After suffering the unexpected death of a loved one, the members of a Massachusetts family may find it hard to think about filing a lawsuit against the party or parties who caused their relative to perish.

They may wish to take their time to grieve and learn how to move their lives forward. These emotional steps are important, but those who may have wrongful death claims to bring should be aware of the timeline by which their cases may be filed in court.

Under the Massachusetts wrongful death statute of limitations, the executor of a deceased party’s estate has three years to file a lawsuit from the date of the victim’s death. Individual members of the deceased party’s family may not bring the suit, but rather it may be initiated by one or more of the executors who are responsible for seeing the loved one’s estate properly administered.

If the facts surrounding a deceased party’s death are in question, then an executor may have more time to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Specifically, this extension may apply if the executor did not know and should not have known that the actions leading to the death could give rise to a wrongful death claim. Consultation with personal injury attorneys can help readers work through the proper timing of filing their wrongful death claims based on the information applicable to their cases.

Three years may feel like an eternity after losing someone who was loved, but time can pass quickly for those who may have legal claims on which to act. Estate executors on Massachusetts who believe negligence may have caused their decedents’ deaths may want to learn more about what wrongful death claims entail.