Wrongful Death Lawyer in Massachusetts
Unexpectedly losing a loved one the most devastating thing that can happen to a family.
When someone dies because of the negligent or intentional acts of another, the family must carry the burden of handling the estate, life, and other insurance policies, the unfair lawyers of those responsible, and sometimes the deceased's former employers.
We fight for the families of the deceased.
Snook Law Office Can Help Victims of A Wrongful Death
In Attorney Douglas Snook’s extensive litigation career, he has helped families through the most difficult time in their life. Once retained, our office will remove the stress of arguing with insurance companies and the defendant’s attorney. With his aggressive litigation skills, Attorney Snook will recover maximum compensation for wrongful death victims and their families.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death claims are actions brought against another individual or parties, including businesses, corporations, or municipalities, whose intentional or negligent act caused the death of a family member.
Most death claims arise out these common personal injury claims:
Motor vehicle accidents
Construction and industrial accidents
Defective products (product liability)
Intentional acts (homicide)
Attorney Snook, a wrongful death lawyer in Massachusetts, will help wrongful death victims and their families by representing the estate and securing the compensation families need in such a difficult time.
Learn More About Wrongful Death Claims
Who are the Beneficiaries in a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Massachusetts, the spouse and children of a decedent are the beneficiaries. If the decedent was not married and had no children, then the parents may recover. If there is no spouse, children, or surviving parents, the decedent’s siblings are the beneficiaries. Otherwise, the next of kin is eligible.
When Can a Wrongful Death Claim be Brought?
Under Massachusetts law, the administrator of the estate generally has three (3) years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim in court.
The statute of limitations can be extended to three (3) years from the date when the cause of death was or should have been known. This may apply in a defective product or medical malpractice cases where the cause may not be known for a few years after the decedent’s death.
In cases where the cause may not be known, wrongful death lawyers are uniquely equipped to analyze the facts of the case to determine whether an exception applies.
If you are not sure whether it’s too late to file your claim, Snook Law is available to review your case.
Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
Damages in a wrongful death claim are not the same as in a typical personal injury claim. Wrongful death claims often result in extensive damages to the family. Because of this, families will also meet additional resistance to their claims for damages. Retaining a skilled wrongful death lawyer will protect the family’s rights through the litigation process, including calculating damages.
Damages may include the following:
Funeral and Burial Expenses
Burial expenses can range from $6000 to $15,000. In wrongful death claims, recovery is available to burial expenses.
If the decedent survived for a time following a motor vehicle or industrial accident, then the medical expenses incurred before death are included. Medical care costs for an individual who suffered a debilitating illness or from the consequences of a defective product may also be recoverable.
Expected Net Income
Beneficiaries who would have received the benefit of the decedent’s net income or projected earnings over their expected working career may recover such damages. Wrongful death lawyers will typically retain a forensic economist is retained to estimate its present-day value.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium refers to the loss of the decedent’s love, counsel, companionship, guidance, support, and advice. The closer the decedent was to their family, the greater the value of the loss. The life span of the decedent will also be considered to calculate these damages.
Conscious Pain and Suffering
Under Massachusetts’ survivor statute, beneficiaries may recover damages if the decedent was observed to have suffered physical pain, mental distress, impairment, embarrassment, or any other mental anguish before succumbing to injuries or a fatal condition. If the decedent was comatose, a medical expert might be able to attest to the decedent’s mental state.
Punitive or exemplary damages are awarded only if the defendant’s conduct was malicious, willful, wanton, reckless, or deliberately indifferent to the safety or life of the decedent. If the defendant was highly intoxicated and speeding at 90 mph, or a drug company purposely hid adverse test results, this might qualify as grossly negligent or malicious conduct.