The death of a loved one in a tragic Massachusetts accident can have life-long devastating impacts on the victim’s family. Under the law, when another’s negligence played a part in the victim’s injuries or death, the surviving family members may be able to recover damages. Massachusetts law permits family members to recover for their losses under the state’s wrongful death statute.
A wrongful death occurs when a person dies because of the negligent, wrongful, or reckless conduct of another party. Typical defendants in these cases include individuals, companies, government agencies, or other similar parties. Wrongful death actions follow the same general theories as personal injury claims, except that they are deceased. However, wrongful death claims differ from survival actions. Under Massachusetts law, a spouse, partner, or child of the victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit. On the other hand, survival actions are generally brought on behalf of the victim’s estate to compensate the person who died.
Massachusetts wrongful death claims may follow a variety of different incidents. For example, many wrongful death claims arise from assaults, birth injuries, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian collisions, recreational activity accidents, and defective products. However, Massachusetts maintains several exceptions to the wrongful death statute. For example, in some cases, employers may not face liability for an employee’s wrongful death if they died while on the job. However, family members may be able to pursue a legal claim under a different legal theory.