Missoula Wrongful Death Attorneys
Coping with the loss of a loved one can be one of the most trying times of your life. When your family member’s death was caused by another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, the grieving process only intensifies In these instances, you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive the closure and financial compensation to which you and your family are entitled. Jones & Cook Attorneys at Law has the resources to aid clients throughout the North Dakota and Montana. Please contact the wrongful death attorneys at Jones & Cook today for your Free Consultation.
A Wrongful Death occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another party. Those who were dependent on, or a beneficiary of, may be entitled to monetary damages. In these situations, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may bring a wrongful death case to court, seeking damages from the person or company responsible for the death.
A wrongful death claim is essentially a Personal Injury case in which the injured person is no longer available to seek compensation on his or her own behalf. Instead, the personal representative must step in to seek compensation for the injuries leading to death.
While no amount of financial payment can ever compensate for the loss of a loved one, being financially secure in your future and the comfort of responsible parties being brought to justice can provide a sense of closure and security to survivors.
During your grieving period, consideration of a wrongful death lawsuit may not seem urgent-however, wrongful death cases must be filed within a specific time period or you risk losing your right to financial compensation.
You need the help of an experienced, wrongful death lawyer to guide you through the process and help you to receive the monetary damages you are entitled to. Call the wrongful death attorneys at Jones & Cook Attorneys at Law today at (406) 543-3800, to set up a Free Consultation.
Montana’s Best Personal Injury and Negligence Lawyers
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful Death is a type of legal claim involving an individual who has died as a result of injuries that could have been prevented. These injuries are usually caused by someone else’s negligence or failure to meet their duties. This includes all types of accidents, situations where Poorly Designed Products result in death, and times when individuals and companies don’t live up to their professional duties or other standards of care.
In Montana, Wrongful Death occurs when the “injuries to and the death of one person are caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” In these situations, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may bring aWrongful Death case to court, seeking damages from the person or company responsible for the death.
Anytime the court can find a reasonable person should have acted differently than the negligent party, you may have grounds for a Wrongful Death lawsuit. Our Missoula Wrongful Death lawyers will review your unique circumstances in a free, private Consultation and thoroughly explain your possible courses of legal action.
In a Wrongful Death case, the wrongdoer’s intent in his or her actions does not matter so much as the legal result of that action. Negligent conduct does not require ill will or evil intent. What must be proved is that the wrongdoer failed to act with reasonable care, that amount of care that a reasonable person would use to avoid injury or death to himself or to other persons. Where there is negligence, there is never a true “accident”, if a death would have been avoided through the use of reasonable care, then the offending person has a legal responsibility to pay for their actions and the damages they have caused.
Dedicated and Compassionate Representation
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful Deaths arising from negligent behavior can occur a number of different ways, from Car Accidents to Medical Malpractice, from Accidental Drowning in an unguarded or unsafe swimming pool to unfortunate Workplace Incidents where improperly maintained machinery fails or Toxic Exposure occurs.
Filing a Claim
Montana’s Wrongful Death statute specifies that “the personal representative of the decedent’s [meaning the deceased person’s] estate” may file a claim in court if injuries inflicted by another have caused the deceased person’s death.
If the deceased person is a child under age 18, theWrongful Death claim may be filed by either one of the child’s parents, or by both parents together. If the child has no parents, the claim may be filed by the child’s legal guardian.
A Wrongful Deathh claim is a civil lawsuit, which means that the interested private parties must bring the claim to court themselves (usually with the help of an attorney). In this way, a wrongful death claim differs from a criminal case, in which charges are filed by the federal, state, or local prosecutor. In a wrongful death claim, liability is expressed solely in terms of money damages (paid by a defendant who has been deemed legally responsible for the decedent’s death). By contrast, in a criminal case, guilt may be punished with a term of imprisonment, a fine, or other penalties.
Although family members cannot file criminal charges themselves, they may be asked to participate in a criminal case if one is filed in relation to the death, and the personal representative of the estate may file aWrongful Death claim even if a criminal case is proceeding.
Damages in a Montana Wrongful Death case are intended to compensate the Estate or the surviving family members for the loss they suffered as a result of the deceased person’s untimely death. In Montana, damages may be either “economic” or “non-economic” in nature. Both types of damages may be recovered in a singleWrongful Death case.
In Montana, the defendants in a Wrongful Death case may ask for a statement detailing the damages that the personal representative is seeking. This statement must be made in writing and it must fulfill a number of other requirements.
Statute of Limitations
Montana sets time limits on the filing of civil lawsuits, including wrongful death cases. A law that sets out this kind of time limit is called a “statute of limitations.”
Under Montana Code Annotated section 27-2-204, a Wrongful Death claim must be filed within three years of the date of the deceased person’s death. (Note: If the case stems from a criminal homicide, the time limit is bumped up to ten years for the filing of civil claim forWrongful Death.)
Claims that are not filed before the statute of limitations time period passes are typically thrown out of court without a hearing. Since aWrongful Death lawsuit represents a significant chance for a family to recover damages after an untimely death, it is important to ensure aWrongful Death claim is filed within the three-year time period.
Pursuing Justice for You and Your Family
Wrongful Death claims can be overwhelming. They require careful investigation of the cause and circumstances of the death. They also require skilled negotiation and, in some cases, aggressive action in court. Jones & Cook Attorneys at Law can help you:
Montana and North Dakota Wrongful Death Lawyers
At Jones & Cook Attorneys at Law, we’ve represented loved ones and estates in all types of wrongful death claims. We understand how hard it can be to bring a wrongful death claim, but with our knowledge and resources, our compassionate attorneys can be your voice in the process. When a wrongful death happens, we are strong advocates for those left behind. If you are ready to discuss a wrongful death claim, contact us today for a Free Consultation or call (406) 543-3800.