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Boston Lawyers Explain Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Seeking compensation for the loss of a loved one

Dealing with a family member’s death is never easy, but families whose loved ones were taken away by the action of another deserve answers. They also deserve compensation for their lost loved one’s potential income and for the loss of services and affection. Money won’t bring a loved one back, but it can help a family put the pieces back together and move forward while bringing a measure of justice.

Wrongful death lawsuits are a type of personal injury claim in which the injured victim died as a result of an injury. The personal injury professionals at Thornton Law Firm LLP pursue compensation for your loss. Unlike the three-year personal injury statute of limitation time period, which begins running on the date of the injury, the wrongful death statute of limitation in Massachusetts is three years from the date of death, which means you must bring a wrongful death claim within three years after your loved one’s death or the claim is barred forever.

Filing wrongful death claims

The personal representative of your deceased loved one’s estate is the proper person to serve as the plaintiff in a wrongful death action on behalf of your loved one. Who becomes the personal representative depends on whether your loved one left a last will and testament. If so, and the will is probated, the executor is the proper person to serve as the plaintiff in the wrongful death lawsuit.

If there was no will, then the administrator of your loved one’s estate, duly appointed by the probate court, is the person with authority to bring a wrongful death claim. Any damages awarded in the lawsuit belong to your loved one’s estate and are distributed according to the person’s will, if any, or according to the laws of intestate distribution if there wasn’t a will.

For your lawsuit to be successful, you must prove that your loved one’s death resulted from the negligence or recklessness of another person or business and that the loss had a negative financial effect on your loved one’s estate, such as medical and burial expenses and lost future earnings.

How do you put a dollar value on a person’s life?

It is impossible to devise a formula to accurately assess the monetary value of a human life. The thought of attempting to do so is even offensive to some people. But the fact remains that the legal system must have a rational method of determining how much money is enough to constitute full and fair compensation for a wrongful death claim.

Damages for a wrongful death claim can include economic damages, such as medical and burial expenses, non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

Reaching a dollar amount in a wrongful death claim requires careful consideration and application of the following facts about your deceased loved one:

  • Age and life expectancy
  • Earning capacity
  • Health and intelligence
  • Family members’ needs and losses
  • Medical and funeral expenses
  • Interest on losses incurred since the date of death

You may also ask a judge or jury to award punitive damages, the purpose of which is to punish the wrongdoer to deter similar conduct in the future, with attorneys fees added to the final compensation award.

Contact our Boston, Mass. wrongful death attorneys

Thornton Law Firm LLP provides quality legal representation to pursue full and fair compensation for wrongful death claims. Our compassionate attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency-fee basis, so you don’t pay if we don’t win your case. Call 1-888-491-9726 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation. Thornton Law Firm LLP is here when you need us most.

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Thornton Law Firm LLP is located in Boston, Massachusetts and serves clients in and around Boston, Revere, Chelsea, Charlestown, Brighton, Somerville, Allston, Everett, Winthrop, Mattapan, Cambridge, Jamaica Plain, Brookline, Roslindale, Malden, Readville, Newtonville, Newton Center, Arlington, Melrose, West Roxbury, Milton, Newton Highlands, Essex County and Suffolk County.

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