Auto Accident Injury in Montana
Have you suffered an injury due to a car accident in Montana? If so, your life may never be the same again. Injuries from a car accident can interfere with your ability both to work and to enjoy everyday activities. They can also be incredibly painful. As such, you need an auto accident attorney who understands the laws in MT that will fight for your legal rights and help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Injury Statistics in Montana
According to the National Safety Council, in 2019 about 4.4 million people suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents and an estimated 38,000 were killed. Montana.gov reports the state saw 402 motor vehicle accidents in 2019. Of those, five were fatal. There were eight serious injury accidents and 53 other injury accidents. Keep in mind that while these numbers seem low, it is due to the makeup of the state. It has a population of a little over one million that spread out over a large area of landmass at a little more than 147,000 square miles.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
It’s important to be prepared in the event you are a victim of a car accident. Below are the steps to remember immediately after your crash.
Receive Immediate Medical Attention
What is the most important step that you need to take after an auto accident? You need to receive immediate and proper medical treatment. You may believe that the injuries sustained after an auto accident are minor. Proper medical treatment helps ensure that you have not sustained any internal injuries that you may not be aware of.
File a Police Report
Even if no one sustained injuries, you still need to call 911 and request law enforcement assistance. When officers arrive, jot down each one’s name and badge number. Answer their questions honestly, but don’t volunteer any unasked for information, especially your thoughts on exactly what happened or who caused the car accident. Be sure to ask the officers for the number of their police report. Also ask when and where you can get a copy of it, including how much it will cost you.
The Montana Code Annotated states that drivers involved in an auto accident must report it immediately if there are any injuries, someone dies or there is property damage that is at least worth $1,000. If none of these conditions exist, then a driver has 10 days to file an accident report. If a driver fails to report an accident, he or she could face a driver’s license suspension.
Gather the Appropriate Documentation
While waiting for officers to arrive after a car accident, collect information from all other drivers involved in the accident, including the following:
- Full name, address, phone number and email address
- Driver’s license state and number
- Auto insurance company name, policy number and phone number
Use your cell phone to take pictures of each driver’s license, auto insurance card, your vehicle and each additional vehicle involved in the car accident. Don’t rely on verbal communication. Having as much information as possible will only help you and your case later on. Try to keep this exchange as civil and friendly as possible. However, do not apologize for causing the accident or indicate in any way that you think you may have caused it.
Recovering Damages After an Auto Accident Injury
After surviving a car accident, the emotional and economic toll it takes can be staggering. You are not only dealing with the mental anguish that comes with being involved in a crash, but you may also be experiencing severe physical harm as well.
Common injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents include:
- Burn injuries
- Back and neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Brain and head injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Costs for fatal motor vehicle accidents in Montana, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, came to around $2 million for medical expenses and $260 million or wage losses in 2018. Around half of all the costs from these accidents were for young adults from the age of 20 to 34.
Hiring a car accident lawyer ensures you have the financial ability to cover any losses that have occurred as a result of a crash. An auto accident attorney will also help you handle the paperwork that you will have to complete from insurance companies. This boosts your odds of receiving the insurance compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Laws in Montana
Liability Laws for MT
When car accidents happen, it is essential to determine who bears responsibility for the resulting damage and medical bills. Determining fault impacts everything from your insurance claim and level of liability to the amount of confusion you may endure during the claims process.
Montana uses the tort system, which assigns liability to the driver who is at fault. Due to this, every driver must carry liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. The state also honors comparative negligence rules. This means that a driver will get damages based on his or her assigned percentage of fault in the accident. For example, a driver who is 20% at fault can recover 80% damages in a claim.
Statute of Limitations in MT
Each state has its own tort laws that determine the statute of limitations on a claim. In some states, this gives you just one year to file a claim in court, while some others may give you up to six years. The Montana Code Annotated explains that individuals may make a personal injury claim for damages and injuries from an auto accident within three years of the accident. This is also the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims.
This is why it is important to consult with an attorney immediately after your car crash. Don’t wait and risk losing out on any compensation they can recover.
Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer In Montana
After a car accident, you have enough to worry about. We can help you find an auto accident attorney for your unique case. Get the financial restitution that you deserve if you’re the victim of someone else’s conduct.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in MT!