Massachusetts’ wrongful death statutory framework provides the circumstances under which family members can obtain compensation for the death of their loved one due to negligence or recklessness of another party. The state’s wrongful death statute is complicated and contains many restrictions and procedural requirements. For example, employers may not be held liable under Massachusetts wrongful death law for an employee’s death, even if their death resulted from the employer’s negligent, wanton, or reckless acts.
While workers’ compensation benefits may be available in certain circumstances, these benefits are often woefully insufficient to fairly compensate a family for the loss of a loved one. However, in some cases, an employee’s injuries or illnesses result from a liable third-party. These are referred to as third-party personal injury claims. An example of a Massachusetts third-party claim would be a case against the manufacturer of a defective product or machine that was responsible for the employee’s injuries. Another example of a third-party claim would be if a delivery driver was struck by another motorist while making deliveries. Given the complexities of these cases, it is essential that injury victims contact an attorney to discuss their rights, as many workplace accidents can have long-term and potentially fatal consequences.
For example, recently, a news report described an accident that resulted in an MBTA worker’s death. The worker died after an accident near the Charleston Bus Yard. Evidently, he was struck by a vehicle as he was walking to bus. Transit police indicated that the worker suffered fatal injuries around 5 a.m. but stated that an investigation was ongoing. The agency expressed its collective mourning for the accident. The accident is still under investigation.