The Brockton wrongful death attorneys at Sousa & Sousa are compassionate advocates for victims who have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence. We are dedicated to defending your rights and helping your family achieve justice. Our firm has provided superior legal representation to families in the greater Brockton area and Massachusetts for over 50 years.
When you lose a beloved member of your family, it is devastating. When that death was caused by the negligent conduct of another person or company, the pain is unbearable. In addition to mourning the loss of a loved one, you are also left looking for justice. Personal injury law provides surviving family members a remedy through a wrongful death claim. As its name suggests, immediate family members can seek legal recourse when the premature death of a loved one was caused by the wrongful act of another. Any person, business, or entity is capable of contributing to a wrongful death. The death can be caused by a wide range of conduct, from intentional acts to negligence.
Examples of negligent acts giving rise to wrongful death include:
- Boating accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Automobile accidents
- Premises liability
- Defective products
- Lead paint poisoning
- Medical malpractice
- Pharmacy negligence
- Work-related injuries
In some cases, the negligent parties will be held civilly and criminally liable for their conduct. That is, the civil action for wrongful death proceeds separately from the criminal prosecution. One does not preclude the other. This is common in cases of homicide, malpractice, or egregious negligence. While the state punishes defendants for their criminal acts, family members can bring a separate lawsuit to recover damages for their financial and emotional loss.
Under Massachusetts law, the cause of action “survives” the deceased and vests in the family. The wrongful death statute allows families to recover compensation if the death occurred under such circumstances that the deceased “could have recovered damages for personal injuries” had he or she survived. This includes deaths caused by negligence, or by willful, wanton, or reckless conduct. The law specifically includes “common carriers” that negligently cause the death of a passengers and manufacturers “responsible for a breach of warranty” resulting in death.
Generally, only immediate family members like spouses and children are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim. However, in cases where there are no surviving family members, the court may allow other relatives to file suit. Surviving family members are entitled to several types of damages in a wrongful death claim. These include compensation for:
- Medical costs
- Funeral expenses
- General or punitive damages
- Conscious pain and suffering
- Surviving family’s mental anguish
- Loss of companionship, assistance, and society
- Lost services and inheritance
- Lost future earnings and financial support
- Lost benefits such as medical insurance, pension, and 401K
If you lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, contact the experienced Easton wrongful death lawyers at Sousa & Sousa immediately. Under Massachusetts law, surviving family members have three years from the time of the death to file a wrongful death claim. Any delay could result in the loss of important evidence or bar your family’s right to relief. Because a jury decides the amount of the award based on financial and emotional harm, it is imperative to have an attorney who knows how to present the full extent of your loss in court. For over 50 years, Sousa & Sousa has successfully represented families throughout Massachusetts, helping them pursue their claims with dignity and respect. For a free consultation call our Brockton/Easton office at 508-230-5300 or Taunton office at 508-823-6111 or contact us online.