How long does one have to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

| Apr 6, 2017 | Wrongful Death

When a person in Massachusetts loses a loved one in a fatal car crash, workplace accident, medical malpractice or in any other way due to an act of negligence, their grief can be all-encompassing. Practicalities, such as funeral arrangements and winding up the deceased’s affairs must be attended to, and then there is the emotional blow. All of this can cloud a person’s mind as they try to get through their day-to-day lives.

However, if their loved one’s death was due to the fault of another, residents of Massachusetts should not put-off seeking legal advice. This is because there is only a certain amount of time in which a person has to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is known as the “statute of limitations.” After the statute of limitations passes, it is no longer possible to bring such a lawsuit, regardless of the situation.

In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is three years, commencing at the date the victim died or within three years of the date when the executor of the deceased’s estate knew or reasonably should have known of the facts that form the basis of the lawsuit. Wrongful death, for these purposes, includes negligent acts that caused the death of another individual or willful, wanton or reckless acts that result in the death of an individual in which the individual would have recovered compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, had the individual lived.

As you can see, it is important not to wait too long to seek damages when it comes to a wrongful death lawsuit. Those with questions about whether they are able to file such a lawsuit may want to consult with an attorney. A personal injury attorney can provide further information about the statute of limitations.

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