When Car Accidents Result in Wrongful Death: The Rights of Surviving Family Members

If you have lost a loved one in a car accident in Saugus you may have a cause of action to pursue a wrongful death claim. Call our law firm today to learn more. 

Driving in Massachusetts can be dangerous. In fact, in the year 2018 alone, there were 343 fatal crashes resulting in 360 deaths in our state, as well as hundreds of additional crashes that resulted in property damage costs, personal injuries, or both. While all accidents can be jarring, those that are the most tragic are the ones that leave vehicle occupants with fatal injuries. At The Law Offices of Alan Hildreth King & Associates, our car accident lawyers know that there is nothing worse than receiving notice that a family member has been killed in a car accident. If you have lost a loved one in a crash, our attorneys want to help you pursue damages. 

What Is a Wrongful Death Action?

A wrongful death action is a type of personal injury action that is brought when the negligence or wrongful action of one party leads to the death of another. A wrongful death action can only be brought by the executor or administration or the deceased party’s estate – this person may be named in the decedent’s will or appointed by the court. 

By filing a wrongful death claim, a surviving family member can seek damages related to their loved one’s death. Types of damages recoverable in a wrongful death action in Massachusetts include:

  • Compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are designed to compensate for “the fair monetary value of the decedent to the persons entitled to receive the damages recovered,” such as the value of loss of services, care, and companionship of the decedent; the value of the decedent’s lost wages and loss of earning capacity; the value of loss of household services; any medical expenses accrued prior to death; and more.
  • Funeral and burial expenses. The statute makes clear that a plaintiff in a wrongful death action shall be compensated for the reasonable funeral and burial expenses related to the decedent’s death.
  • Punitive damages. Finally, while rare, punitive damages–which are meant to punish the defendant and deter similar future actions–are available in the event that the defendant acted with gross negligence, malice, or willful or wanton conduct. 

Car Accident Wrongful Death: Elements of the Claim 

If you think that you have a wrongful death claim, our lawyers can help you to prove that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care (which is typically implied in car accident cases), that this duty of care was breached through an act of negligence or gross negligence (such as speeding, driving drunk, etc.), and that such negligence was the proximate cause of the crash and your loved one’s death.

Call Our Aggressive Car Accident Lawyers Today

If your family member has been killed in a car crash, our lawyers understand the pain you’re going through. Our car accident attorneys will aggressively represent you and advocate for your right for your full compensation award. Please call The Law Offices of Alan Hildreth King & Associates today to schedule your free consultation.

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