Like all states, Massachusetts recognizes the right to bring a wrongful death suit after a person’s untimely passing. However, the laws surrounding this process can be convoluted. A Wakefield wrongful death lawyer could guide you through the process to minimize the risk of making a detrimental mistake.
If you believe your family has a wrongful death claim following the loss of a loved one, call a skilled injury attorney right away. A compassionate legal professional can help to ensure your rights receive protection during the litigation process.
Wrongful Death Under Massachusetts Law
According to Massachusetts General Laws 229 § 2, there are three causes of death that are considered wrongful. These include deaths resulting from negligence, a reckless or wanton act, or a breach of warranty.
In most cases, any type of injury that would otherwise qualify as a personal injury claim could result in a wrongful death suit if the injured person is deceased. Since the decedent cannot bring the claim on their own, a wrongful death lawsuit prevents the responsible party from benefiting from the loss of life. For more information about wrongful death cases, contact a dedicated lawyer.
The Right to File a Wakefield Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The right to file a wrongful death case varies significantly from one state to another. Many states designate a large class of heirs as potential plaintiffs, and the first person to file has the right to manage the case. Other states use a complicated hierarchy to determine the one person with the right to pursue a claim. Massachusetts deviates from both of these options by limiting the right to file suit to a person appointed by the decedent’s estate.
According to state law, only an “executor or administrator of the deceased” may file a Wakefield wrongful death lawsuit. An executor or administrator is the person designated to oversee the decedent’s estate. In other words, they have other responsibilities besides handling a wrongful death lawsuit. These duties include paying off the debts of the estate and completing the probate process.
Massachusetts also differs from many other states in the way it distributes the proceeds of a wrongful death suit. Some states set out categories of surviving heirs that have the right to recover compensation from a wrongful death settlement. These heirs typically include the deceased person’s spouse, children, and other relatives that rely on them financially. However, Massachusetts takes a different approach.
In a Wakefield wrongful death case, any proceeds will go to the estate. The estate will then distribute them just any other assets. A surviving family member should consult with a Wakefield wrongful death lawyer to discuss if they are entitled to compensation.
Contact a Wakefield Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have questions about your legal rights in a Wakefield wrongful death lawsuit, it is important that you get answers. To discuss the strength of your claim and your odds for recovering damages, you could benefit from a discussion with a Wakefield wrongful death lawyer. Reach out as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.