The U.S. state of Massachusetts has set up certain laws that govern wrongful death lawsuits. It has a certain way of defining “wrongful death”. In this post, we will look at a few examples of wrongful deaths in Massachusetts. But before that, let’s see how the state defines a wrongful death.
How Massachusetts Defines “Wrongful Death”
The law of Massachusetts states that a company or person may be responsible for the death of an individual if the death is caused by the company or person by:
1. Negligence, or failure in exercising reasonable care
2. A warranty breach
3. A “reckless act or wanton”
In all these three situations, a claim of wrongful death may be filed in case the deceased individual could be able to file a case of personal injury on that particular incident if the individual had lived.
Here are a few situations in which you can file such case:-
1. Death Caused by a Company
When a company can be held responsible for a death because of doing something wrong or negligence, a death case can be filed against the company. As a company is not any person and cannot possess motivation leading to the intent of causing a death, murder cannot be a valid criminal charge. For instance, if an individual dies due to eating something from the factory that contained bacteria, the company did not commit any murder. However, the company did lead to a death and a claim of wrongful death can be filed against it.
2. Car Accidents
Accidents may happen for different reasons, such as operator malfunctions, inclement driving conditions, natural disasters, mechanical malfunctions, and weather. In some cases, lawsuits of wrongful death are pursued in such situations. Sometimes, however, they can also lead to involuntary manslaughter or manslaughter charges, like DUI manslaughter cases.
3. Medical Negligence
Medical negligence can be of many types that may lead to wrongful death. Situations like a doctor unable to treat any existing symptom or a pharmacist putting wrong drugs accidentally in a prescription, don’t involve any intent to kill. So, it cannot be murder. However, the death of the individual could have been prevented or avoided.
In case of a death, determining whether or not to file a wrongful death lawsuit may not be easy. A lawyer experienced in handling such cases may help guide about the options and rights in such a situation.