For over 30 years, the Montana wrongful death attorneys of Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. helped Montana families pursue justice for the loss of a loved one. Our personal injury attorneys are committed to aggressively pursuing wrongful death cases, because we have seen the lifetime of pain brought by their loved one’s death. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, our attorneys will fight to see you get the justice their death deserves.
What Is the Definition of Wrongful Death?
Montana state law defines wrongful death as occurring when the negligent or wrongful act of another causes death. When a person dies because of another, whether this person intentionally tries to harm or is simply negligent, the law considers it a wrongful death. The law goes on to specify the personal representative of the estate – usually the executor of the will or a person appointed to the role by the courts – may bring a claim for damages against the person who caused his or her death.
What Are Common Types of Wrongful Death?
The U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that in 2016, over 5,000 workers died on the job. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports over 146,000 accidental deaths each year.
Any death resulting from negligence or a wrongful act constitutes grounds for a wrongful death claim. However, a few cases result in most of the wrongful death claims.
The most common causes of wrongful death in Montana include:
- Car accidents. Negligent driving often results in the deaths of drivers and passengers.
- Medical malpractice. Doctors have a responsibility to exercise care for their patients. When a doctor is negligent, a loved one’s death may result.
- Workplace accidents. Deaths on the job are tragically common even today.
- Product liability. Those who manufacture or sell goods to the public have a duty to ensure their products are safe for use and do not harm consumers.
Those who negligently cause the deaths of others in these types of incidents and many others fail to take the reasonable precautions necessary to ensure the safety of others.
Who Is Liable for the Wrongful Death in Montana?
The person or company responsible for causing your loved one’s premature death is liable for ending a life early and may be legally responsible to compensate you for your loss. To demonstrate the individual or company is liable, you must show that he or she owed a duty of care to the deceased, that he or she was negligent in exercising that care, and that your loved one’s death was the result of his or her negligence. A duty of care depends on the situation. For instance, negligent drivers fail to exercise the care required of them for the other people on the road. Doctors fail to exercise their duty of care when they fail to act as a reasonable doctor would in the same situation. Employers owe their employees a duty of care to follow safety laws and ensure the workplace is reasonably safe. Manufacturers are liable when they fail to ensure the products they create are safe for their intended uses.
What Damages Can Be Gained in a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a loved one dies a wrongful death, the law entitles the family to claim compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills incurred by the deceased because of their injury, burial, and funeral expenses. The law also entitles families to the lost wages the deceased would have provided over his or her expected lifetime.
Non-economic damages include compensation for the pain and suffering the deceased endured prior to death. Additionally, family members may seek compensation for the loss of companionship the deceased would have provided.
Why Do You Need a Montana Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Insurance companies and corporate attorneys know that wrongful death claims can be very expensive. They often fight very hard to deny victims’ families compensation or try to reduce the compensation they pay. Your attorney has the experience needed to prove your case deserves compensation and the experience negotiating to ensure you get a fair settlement.
Call Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. today to schedule your free consultation. Our wrongful death lawyers will listen to you and treat you with the care and dignity you deserve. Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. receives recognition from many prestigious organizations as one of the best law offices in Montana and the nation.