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Crash Course: Dealing With A Car Accident In Montana

Two crashed cars, showcasing 'Car Accident Injury Claim In Montana - Colton HolmCar accidents are scary enough on their own, but dealing with the legal repercussions of an accident can also get your adrenaline pumping. Figuring out who was at fault, who is responsible for paying for the damages, and how to file a claim can be stressful and keep your mental wheels spinning. This article will help you understand how to handle the aftermath of a car accident in Montana, including:

  • Whether you should still hire an attorney if the other party admits they are at fault for the accident.
  • How you can get your medical bills covered while you are waiting for your claim to settle.
  • What steps you should take if an insurance company denies your claim.

Should I Hire An Attorney If The Other Party Admits They Are At Fault For Causing The Car Accident?

When a driver is at fault for an accident and has caused serious injuries to you or someone with you, it is important that you still hire a personal injury attorney to discuss what happened. Just because a driver is at fault or they admit they caused the accident does not mean you have a successful claim on your own.

Always having an attorney involved after an accident will be helpful for your claim, as well as any potential lawsuit. There are a lot of pitfalls during the claim stage of a car accident case, especially at the beginning of that claim right after an accident happens.

Insurance companies employ tactics to attempt to gain an early resolution or an early settlement offering a small amount of money. This meager amount usually does not cover the costs of your injuries, and it is usually offered when you are still not certain of the extent of your injuries.

After an accident, it’s important that you get set up with the right providers and the right treatment path. Your medical bills are an important piece of that puzzle that should be dealt with at the beginning of your claim, rather than later down the road.

Having your medical treatment set up at the beginning is crucial. If you wait too long, it can be detrimental to your case later on in the process. This is another reason that it is important for you to engage in conversations with an attorney immediately after your accident, even if the other party admits fault.

If The Other Party Is Cited For The Accident, Is It Automatically Their Fault?

If the other party in a car accident is cited, that does not automatically mean they will admit fault or be at fault for the accident. A lot of things can happen between when a person is cited for an accident and what happens later on in the process.

For instance, they could obtain an attorney who could hire a crash investigator who could argue that it wasn’t their fault. Or, at the criminal trial, they might find that the individual was not guilty or not responsible for the accident. Just because there is a citation does not mean that the other party is definitely at fault.

Another scenario we see is that police officers are very busy and often don’t have the time or wherewithal to complete a thorough investigation. This can lead to details being missed and witnesses not being spoken to, which can cause an improper ticket, citation, or charge. You should not count on the other party being cited as a basis for them admitting fault because it is unclear whether that will happen later on in the case.

Who Is Going To Pay For The Damage To My Vehicle After An Accident Caused By The Other Driver?

If you were in an accident that caused damage to your vehicle, you may be feeling some anxiety or stress over who will be covering the cost of these repairs, especially if the other party was at fault. Whether the other driver or their insurance will pay for the damages depends on the fault determination at the beginning of the claim, immediately after the accident.

In general, the insurance company of the person who caused the accident pays for the damages to the vehicle of the person who was not at fault. This could be through fixing your vehicle or totaling out your vehicle and paying the value of your car.

However, in some circumstances, the person who caused the accident does not have insurance, or they do not have enough property damage coverage. This is why it’s essential that you have your own insurance for situations where the other party is not covered. You should make sure that you always have enough property damage coverage on your own insurance in case the other party doesn’t have enough to cover the damages to your vehicle.

Who Will Pay For My Medical Bills While I Wait For An Accident Claim To Be Resolved?

How you will pay for your medical bills while you wait for your accident claim to be resolved is likely another thing on your mind after you have been in an accident. In Montana, there is a process in place for advanced payments of your medical bills prior to the resolution of your insurance claim.

Montana is unique in that the legal system here has a mechanism for injured parties to have their medical bills paid while their claim is getting resolved. The medical costs are covered by the insurance company of the party who is at fault.

Claims can take a very long time to be resolved; they could take six months, a year, or even two or three years. During this time, you may be receiving medical treatment. If there is a clear determination of fault, that person’s insurance is legally obligated to advance pay, meaning they must pay for any medical expenses you are not able to cover.

If you have health insurance, your health insurance may need to pay first. Then, depending on billing, the at-fault party’s insurance may need to repay your health insurance. Knowing that your medical bills will be covered is an important piece of Montana law that you should know if you have been in a car accident.

What Are Some Common Defense Tactics That Insurance Companies Use To Deny Or Limit Settlement Claims?

The defense tactics used by insurance companies to deny or limit your settlement claims can vary depending on where you are in the process of your car accident claim. One of the tactics that they use is trying to resolve claims early before you know the full extent of your injuries. Before you think about resolving your claim, it’s critical that you finish treating your injuries, or at least get to a point where you’re at a baseline with your injury treatment.

Another tactic is that they may delay payment for your medical expenses, the damage to your vehicle, or your lost wages, all of which you are entitled to under Montana law. They might drag their feet on these payments, which can put you, as the injured party, in a detrimental position. This can hinder you from being able to cover your lost wages, fix your car or obtain a new car, or pay for your medical expenses.

This delay can significantly impact your life when you’re seriously injured. Not only are you recovering from your injuries, but you are also dealing with the hassle of trying to fix your car and return to work. Those delay tactics can cause further disruption in your life and impact your ability to recover from your injuries and from the accident.

What Should I Do If The At-Fault Insurance Company Denies My Claim Or Offers An Inadequate Settlement?

If the at-fault party’s insurance denies your claim or offers an inadequate settlement, there are several steps you can take. Ideally, you should have an attorney involved from the beginning, but if you do not already have an attorney, it is crucial to get an attorney involved at this point. If the insurance company denies your claim, your attorney can help you figure out why and start the process moving in a different direction.

If the insurance company offers an inadequate settlement, it is often the result of your medical treatment. Perhaps they believe there was a pre-existing medical issue, or something else occurred along the claims process after the accident. This is another reason to have an attorney involved so that your attorney can help you maximize your settlement and get you the absolute best compensation you could possibly obtain.

Low settlement offers often happen when an attorney is not involved. However, even when an attorney is involved, some insurance companies still try to offer very low settlements. When this occurs, you should aim to get on a different path, such as seeing a different provider or physician. You should discuss your injuries with professionals and find out how to get the best treatment, whether your injuries are physical or emotional in nature.

For more information on Dealing With A Car Accident Injury Claim In Montana, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (406) 213-7770 today.

Colton Holm

Call Now For A Free Consultation
(406) 213-7770