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Montana Car Accident Attorney

In 2016, there were 190 car accident fatalities in Montana. Car accidents can lead to a wide variety of injuries, some of which are permanently debilitating and can change the victim’s life.  If you or a loved one suffered serious harm in a car accident because of another person’s negligent actions, you need legal help. Contact the Montana injury lawyers at Kovacich Snipes, P.C. for experienced Great Falls car accident lawyers who will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve at 406-761-5595 today.

Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer to Handle My Case Great Falls?

One of the reasons to hire an attorney for your car accident claim is because he or she will know how to deal with the insurance adjuster. An attorney will make sure the insurance company does not trick you out of the compensation that you deserve.

A good car accident attorney will also know how to obtain the evidence necessary to prove liability. Even though you may have a series of photos of the scene, an attorney will know which parts of the accident will be the most successful at proving who was liable. He or she will also know how to present the evidence in the best way possible. An attorney will interact with the necessary medical professionals and know how to navigate the medical procedures that you must follow to get the information that your claim needs.

Another reason to hire an attorney is for your settlement. If you can avoid going to court, you can save money and time. A good car accident attorney will be able to negotiate with the defendant to settle your claim before going to court.

However, it is also very important to hire an attorney that is willing and able to take your case to trial.  This is important for two reasons.  One, insurance companies know which attorneys will hold them accountable and take them to court if they don’t offer fair compensation.  This usually leads to better initial settlement offers.  Two, in the event the insurance company does not offer fair compensation, an experienced Montana injury attorney advocate on your behalf in court and secure a larger, just recovery.

What to Do Following a Car Accident

The moments after a car accident are extremely important and could determine whether you win your case and receive compensation for your injuries. If you are able, call the police to report the accident. Regardless of whether you file a personal injury claim, your insurer will likely want documentation of the incident. If you feel hurt, remain still. Otherwise, check for the safety of other passengers, and then move your car to a safe place. If you are not able to move it because of damage to the vehicle, turn on your hazard light so that any oncoming vehicles know to avoid you. Make sure it is safe before you get out of your car.

After you have moved your car to safety, check on the other people involved in the accident. Make sure to remain at the scene until an officer arrives. If you leave, the other people involved in the accident could accuse you of a hit-and-run, which is an accusation that usually has more severe penalties than a regular car accident claim. If there are witnesses and you are able, ask for their contact information. When you are talking to the police or other people involved, do not admit fault in any way. Insurance companies will use anything to avoid fully compensating someone; if you admit blame, it could affect your claim later.

Document the scene and gather information. Write down the make, model, and license plate of any car that was involved. Get the name, contact information, and insurance information for any other person that was a part of the incident. Take as many pictures as you can. The pictures should include the cars that were involved, the scene of the accident, injuries that you sustained, and anything else that could be relevant to your claim.

Once you leave the scene and if you haven’t already, seek medical attention as soon as you can. Even if you do not have any visible injuries, a doctor may offer advice on whether there is a dormant injury. Follow your doctor’s advice to prevent further injury, including possible rehabilitative care. After seeing a medical professional and getting the help you need, contact a Great Falls car accident attorney who is experienced in Montana car accident claims.

What Are Some Different Types Of Car Accidents and Injuries?

Texting and Driving

Distracted driving isn’t a new phenomenon – fiddling with the radio, talking to other passengers, or even daydreaming while driving has caused many accidents. However, texting and driving are one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. As technology becomes more prevalent in society, more and more people struggle to ignore their phones while they are behind the wheel. Sending or reading a text requires you to take your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. If you are driving 55 miles per hour, looking away from the road for five seconds is the equivalent of driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 people died and 391,000 suffered injuries in 2017 because of distracted driving. An estimated 660,000 people use their phones while they are driving during the day. Montana does not currently have any laws that ban texting and driving, but the state recognizes the danger it poses.

Drinking and Driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 people in the United States die every day in accidents that involve someone drinking and driving. That number amounts to one death every 51 minutes. In 2015, impaired driving caused 29% of the traffic accidents in the United States. According to statistics, 10,265 people died in drinking and driving accidents, however, these numbers are likely higher. Young people who drink and drive are at a higher risk to be involved in an accident than older people who do.

An alarmingly large number of people in the United States drink and drive. Authorities arrested almost 1.1 million people in 2015 for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The number of arrests is only 1% of the 111 million American adults who admitted that they drove while impaired at least once during the year.

Road Rage

Road rage is the cause of 66% of traffic fatalities. It is a term that refers to drivers who commit aggressive traffic offenses because they are angry and that anger drives them to endanger another driver. While it is possible for all drivers to exhibit road rage, males under the age of 19 are the most likely to demonstrate it. Half of the drivers admit to responding with aggression when someone is rude or aggressive toward them on the road.

Road rage can manifest in many ways. A driver can exhibit road rage by rudely gesturing or honking his or her horn. Road rage can also be much more intense. In fact, 2% of drivers admit that they have tried to run an aggressive driver off the road. Over a period of seven years, road rage caused 219 fatalities and 12,610 injuries.

Rear-Ending

Approximately one in every four car accidents involves a car getting rear-ended. Rear-ending accidents can happen for many reasons, but one of the most common occurrences is due to the distraction of the driver who did the rear-ending. However, despite common beliefs, the one who rear-ends is not always responsible; there can be other factors that led to the accident. It’s best to discuss such a case with your attorney before assuming the rear-ender is to blame.

Whiplash

Whiplash usually occurs in rear-ending accidents, but it is also fairly common in many vehicle collisions. The impact of the collision snaps the driver’s body backward and then forward quickly and suddenly. Whiplash can cause serious injuries to drivers. In fact, 45% of whiplash victims report they are still suffering from symptoms two years after the accident. One in 100 people around the world suffers from permanent neck pain from a whiplash injury in a car accident.

Should I Speak with an Insurance Adjuster After an Accident?

You should not speak with an insurance adjuster after an accident, especially not before you have hired a personal injury attorney. Insurance adjusters generally focus on doing what is best for the insurance company as opposed to helping you get the compensation you need to recover from an injury.

Insurance adjusters may try to get you to tell them something they can use against you in your claim. They may even have specific tactics to trick you into disclosing information that will hurt your case. Some insurance adjusters will ask to record your statement. They may use the statement in court as evidence against you because it is likely that the raw, unedited statement you give the adjuster will be different than what you say in court after working with an attorney. The insurance company may use the difference between the two statements as a reason to invalidate your claim.

Who Pays Medical Bills After a Motor Vehicle Accident?

In Montana, victims of car accidents have three options when they are trying to get their medical bills paid. The first option is filing a claim with their own insurance company. Second, they can file with the other driver’s insurance company. The final option is to file a lawsuit against the driver that is responsible for the injuries. Many claimants settle car accident claims during negotiations, but some cases go to court, giving the court the responsibility to determine whether you should get compensation for your medical bills.

Contact Your Local Great Falls Car Accident Lawyer!

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be eligible to file a car accident claim. The Great Falls car accident attorneys at Kovacich Snipes, P.C. have extensive experience with car accident claims and can help you in your fight for justice. We will not charge you anything in lawyer fees unless we win your case. We can also offer you a free consultation, so you can be certain that we are the right team for you. Contact Kovacich Snipes, P.C. for more information about how we can fight for you to get the compensation that you deserve.