Missoula Wrongful Death Attorney
There are no words to explain the agony and sadness of losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness. When a person dies due to someone else’s wrongdoing, it is critical to seek justice.
Our Missoula wrongful death lawyers at Heenan & Cook, PLLC assist families who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of others. For our clients, we file wrongful death lawsuits and fight for financial compensation to help you cope with the loss of a loved one.
While we recognize that monetary compensation cannot replace the life that has been lost or the grief that has been inflicted by death, we also recognize that it is a form of justice. As a result, pursuing legal action in the aftermath of a wrongful death can benefit both you and future generations. If your family has lost a loved one, please accept our condolences and understand that our firm is here to help. Contact our attorneys to discuss the facts of your case.
Missoula Wrongful Death Resources
- Why Choose Us
- Why Do You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney?
- Defining Wrongful Death Claims in Montana
- Who Can Be Held Responsible For a Wrongful Death in Montana?
- What Family Members Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Montana?
- What Type of Compensation Is Available After a Wrongful Death in Montana?
- Are Punitive Damages Available For Wrongful Death Cases in Montana?
- Contact Us
Why Choose Us
Heenan & Cook’s personal injury attorneys can guide you through the legal difficulties of a wrongful death case. Our Missoula wrongful death attorneys will go through the specifics and facts of the case and determine the best course of action for obtaining justice and fair compensation.
Our lawyers recognize that your case involves more than just the law. We provide responsible, dependable, and trustworthy representation. For over 40 years, we have been representing bereaved families.
Whether via settlement negotiations or court action, our attorneys are committed to your case and will work with you to achieve the results you deserve.
Why Do You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney?
Experienced wrongful death attorneys recognize that seeking justice for the victim is the foremost desire of any family who has lost a loved one due to wrongful death. It is, however, equally necessary to seek compensation for the losses suffered.
Wrongful death claims will often carry a heavy investigation into the situation and require attorneys conduct a proper review and analysis of the full case. Often times, the steps an attorney will take include:
- Detailed investigation
- Collection of documents and medical records
- Insurance review
- Negotiations with the insurance company
- Settlement negotiations with the opposing party
- Litigation and trial
- Appeals process (if necessary)
Our Missoula wrongful death lawyers will handle all case proceedings, giving you time to spend with your loved ones.
Defining Wrongful Death Claims in Montana
Wrongful death is defined by Montana state law as death caused by another’s negligence or wrongful behavior. A wrongful death occurs when a person dies as a result of the actions of another, typically through intentional misconduct or more commonly, negligence. The law goes on to provide that the personal representative of the estate – normally the executor of the will or someone designated by the courts – can sue the person who caused his or her death for damages.
The following are the most common causes of wrongful death in Montana:
It is also important to know that the statute of limitations, or time limit for filing a wrongful death claim, is three years.
Who Can Be Held Responsible For a Wrongful Death in Montana?
There are various parties that could be held liable for a wrongful death in Montana. As mentioned above, the law in this state says that these claims arise when a death is caused by the negligence or wrongful actions of another. Possible liable parties could include:
- Other individuals (those who commit a crime that led to a death, or those who accidentally cause a death)
- Medical professionals
- Medical companies or entities
- Government entities
A thorough investigation into these claims must be completed. Some cases may only involve one liable party, while it may be possible to hold multiple parties liable in other claims. Your Missoula wrongful death lawyer can fully examine every aspect of your claim to help determine all possible liable parties.
What Family Members Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Montana?
The very nature of a wrongful death case means that the individual who was harmed is not available to file their own claim, similar to how a personal injury lawsuit works in this state. This means someone else has to file the claim on their behalf.
Many states around the country allow family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit in order to recover compensation for the losses. However, in Montana, only the personal representative (sometimes referred to as the executor) of the deceased person’s estate can file these claims in civil court.
It is not uncommon for the personal representative of the estate to actually be a family member, but this is not always the case. This could be an attorney or another individual not related to the family. Ultimately, the goal is to recover compensation on behalf of the estate and the surviving family members.
What Type of Compensation Is Available After a Wrongful Death in Montana?
There may be various types of compensation available if a wrongful death claim is successful. These damages can be considered either economic or non-economic in nature, and they are meant to compensate the estate and family members.
Economic damages in a wrongful death case refer to the types of concrete losses that can be easily quantified through bills, receipts, pay stubs, taxes, etc. In Montana, economic damages for a wrongful death claim can include coverage of any pre-death medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, the value of any lost wages or benefits the deceased would have provided, and more.
Non-economic damages are more challenging to quantify. These types of damages are intended to compensate the more immeasurable losses the family sustains as a result of the death, including:
- The loss of comfort, care, guidance, and companionship the deceased would have provided
- The loss of intimacy and companionship provided to a spouse
- Pain and suffering the deceased endured before their death
- Pain and suffering experienced by the family members as a result of the loss of life
Are Punitive Damages Available For Wrongful Death Cases in Montana?
Punitive damages are designed to be awarded if the defendant’s actions were considered willful or egregious. This will not necessarily apply to all wrongful death claims. Punitive damages are designed to act as a punishment to the defendant as well as a deterrent to others so that they think twice about conducting themselves in the same way. In Montana, punitive damages are limited to $10 million or 3% of a defendant’s net worth, whichever total is less.
Contact Heenan & Cook, PLLC Today
It is never easy to lose someone you care about. It can be devastating and distressing to lose a loved one due to the misconduct of another individual. Those who have lost loved ones as a result of someone else’s negligence or misconduct are entitled to justice, compassion, and fair compensation.
Heenan & Cook’s wrongful death lawyers in Missoula understand the anguish and suffering that loved ones go through after a tragic death. We are here to assist you in gaining a better grasp of the legal issues that may arise in a wrongful death claim.