Gorovitz & Borten, P.C.
Attorneys at Law

550 Cochituate Road, Suite 25
Framingham, Massachusetts
Tel: (781) 890-9095
Wrongful Death - Time to File
In Massachusetts, the right to recovery for an act that negligently caused the death
of a person is governed by Massachusetts General Laws chapter 229. Chapter
229, also known as the 'Massachusetts Wrongful Death Act', details the following:

  • Who can be a Plaintiff
  • Who is/are the Defendant(s)
  • Time period to file suit (Statute of Limitations)
  • Who are the possible Beneficiaries
  • Recoverable damages
  • Items not recoverable

The executor or administrator of an estate is permitted to bring a wrongful death
action "within three years" from the date of death. Under special circumstances, the
three years will begin to run when the deceased's executor or administrator knew or
should have known of the factual basis for the cause of action.

If minors or individuals incapacitated by mental illness are beneficiaries of the
estate, the statute of limitations might be tolled until they reach majority. Tolling of
the statute of limitations for minors apply even where there is a personal
representative who could have filed the action. However, it may not be in the best
interests of the child, or the successful outcome of the case, to delay the filing of
the lawsuit. An unreasonable delay could result in medical records being lost or
altered; key witnesses moving away, or becoming forgetful; or, even the death of
the defendant medical provider or subsequent treating physician. In any event, the
claim of the adult surviving parent (if there is one) must be protected by a paper
filing within his/her 3 year statute of limitations.

In medical negligence cases, the time to file both wrongful death and non-wrongful
death actions is limited by the existing 7 year statute of repose. This means that
regardless of when the error or malpractice is discovered, other than with a few
exceptions the 3 year-statute of limitations (if it has not expired earlier) will expire
not later than 7 years from the error or malpractice actually occurring.

If you suspect that you or your loved one was the victim of medical malpractice,
contact us to discuss your particular situation. Protecting your legal rights will
benefit you and your family. Although a lawsuit will never bring back a lost loved
one, at Gorovitz & Borten the medical malpractice attorneys believe it is our duty
(ours and yours) to hold medical providers accountable and to protect future
potential victims by improving the quality of medical care by pursuing cases against
medical providers responsible for a wrongful death.

If you feel that a medical error, negligence or malpractice has occurred, it is
important that you contact us at once, so that your rights can be protected and the
statute of limitations preserved. A filing after the statute of limitations has expired will
result in the litigation being "thrown out of court", and your claim is lost forever.
Contact Information
For a free confidential consultation and receive a response within 24 hours (when
possible), please contact us by phone, fax or e-mail with your question or concern.

Telephone:  781-890-9095     -     Fax:   781-890-9098
Electronic mail:
Questions or Inquiries to:

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