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Multi-car collision in Western Montana sends driver to hospital

Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of motor vehicle accidents in Montana and around the country. A recent example in Lake County ended up in a chain reaction that damaged five vehicles, closed Highway 93 North for more than an hour, and sent one driver to the hospital.

The multi-vehicle car accident happened on a Tuesday morning near the Ninepipes Wildlife Refuge. According to the Montana Highway Patrol, a northbound car stopped to make a left turn. Another two vehicles behind the first one also stopped. But a fourth vehicle, a U-Haul, failed to stop in time and rear-ended the group of stopped vehicles. The collision propelled the third vehicle in line, a van, into the southbound lane where it collided with a fifth vehicle and then struck a guard rail. The driver of the van suffered minor head injuries in the crash. He was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released. The U-Haul driver got a citation for careless driving.

Rear-end collisions can be caused by a number of factors, alone or in combination. Some are caused by distracted drivers who don't notice the vehicle in front slowing down and hit the brakes too late. Some are caused by speeding. Some are caused by a failure to keep a safe following distance behind the vehicle in front.

It is not uncommon for a car accident victim to experience symptoms that do not manifest themselves until days or even weeks after the accident. It is important for a victim who wishes to make a claim against a negligent driver to seek medical treatment as soon as symptoms appear. This is important not only in order to get relief from the pain, but in order to document the symptoms and the treatment. Meeting with an experienced personal injury attorney soon after the accident is also a good idea, so that evidence can be collected and witnesses interviewed while their memories are still fresh.

Source: KAJ18.com, "Driver cited after 5 vehicle Lake County crash," Melissa Rafferty, Dec. 10, 2013

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