MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE ISLAND WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEYS
Massachusetts and Rhode Island law allows persons that are injured by negligent, reckless or intentional acts to sue the responsible parties for compensation. When the injuries are so severe that the victim dies, the law allows the family to sue the persons and/or entities that caused the death for compensation. This type of claim is called an action for wrongful death. It’s intended to compensate the family for their economic losses and the suffering they have experienced due to the loss of their loved one. If you believe your family member has been a victim of wrongful death, it’s important to call an experienced Massachusetts and Rhode Island wrongful death attorney to discuss the family’s legal rights. The Botelho Law Group is the top premises liability attorney in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, serving Bristol, Plymouth and Norfolk counties. Call (888) 269-0988 to schedule a free confidential consultation.
What’s A Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim brought by family members when negligence, recklessness or an intentional act results in death. These are some examples of the types or accidents that can result in wrongful death claims:
- Car Accidents;
- Slip and Fall Accidents;
- Defective Products;
- Medical Malpractice;
- Drowning in Swimming Pool;
- Construction Accidents and
- Animal attacks.
In order to collect compensation for the wrongful death, the elements of the underlying claim must be proven to the insurance company for settlement or to a jury at trial. Wrongful death cases are challenging because the main witness is not available to testify about the events that took place, so it’s important to hire an experienced Massachusetts and Rhode Island wrongful death attorney that has successfully collected large amounts of compensation for the families of victims. The Botelho Law Group is the top wrongful death attorney in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, serving Bristol, Plymouth and Norfolk counties. Call (888) 269-0988 to schedule a free confidential consultation.
What Must Be Proven To Succeed With A Wrongul Death Claim?
In order to succeed with a wrongful death claim, it’s necessary to prove that there was a negligent, reckless or intentional act that caused death. For example, in order to prove that a pedestrian was killed by the driver of a vehicle, it would be necessary to show that it was the driver’s poor driving that led to the death, not the pedestrian’s actions in running in front of the car. It must also be shown with legally admissible evidence that the person would be alive if it weren’t for the actions of the persons or entities that committed the wrongful acts, by proving that it was the injuries from the accident that caused the death, not some other reason. If somebody recovers from their injuries, but later passes away, they may not be able to prove that it was a wrongful death. If you suspect that your loved one was the victim of a wrongful death, it’s important to speak to a Massachusetts and Rhode Island wrongful death attorney as soon as possible so that deadlines are not blown and evidence is not destroyed.
What Damages Can Families Collect For A Wrongful Death Case?
In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, family members can sue the responsible parties for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the calculable costs and losses that they’ve suffered as a result of the death such as out of pocket medical expenses, lost financial support, lost future financial support and funeral expenses. Non-economic damages are the subjective pain, suffering and mental anguish suffered by a close family member. For example, a child or spouse can claim their loss of companionship, guidance, affection, love and comfort. Loss of consortium is the loss of the physical relationship enjoyed by spouses. If the death was caused by a malicious, wanton or willful act, the court can award punitive damages to deter the defendant from future acts of this nature. In Massachusetts, the minimum award for punitive damages is $5,000. In Rhode Island, the minimum amount of damages for a successful wrongful death action is $250,000. If the death was immediate, the family is only entitled to collect damages for wrongful death, but if the victim survived for hours, days, weeks, months or years, the family may also have a claim for the pain and suffering of the victim, in addition to the wrongful death claim. Each case is different, and laws can change, so it’s important to speak to an experienced Massachusetts and Rhode Island wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after your loss.
What Family Members Can Bring A Wrongful Death Claim?
If the person that died had a will, the beneficiaries of that will would have standing to bring a claim. If friends or charities are named, they may have a right to share in the proceeds of a wrongful death claim. If there’s no will, the surviving spouse and children would have standing to make a claim based on the laws of intestacy. The claim must be filed by the executor or administrator of the estate of the person that died, so it cannot be filed until the probate court appoints an executor (if there’s a will) or an administrator (if there’s no will.) The probate process can be lengthy, so it’s important to speak to an attorney about petitioning the court for letters of administration as soon as possible after you loss. The Botelho Law Group is the top wrongful death attorney in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, serving Bristol, Plymouth and Norfolk counties. Call (888) 269-0988 to schedule a free confidential consultation.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723