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Which damages contribute to the value of a wrongful death lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Personal Injury

Most people in Montana expect to live long and healthy lives. They want to share as many years as possible with their spouses, parents and children. Unfortunately, some families end up losing a loved one prematurely due to preventable circumstances. Illegal activity, negligence or misconduct on the part of a business or individual could directly result in someone’s death. A business releasing unsafe products could lead to a fatal accident. A drunk driver could cause a collision that proves fatal for someone else.

State law in Montana allows those grieving this type of tragedy to take legal action. People can sometimes file wrongful death lawsuits after losing a family member. The following are some of the most common kinds of losses that contribute to the amount requested in a wrongful death lawsuit in Montana.

Economic losses

When someone dies, there are often immediate financial consequences for their family members. Frequently, people receive emergency medical care prior to their death. There could be tens of thousands of dollars in end-of-life medical treatment to cover. Families also have to pay thousands for funeral services and burials. Beyond those expenses, there are other economic losses as well. The lost income that someone could have earned if they continued working and the financial value of their employment benefits can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Any provable economic losses can contribute to the value of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Non-economic losses

The law in Montana allows families to request compensation for setbacks that are not inherently financial. They can request compensation for the pain and suffering their loved ones endured before they died. Surviving spouses can request compensation for the loss of marital intimacy with the deceased. Other family members can request compensation for the loss of support and services provided by the individual who died. Those non-economic losses can often contribute substantially to the total financial value of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Although it can feel crass to establish a financial value for someone’s premature passing, doing so is often crucial to the successful pursuit of justice. The more compensation the courts award, the more of an impact the lawsuit can have on the plaintiffs and the party at fault for the tragedy. Learning more about Montana’s wrongful death laws may help those trying to plan the best path forward after a tragedy.