A wrongful death action in Montana allows you to recover compensation when a loved one is killed because of someone else’s negligence.
There is no set formula for how much compensation you will receive. The exact amount depends on many different factors. The financial loss you experience from the death of your loved one is one of the main factors.
One of the most common financial losses people experience after a loved one’s death is the loss of their income. Many households go from two incomes down to one when a household member passes away, which makes paying for monthly household expenses or bills difficult to impossible.
If your loved one was unemployed at the time of their death, this does not prevent you from pursuing wrongful death damages. You could still seek a claim for lost potential future earnings.
Financial losses other than loss of income
There are also many other financial losses you may have, including funeral expenses and medical expenses. You could request an amount for the loss of your loved one’s companionship and punitive damages if the death involved serious misconduct.
Additionally, your loved one may not have been employed but still have been receiving a monthly income of some sort. If they were receiving monthly social security or other benefits, you could claim this monthly amount as damages.
The general purpose of wrongful death damages is to put you in the same financial position as you were before your loved one was suddenly and tragically taken from you. When punitive damages are awarded, their purpose is to punish the person responsible for your loved one’s death.
However, punitive damages are rarely awarded unless there is clear evidence that the person responsible acted maliciously or cruelly.
Seeking assistance when necessary
Knowing the type and amount of compensation to ask for involves examining many different factors. This can be harder to do when you are dealing with the emotions and challenges that come along with a death, so having guidance is important.