What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is the legal term for when negligent or intentional actions cause a person’s death.
It’s common for close relatives to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit after a loved one’s death resulted from avoidable circumstances. Common situations that can lead to a wrongful death case include:
- Motor vehicle accident
- Hit and run accident
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accident
- Defective or dangerous product
- Unsafe property conditions.
An unexpected death brings a loss of love, company, and support, and it may also cause a serious financial burden. No amount of money can replace a lost loved one. However, a wrongful death lawsuit can bring financial relief that covers the expenses related to the death and can relieve any financial burden created by the loss.
How Is Wrongful Death Proven in Springfield, MA?
A death becomes wrongful death when it can be legally proven that the death resulted from negligence. This means that your wrongful death lawyers will need to closely examine the situation and build a case showing how negligence occurred.
Negligence is a legal concept and has four criteria that must be met. In a wrongful death case, proving negligence means showing all of the following:
- The other party had a duty of care to the deceased.
- This duty was violated.
- This violation directly caused damage.
- This damage can be proven in court.
In a wrongful death case, demonstrating and proving damage are both confirmed by the fact that the party in question is deceased. Thus, your wrongful death lawyer simply needs to build a strong case for how the negligent party’s actions caused the death.
If your loved one died in a work accident, your attorney will work to prove that unsafe work conditions caused the death. In a medical malpractice suit, your attorney will need to show that negligence by healthcare workers was the contributing factor. In a motor vehicle accident, an attorney will need to show how the other driver displayed negligence while driving.
What If the Deceased Was Partially Responsible?
Massachusetts is a comparative fault state. This means that in a Springfield wrongful death case, the deceased party’s contribution to circumstances leading to the death is considered.
If the deceased party is regarded as having more than a 50% contribution, compensation is not an option. If the deceased has less than 50% responsibility, damages are possible.
However, the overall compensation value will be reduced by the percentage assigned to the deceased’s level of responsibility. This means that if compensation is awarded at $100,000 in damages but the deceased is assigned 30% responsibility, you’ll only receive $70,000.
How Our Springfield Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help
Negligence that results in death comes with serious consequences. Legal action over a wrongful death can result in high damages payments and even legal charges. However, holding a negligent party responsible requires the assistance of a Springfield wrongful death attorney.
A Springfield wrongful death attorney will get to know you and the details surrounding your case. They’ll advise you of your options for pursuing compensation and work with you to collect the documentation for proving how negligence resulted in your loved one’s death.
Wrongful death lawyers may do the following:
- Gather documentation
- Investigate relevant medical records
- Submit legal paperwork correctly and promptly
- Identify a compensation target
- Build a case for proving negligence
- Negotiate a settlement on your behalf
- Aggressively represent you in court, if necessary.
When building a case to show wrongful death, time is of the essence. You increase your chances of receiving compensation by involving a Springfield wrongful death lawyer immediately. When you act promptly, your attorney has access to the case at a crucial time — before potential evidence is lost or destroyed.
When you fail to take legal action after a wrongful death, you lose out on the opportunity to receive compensation legally owed to you. If you don’t stand up for justice for your loved one, you also let the guilty party go without consequences — possibly allowing them the opportunity to cause similar damage again to another family.
Why Choose Cava Law Firm?
Winning Is NO Accident!
The unexpected loss of a loved one is usually accompanied by shock and grief. Family members must deal with funeral preparations and adjust to major changes to the family structure and finances. Oftentimes, the aftermath of a death is so overwhelming that family members don’t realize financial help is available.
When you lose a loved one due to another’s negligence, you need experienced wrongful death attorneys in Springfield to build a strong case for compensation. Cava Law Firm is an established personal injury firm with a strong track record of achieving successful results for clients.
The Springfield wrongful death attorneys at Cava Law Firm take a personalized approach to every case. Each client receives representation tailored to meet their needs in order to aim for the maximum compensation value possible.
Cava Law Firm believes that winning is no accident: It’s a matter of choosing an experienced wrongful death lawyer with a track record of success who gets to know you and fights for your rights.
If you’ve lost a loved one through negligence, compensation is available to help relieve the burden during this difficult time. Call Cava Law Firm at (413) 737-3430 to speak with a Springfield wrongful death lawyer today.
Wrongful Death Compensation
Our Skilled Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Pursue the Compensation You Deserve
When a loved one dies unexpectedly, it can take a serious toll on your family’s finances. Compensation for wrongful death in Springfield can cover a wide variety of financial losses incurred by the loss of the deceased.
Massachusetts law distinguishes between two types of damages payments: compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are intended to compensate you for losses incurred by the loss of a loved one. These are further divided into two types: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are financial losses or expenses. In a wrongful death case, economic damages can be sought for measurable financial loss. These may include expenses such as:
- Reasonable expected net income
- Loss of wages and benefits
- Loss of earning ability
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses.
When seeking economic damages, you must be able to demonstrate losses through physical proof like hospital bills and tax returns.
Non-economic damages are awarded as compensation for losses incurred by the death that cannot be quantified with a dollar amount. These can be harder to prove in many types of cases, but in a wrongful death case, they are easier to demonstrate.
Non-economic damages commonly include:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of services and assistance (like childcare)
- Pain and suffering.
Non-economic losses are intended to provide a form of compensation for the emotional damage caused by the loss.
The final type of available compensation in a wrongful death case is punitive damages. These are awarded as a punishment to the party responsible for the death.
Punitive damages aren’t available when a lawsuit goes through negotiation and settlement. Instead, they might be awarded by a judge if your case goes to court for a verdict. Punitive damages are only an option when it can be proven that the responsible party displayed gross negligence.
Massachusetts only places damages caps on certain medical malpractice claims, but these do not apply when the outcome is death. This means there’s no damages cap for wrongful death cases in Springfield, MA, so there’s no limit on the amount of money you might receive in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Common Questions About Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you believe you have grounds for a wrongful death case, you should immediately contact wrongful death attorneys in Springfield. Delaying legal action is a mistake, and it can cost you the compensation you deserve after a wrongful death has occurred.
A wrongful death lawyer will need to hear the specifics of your situation to let you know if you have a case and determine what needs to be done to take action. In general, if it can be demonstrated that your loved one was killed through another’s negligence, you probably have grounds for a wrongful death case.
Compensation can vary widely after a wrongful death case. Overall compensation is determined by the specifics of your situation, the strength of your case, the extent of medical bills and funeral costs, and whether a judge awards punitive damages.
In a wrongful death case, you can seek damages for the income you anticipated receiving from your loved one. If the deceased was a primary wage earner or had children, compensation will likely be higher than it would be if the deceased was in retirement and had no dependents.
However, every case is different and depends on the circumstances of the death and the degree of negligence demonstrated by the responsible party.
Massachusetts has a three-year statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death suit. There’s also an exception to this allowed by the discovery rule.
The discovery rule is designed to offer protection when it is not immediately recognized that the cause of death was eligible to be considered for a wrongful death suit.
When this is the case, the discovery rule allows for the three-year time limit to begin at the time of discovery rather than the time of death.
In order to file a wrongful death suit, you must have a close degree of relation to the deceased party. In Massachusetts, only close family members like spouses, children, and parents can file a wrongful death suit.
You won’t necessarily need to go to court. Most lawsuits settle through negotiation, because this is a much faster and less expensive form of resolution. The course of action right for you will be determined by your attorney.