When someone's death is caused by another person's careless or negligent actions, and would have been prevented had those actions not occurred, it is considered a wrongful death under Montana law. While a wrongful death can arise in many different situations, we often hear about it in terms of a fatal car accident. A crash that occurred this weekend near Browning provides an example of when a car accident fatality may be considered wrongful under the law.
On Sunday morning, five people were riding in a car that was heading north on US Highway 89. Suddenly, the car hit an approach, flew into the air and rolled multiple times, ultimately stopping in a barrow pit. Sadly, a 16-year-old boy from Browning was killed in the accident.
According to police, the other four occupants of the vehicle sustained injuries that were not life-threatening. The Montana Highway Patrol believes that drugs, alcohol and speed contributed to the fatal car accident.
When a passenger in a car is killed because the driver caused an accident by some act of negligence, such as driving while intoxicated or speeding, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate.
In general, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by the family members of the victim against the negligent driver. While no amount of money can ever replace the life of a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit can leave a grieving family with the compensation they need to pay for funeral expenses, burial costs, medical bills and other damages.
Source: 8KPAX.com, "Teen victim in Sunday crash near Browning identified," Tara Grimes, Oct. 9, 2013