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Some pointers on wrongful death lawsuits

If you are old enough, surely you remember where you were when you witnessed the acquittal of star football player O.J. Simpson in the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in 1994. He was not convicted because his guilt could not be fully established. A wrongful death suit may be filed by a person whose family member has died due to misconduct or negligence of another. In most cases, a wrongful death suit follows a criminal trial. The evidence used in this civil action is similar to that of a criminal trial but the standard of proof is lower. Simpson was found guilty of wrongful death following his criminal acquittal.

A wrongful death suit may be filed only by the surviving member of a victim. Every state in the U.S. has its own set of legislations for bringing about a wrongful death suit and Montana residents should understand the laws that might affect them. This includes pain and suffering, personal injury or expenses that were incurred preceding the decedent's death. The damage or compensation in all these cases will pass on to different parties as part of the deceased's will.

Now, the question that arises is when can a wrongful death suit be filed? The first trigger is the death of a loved one caused due to the negligence of another. Second, the surviving members of the family must have suffered a financial loss as a result of the death. The nomination of a personal representative is the third factor that comprises a wrongful death suit.

A wrongful death suit might arise out of a number of circumstances including medical malpractice, criminal behavior, an airplane accident, exposure to hazardous substances and other fatal accidents. A person may seek compensation including funeral and medical expenses. Most laws governing wrongful death suits are fair. However, it is wise to consult a Montana attorney if you or your family is potentially involved in an unlawful death suit.

Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death Overview," Accessed on August 5, 2014

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