This blog recently discussed a local fatal accident. In fatal accident circumstances, wrongful death claims may sometimes be made. A wrongful death is considered to have occurred in different circumstances, including when the negligence, or careless behavior, of one party causes the death of another party and the victim would have been able to bring a personal injury claim for damages had they survived the accident.
When claiming damages for harm caused by others, the damages sought must be specific so as a result, damages are based on the unique situation and the specific circumstances and characteristics of the victim. Surviving family members of loved ones lost in an unexpected fatal accident may experience damages including financial and emotional damages that can create unexpected challenges during an already difficult time.
In general, and subject to certain exceptions, wrongful death damages in Massachusetts can include the monetary value of the loss of the loved one. Damages can include loss of reasonably expected net income; reasonably expected services; reasonably expected protection; reasonably expected care and assistance; reasonably expected society, companionship and comfort; and reasonably expected guidance, counsel and advice. Family members of the victim may also be able to recover compensation for funeral expenses. In some situations, depending the circumstances, punitive damages may also be available.
Though it is not possible to fully value the loss of a loved one, family members are able to seek compensation for the financial and emotional struggles they may face following a wrongful death accident. The legal process is available to help victims receive compensation for the damages they have suffered and hold the responsible party accountable for the suffering they have caused.
Source: malegislature.gov, “General Laws, Chapter 229, Section 2,” Accessed Oct. 19, 2015