When negligence results in an accident that leads to a person’s death, the surviving relatives and dependents of the victim may claim wrongful death compensation. In the state of Massachusetts this compensation can be claimed by filing Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuits.
The value of the damages which may be claimed is estimated in different ways. One way is to compensate for the expenses incurred as a result of the victim’s death. Punitive damages are meant to punish those responsible for their negligent or intentional acts when the circumstances surrounding the negligence are extreme in nature.
Compensatory damages in Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuits may include:
• The costs of medical care;
• The costs of the funeral and burial;
• The loss of income, including future earnings, wages, salary, and benefits that otherwise would have been realized;
• The loss of family relations such as love, protection, guidance, and companionship;
• The loss of services such as child care, shopping, transportation, and home maintenance;
• Compensation for any pain and suffering that was caused by medical negligence.
In order to receive wrongful death compensation, the plaintiffs must prove the value of the damages by providing evidence in court. This evidence may be in the form of receipts for the services and products that were paid for, or testimony from relatives, friends, experts and medical professionals.
In Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuits, punitive damages may be awarded by a judge or jury in addition to any compensatory damages. This may be imposed in whatever amount a judge or jury sees fit, based on the evidence provided and the particulars of the case. This is meant to punish the offense of medical negligence, and discourage similar negligence in the future and is only applied in cases where extreme negligence has taken place.
Limits on Damages
Because some states felt that punitive damages were being awarded too frequently and excessively, they’ve place limits on the amount of money that a plaintiff can receive. To find out the rules and limits on wrongful death compensation in Massachusetts, you can seek the expertise of a Massachusetts wrongful death lawyer.