Families face a variety of challenges following the unexpected loss of a loved one, some of which the legal process can help with. A retired Massachusetts’ police chief was recently killed while riding his motorcycle. Another retired Massachusetts’ police chief was also injured while also on his motorcycle as the two former police chiefs rode their motorcycles together. According to authorities, a passenger vehicle crossed the center line and hit the two motorcycles head on. A 55-year old former Massachusetts’ police chief was killed in the fatal accident and a 75-year old former Massachusetts’ police chief was left in critical condition. The accident is being investigated.

A wrongful death cause of action can be useful to surviving family members, following a fatal accident, for a variety of reasons. Families will likely face a variety of damages in the wake of an unexpected fatal accident and the unexpected loss of a loved one. Damages can extend beyond emotional harm to include financial damages as well. Because of this, families are able to present a wrongful death claim against the negligent party to recover compensation for the damages they have suffered.

Likewise, injured victims are able to bring a personal injury claim for damages. Damages in both circumstances can be similar, however, damages may also be unique to the circumstances and characteristics of the victim. Damages are based on the harm that has been suffered. Medical expenses and funeral expenses may be recovered through a wrongful death claim. Medical expenses and lost wages may be recovered through a personal injury claim. Pain and suffering damages may be available in either case.

It is important to understand the available protections through the legal process following the wrongful loss of a loved one. Understanding the options available can help families of victims, and victims, decide what is best for them.

Source: Boston Herald, “Retired Mass. police chief killed in Vt. accident,” June 30, 2014