When a death occurs due to the negligence of another, the law refers to this tragedy as a “wrongful death.”
Experienced Caring Representation for Wrongful Death Claims
Firm founder Mike Bottaro has helped prosecute numerous wrongful death claims throughout our Rhode Island and Massachusetts communities. At our firm, you will meet and speak directly with Mike. You can expect a confidential conversation at no cost to help answer your questions and develop a strategy to help.
While no amount of money can ever truly make up for the loss of a loved one, you are entitled to recover for your expenses and other financial damages, and it is important that you stand up for your rights and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Highly Respected by Fellow Attorneys
"I am impressed by Mike’s professionalism and knowledge. He is a great advocate for his clients."
Personal injury Attorney
We have a proven track record of successfully handling these cases. At The Bottaro Law Firm, Mike can help you understand the process and support a detailed investigation and prosecution of the case.
The Cases We Handle
The term “wrongful death” refers to any situation in which a person’s or company’s negligent or wrongful acts or omissions cause someone else’s death. In many cases (such as auto accidents), multiple parties may be responsible for losses. The Bottaro Law Firm represents family members of wrongful death victims in all types of cases, including:
- Boating accidents
- Car collisions
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Dangerous premises and unsafe work sites
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice and nursing home abuse
- Motorcycle accidents
In any situation involving personal injury or wrongful death, it is important to engage an experienced law firm quickly to protect your interests and speak on your behalf. From investigating the scene of the accident to getting out in front of the insurance companies, there is a lot to be done in a relatively short period of time. But, if you were too emotionally distraught to deal with the accident right away, we will still try to help you. Regardless of the circumstances, we can still provide comprehensive and vigorous representation to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Financial Recoveries for Wrongful Death in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
The laws of Rhode Island and Massachusetts allow wrongful death claims to be brought on behalf of the deceased individual’s estate. Affected family members can also bring claims directly under certain circumstances, and may themselves have claims for personal losses. The laws governing wrongful death claims are complicated and somewhat unique, and we have years of experience navigating the legal and procedural aspects of successfully suing for wrongful death.
In any wrongful death litigation, the estate and surviving family members may be entitled to recover a variety of types of damages. Depending on the circumstances, these may include:
- The deceased’s medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of care and companionship
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Regardless of the facts at hand, you can rely on Bottaro Law to give you an experienced, compassionate and effective assessment of your case, and if we represent you, a vigorous representation to fight for the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
Reasons to Choose Bottaro Law for your Wrongful Death Case
- Millions recovered for our clients
- Top rated attorneys
- Quick & Courteous service
Important Time Deadlines: Consult With Mike Today
There are important time deadlines. After a tragedy, it is critical that you consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to preserve legal rights and evidence. We understand this and make ourselves available 24/7. If you have questions about your loved one’s death or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact us today or fill out our online contact form and we will promptly respond.
Wrongful Death FAQs
What is wrongful death?
When an individual’s death is caused by the wrongful actions (or inactions) of another, it is an unfortunate tragedy that is oftentimes referred to as a wrongful death. A wrongful death claim may be brought against the individuals or entities that caused the death; and in many cases, more than one party may be named as possible defendants. Although a wrongful death may occur in any number of ways, common causes of wrongful deaths include workplace injuries, motor vehicle accidents, drunk driving accidents, medical malpractice, fires, and defective products.
Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island laws provide that a party may be liable for the wrongful death of an individual if the party causes such death due to negligence. Massachusetts law also provides that a party may be liable for a person’s wrongful death if that party conducted a “wanton or reckless act” and/or breached a warranty that caused the death.
The laws governing wrongful death actions in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are complicated, nuanced, and specific; it is important to discuss your potential wrongful death claim with a reputable, knowledgeable attorney with significant experience in bringing successful lawsuits pursuant to these laws.
Who can bring a wrongful death claim?
In a wrongful death case, the injured person is deceased and is therefore unable to bring a lawsuit on his or her own behalf. However, the laws of Massachusetts and Rhode Island do permit wrongful death actions to be brought on behalf of the estate of the deceased individual. In many cases, affected family members who are not the executor/administrator may also bring wrongful death lawsuits. These individuals may have their own claims for personal losses.
As wrongful death actions are civil lawsuits, any liability on part of the defendant(s) is expressed only in terms of economic, monetary damages.
Wrongful death actions are complex, often very lengthy cases that require a thorough understanding of not only state laws, but also complex court rules and regulations. Relying on an experienced, compassionate legal team will help you get through this very difficult time. If you are considering bringing a wrongful death action on behalf of your loved one, contact the Bottaro Law Firm today.
What damages can I recover if I (successfully) bring a wrongful death claim?
The estate and surviving family members of the individual who suffered a wrongful death may, depending on the facts and circumstances, recover compensation for:
- The loss of (reasonably) expected net income (lost wages and benefits);
- “Loss of consortium” damages, such as loss of companionship, counsel, assistance, care, etc.;
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased person between the initial time of injury and the time of death*;
- Reasonable funeral expenses;
- Property damage; and
- In some cases, punitive damages (which may be awarded when the individual’s death was caused by malicious, willful, wanton or reckless conduct, or by gross negligence). Unlike other types of damages, punitive damages are not awarded in order to compensate the family or the estate for the death of a loved one. Rather, these damages are awarded in order to punish the defendants for bad conduct, and also to send a message to other, similar parties that this type of behavior will not be tolerated by the courts.
*Recovery of pain and suffering damages is made on behalf of the deceased individual’s estate. These damages are divided among surviving beneficiaries under the provisions of the will (or, if there is no will, in a manner dictated by state law).
Awards of damages also include interest that begins to accrue on the date when the person wrongfully died.
Do I need an attorney to bring a wrongful death claim?
Wrongful death lawsuits are complicated for a number of reasons. There are specific guidelines as to who may bring a case – either on behalf of the deceased or for personal losses, who may be entitled to a recovery of damages, who may be named as a liable party or parties, and the type of allowable damages.
In many cases, evidence must be gathered and preserved as soon as possible following the accident that caused the wrongful death. This can include interviewing of witnesses; obtaining reports, measurements, and photographs; and so much more. You may need to hire experts such as economists, accident reconstruction specialists, product design experts, engineers, etc. in order to sufficiently prove liability.
Additionally, there are very specific deadlines and timelines that must be strictly adhered to in order to initiate and continue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Perhaps most importantly, damages in wrongful death cases are extremely difficult to estimate. This is due, in large part, to the fact that many of the potential damages are very subjective in nature.
Our experienced attorneys and staff at the Bottaro Law Firm will work hard to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family during this extremely difficult period in your life.