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Questions Answered by James A. Swartz
3 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Massachusetts on
Q: Is proving wrongful death occurred different than proving regular car accident negligence?
James A.  Swartz
James A. Swartz answered on Dec 18, 2018

The negligence (liability) component of the case would not change, i.e. was there a duty of care breached by the defendant? There are, however, different procedural and damages elements for a wrongful death case, as compare to a personal injury case. A lawyer can provide specific guidance,... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Massachusetts on
Q: Can we file a claim even if the other person was not found directly at fault?
James A.  Swartz
James A. Swartz answered on Sep 26, 2018

I assume by "other person" you are referring to a potential defendant who allegedly caused or contributed to the death at issue. Wrongful death claims can be brought by the decedent's estate against any person or entity who caused, or substantially contributed to cause, the alleged wrongful death.... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Massachusetts on
Q: If someone is killed by a drunk driver, does the state file charges or are we able to sue for wrongful death?
James A.  Swartz
James A. Swartz answered on Aug 17, 2018

In such a circumstance, criminal charges will likely be pursued by the State. However, individuals (or Estates of individuals) who have suffered harm my pursue a civil action against the drunk driver, or against an establishment that allegedly served alcohol to an intoxicated patron, contributing... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Massachusetts on
Q: How soon after the death can the survivors bring a wrongful death case?
James A.  Swartz
James A. Swartz answered on Aug 3, 2018

The Estate of the decedent may bring a claim at any time after the death, until the statute of limitation expires.

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2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for Massachusetts on
Q: I heard there's a time limit on filing a suit, but what if i get add'l complications as time goes by?
James A.  Swartz
James A. Swartz answered on Aug 3, 2018

Although there are some circumstances when the "tolling" of a statute of limitations can occur, the clock almost always starts ticking from the date of injury, or when a potential plaintiff reasonably should have known of an injury. The fact that an initial injury has gotten worse over time does... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Massachusetts on
Q: Are punitive damages recoverable in wrongful death actions?
James A.  Swartz
James A. Swartz answered on Jul 19, 2018

Punitive damages are recoverable only in certain circumstances, as specified by the wrongful death statute. Thus, when there is evidence that a death was caused by malicious, willful, wanton or reckless conduct, or by "gross" negligence, there may be such a recovery. The standard of proof for such... Read more »

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