When a person is injured as a result of negligence or carelessness, the injured victim is entitled to obtain compensation. In some tragic cases, however, the injured victim is killed as a result of the accident and injuries. When this occurs, a wrongful death claim can be brought by the surviving family members of the deceased.
Wrongful death claims are intended not only to make the negligent party pay for what he did to the deceased but also to make him pay for the devastation he caused to the loved ones left behind. With a life cut short, the damages are great in wrongful death cases and it is important to be represented by an experienced and dedicated Boston wrongful death lawyer so you can obtain the maximum compensation available under the law.Understanding Wrongful Death Damages
Personal injury cases are intended to make victims “whole,” or to try to put them back into the same position they would have been in had the accident never occurred. With wrongful death, of course, this is not possible since no amount of money will bring back your lost loved one. Still, Massachusetts’ law tries to ensure that you receive compensation that is fair and just.
As such, there are a number of different categories of wrongful death damages that you should be entitled to if you bring a claim on behalf of a loved one who has been killed. Some examples of wrongful death damages available include:
- Compensation for medical expenses incurred before death by the deceased as a result of his injuries.
- Compensation for the benefits the deceased lost. If the person who was killed lost out on retirement or pension benefits due to the untimely death, then these actual economic losses must be factored in to calculating wrongful death damages.
- Compensation for loss of future wages/earnings. Had the accident never occurred, the deceased would likely have continued to move along in his career and to earn a living both currently and in the future. Any money that the deceased should have made over the course of the rest of his life is lost due to the untimely death and the person responsible for the death must pay for this loss.
- Compensation for loss of companionship. This category of damages recognizes that it is not just the deceased who lost something important. The surviving family members lost out on sharing their lives with someone they loved, and they will now be without this important relationship. The person who cut the life short must pay for this tremendous cost.
Finally, in certain limited cases it may also be possible to obtain compensation for punitive damages. This is generally possible only under egregious circumstances where the defendant who caused the death engaged in a willful, wanton or grossly negligent manner.Calculating Wrongful Death Damages
Calculating wrongful death damages can be quite complex for many reasons. There are, of course, many uncertainties including how much the deceased would have made if he had lived and how long he would have continued to live had the accident never occurred. While putting a price on the economic losses, such as lost future earnings, is tough, it is even more difficult to assess a fair amount of money to pay for loss of companionship.
There are, however, some standard methods used to calculate some of the types of damages that are available. For example, determining the lost income damages involves looking at life expectancy of the deceased as well as making reasoned estimates on how long he would have been able to continue working and what he would have earned. The present value of the future loss must also be determined.Getting Legal Help
Due to the difficulties in coming up with an accurate calculation for wrongful death damages and due to the high amounts of money often involved in these cases, it is very important that you have a legal advocate if you are bringing a wrongful death claim.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, our experienced Boston wrongful death lawyers know and understand how to make a compelling wrongful death claim and how to maximize your damages. We will fight for you every step of the way to ensure you get the compensation that you deserve. To schedule your free consultation and learn more about how we can help you, get in touch with us today at (617) 367-2900 or contact us online.Wrongful Death Legal Help – (617) 367-2900 – Free Consultation