According to a recent story from 7 News Boston, a pedestrian was killed in a crash in Cambridge. Police are reporting that a car traveling in the eastbound lane of Memorial Drive hit a 50-year-old man.
Police are still investigating the cause of the accident and why the man was in the roadway. The man was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he was pronounced dead.
Our Boston car accident lawyers know a motor vehicle crash involving a pedestrian often leads to serious injury or death. In these tragic cases, it is often a surviving spouse, child, or parent who will file a case on behalf of the decedent’s estate. The decedent’s estate is entitled to any financial compensation for pain and suffering the victim experienced before death. The estate may also be entitled to lost wages, medical bills that stemmed from the accident, and funeral expenses, if that money was paid from the assets of the estate.
Surviving heirs may be entitled to file claims in their own capacity for loss of consortium and negligent infliction of emotional distress. There may also be a possibility for “special damages,” which your car accident lawyer can explain.
The first thing that typically needs to happen in a case like this is for the surviving spouse or other heir to go to the Family and Probate Court for Suffolk County and open an estate. If decedent had a last will and testament, there will be a personal representative (executor) named in the will who the court can appoint to manage the process. If the decedent did not have a will, he or she is said to have died “intestate,” and the court will appoint an administrator of the estate. This will normally be the surviving spouse or other heir at law.
Once an estate is opened, your attorney can file a case in the name of the estate. If there is a settlement or jury award, proceeds will be distributed to heirs in the will, if decedent had a will. If decedent was intestate, proceeds of the settlement or jury verdict will be distributed according to laws on intestate distribution in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This is a complicated process that relies on what is known as the table of consanguinities. Since the facts of every case are different, your personal injury attorney will be able to explain how this applies to your situation.
The most important thing you can do if you are the surviving heir of someone killed in a car accident is gather as much information as possible, including the police report, death certificate, and names of any witnesses you know to have observed the tragic accident.
If someone from an insurance company contacts you, and there is a good chance they will, you should not make any statements or sign any documents without first speaking with a car accident lawyer. This insurance company is only interested in paying out as little as possible on potential claims and does not have your family’s well-being on its list of priorities.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment: (617) 777-7777.
Pedestrian killed in Cambridge car crash, August 19, 2014, 7 News Boston
More Blog Entries:
Estate of Edmund M. Carman v. Tinkes: On Motions for Summary Judgment, August 14, 2014, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog