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Montana Auto Accidents
You may assume incorrectly that there is nothing you can do to improve your situation or better your claims post-accident. That is simply not true. In actuality, Montana car accident lawyers suggest several key tips that injured parties should take to improve their claims and protect their legal rights right after a crash occurs:
- Do not speak to an insurance claims agent or adjuster. It is wise to allow an auto accident attorney to discuss and negotiate with insurance companies for you. Adjusters tend to ask leading questions and present waivers, releases, and confusing documentation that reduce or eliminate your right to receive compensation. Do not make a recorded or taped statement or sign any document until you have had the benefit of consultation with an attorney.
- Talk to witnesses at the accident scene and take pictures of the scene and damage if you are able. Photographs are difficult to ignore and dispute, especially in a mediation context or as a demonstrative aide for the jury at trial. Write down names, addresses, and contact information for witnesses for future reference, especially in the event of litigation. Pay attention to statements made about speed, signals, swerving, right-of-way, stop signs, traffic lights, blind spots, aggressive and/or defensive driving, etc.
- Get prompt medical treatment. You have the right post-crash to see a doctor of your choosing. Do not allow an insurance company to choose the doctor you will see. Follow your doctor's recommended treatment regimen and keep detailed records of all medical treatment, prescriptions, and services received while under a doctor's care. It is prudent to keep a timeline or log of appointments, medications, treatments, hospitalizations, and visits.
- Consult with a Montana auto accident lawyer immediately. It is smart to request an initial consultation with one or more Montana car accident attorneys as soon after your wreck as possible. You should do this only after appropriate medical treatment is obtained and completed. These lawyers can help you understand your rights and options, and how to best protect your legal interests post-accident.
Deadlines for Filing Car Accident Claims in Montana
Montana's statute of limitations law affords injured victims a three-year time limit from the date of an auto accident to file a claim against the driver at fault for an accident, though there are some exceptions to this otherwise strict deadline. Still, time is of the essence in making a personal injury and/or damaged property claim stemming from a Montana car accident. It is a good idea to seek out prompt legal counsel from an auto accident attorney as soon after you have obtained appropriate medical treatment as physically possible. Any unnecessary delays could hamper or prejudice your claims and interests.
If you are not able to negotiate a voluntary settlement with the other driver involved in your collision (or that driver's auto insurance company), then you and your Montana auto accident attorney should consider filing a civil lawsuit in the state. That suit will most likely be filed in Montana state court. The suit must commence before the statute of limitations ends and time runs out for bringing your car accident injury-related claim.
Montana Has Adopted a Tort Liability System
Montana adopted a system of tort liability for auto accident laws, like 27 other states. Tort liability states allow litigation to address damages that result from car collisions. There are no thresholds or legal limits otherwise placed upon injured victims' abilities to file suit. So, if you are involved in a Montana car wreck, a party must be determined to be the cause or "at fault" for the accident. Once that party is deemed at fault under Montana law, he or she becomes legally responsible for all resulting damages from the collision. Those damages are normally processed through the auto insurance company of the at-fault driver. Because Montana is considered a tort liability state, many auto insurers suggest to their driver clients to buy higher auto insurance coverage limits than the state-required minimum levels.
Locate a Local Montana Car Collision Lawyer Today
A Montana auto accident attorney can represent you in court proceedings, at both the hearing and trial levels, and can examine and evaluate your case to assess potential bases for recovery and probable damages stemming from the car crash at issue. He or she can highlight strengths and weaknesses of your case and outline the likely timeline for negotiating and/or litigating your car collision injury and/or property damage claim(s). A Montana-based car accident lawyer can help you navigate the state's court system and best position you for optimal favorable recovery. Call now to speak with an car accident lawyer in Montana at 877-913-7222.