According to a recent story from WMUR, a Massachusetts woman crashed her Honda Civic into a recreational vehicle (RV) on Route 9. The Civic was traveling on Route 9 when it allegedly crossed into the other lane and struck the RV, according to police. The RV was built in 1974 and obviously lacked some of the safety equipment found on modern vehicles.
Tragically, the driver of the Civic and her two passengers were killed in this accident. The driver of the RV was taken to a hospital to be treated for serious but non-fatal injuries. A passenger in the RV was also killed in the accident. The RV was also towing a car that was destroyed in the accident. While it is known that the Civic hit the RV, police have not concluded who was ultimately responsible for the deadly motor vehicle crash and are continuing to investigate.
As your Boston car accident attorney can explain, cases involving the deaths of both the plaintiff and defendant typically require extra attention. First, the plaintiff’s surviving heirs (family members) will need to open a probate estate. The probate process is designed to pay any final debts of the decedent’s estate and distribute any assets remaining in the estate.
It will also be necessary to open a probate estate for the defendant. Any award for civil judgment beyond the policy limits of the negligent driver’s insurance plan must be paid from the estate.
If the decedent had a will, the person listed as executor or personal representative will handle the estate. If the person did not have a will, they are said to have died intestate under the law. His or her heirs will be determined by law under what is known as the table of consanguinity for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. One of the heirs will be appointed by the court to serve as administrator. This personal representative or administrator will be the one filing any lawsuits in the name of the estate that he or she represents.
A wrongful death lawsuit is brought in the name of the estate to collect damages for personal injury, including pain and suffering, lost earnings and future income, associated medical bills and funeral expenses. The personal representative, and possibly other family members, may bring claims in their personal capacity for loss of consortium and, in some cases, the negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Loss of consortium is a claim in a personal injury or wrongful death action demanding financial compensation from the negligent party for the loss of the intangible benefits of a marital relationship, such as love and affection.
The negligent infliction of emotional distress is a claim of financial compensation from those who were emotionally affected by the death of a family member. This claim is not always appropriate and may require special circumstances.
You should speak with your car accident attorney about the specific facts of your situation to see which claims are appropriate.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment: 1-888-367-2900.
3 killed in Route 9 crash in Stoddard, August 3, 2014, WMUR
More Blog Entries:
Why Do Boston Drivers Hit and Run?, July 3, 2014, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog