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Boston Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death claims arise when a person dies due to the actions of another person or entity, enabling family members to hold the at-fault party accountable. You may be eligible for this type of legal action if you recently lost a loved one.
You need an attorney in these situations—the Cashman Law Firm can help. You can trust our Boston wrongful death lawyer to represent your family’s best interests and advocate aggressively so that your family can secure the justice you deserve. Call our firm today at (978) 595-0601 for a free consultation.
Why Choose Our Boston Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Our Boston personal injury attorney, Mark A. Cashman, is dedicated to helping your family secure justice. He will leverage his skills, experience, and resources to craft a compelling case in your favor.
- We understand how difficult a wrongful death claim can be. Our firm will handle all aspects of your lawsuit so your family can focus on more important matters.
- Our attorney has won multiple awards recognizing our firm’s track record of success. He has secured a 5 out of 5 Avvo rating and was named a Top 40 under 40 Trial Lawyer.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
Massachusetts law defines a wrongful death as a death due to negligence, a breach of warranty, or a willful, wanton, or reckless act. When a person dies under these circumstances, his or her loved ones could file a wrongful death lawsuit on his or her behalf.
Our attorney represents clients in many wrongful death lawsuits at the Cashman Law Firm. Many of the claims that we handle arise due to the following incidents.
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous property conditions
- Defective or dangerous products
- Car accidents
- Birth injuries
- Dog bites and attacks
- Trucking crashes
- Motorcycle accidents
- Construction injuries
- Pedestrian accidents
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts has strict rules regarding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased person. While many states permit surviving family members to bring a claim, Massachusetts requires the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate to file.
The deceased will likely have named the executor in his or her will. If the deceased did not name an executor or did not leave a will behind, the court will appoint one on his or her behalf.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Massachusetts, grieving family members have up to 3 years from the date of the wrongful death or from the date the decedent’s executor learned of the cause of death to file a claim or lawsuit. In some instances, courts may require certain parties indicated in the lawsuit to receive notice of the claim two years after a claimant knew or should have known the cause of death.
What Can I Gain From a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death claim or lawsuit in Massachusetts doesn’t cover the medical expenses incurred before a loved one’s death. Compensation for medical expenses comes through a survival action claim. Instead, a wrongful death lawsuit focuses on the losses a family suffers after the wrongful death. Damages may include the following compensation:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of expected income
- Loss of care and protection
- Loss of assistance, guidance, and comfort
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Emotional pain, suffering, and anguish
- Punitive damages if the liable person caused the wrongful death through maliciousness, recklessness, or willful and wanton misconduct
While nothing can bring back a loved one, monetary compensation can help pave the road to recovery for a grieving family by relieving financial burdens.
How Do I Prove Damages in a Wrongful Death Case?
It’s difficult for family members to put a dollar amount on the life of a loved one. Still, in a wrongful death lawsuit, a jury must consider the monetary value owed to the surviving family for their loss. Factors that come into play when determining damages in these cases include the following:
- Age and physical health of the wrongful death victim
- Age and economic circumstances of surviving dependents
- Income of the deceased loved one at the time of death
- Value of lost benefits such as insurance coverage, 401K, and pension
- Pain and suffering of the victim before their death
A skilled lawyer presents evidence such as a victim’s pay stubs, pension plans, and W2s to prove economic loss by calculating lost present income, lost future income for the number of employable years the victim had remaining, and lost income during years of retirement.
While it’s more challenging to prove non-economic damages, some factors considered include the nature of the deceased’s relationships with spouse and children, such as the following:
- Marital stability and spousal intimacy
- Level of companionship and care
- Nature and closeness of the relationship with children, including whether or not the deceased was a primary caregiver
- Loss of parental guidance
- Family future goals
- Daily household tasks performed
When the victim is a child, the loss of years of family togetherness, as well as the loss of future comfort and assistance during the parents’ elderly years, also become factors.
Proving Negligent Behavior or Actions in a Wrongful Death Case
Even though some wrongful deaths are caused by intentional and purposeful behavior, many wrongful deaths result from careless or reckless behavior. Most families and loved ones who bring forth a wrongful death claim must prove negligent behavior or actions. To successfully do this, four important factors must be established, which are:
- Duty of Care: The defendant had a duty of care, which was an obligation to keep your family member or loved one safe and harm-free.
- Breach of Duty: The defendant breached this duty by failing to keep them safe and harm-free. This can happen in various ways, such as a motor vehicle driver failing to stop at a stop light, an employer failing to provide the proper training to an employee, a business owner failing to clean up spilled liquid on the floor, a manufacturer creating and selling harmful products, or even a doctor failing to properly close up a patient.
- Causation: The breach must cause your family member or loved one’s death.
- Damages: Due to the defendant’s negligent behaviors and actions, losses occurred. This may include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income and benefits, property damage, funeral bills, burial expenses, and more.
Without proof of these four elements, you cannot file a wrongful death claim. While it can be extremely difficult to establish these factors, it is not impossible with the help of an experienced and skilled wrongful death lawyer in Boston, MA.
Why You Need a Boston Wrongful Death Attorney
The death of a loved one is a very difficult experience. During this time, it can be challenging to pursue complex litigation while settling the estate’s affairs, planning funeral or burial arrangements, or grieving for your loved one.
A Boston wrongful death attorney can provide your family with the support you need during this process. Your lawyer will handle every detail of your case on your behalf and gather the evidence necessary to prove the defendant’s liability.
When you have a wrongful death attorney from the Cashman Law Firm on your side, you gain a powerful advocate. Your lawyer will leverage the full power of his skills, knowledge, and experience to craft a compelling case in your family’s favor.
Insurance companies have profits as their bottom line and may use various tricks to deny or undervalue a wrongful death claim. These include:
- Taking advantage of the chaotic aftermath of a loved one’s death to offer a quick, undervalued settlement
- Blaming the victim by stating that they were in some way at fault in the wrongful death and using the Massachusetts shared-fault rule to minimize payout
- Calling grieving family members to “check in” as though they care about them and then using their words out of context against them
- Discouraging surviving family members from contacting a lawyer
When an insurance company doesn’t fully compensate surviving family members after the wrongful death of a loved one, they have the right to engage a skilled attorney and file a lawsuit.
The Various Ways Our Attorneys Will Help You Pursue Compensation for a Wrongful Death
Going through the legal process while grieving a family member or loved one can be stressful, frustrating, and even overwhelming. Therefore, knowing and understanding that you do not have to go through this alone is important. Instead, you can hire a wrongful death attorney to help you navigate the legal process and handle the obstacles and challenges that may arise from your case. Here are some of the various ways our lawyers will help you pursue compensation for a wrongful death:
- Listen to the facts and details of your claim
- Conduct our investigation to find out about your loved one’s death
- Collect evidence to support your side of the story
- Handle communication and negotiation with insurance companies
- Ensure that all documentation is turned in on time
- Work with accountants and other professionals to determine a fair compensation amount
- Stand up and fight for your rights
- Prepare to go to a court trial hearing if an agreement cannot be made
How Long Should I Expect My Wrongful Death Case to Take?
It is important to realize that every legal case is unique and different, meaning they each come with their own factors and challenges. That said, there is no specific timeframe to expect a wrongful death case to take. Your case may end quickly if all parties agree on the settlement before a lawsuit is filed. However, this does not always happen.
Once a lawsuit is filed, your case could take several months or years from beginning to end. Your wrongful death lawyer will work with you to ensure that your case remains on track and makes its way through the legal process as quickly as possible. They will also answer any of your questions or concerns regarding the timeframe that you should expect regarding your case.
Speak With a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Boston Today
If you lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, your family deserves justice. The Cashman Law Firm can represent your wrongful death lawsuit in Boston and help you hold the at-fault party accountable. Contact us today to discuss your next steps with a wrongful death lawyer.