Wrongful Death Lawyers In Missoula

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

At Jones & Cook Attorneys at Law, we are fully committed to caring for the survivors of wrongful death victims. Get the justice and financial support you deserve – contact us today for a Free Consultation or make an appointment by calling us at (406) 543-3800.

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.

Medical Malpractice

Health care providers in Montana have a legal duty to follow the accepted standard in delivering medical care to patients. Most physicians want to help patients, but even the best doctors and hospitals can make a preventable error. When the doctor, nurse or hospital fails to follow the recognized standard of care and harms a patient as a result, the provider may be liable for medical malpractice.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Whether it involves Drunk or Distracted Driving, Semi-Trucks, public transportation or a private commercial vehicle our legal system offers important ways to hold reckless drivers responsible for their actions. Jones & Cook Attorneys at Law offers clients extensive experience in the complex world of Motor Vehicle law, whether they are victims of Drunk Driving or have suffered because of a driver’s negligence.

Nursing Home Abuse

Elderly individuals in nursing homes and assisted living facilities typically have significant medical complications that demand constant attention, supervision, and medical care. Older individuals are more likely to succumb to illness or injury than younger people, but if a nursing home resident dies due to insufficient medical care, abuse, or a lack of basic needs being met, the deceased’s family may pursue a wrongful death claim against the nursing home or a nursing home employee.

Product Liability

A defective product can be dangerous and put you at risk of a significant personal injury. You need a product liability lawyer to fight for you in this difficult time. We’ll help you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve. At Jones & Cook Attorneys at Law, we have access to a large database of expert witnesses who can testify that the product that hurt you was genuinely defective.

Slip and Fall Accidents

A slip and fall may sound like a minor incident at first, but a slip and fall might result in a traumatic brain injury or other fatal injury. If a property owner was negligent in the care and maintenance of a property where a fatal slip and fall injury occurred, the deceased’s family or representative could file a wrongful death claim against the property owner.

Workplace and Industrial Accidents

Industrial accidents at factories, warehouses, construction sites and other similar workplaces often produce serious injuries. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and burn injuries are real risks in many industrial situations. That’s why it’s critical you contact Jones & Cook Attorneys at Law if you or a loved one is hurt in a serious industrial accident in Montana.

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.

Available Damages

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.

Economic Damages

Economic damages include damages that you can easily attach a number to. For example, health care expenses prior to death, property losses, lost earnings, and funeral expenses are types of economic losses. When someone loses earnings and property or incurs an expense that is easily put into numbers, they are considered economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages include losses and damages that are much harder to put a number on. These include loss of consortium and the loss of services that the deceased provided to their loved ones. They also include the loss of care, guidance, and support that loved ones provide. Even when loved ones do not have income from a job, they can provide invaluable care and comfort to those they love. Non-economic damages attempt to compensate the deceased’s loved ones and family for the accident.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are damages that are intended to punish defendants and deter others from following their example. In New York, punitive damages are only available in rare cases where the conduct of the defendant was exceptionally bad or malicious. A lawyer can help you review your case and determine whether punitive damages may be available.

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:

Investigate and Build a Wrongful Death Claim

If a wrongful death occurs, there will be many parties involved, including the defendants, insurance companies, and the authorities. The claim will need to address how the death happened, what caused it, and who knew what when. It’s a demanding process to investigate a death, and it can be painful for the loved ones left behind. The knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys at Jones & Cook can help collect and preserve evidence, interview those involved, and make sure that the claim moves forward.

Negotiate a Possible Settlement

After an investigation, many at-fault parties will want to negotiate a settlement. They may try to low-ball the deceased’s loved ones and offer far less than they should. If a loved one has suffered a wrongful death, don’t assume that insurers will offer a fair amount for your suffering and losses. The lawyers at Jones & Cook will complete a thorough evaluation of your claim, work to understand the circumstances of the death, and fight for the maximum settlement possible.

Aggressively Litigate your Claim in Court

In most cases, the people responsible for the death will want to settle. However, in rare cases, you’ll need to take your wrongful death claim to court. Court procedures, evidentiary standards, and Montana state law will all be involved. It can seem overwhelming, but the skilled wrongful death lawyers at Jones & Cook will manage the process and fight for you and your rights.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

If someone is killed as a result of somebody’s negligence a wrongful death can be filed to help the surviving next of kin recover for their loss. Wrongful death lawsuits seek to hold the negligent individuals responsible for the death their actions caused. A death can cause both economic and non-economic distress on the surviving family members. A wrongful death claim allows those suffering the death of a loved one to receive compensation. A wrongful death claim also allows recovery for the deceased’s pain and suffering under special circumstances, punitive damages may also be recoverable.

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, the wrongful 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.

If your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, you should file a wrongful death claim. Through this claim, you may be able to receive compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of your family member’s monetary support, loss of companionship, loss of a prospective inheritance you might have received from your family member, and mental anguish. 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 single wrongful death case. While compensation can’t bring your loved one back, it can help your family right now. Contact Montana wrongful death lawyer Bradley J. Jones today to get started.

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 single wrongful death case.

“Economic” damages are damages for which a concrete dollar amount can be established, usually through the use of evidence like receipts, bills, or pay stubs. Economic damages include losses like medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and the lost value of the wages and benefits the deceased person would likely have earned during his or her expected lifetime if the untimely death had not occurred.

“Non-economic” damages are harder to quantify, but they are still real losses suffered by the survivors in a wrongful death claim. They include losses like pain and suffering endured by the deceased before death and the loss of care and companionship faced by the surviving family members.

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.

It depends on whether a person dies as a result of the injuries or from unrelated causes. If a person injured in an accident subsequently dies because of those injuries, that person’s heirs may recover money through a lawsuit. If a person with a personal injury claim dies from unrelated causes, the claim survives in most cases and may be brought by the executor or personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.

Yes, in addition to the wrongful death, a decedent’s family may recover damages for the pain and suffering that the decedent endured prior to death.

Yes, you can recover damages in a wrongful death cause of action for the death of either a child or an elderly person. For a variety of reasons, however, the damage awards for both classes of decedent are usually modest.

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 for wrongful death.)

Claims that are not filed before the statute of limitations time period passes are typically thrown out of court without a hearing. Since a wrongful death lawsuit represents a significant chance for a family to recover damages after an untimely death, it is important to ensure a wrongful death claim is filed within the three-year time period.

A wrongful death is a death due to the negligent, willful, or wrongful act, omission or fault of another. Wrongful death or accidental death lawsuits are meant to compensate those family members left behind after a fatal accident.  You also are hurt if you relied on the decedent for financial and emotional support.  A wrongful death may be the result of a negligent or careless act, murder, reckless driving, medical malpractice, or many other causes.

The destruction of earning capacity, that is, the capacity to carry on gainful employment or other means of earning compensation during the decedent’s probable lifetime, may be compensated. An estate must deduct probable income taxes and necessary personal living expenses and adjust for inflation. This value is then reduced to its present value. Our wrongful death attorneys will work with an expert in economics to derive the present value of the decedent’s potential earning capacity. This will provide a fair figure for the loss of the decedent’s earning capacity as a result of the wrongful death.

The surviving spouse, and due to a recent Supreme Court ruling, the children of a person who has died as a result of another person’s negligent, reckless or intentional act can recover for the loss of their ability to enjoy the companionship of their spouse throughout their lifetime. Such a claim is derivative of the claim for wrongful death but accrues in favor of the surviving spouse, rather than of the estate. Compensable damages for loss of consortium include loss of the spouse’s affections, companionship, and sexual relations. Our lawyers assists loved ones in articulating and quantifying the value of a claim for loss of consortium.

Under certain circumstances, family members who witness the death of a family member are entitled to pursue a claim. The claim is for bystander emotional distress for the shock and emotional and psychological trauma they have endured. If a person is a close family member (child, parent, spouse or sibling) and they either witnessed the death of a loved one, or arrived on the scene of the accident and witnessed the deceased person in the same or similar condition as when they had passed away, the family member may be entitled to compensation.