Experience Means Results

Wrongful Death

Laconia NH Wrongful Death Lawyer

Can someone bring a suit for the pain and suffering of the person who has died?

Yes. The family of the decedent can not only sue for the wrongful death, but they may also recover damages for the pain and suffering that the individual endured prior to their passing.

What if the person has died before we filed a personal injury lawsuit?

If, as a result of the injuries that would be addressed in a personal injury claim, the person has died, then most often, a wrongful death action would take the place of a personal injury lawsuit. If your loved one has died, however, as a result of something unrelated to the personal injury claim, the decedent’s estate may be allowed to a personal injury claim rather than the wrongful death claim.

What will it cost for me to hire a wrongful death attorney?

In wrongful death cases, the client usually does not pay the attorney an hourly rate and no money is paid upfront. Instead, the client pays a defined percentage of the amount of money that is recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit. This is referred to as a contingent fee arrangement, and the percentage can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Additionally, the law firm you are working with will usually pay all necessary out-of-pocket expenses subject to a right of reimbursement without interest at the conclusion of the case, sometimes before and sometimes after the contingent fee is calculated. In a contingent fee arrangement, if there is no financial recovery in a lawsuit, the attorneys are not paid.

If the decedent has never held a job, we will still be able to bring a wrongful death suit?

Yes, if if the person who has died, has never held a job, they may have contributed in other ways to their family. An example of this is a stay at home wife or husband who had contributed guidance, services or who had in some way nurtured the family. Quantifiable contributions like these are known as “pecuniary losses” in a wrongful death suit.

Are state laws all the same regarding wrongful death?

No. Wrongful death laws vary greatly from state to state. Some states disallow certain types of damage awards, and there are often different statutes of limitations among states, so it is a very important decision to determine which state you should bring the wrongful death action.

Can you recover punitive damages in a wrongful death action?

Punitive damages exist as an option in civil court to punish the person who caused the other person’s death, but punitive damages are not awarded in every wrongful death. Speaking with an experienced local attorney can help you understand punitive damages more clearly and determine whether or not punitive damages are likely in your situation.
In the majority of state, the plaintiff cannot recover punitive damages in a wrongful death action, however, there are some states that have specific statutes which allow recovery of punitive damages.


Confidential settlement on behalf of the estate of an elderly woman killed in a nursing home by another male resident. Evidence was developed that showed that the man had previously been aggressive and assaultive to staff and other residents, including the deceased woman.

Confidential settlement for a woman who fell down a set of basement stairs in a house that she was not familiar with and was killed instantly. The basement door looked exactly the same as two bedroom doors and a bathroom door in the same area of the house. The woman thought she was entering a bedroom when she pushed open the door. Expert evidence showed that the basement door opened the wrong way, that there was an insufficient landing at the top of the stairs and that the railing did not meet code.

Settlement for the insurance policy limit for a man killed in a motor vehicle accident on I-93.

A man and his wife were traveling across New Hampshire to visit family in Massachusetts. On the way, a lumber truck making a delivery crossed the double yellow line and struck their vehicle head-on. The man was killed on impact. Matt filed a wrongful death action on behalf of the estate against the lumber company. The case settled before trial for a confidential amount.

Matt Lahey is also an expert in Worker’s Compensation settlements

Please contact Matt to arrange for a free no-obligation consultation at his office in Laconia, NH. Thank you for your interest.