A wrongful death case is a civil claim brought about by the survivors or estate of a person whose death was caused by the negligence or intentional actions of another. Every person has the duty imposed by case law to abstain from injuring another person or his property. A wrongful death case can be based upon: intentional conduct, negligence (not intentional conduct) or strict liability for ultra hazardous activities or defective products which cause a person’s death.

Go here to see Massachusetts’ Wrongful Death Statute 

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?

Heirs and personal representatives can file a wrongful death lawsuit. An “heir” is anyone that can inherit from the decedent, if the decedent died without a will. This often includes the decedent’s surviving spouse or domestic partner, children, parents or brothers and sisters of the decedent.

  • Spouses – The surviving spouse most always has a claim for the lost companionship that resulted from the deceased’s death, as well as for their own emotional trauma arising out of the death.
  • Children – Minors (occasionally adult children) may also be awarded damages for the lost benefits of their connection with the deceased parent, including comfort and support.
  • Parents – Parents of a child who has passed away can also recover damages for emotional trauma and the lost relationship.

Sometimes, depending on the circumstances surrounding the deceased’s death, courts may award punitive damages to other surviving family members. These damages  are designed to punish the defendant and to deter similar behavior in the future.

Contact An Attorney

If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Dussault & Zatir to see if you have a case.


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