Losing a loved one in a
car accident is devastating. As if the grieving isn’t difficult enough, you have
to deal with securing the financial future of your family.
It is imperative that you make informed decisions that serve best interests
of you and your family. You must understand the proper steps to take in
order to preserve your rights related to the
wrongful death of your loved one--immediately after the tragic accident. Keep in mind,
a wrongful death claim in Montana must be filed within three years of
the date of the deceased person’s death.
Fatal car accidents, no matter what intent or circumstances regarding the
victim and the responsible party of the incident, can arise from a number
of situations. In most instances, there is a responsible party whose direct
or indirect actions caused the death(s).
Furthermore, these types of auto accidents will also criminal implications.
Fatal car accidents will typically yield either a vehicular manslaughter
charge, an involuntary manslaughter charge, or a murder charge. The delineation
of the aforementioned charges depends on the involved party’s use
of the motor vehicle and their subsequent traffic activity.
The following are important considerations to protect you and your family’s
rights in a fatal car accident claim:
Secure records - All records related to the accident (e.g. medical records, burial and
funeral receipts, income statements, photos from the car accident, etc.)
must be secured by you or your lawyer right away. This will ensure that
evidence won’t be lost, and important witness statements are preserved.
Witness statements - It is imperative that you or your attorney interview witnesses shortly
after the accident while their memories are fresh. As time passes, memories
can fade, and some accident witnesses may not remember all of the details
accurately or clearly.
Police investigation - You need to be aware that there may be a chance that your loved one
was the blame for the accident. Unfortunately, they can no longer speak
for themselves, which typically leave their loved ones at a disadvantage.
Your attorney is able to conduct their own investigation and reconstruct
the crash so your deceased loved one’s story can be re-told.
Insurance company response - Since wrongful death claims are serious in nature and lead to the recovery
of a substantial amount of money, insurers will attempt to protect their
own best interests initially and deny responsibility for the accident.
An experienced attorney understands how to deal with aggressive insurance
Accident reconstruction - Your attorney can hire an accident reconstruction expert to review all
the documentation regarding the collision and determine their own independent
opinion as to how the accident happened. These experts can be quite costly,
especially when they are some of the respected experts in their field.
When your loved one dies in a fatal car accident, having the right lawyer
can make all of the difference in the financial future and well-being
of you and your family. Although this money will do nothing to bring back
the person you love, it will take some of the financial burden off to
ensure that you get back on track.
If you have lost a loved one in a Montana fatal auto accident caused by
the negligence of another a party,
request a free consultation with our
Billings personal injury attorney at
Odegaard Braukmann today.