Car crashes, defective products, criminal activity and unsafe buildings are among the reasons why people might file wrongful death claims in Massachusetts. Surviving spouses, parents or children may need to seek justice after the unexpected death of their family member.
When the misconduct or negligence of another party causes the death of an immediate family member, you can potentially file a wrongful death claim. Such a claim is possible regardless of whether the state prosecuted the party responsible.
Individuals and businesses can face civil consequences if they cause someone’s death, but family members have to ask for specific compensation when they file the lawsuit. What kinds of losses can the courts reimburse you for when you file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Lost wages and support
Surviving family members typically seek the future income that their loved ones would have earned had they survived. The value of their salary and benefits could be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Additionally, surviving family members can file a claim seeking compensation for the loss of support and household services provided by the deceased. Whether they change the oil in everyone’s car or made dinner every night, the unpaid household chores are worth hundreds of dollars when you pay a professional.
If someone dies in a roof collapse or car crash, there will likely be emergency transportation to the hospital and trauma care provided at the very least. In some cases, an individual could be on life support for days before they succumb to their injuries.
Those expenses could be tens of thousands of dollars, which the family can ask for, along with funeral and burial costs, in their wrongful death lawsuit.
In situations where the family can show that the death was the result of someone breaking the law or committing an act of gross negligence, the courts can award punitive damages intended to punish the responsible party. Damages typically start at $5,000 and will go up from there depending on the situation.
Trying to put a price on the death of a loved one may feel cold and calculating, but it is an important step on the path to justice. Learning more about wrongful death claims can help your family hold someone accountable for causing your recent loss.