Attorneys with Over 100 Years Combined Experience Representing Boston Families in Wrongful Death CasesThe lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck, P.C. represent individuals and their families throughout Massachusetts who have suffered the loss of a loved relative due to wrongful death. Wrongful death causes emotional and financial hardship for family members. Sometimes the wrongful death will be preceded by a period of pain and suffering, which can also be compensable.
At Breakstone, White & Gluck, P.C. of Boston, we understand that when an accident happens, lives are forever changed. The emotional damage can be severe, and the economic losses are often devastating. Wrongful death can be caused by car accidents, defective products, construction site accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence or other negligent, careless, or reckless conduct. When gross negligence or reckless conduct is involved, one may also be able to obtain punitive damages. Our wrongful death attorneys provide effective, aggressive investigation and representation in wrongful death cases.
Massachusetts Laws Regarding Wrongful Death
Massachusetts laws regarding wrongful death cases are complex and technical. M.G.L. Ch. 229, § 2 states a person who causes the death of another by “willful, wanton or reckless act” can be held liable for damages.
The law strictly governs who may recover, such as a spouse, children, parents, or siblings. Claims must be brought through the estate of the deceased relative, and are brought by the estates personal representative.
Damages in Massachusetts Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death damages typically include compensation to close relatives for the loss of future income, loss of companionship and love, and loss of support of their loved one. Although the loss of future earnings may be significant, the most significant aspect of any wrongful death case is usually the loss of the emotional attachment the loved one provided.
Conscious pain and suffering. In some cases, a claim may also be brought for conscious pain and suffering. If a person is fatally injured of suffering from injuries that could have been medically prevented, the period of suffering before death can be horrific. This is a separate element in a wrongful death case, though the matters are litigated together.
Gross negligence. In cases where the defendant’s negligence is extremely egregious, punitive damages may be available to punish the defendant’s conduct and to deter further grossly negligent conduct. Gross negligence is conduct that is substantially greater than ordinary negligence. In a case going back one hundred years, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court stated the gross negligence, “[I]s an act or omission respecting legal duty of an aggravated character as distinguished from a mere failure to exercise ordinary care. It is very great negligence, or the absence of slight diligence, or the want of even scant care. It amounts to indifference to present legal duty and to utter forgetfulness of legal obligations so far as other persons may be affected. It is a heedless and palpable violation of legal duty respecting the rights of others.” Altman v. Aronson, 231 Mass. 588, 592 (1919).
When to Speak to a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death cases are always emotional. When you are grieving, you should not make any major decisions without consulting an attorney. You should not enter into any settlement, sign any release or accept any money in exchange for releasing an individual, corporation, or insurance company from liability without first knowing what insurance coverage or other redress is available to you and your family.
Breakstone, White & Gluck, P.C. is experienced in the handling of complex wrongful death cases and can help you decide your best course of action and develop the best legal strategy for your case.
Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death Cases
In Massachusetts, there is a Statute of Limitations which applies to wrongful death cases. M.G.L. Ch. 229, § 2 provides families with three years from the date of death, or three years from the date the executor or administrator of the estate learned about the cause of death, to commence an action.
Because the Statute of Limitations applies to wrongful death cases, families have a limited time frame in which to file the case. If you feel you have a wrongful death case, it is vital that you contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer immediately to protect your rights. A lawyer needs to launch an investigation and preserve the evidence.
Read more about hiring a wrongful death attorney and answers to common questions.
The experienced lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck, PC have handled numerous wrongful death cases in Massachusetts, representing those killed in pedestrian accidents, bicycle crashes, construction accidents and by medical mistakes. Read more on our Case Reports page and below:
Wrongful Death Cases Following Traffic Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents and Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Crosswalk Crash, resulting in the death of a 33-year-old mother.
- Truck Driver Runs Over Motorcyclist, resulting in the man's wrongful death.
Wrongful Death Cases Following Medical Malpractice
- Failure to Diagnose Ovarian Cancer, resulting in wrongful death of a 44-year-old woman.
- Failure to Diagnose Neck Fracture, resulting in paralysis and wrongful death
- Failure to Diagnose Severe Sinus Infection, resulting in wrongful death of Boston, MA teenager from meningitis.
- Crane Accident, resulting in conscious pain and suffering and wrongful death.
- Propane Gas Explosion, resulting in the death of an electrician working in a new condo.
Contact An Experienced Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
Please call us at 617-723-7676 (or toll free at 1-800-379-1244), or use our contact form. Get your free legal consultation today with Breakstone, White & Gluck, P.C.
- Fatalities Caused by Boating Accidents
- Fatalities Caused by Car Accidents
- Fatalities Caused by Construction Accidents
- Fatalities Caused by Defective Products
- Fatalities Caused by Drunk Driving Accidents
- Fatalities Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
- Fatalities Caused by Negligent Security
- Fatalities Caused by Pedestrian Accidents
- Fatalities Caused by Truck Accidents
- Fatalities Caused by Accidents on Property
- Fatalities Caused by Medical Malpractice
- Fatalities Caused by Pharmacy Errors