A 46-year-old Missoula woman was killed while crossing the street on Monday. According to news reports, there is no evidence that speed or alcohol caused the accident and the driver of the car is cooperating with the police investigation into the collision.
Under Montana Law, a pedestrian has the right-of-way both within a marked crosswalk and within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. (See MCA 61-8-502) However, at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, Montana law requires a pedestrian to yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. (See MCA 61-8-503)
But, even when a pedestrian crosses outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk, a driver is still legally required to exercise due care to avoid hitting a pedestrian and must give warning by sounding his/her horn when necessary. (See MCA 61-8-504) Thus, even if a pedestrian was hit while crossing a street outside of the crosswalk, the pedestrian still may be able to recover compensation for his/her injuries.
The facts of this tragic pedestrian-car accident are still under investigation and have not, at this time, been released to the pubic.
KECI-TV NBC Montana
Wrongful Death Lawsuit:
The sudden death of a family member is one of the most difficult experiences a family could ever have to endure. In addition to coping with their loss, the family is confronted with mounting bills and expenses as well as a significant loss of income.
A wrongful death lawsuit, such as a wrongful death in a car accident, is a civil suit filed against the negligent party and is independent of any criminal charges that may be filed.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
The personal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a surviving spouse, children, parents, or other family members of the deceased. (See MCA § 27-1-513)
What damages can surviving family members recover?
Surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income and benefits, loss of care and companionship, loss of consortium, and more.
In addition, if the negligent party’s actions were malicious or criminal in nature, the family may be awarded punitive damages, which are designed to punish the negligent party.
No amount of compensation takes away the sadness and grief and nothing can replace a family’s loss. But compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit can help a family move forward.
How long do surviving family members have to file a lawsuit?
The law limits the amount of time you have to bring legal action against the party responsible for the death of your loved one. In Montana, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within 3 years of death. (See MCA § 27-2-204; homicide wrongful death actions must be filed within 10 years of death) But the sooner you contact a lawyer, the better that lawyer is able to gather and preserve evidence and the better that lawyer can represent your family.
Nothing is more devastating to a family than losing a loved one. If you have recently lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, you should contact an attorney immediately to ensure your rights are protected.
Jonathan King PLLC, Accident & Injury Law, can represent your family in a wrongful death lawsuit. While a wrongful death suit won't cure your family's loss, it can help with the financial consequences of losing a loved one. We are equiped to handle a wrongful death suit anywhere in Montana.
You can contact us by phone at (406) 300-0003 or by completing a short form on this website to speak with an experienced Montana injury attorney.
And know that if we mutually agree to move forward, our law firm will cover all case costs and you will pay us nothing unless we win your case.