When an individual loses their life by the misconduct, negligence or intentional actions of another, the surviving family members have the legal right to file a lawsuit for the “wrongful death” The victim’s loved ones should retain a top Rhode Island wrongful death lawyer. Because of the fatal injury, the victim’s family can file a claim or lawsuit against all parties at fault for the death as a measure of accountability and a way to seek financial compensation for all damages and losses sustained by the wrongful death.
Rhode Island Wrongful Death Lawyer
The Spouse or Family member is not entitled to file a wrongful death claim on their own in Providence Superior Court. In fact, only the duly appointed executor or administrator of the deceased who died in the fatal wreck may file a wrongful death cause of action utilizing a RI wrongful death lawyer. The executor must retain a top wrongful death lawyer in RI to litigate the deadly crash and seek compensation for the statutory determined beneficiaries.
How are wrongful death damages apportioned under RI law?
- RI law states ““…one-half (1/2) shall go to the husband or widow, and one-half (1/2) shall go to the children of the deceased, and if there are no children, the whole shall go to the husband or widow, and, if there is no husband or widow, to the next of kin, in the proportion provided by law in relation to the distribution of personal property left by persons dying intestate…” Law server
- The surviving family members of a wrongful death victim often face horrific financial burden by the untimely death. By filing a suit Providence or Newport Superior Court, the family can receive economic damages AND non-economic damages as a result of the fatal collision or fall.
The most common causes in cases handled by Rhode Island wrongful death lawyers:
- Every motorist has a legal responsibility to drive in a safe and conscientious manner to protect themselves and all others sharing the road. Unfortunately, more than 30,000 individuals die every year in motor vehicle accidents or car accidents where some type of negligence or reckless action caused injuries and death.
- Often the automobile (auto) driver disobeyed traffic laws, failed to account for hazardous road conditions, drove recklessly in congested traffic or neglected obvious hazards/dangers that required an adjustment in their driving behavior.
- Most deadly motor vehicle accidents and car accidents are usually trucking collisions involving Semi Trucks, Tractor Trailers, Big Rigs and 18 wheelers. If your loved one was killed in a tractor trailer crash in Rhode Island then you need to contact a RI truck accident lawyer who is also a Rhode Island wrongful death attorney. A RI wrongful death attorney will have experience litigating fatal trucking mishaps.
Motor Vehicle Accident in RI
Motorcycle accidents are also some of the most often deadly types of vehicular accidents in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. If a spouse, child or family member is killed in a RI motorcycle accident by a car or other motor vehicle then you need to retain a Rhode Island motorcycle accident lawyer. A garden variety rear end car accident in RI can become fatal if a car or suv rear-ends a motorcycle.
Mistakes, errors and failure to act professionally are the causes of many medical malpractice cases where the patient dies unexpectedly. Health care professionals and medical doctors are legally bound to provide treatment and optimal care by following acceptable standards of practice. Unfortunately, medical malpractice in Rhode Island happens when a medical professional is negligent in delivering appropriate medical care to individuals who consequently lose their lives.
Family members of the deceased patient can file a wrongful death claim against the facility and all medical professionals involved in the case including doctors, nurses, surgeons, psychologists, anesthesiologists and other health care providers who are legally responsible to provide care.
Nursing Home Neglect and abuse
Elderly, disabled and seriously ill individuals are among the most vulnerable in our society. When nursing staff and nursing facilities act negligently or abusively, the victim can easily succumb to their injuries. Nursing home neglect and abuse are common problems at facilities nationwide.
Sadly, many cases of nursing home neglect go unnoticed, undetected and unreported until it is too late. This is often because the victim feels too scared to tell others that their caregiver is being abusive or neglectful of their health and hygiene requirements. Neglect in a nursing facility often leads to bedsores (pressure sores; pressure ulcers; decubitus ulcers) that when left untreated can cause life-threatening open wounds and infections of the bone (osteomyelitis) or sepsis (blood poisoning).
Workplace Accident Death
Safety standards are set forth by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) that must be followed by employers to ensure the safety of every employee. Even so, workplace accidents are one of the leading causes of wrongful death cases in the United States. While a workplace accident can occur anywhere, the most common locations are construction sites, logging sites and mines. However, truck drivers, metalworkers, electricians and those working in the fishing industry are also considered to be in a high-risk occupation that has a greater potential of a work-related death than most jobs.
Sadly many wrongful death claims in Providence involve construction site accidents. In the event of a construction accident in Rhode Island then you should retain a RI construction accident lawyer. Not every Rhode Island personal injury attorney has expertise going to the mat, so to speak, with insurance adjusters in Rhode Island construction accident death causes of action. A Rhode Island workers compensation lawyer can also seek death benefits against an employer for a work related accident under the workers compensation statute.
Product Liability fatalities
The manufacturer, distributor or retailer of all products are legally accountable for items sold to the public. Unfortunately, faulty product designs and defective manufacturing processes lead to the death of many consumers. Sometimes, the manufacturer and retailer know that the product is dangerous but fail to provide adequate warning of any potential risk of injury or death directly associated with its use. Any failure to properly advise or warn the consumer can be the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit seeking financial compensation.
If you have lost a loved one through a wrongful death, you likely have a legal opportunity to file a suit or claim for compensation. Skilled Rhode Island wrongful death attorneys or a Rhode Island wrongful death lawyer will accept these types of cases on contingency and provide a free, initial consultation to determine the value of your case. A Rhode Island wrongful death lawyer will help the family of the deceased get the compensation they deserve and to seek justice on behalf of the innocent victim.
“Total fatalities in crashes with young drivers has decreased steadily over the 10-year period from 2005 to 2014, resulting in a 48-percent decrease in fatalities during that time, as seen in Table 1. Fatalities among young drivers, the passengers of young drivers, and occupants of other vehicles all declined by approximately half (51%, 54%, and 44%, respectively). However, nonoccupant fatalties in young driver-related crashes decreased by only 28 percent during the same 10-year period.” NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts 2014 Data 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE. Washington, DC 20590 May 2016 DOT HS 812 278
Hold the individual or company responsible for the death legally accountable
The unexpected loss of a loved one is a devastating experience where the grieving process lasts for many years. Because of the overwhelming despair, many families never consider taking legal action to hold the individual or company responsible for the death legally accountable for their negligence, recklessness or intentional act. In most incidences, the unexpected death will place a huge financial burden on the surviving spouse who is left behind to support the family and provide emotional support to others, all while grieving. A Rhode Island wrongful death attorney will help the victim’s spouse, family and children get the justice they deserve and the compensation they need!
Rhode Island wrongful death attorney
While no amount of compensation can return the loved one, the grieving family should never have to pay for funeral expenses, hospital bills or the loss of financial support caused by a wrongful death. A Rhode Island wrongful death attorney can assist families who need to seek justice and obtain financial compensation for their damages. A reputable RI personal injury attorney or Rhode Island wrongful wrongful death lawyer can help determine whether survivors have a case and do all the legwork such as:
• File a claim
• Gather evidence
• Reconstruct the accident or incident
• Speak to eyewitnesses
• Negotiate an out-of-court settlement
• Build a case for trial when necessary
• Present evidence in front of a judge and jury
Under Rhode Island law any funds received as a result of the fatal RI car accident claim are to be split as follows: “…one-half (1/2) shall go to the husband or widow, and one-half (1/2) shall go to the children of the deceased, and if there are no children, the whole shall go to the husband or widow, and, if there is no husband or widow, to the next of kin, in the proportion provided by law in relation to the distribution of personal property left by persons dying intestate…” Law server
Defining Wrongful Death in Rhode Island
Wrongful death is a legal term used in civil court that refers to any death caused by another person or entity through a negligent, intentional or reckless act. Common types of wrongful death cases involve medical malpractice, vehicle accidents, defective pharmaceuticals (bad drugs), community pool drowning, nursing home abuse and premises liability accidents along with serious intentional actions including physical assault that leads to death.
State and federal tort laws provide surviving family members the opportunity to file a claim or lawsuit against all parties responsible for the death of a loved one. In Rhode Island, only the executor or administrator of an estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the statutory beneficiaries. Wrongful death lawsuits and claims for compensation hold others responsible for their negligence, recklessness or intentional actions causing the fatal car, truck or motorcycle accident.
Proving a Case for Wrongful Death in Providence Superior Court
To be successful in a Rhode Island wrongful death car or motor vehicle cause of action, it is the responsibility of the estate’s Providence personal injury attorneys or Rhode Island Island wrongful death attorney, to prove four specific elements in the case by showing:
1. The wrongful death case was filed because a person died;
2. The death was caused by the negligence, recklessness or intentional actions of another;
3. The tortfeasor owed a duty of due care to the person killed in the RI automobile wreck or RI car crash
What are the most common types of accidents leading to fatalities in Rhode Island
The following types of collisions or mishaps are often deadly:
- motorcycle accidents,
- bicycle accidents,
- truck and tractor trailer collisions,
- construction accidents and
- car accidents in RI.
Wrongful Death Damages in RI and Providence Plantations
The wrongful death attorney in Rhode Island will build a case on a financial or pecuniary injury to the surviving family members of the decedent killed by the actions of others. In a civil court action, a pecuniary injury can involve a loss of support, loss of inheritance, loss of services, funeral and medical expenses and others. In most cases, the law awards damages for a wrongful death at a compensation level that is fair and just in equal proportion to the value lost by the decedent’s death.
In most cases, the amount sought in a claim will cover medical bills, funeral expenses, recompense for grief and the total value of lost financial support along with attorney fees, court fees, and all other expenses directly associated with the case. Under RI law the statutory beneficiaries may be entitled to: prospective income / earnings, value of homemaker’s services, punitive damages, hospital and medical expenses prior to death and Pain and suffering prior to death. RI car accident
Hiring a Providence Car Accident Attorney or Rhode Island wrongful death attorney
Hiring a Rhode Island wrongful death lawyer is a sure way that surviving family members can obtain a successful resolution to their claim for compensation. A reputable East providence personal injury attorney will use successful theories of law to build a strong case for compensation. Most of these types of cases are handled through a contingency fee agreement. This means all of the attorney fees are paid only after the law firm negotiates an acceptable out of court settlement or wins a jury award in a lawsuit trial.
Rhode Island car accident lawyer
Selecting an experienced, strong Rhode Island wrongful death attorney to represent the estate of a loved one allows the family to remain focused on mourning the unexpected death of a loved one. The RI fatal motorcycle accident lawyer or Rhode island truck accident attorney can ensure all the families rights are protected while they seek justice to hold all parties at fault for the death legally and financially accountable for their actions.
Massachusetts wrongful death
Can someone proceed with a wrongful death case under Massachusetts Law when they were not executor or administrator of the deceased estate at the time of the presentment of the case? Can someone proceed with a Mass. Wrongful death case when the MA Superior Court complaint was not brought by the administrator or executor of the estate?
Massachusetts wrongful death lawyer
The Massachusetts Appeals Court sitting in Middlesex County MA emphatically answered these 2 questions ‘NO’! affirming the lower Court dismissal.(It is unclear whether there is an appeal pending to the Supreme Judicial court) Pursuant to Massachusetts wrongful death law, before a lawsuit can be filed there must be a probate of the estate and “obtain the appointment of the executor or administrator necessary to file a wrongful death claim…” In the Estate of Gavin case, “The judge did not err in concluding that the presentment was improper because the claimant lacked the legal capacity to make a presentment for wrongful death. Apart from the failure of presentment, the complaint for wrongful death also could not properly be maintained and was subject to dismissal because it had not been brought by the duly authorized executor or administrator on behalf of the heirs at law and next of kin as required by statute.” As a result, the court affirmed he dismissal of the lawsuit. ESTATE OF GAVIN v. TEWKSBURY STATE HOSPITAL
(Editor Note: Sadly a man died in a tragic accident and the heirs of the estate will not be compensated unless the Massachusetts wrongful death lawyer committed legal malpractice by improperly presenting the case. There is not enough public info to determine whether there was malpractice in this case. In the event of legal malpractice, the claimants would need to file a legal malpractice case against their Massachusetts wrongful death attorneys alleging the mA medical malpractice lawyers botched the case.)
Death from a “bacterial infection allegedly due to the improper re insertion of a feeding tube…”
- In August 2008, Mr. Gavin died from a “bacterial infection allegedly due to the improper re insertion of a feeding tube and improper monitoring by physicians and staff at Tewksbury State Hospital.” Id.
- He had a will when he died naming his parents as executors of the estate.
- “In July 2010 (approximately 20 days prior to the two year presentment requirement required by Massachusetts law) an attorney for the Plaintiff sent a demand letter to the hospital; and the Attorney general seeking damages on account of a wrongful death.” Id.
- “The presentment letter set forth in detail the basis of the claim of wrongful death. At the time of the presentment, no Probate and Family Court filings had occurred, and no executor or administrator of Gavin’s estate had been appointed.” Id.
- A motion to dismiss was filed by the defendants.
- The plaintiff scrambled to get their case in order.
- “The plaintiff promptly opposed the motion and made some preliminary attempts to address the fact that there was no duly appointed personal representative empowered to bring the wrongful death action. On May 10, 2011, Thomas and Mary were appointed temporary coexecutors of Gavin’s estate. As well, on May 13, 2011, the plaintiff moved to amend the complaint, bringing it in the name of “James T. Gavin and Mary Gavin, as Coexecutors of the Estate of Steven Gavin.” Id.
- A MA Superior Court judge dismissed the cause of action finding that the Plaintiff lacked “legal capacity to make a valid presentment” because the claimant who made the presentment was not the “executor or administrator with the capacity to commence suit or settle the wrongful death claim” Id.
- Read more about Wrongful Death in MA here
- The Appeal Co0urt reasoned that presentment was not meaningless and there was strong public policy behind the presentment requirement. “Establishing presentment as a mandatory prerequisite to suit reflects a legislative choice to permit the public employer to investigate any claim in full and to negotiate, arbitrate, compromise, or settle any such claim as it sees fit. Id. See Weaver v. Commonwealth, 387 Mass. 43, 47–48, 438 N.E.2d 831 (1982); Holahan v. Medford, 394 Mass. 186, 189, 474 N.E.2d 1117 (1985)”
- The Appeals Court also ruled that “The failure of an authorized claimant to make a presentment within the two-year period prescribed by G.L. c. 258, § 4, was a fundamental obstacle to suit under the Act.” Furthermore the action was dismissed because the “complaint for wrongful death was not brought by the duly authorized executor or administrator on behalf of the heirs at law and next of kin.” Id.
The Centers for Disease Control and National Safety Council report that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children and young adults from the ages of five to 24. The National Center for Statistics and Analysis revealed that in 2014, 32,675 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents on United States roads. About 2.3 million were injured. What’s shocking is that after all of the public service announcements and safety reminders, the NSC found that traffic deaths in the United States increased every month for six months during the first half of 2015 when compared with 2014.
2015 first half numbers
Statistics aren’t available for 2015 yet, and the deadly holiday season has started. In the first six months of 2015, almost 19,000 people have been killed on America’s roadways and in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Depending on what numbers you’re looking at, that’s up to a 14 percent increase over the same period last year.
Wrongful death claims in RI
When a person dies as a result of a motor vehicle collision in Rhode Island that was the fault of somebody else, the RI laws permits their survivors to file a wrongful death action. The most common types 0f fatal accidents in RI include truck accidents, motorcycle collisions, premises liability and car wrecks. In Rhode Island, the executor of the estate of the deceased must retain a Rhode Island wrongful death lawyer to prosecute the deadly car wreck litigation. Damages in a wrongful death action i n Providence Superior Court generally consist of:
- Lost earnings
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship
Wrongful death cases are determined under the law of negligence. A person is deemed negligent when they perform an act or fail to act in a manner consistent with how a reasonably prudent person would under the same circumstances. To prove negligence, four elements must be shown. If any single element can’t be proved, the entire case fails. Those elements are:
- A duty to the person who died
- The driver committed an act or omission that breached that duty
- The breach of duty directly caused the victim’s death
- The death resulted in damages recognized damages
Rhode Island Wrongful death cases involve complicated litigation. The only way to compensate that family is through payment of damages. Each person’s life has an economic value, and an economic value has to be placed on the life of the person who died. Regardless of the type of negligence that caused the death of a family member, it is important that the wife, child or family of the person killed in the crash retain a top RI wrongful death lawyer or a Rhode Island personal injury attorney who is also a Rhode Island wrongful death attorney for a successful resolution of any wrongful death claims. Surviving family members deserve fair compensation.
Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyers
(Editors note: the plaintiff appeared to be in a quagmire because the case according to the Appeals Court was not presented properly as required by Mass law. Plaintiff also filed the case based on the same faulty presentment. Plaintiffs tried to cover their tracks by filing a probate case to be named executors but then the two years had expired and it was too late to make a proper presentment. To make matters worse, the Plaintiff was denied a request to change the name of the Plaintiff in the lawsuit to the proper name. It appears doubtful that it would have made any difference if the motion to amend the complaint was granted since the initial presentment was deficient and the two year wrongful death lawsuit deadline expired for proper presentment of the claim. What a mess! )
(Editors note: Did the MA wrongful death lawyers rush this claim to meet the 2 year presentment requirement deadline required by MA law? The presentment was only approximately 20 days prior to the two year deadline. A Probate case had not been opened and an executor had not been appointed and therefore the presentment was not in the name of the executor of the estate.)
It is unclear whether the MA medical malpractice lawyer was hired at last minute or the wrongful death attorney made a tragic mistake by waiting until the last minute and then not filing an estate and bringing the presentment by the executor or some other mistake was made. At the end of the day: what is clear- is that someone dropped the ball big time and a mistake was made. As a result the victim’s estate will not be compensated for this tragic death. (There is not enough information here to explain what went wrong.)
Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.