Back to all blogs
What to Do When Someone Dies in a Car Accident in Massachusetts
February 24, 2021
Dealing with a car accident in Massachusetts can become stressful. Merely imagining losing your loved ones to a fatal car crash can run shivers down your spine. Tragic accidents lead the way to emotional and financial damages; imagine you lose the main breadwinner of your family. It is probably the last thing you would want to imagine.
Fatal car crashes not only take the life of your loved ones but also leave financial stress for the remaining members of the family. You are allowed to file a claim against the person whose negligence caused the wrongful death of your relative. The claim won’t bring back your loved one, however, it will ease your financial burden and help you in moving on with life.
Wrongful Death in a Car Accident in Massachusetts:
A car accident in Massachusetts can kill people and unfortunately, it happens very frequently around us. Only in Massachusetts, there were 321 fatal accidents recorded resulting in 334 deaths in 2019. To file a claim for wrongful death, it is essential to prove that the death of the person is caused due to negligent actions of the defendant. If the court identifies negligent action to be willful, on purpose, or reckless, then additional damages are provided in the claim. A civil lawsuit can proceed even if the state does not file a criminal case against the defendant.
In the majority of the cases, the time period to file a wrongful death lawsuit is three years. It is possible that in certain cases it takes a lot of time, even months to prove that the death was wrongful. In this scenario, a lawsuit can be filed once the facts regarding wrongful deaths are known.
Claims in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit:
If you lose a loved one in a car crash, the state of Massachusetts provides compensation under wrongful death lawsuits for damages including economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic damages are special damages involving financial value. It involves the compensation for the financial loss suffered. Economic damages involve the following:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Loss of wages of the deceased
- Medical expenses (in certain cases, the person may suffer from injuries for a long time before losing a life)
- Repair and replacement of property
Non-Economic damages are general damages that are not financially valued and involve suffering, loss, and the difficulty experienced by the deceased’s representative. Non-economic damages contain:
- Loss of counsel and guidance
- Loss of protection, care, and assistance
- Loss of family-related services for instance child care
- Loss of companionship in case you lose your parent, spouse, or a child
- Loss of consortium before your spouse dies and after the death
Punitive Damages for Wrongful Death Lawsuit:
Punitive damages are exemplary damages, awarded by the court in case the court finds the actions willful and extremely negligent. Mostly the compensation in the claim is provided to recover the victim from loss whereas punitive damages are in place to punish the defendant, their actions, and set an example. The court provides punitive damages at a minimum value of $5,000.
Criminal Charges for Wrongful Death:
Criminal charges including driving under the influence, not abiding by the traffic laws, distracted driving, and reckless driving are levied by the police on the negligent driver. Criminal charges may not be pressed in case the reason for the accident was not under the control of the negligent driver. This may include bad weather conditions, road defects, and car malfunction.
In case you lost your loved one in a car accident in Massachusetts, likely, the insurance company will reach out to you and offer a settlement. You should objectively analyze the offering as the underlying motive of the insurance company remains to make a profit. The insurance company will actively look for mistakes in your case to deny your claim or to reduce the claim.
Get in Touch with Us:
Losing your loved one is one of the toughest moments in life. In such a traumatic condition, it is very difficult to make rational decisions. It is always better to seek the professional help of a skilled attorney. They will assist in gathering the paperwork and filing the lawsuit on your behalf. After the facts of accidents are known, the process to file a claim becomes more complicated. At that point, your attorney will guide you through the necessary steps. In case there is a third party liability involved, then a lawsuit against that party can also proceed.
We cannot stop car accidents in Massachusetts. However, we are here to protect your rights and provide you the claim you deserve.