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Understanding cause of action

Losing a loved one to an accident in Bozeman can be a heartbreaking experience. In such a case, few may question your decision to attempt to hold those whose actions or inactions may have contributed to your family member or friend’s death responsible. However, many often come to us here at Cok Kinzler PLLP prepared to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit, only to discover that not all unanticipated deaths warrant such action. Thus, before considering seeking legal recourse, it may first be helpful to understand wrongful death cause of action.

According to information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., with over 136,000 occurring in 2013 alone. While news coverage regarding wrongful death lawsuits may seem frequent, it may be safe to assume that not all unintentional injury deaths result in legal action. That’s because cause of action must be established when arguing a wrongful death claim. “Cause of action” is defined as those facts that allow you to being action against another.

Four elements must be present to determine cause of action. These include:

  •          You must show that a degree of negligence on the part of a defendant was present in your loved one’s case.
  •          You must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to your family member or friend.
  •          You must establish a direct link between the defendant’s negligence and your loved one’s death.
  •          Your family member or friend’s death must have produced quantifiable economic and non-economic damages.

It should also be remembered that only the personal representative of your loved one’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. You can learn more about preparing a wrongful death claim by continuing to browse through our site. 

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