Should I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
If you have recently lost a family member in a Massachusetts accident, you are right to be thinking about protecting you and your loved ones’ legal rights. Even if you are not sure if someone else is responsible, it is worth speaking to an attorney to learn if you should file a wrongful death claim. The loss of a family member can have a profound effect on your financial and emotional wellbeing, and if you do nothing, you may end up suffering more than necessary.
Understanding Your Losses After a Loved One’s Wrongful Death
When you lose a loved one unexpectedly, the consequences extend to all aspects of your life. While no amount of money can truly replace what you have lost, the law does provide compensation for the financial and emotional damages you’ve sustained. Under Massachusetts’ wrongful death law, this includes compensation for:
- Lost future income
- Loss of services
- Loss of protection
- Loss of care and assistance
- Loss of society, companionship, and comfort
- Loss of guidance, counsel, and advice
- Funeral and burial expenses
These are all losses you can seek to recover from the party responsible for your loved one’s death. If your loved one died at work and his or her employer has coverage for workers’ compensation, you may be able to seek benefits for lost income, funeral expenses, and burial expenses this way as well. Workers’ compensation provides “no fault” benefits which can provide critical assistance if you are not able to pursue a wrongful death claim against a third party.
Seeking Compensation for Your Loved One’s Losses Prior to Death
In addition to seeking financial compensation for your own losses, you may be able to recover compensation for your loved one’s losses prior to death as well. For example, if your loved one spent time in the hospital before succumbing to his or her injuries, there could be significant medical expenses that need to be paid. If your loved one could have recovered these expenses through a personal injury claim had he or she survived the accident, you may be able to seek a recovery on his or her behalf.
The same holds true for pain and suffering, lost wages, and any other damages that your loved one incurred as a result of the accident.
How Do I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Massachusetts?
If you want to take action to enforce your rights and seek compensation on behalf of your loved one, you will need to hire an attorney to represent you. The laws governing these claims are complicated, and many attorneys (including the attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan) handle wrongful death claims on a contingency-fee basis. As a result, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by hiring experienced legal representation.
It is important to note that Massachusetts has a strict three-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. If you wait longer than three years, you will lose your right to seek just compensation. Preparing a case to file takes time, and the longer you wait, the more difficult it may become to collect the evidence needed to build your case. As a result, as soon as you are ready, we recommend that you contact one of our attorneys to get started with a free consultation.
Contact Boston Wrongful Death Lawyer John J. Sheehan
To learn how to file a wrongful death claim in Massachusetts, we invite you to schedule a time to meet with one of our attorneys about your case. We are committed to helping victims and their families, and we want to help you stand up for your legal rights. Contact us online or call 877-762-9510 to discuss your case today.
Photo via flickr by Joe Gratz