The loss of a loved one can lead to economic stress for surviving family members. A wrongful death suit may help them recover some of those costs during a difficult time. A neighboring Norton woman, a member of the Massachusetts National Guard, was killed recently when a drunk driver in a Jeep struck her car head-on. The driver of the Jeep is facing several charges and bail has been set at $16,000. The victim died as a result of injuries she sustained in the fatal accident. In addition to being a member of the Massachusetts National Guard, she served as a loss prevention specialist for a local department store. She was also a single mother of a three-year old son.
A cause of action for wrongful death may be available to family members following the loss of a loved one. A wrongful death action can be initiated when a person is killed due to another’s negligence. Such actions are commonly brought by surviving spouses and children, and sometimes parents. The suit will be brought by the representative for the decedent’s estate, according to the state’s “wrongful death statute.”
Damages are typically economic in nature. Compensation may be recovered for family members who are suffering financial injury as a result of the loss of the loved one. This may include loss of support or services, loss of prospective inheritance and medical and funeral expenses. Factors that will be considered include the age, earning capacity, education and life expectancy of the decedent. The position of family-member distributees will also be considered. As an example, when an adult wage earner dies, leaving a dependant, losses for income and parental guidance will be compensated.
Source: wickedlocal.com, “Norton native killed in crash,” Heather Harris, Sept. 26, 2012