The death of a Massachusetts resident due to an accident may impose significant hardships on their surviving relatives and closely-held loved ones. When an accidental death occurs, it is sometimes possible for a wrongful death action to be filed to help the deceased party’s estate recover the losses attributable to the victim’s death. However, in Massachusetts, relatives and loved ones are generally not permitted to file a wrongful death action.
It is the role of a decedent’s executor to file a wrongful death action if one is appropriate. When a person passes away of old age or natural causes, a wrongful death claim may not be included in the estate executor’s list of responsibilities. However, when the decedent’s demise is the result of another person’s negligence, their executor may need to file a civil action to ensure the decedent’s estate is compensated.
Wrongful death claims may be pursued by estate executors within three years of the decedent’s death, or within three years of when the executors knew or should have known that such claims were possible. Wrongful death claims may seek a variety of damages, including actual losses, as well as punitive damages when reckless, wanton, or malicious conduct is alleged.
Wrongful deaths are tragedies for the individuals who must live on in the absence of their loved ones. These claims can, however, provide decedents’ estates with needed compensation, so that their end-of-life expenses are covered. More information about Massachusetts wrongful death claims should be sought from knowledgeable personal injury attorneys.