Edmiston and Colton Law Firm - Personal Injury

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in Billings, Montana

Billings Personal Injury Law Blog

Fewer car accidents last month in Montana

The Montana Department of Transportation recently published new information that travelers across the state will be glad to hear. There was reportedly a significant decrease in car accidents throughout the state in January. In fact, there were more than 30% fewer fatalities in that month in 2020 than occurred in the same month of the previous year.

There were seven collision-related deaths in Montana in January of this year. At least one of the collisions was alcohol-related. A woman who had been traveling with her 2-year-old daughter in the back seat said she was also the victim of a drunk driver, but thankfully, both she and her child survived the crash although her daughter suffered injuries.

Police say speed was causal factor in a truck accident

Montana investigators are still actively seeking answers to questions as to what occurred in the moments leading up to a recent collision. The truck accident occurred just after 1 p.m. on a Sunday. There were several people traveling in the vehicle at the time.

Preliminary investigations show that the truck driver was traveling in a westbound direction on I-90 when he reportedly lost control of his steering. The truck veered out of its lane and hit a nearby divider. The sudden impact of the collision catapulted the truck over the divider, where it hit a fence, then flew in the air until it crashed into an embankment on the other side of an underpass.

Medical negligence: Important information about autopsies

When a loved one enters a Montana hospital for medical examination or treatment, it can be logically assumed that the entire medical team will act in accordance with state laws and accepted protocol and safety standards of the industry. Sadly, medical negligence is not only problematic in this state but most others as well. When a patient dies, family members may have many unanswered questions, which often leads to a request for an autopsy.

Laws and regulations governing autopsies vary by state. It is critical that a concerned loved one seek clarification of the laws in this state if he or she is acting on behalf of a deceased loved one to investigate a possible medical malpractice case. A family in another state learned that the hospital where their loved one died was going to be the same entity performing the autopsy, an issue they believed caused a serious conflict of interest.

Medical negligence -- a problem Montana shouldn't have

When you or your loved one is admitted to a Montana hospital for care, it's often difficult to predict what the ultimate outcome will be. It is reasonable, however, for you to expect that the licensed health care workers who are tasked with providing care will do so in accordance with state laws and acceptable standards of care. You should not have to worry about medical negligence. In reality, though, it often happens, causing severe injuries and, and in some cases, death to patients.

Injuries caused by surgical errors, for instance, may prompt a need for additional surgery or long-term living assistance if the injuries in question caused permanent disability to the patient. If a surgeon fails to remove a surgical instrument from the body of a patient or operates on the wrong body part, it can have disastrous results. On occasion, a surgical team has even operated on the wrong patient.

Parents in another state filed medical negligence claim

When a woman gives birth in a Montana hospital or medical facility in another state, she has the right to reasonably expect that the attending medical team will adhere to state laws governing the industry and will provide high-quality care according to accepted protocol and safety standards. If a doctor, nurse, technician or other licensed medical worker fails in his or her fiduciary duty, resulting in a birth injury, the parents of the child may seek justice on behalf of their son or daughter. To do so, they can file a medical negligence claim in a civil court.

Parents in another state filed such a claim on behalf of their son, who is now age 3 but unable to walk or feed himself. In fact, he needs round-the-clock care and must take eight medications per day as a result of the brain injury he suffered because his delivery at birth was delayed. His parents claim that the hospital, as well as several nurses and doctors, are responsible for their son's injuries.

Jury says surgeon and hospital are guilty of medical negligence

When a medical patient in Montana or elsewhere undergoes surgery, he or she entrusts his or her medical well-being to a team of skilled professionals, including a surgeon (or surgeons), nurses, surgical technicians and others. Especially if the procedure in question involves the patient being fully unconscious at the time, he or she is unaware of what is happening in the operating room during the surgery. If medical negligence occurs, it is often only later, during recovery, that a patient will become aware of it.

One of the most common types of surgical errors that occur in the United States is leaving foreign objects inside the bodies of patients. Such items might include a surgical instrument, gauze or other objects. There are strict procedures regarding keeping track of every instrument and item used during a surgery; if the medical team follows the procedure, the likelihood of a surgeon mistakenly leaving an item inside the body of a patient is small.

Are car accidents more likely to cause injuries to men or women?

A motor vehicle accident can change a person's life in an instant. One second a Montana driver may be heading to the store or going to work, and the next moment that person may be left with pain and debilitating injuries. While anyone is susceptible to injuries in a crash, there is some reason to believe that certain people are more likely to experience injuries than others in car accidents.

According to the findings of a recent study, women are more likely to experience injuries in a crash than men. In fact, they have a 73% greater chance of injury in a collision. This study focused on forward collisions in which occupants were wearing seat belts. Vehicles are safer than ever before, but evidence suggests that the reason women are more likely to be injured is because of the difference in body types between males and females.

Car accidents: Montana community grieves local celebrity's death

In Montana and across the country, many people enjoy listening to the radio. It is not uncommon for disc jockeys to obtain celebrity status in their communities or nationwide. When car accidents occur involving local celebrities, it often sends a ripple of grief throughout an entire region. Sadly, that is exactly what happened following a recent collision that involved a well-known 63-year-old musician and radio DJ in Missoula.

It was just after 2:30 a.m. on a recent Wednesday when the much loved musician was pronounced dead at the scene of an accident. He was reportedly heading south on Highway 93 when another vehicle hit his pickup truck. Police say the other vehicle had veered out of his lane and across two oncoming lanes of traffic before colliding with the DJ's vehicle.

Truck accidents: Financial recovery is often possible

If you're traveling on a Montana highway, it pays to be as cautious and alert as possible, especially when you're sharing the road with a lot of other vehicles. All drivers are legally obligated to adhere to all traffic laws and safety regulations. The problem is that you have no guarantee that every other nearby motorist is going to comply. Car or truck accidents often occur suddenly, leaving little to no time to safely react to avoid collision. 

Some drivers are reckless. Others get distracted at the wheel, perhaps while adjusting radio knobs or using cellphones which take their focus off the task at hand. Truck drivers, in particular, are often fatigued after spending many consecutive hours on the road without rest. News headlines often include mention of 18-wheeler accidents, many of which result in fatalities.

Car accidents: Grief may be intensified during the holidays

Nothing can prepare the average Montana family for learning that a loved one has suffered fatal injuries in a collision. There are typically more car accidents during holiday seasons for various reasons. In addition to there being more cars on the road, there also tends to be more drunk drivers, which places all travelers nearby at great risk.

Coping with the sudden, unexpected loss of a loved one during the holidays is often devastating. Some families may decide to cancel their holiday gatherings and plans altogether. Other families might want to try their best to carry on with their holiday plans in memory of their loved one.

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