When a person dies in Massachusetts due to the deliberate behavior, recklessness or negligence of somebody else, their surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of lawsuit is a civil court action that allows a person to collect monetary damages. However, not just anyone has grounds for filing this type of suit.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
A simple case of a person undergoing a serious personal injury means that the person can file a lawsuit against the person that caused their injury. When it comes to the death of a person, they’re obviously unable to fill the lawsuit against the person who caused their death. Instead, the family members of the victim are able to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Each state has its own laws regarding who is allowed to file a wrongful death suit when a death occurs. Most of the states will declare that any surviving spouses and children can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In some states, they include extended family members like siblings and even grandparents.
What do you need to prove?
Once you determine that you’re eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in your state, the next thing you need to worry about is your burden of proof. There are two items that you need to establish to have a successful lawsuit. The first is that you must prove that the defendant was the direct cause of your loved one’s death. The second thing you must prove is that you suffered measurable damages because of the loss of your loved one.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be a bit tricky to understand at first. This is a type of lawsuit that it’s highly advisable to contact an attorney to help you with due to its complexity.