The death of a loved one can be a tragic event in the life of a Montana resident. Whether that loss is of a parent, child, spouse or sibling, having to say goodbye to someone who was deeply cherished can be emotionally devastating. Death imposes further burdens on survivors as well, and often when an individual loses someone due to the negligence of another person, that survivor is left to cover the costs of providing the loved one with proper end of life services.
Under Montana's wrongful death statute it is possible for a civil lawsuit to be filed against a responsible party for the losses related to a deceased victim's passing. Who may file the lawsuit, however, is limited to the personal representative of the deceased party's estate. When a person dies someone is generally named to be in charge of the estate or is appointed to assume that role; that person has the right to initiate litigation based on the decedent's wrongful death.
A personal representative can be a family member or it can be someone unrelated to the victim. That person may seek the counsel of the victim's loved ones before beginning a wrongful death lawsuit, but under the law only that individual may file the paperwork necessary to start the process.
In the event that a person is named the personal representative of a brother or sister's estate, that individual may have the right to start a wrongful death action. However, those readers who want more information about wrongful death suits in Montana will likely need to get more information on the topic to receive case-specific guidance.