With all the fun and festivities that comes along with New Year's Eve, there are, unfortunately, some dangers as well. As our readers might expect, every New Year's Eve comes with a substantial increase in accidents, many of which involve drunk drivers.
When Montana residents files a personal injury claim in connection with a car accident, they are often unsure how their case will be resolved. Some cases go to trial and a jury decides whether the defendant was negligent, and then decides the amount of damages that will fairly compensate the plaintiff. But, the majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court. Settlement provides certainty to both parties and avoids the risk and expense of trial.
As bicycling becomes more popular in Montana, it is probably inevitable that collisions with motor vehicles will increase. Unfortunately, a person on a bike has very little protection in collision. Unlike someone in a car, the bicyclist is not surrounded by a steel cage that will absorb some of the impact. As a result, automobile-bicycle collisions carry a high risk of serious injury for the cyclist.
Drunk driving is a serious problem in Montana. When a person chooses to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after having too much to drink, they put the safety of everyone else on the road at risk.
In the immediate aftermath of a serious car accident, Montana emergency responders will check whether anyone is injured. If a person's injuries are not obvious, they will ask the person if they feel alright. Often the answer is yes. But all too often someone who initially did not think they were injured begins to experience pain, stiffness and other symptoms hours or even days later.
In Montana, a person injured in a car accident caused by the fault of another driver has the right to bring a lawsuit and recover monetary damages. The amount of damages awarded is determined by a jury if the case goes to trial. In many cases the victim's attorney is able to negotiate a settlement with the negligent driver's insurance company before trial.
In this blog we have posted many times about the dangers of texting and driving. Just last month we discussed a visit by the "It Can Wait" safety campaign to a Billings High School. The problem is serious: according to a recent article in the New York Times, fatal motor vehicle accidents are increasing at a rate unseen since the 1960s, and distracted driving is part of the problem.
Texting and driving can be deadly, and the toll is rising: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatal accidents nationwide in which the driver was distracted by a cell phone increased from 406 to 476 annually between 2014 and 2015. Many experts believe accidents caused by cell phone use are underreported, because drivers don't always admit to police that they were on the phone when the crash occurred.
A pedestrian who is hit by a car often faces a long and difficult recovery. When the driver leaves the scene without stopping to render assistance, the victim's mental anguish may be intensified by anger and frustration.
Spinal cord injuries are often life-changing. Damage to the spinal cord or the nerves in the spinal canal can result in loss of strength and sensation below the level where the injury occurred. In cases of severe injury this loss can be complete, resulting in paralysis. Bodily functions such as bladder and bowel control can also be affected.