Fatal Car Accidents
Car accidents can happen virtually anywhere, and range from minor scrapes to serious collisions that change the victims’ lives forever. Fatal car accidents happen almost everyday across the country, including in a busy metropolitan city like Boston. Whether they result from inclement weather, drunk driving, or distracted driving, the outcome is still devastating for the victim’s loved ones and surviving relatives. If your loved one lost his or her life in a collision that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation, and an experienced Boston car accident lawyer can help. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates PC, we know that no amount of money can make up for your loss, but it can help you cope with the stress and financial pressure that can follow these accidents.Massachusetts Wrongful Death Laws
Each state has its own set of laws regarding wrongful death claims, which is the name given to lawsuits where the plaintiff is alleging that the victim lost his or her life as the result of another person’s or company’s carelessness. Massachusetts statutes set out clear guidelines for bringing a wrongful death claim, and hold a person or company liable where their negligence or recklessness caused someone to lose his or her life. The executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate is the only person who has standing to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. If the decedent did not designate an executor or administrator, the court can appoint an appropriate person in this capacity. Also, a civil wrongful death claim can be filed even if there is a criminal prosecution involved, such as a drunk driver facing criminal penalties for the fatal accident.
In a wrongful death claim, the complaint must show that the decedent would have been able to assert a personal injury claim against the defendant had he or she survived. In a fatal car accident, for example, the plaintiff must show that the decedent would have been able to establish that the other driver owed him or her a duty of care, failed to drive according to that duty, and that his or her injuries were the foreseeable result of the failure. There are countless ways in which drivers act negligently behind the wheel. Some of the most common types of fatal car accidents involve intoxicated driving and distracted driving, which includes driving while texting or talking on the phone. Obtaining a copy of any police reports prepared related to the accident can help determine whether any of these activities were involved. A knowledgeable vehicle accident lawyer can help you assemble all of the relevant evidence.Recovering Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim
After proving that the defendant acted negligently and that your loved one died as a result of this conduct, the estate will be entitled to compensation. There are a variety of expenses that can be recovered through a wrongful death lawsuit, including funeral and burial expenses. The decedent’s surviving family members can also receive the value of the income that the lost loved one would have likely earned over his or her natural lifetime, as well as compensation for the loss of the loved one’s companionship, care, and support.
Massachusetts law also allows the plaintiff to seek punitive damages where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious, wanton, or willful. This category of damages is designed to penalize defendants who act in this manner while dissuading others from engaging in similar behavior. State law requires punitive damages to be no less than $5,000.Meet With a Seasoned Car Accident Lawyer in Boston
Losing a loved one in a car accident is incredibly traumatic and life-altering for everyone involved. We know just how stressful and devastating this situation is for you, and how daunting pursuing legal action may seem. We are available to serve clients throughout Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody. We provide a free consultation with a skilled attorney to discuss your situation and to help you understand whether there is any legal recourse available to you. Call us now at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online to get started.