When might a Massachusetts car wreck inspire a wrongful death suit?

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

People generally expect that insurance will take care of the costs associated with a car crash. After all, every motorist in Massachusetts is required to carry a liability policy that will pay for property damage and injuries suffered by other people when they are at fault for a collision. Many drivers also invest in additional coverage that will protect them from a variety of scenarios, including when someone without insurance causes a crash.

Yet, despite required and supplemental coverage, occasionally, those affected by a collision will need to take the matter to civil court. One of the more common scenarios in which a car crash leads to a lawsuit involves someone dying. Those struggling with the aftermath of a fatal collision could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for the crash. These are a few reasons why such lawsuits are common after deadly collisions.

The worst wrecks tend to meet actionability standards

Wrongful death lawsuits are only possible in a very specific set of circumstances. Massachusetts law is very clear about when a wrongful death lawsuit is an option. Generally, there needs to be evidence of either willful misconduct or negligence. Many car crashes in Massachusetts involved either a violation of traffic statutes or someone engaging in behavior that people openly recognize is unsafe. Families that recognize their situation meets the standard for a lawsuit may decide to initiate civil litigation.

Fatal crash costs extend well beyond available coverage

The other main reason that families affected by a fatal crash take the matter to civil court is that the losses their family will suffer our massive. Car insurance may only cover a tiny portion of someone’s medical bills and lost wages. Unlike insurance, a civil lawsuit can potentially compensate a family for all provable economic losses related to the fatal crash. Families can recover all of someone’s medical expenses and future lost wages.

Additionally, many families decide to initiate civil litigation because they want justice. Especially, if the state has not successfully prosecuted the driver who caused the wreck, a lawsuit may be the best way to secure a specific kind of closure for grieving family members. Ultimately, understanding why people go to court after a fatal crash might help people overcome their aversion to the idea of suing.