According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the Bozeman district was reported have the second-highest motor vehicle fatality rate in the state so far for the year 2014. As of July 14, statistics revealed that 14 lives have been lost on roads within the district, which nearly doubles 2013's total count of eight fatalities.
Police say that the district that encompasses both Helena and Butte exceeds the current total with 19 deaths. Officers report that July has been especially deadly within the district as three of the 14 deaths occurred between July 10 and July 15. Overall, 88 deaths have occurred in automotive accidents in Montana in 2014 compared to 111 crashes in 2013. Moreover, reports revealed that 69 of this year's victims were not wearing seat belts.
Alcohol and speed were said to be factors in 56 of these deaths, respectively. A trooper sergeant representing the MHP noted that a prominent cause of accidents in the Bozeman district was distracted driving.
When evidence suggests that a driver triggered a fatal accident due to negligence, that person may be susceptible to a wrongful death action from a victim's family members to cover losses such as medical expenses, funeral costs and lost future wages. Speeding and impaired or distracted driving could constitute negligence on a driver's part.
There are various sources of evidence that an attorney may use in order to substantiate a plaintiff's claim. For instance, alcohol and drug testing results, investigators' reports and eyewitness accounts could all be options that an attorney might utilize in a particular case.
Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, "Montana Highway Patrol: Bozeman district second-highest fatality rate in state", Whitney Bermes, July 17, 2014