Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Understanding “Pain and Suffering”

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident and you’re seeking compensation from a liable defendant, chances are very high you may have heard the phrase “pain and suffering” being used by Attorneys. While, most all of you reading are familiar with the use of these words, their use as legal terms carries a fair share of subtle distinctions.

Pain and suffering resulting from an accident is used as an umbrella term that encompasses the physical and emotional damages that are a result of the accident. To elaborate further, “pain” would include bruises, a broken arm, fractured rib, etc, while “suffering” would be the emotional fallout resulting from those injuries, emotional and mental injuries would be one way to understand “suffering.” These emotional injuries would include feelings such as depression, grief, anxiety, and even fear to name a few.

Negligence is defined as a failure to use the level of care someone of ordinary prudence would have used under the same circumstances. Negligence consists of actions or omissions where there is an expected duty or responsibility owed by one person to another person. Events which cause injury not due to fault of another person involve negligence, and the elements of negligence are as follows.

  • Duty of Care: This boils down to, does the defendant have a responsibility to the plaintiff that it must legally uphold? Is it a responsibility of which the plaintiff is the intended recipient of the defendant’s actions? Establishing a legally defined duty and recognized responsibility of the defendant is the first step to determining a defendant’s negligence.Negligence
  • Breach of Duty: After the duty of care has been established, it must be determined whether or not the duty of care was breached. For example was the plaintiff lawfully on a premise owned by tenant? Did the person injure him or herself on the defendant’s premises? Did the owner of the business fail to reasonably prevent the injury? These are but one example of many situations involving a breach of a legally recognized duty.

Legal News GavelWhen you experience the loss of a loved one due to an accident, it is always devastating. If that accident occurred because someone else was negligent, the issues you may be facing multiply. In addition to your family issues, that negligence may create legal issues. The loss of your loved one undoubtedly did major damage to your emotional happiness, and it may also have done major damage to the financial stability of your family. For all of these processes, it is important to retain a skilled Massachusetts wrongful death attorney to represent you and ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Developing and presenting a persuasive case in a wrongful death action involves many types of evidence. A recent example was the case of a man named Albert, who sued a convenience store chain for the wrongful death of his wife, Kimmy. When the couple stopped at the store’s location in Chicopee, Kimmy went inside for coffee while Albert parked the vehicle. As the woman began to enter the store, an 81-year-old man, who may have had a stroke, raced his Ford Explorer through the parking lot and into the façade of the store at more than 55 mph. A store worker was hurt, and Kimmy was killed.

Albert sued the convenience store chain for Kimmy’s wrongful death. In a wrongful death case like this, you can pursue your case under a premises liability theory. This means that, much as with a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accident that causes injuries, you can establish the property owner’s liability by showing that there was a dangerous condition present on the property, that the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard, that the property owner failed to fix the problem, and that this unresolved hazard caused the victim’s injuries.