawsuit. Failure to file your case on time could cause you to miss out on crucial compensation. You should contact our Massachusetts wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible after a deadly crash, so we can help file your case on time.

Also, important evidence needed to support your claim can become difficult to collect and preserve as time goes on. For example, witnesses can forget crucial details surrounding a crash, and physical evidence can be misplaced. The sooner you get in touch with our attorneys, the more easily our team can gather the information needed to win your case.

What Categories of Damages Are Available to Plaintiffs in Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Massachusetts?

Plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits can recover multiple types of monetary damages. The compensation awarded in your case can depend on several different factors. Any of the following categories of damages may be awarded:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost love, care, and companionship
  • Lost financial support
  • Lost parental guidance
  • Medical expenses
  • Punitive damages

In order to recover the aforementioned damages, you must present evidence that proves that they were suffered because of your loved one’s unexpected death. The assistance of our experienced Malden wrongful death lawyers can be very helpful when fighting for fair compensation in your case.

Common Causes of Vehicular Homicides You Can Sue For in Massachusetts

There are several different forms of careless and reckless behavior that can lead to vehicular homicides. After a fatal accident, our Massachusetts wrongful death lawyers can investigate whether the crash stems from one of the following causes:


Speeding is a common cause of deadly collisions. Crashes that occur at high speeds are more likely to cause severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries and internal organ damage. Such accidents often occur on highways and on rural roads. Fortunately, victims’ families can recover compensation from speeding drivers for fatal accidents they cause.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is another common cause of vehicular homicides in Massachusetts. Drunk drivers will exhibit inhibited decision-making abilities, poor reaction times, and blurry vision when behind the wheel. Accordingly, drunk drivers are prone to making careless mistakes with deadly consequences. Our Massachusetts wrongful death lawyers can help hold drunk drivers responsible for fatal crashes they cause.

Running Red Lights

Running red lights is also a cause of many vehicular homicides. When drivers run red lights, they are prone to causing head-on collisions and side-collisions with other motorists travelling through intersections. In severe cases, victims can suffer deadly injuries. After such accidents, our attorneys can help potential plaintiffs build their cases against at-fault drivers.

Improper Lane Changes

Lastly, improper lane changes are a common source of vehicular homicides in Massachusetts. Improper lane changes can occur when drivers change lanes without using their turn signals or attempt to change lanes in illegal zones. This behavior can cause deadly crashes with unsuspecting motorists.

If Your Loved One Was the Victim of a Vehicular Homicide in Massachusetts, Our Lawyers Can Help

If your loved one was the victim of a vehicular homicide, seek assistance from our experienced Somerville wrongful death lawyers by calling The Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free case review.