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What is required during a wrongful death lawsuit?

In Montana, if your loved one was injured and killed due to the negligence of another person or business entity, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible party for wrongful death. These suits are designed to help surviving family members deal with the financial repercussions of losing a loved one, as well as a deterrent to keep businesses and people from acting so negligently that they cause someone to die.

To successfully begin a wrongful death lawsuit, you must file your claim within the time allocated under the statute of limitations. In Montana, this time limit is three years from the day your loved one passed away. Furthermore, only the personal representative of your loved one’s estate may file the lawsuit in most circumstances. According to state law, wrongful death claims for children may be filed by their parents or a legal guardian.

The requirements of a wrongful death lawsuit are very similar to those required during a regular personal injury cases. To be successful, you may need to prove that the person or business you are suing was negligent in their actions and their negligence directly or indirectly caused your loved one’s death. Your case may involve hiring medical experts to give testimony, gathering documents that prove your claims and providing information about the losses you and your family have suffered since the death.

If you are successful in your claim, you may win economic or non-economic damages or both. Medical bills, burial expenses and the wages your loved one would have provided to your family are all considered economic damages. Pain and suffering, loss of companionship and the effects of grief are all examples of non-economic damages to which a jury may find you entitled. This information should be taken as informational only, not as legal advice. 

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