When an airliner crash, passenger train derailment or ship sinking claims hundreds of lives, the event becomes a major news story around the world. In the aftermath of such tragedies, safety advocates and politicians often call for new safety measures for the mode of transportation in question. Sometimes these calls are heeded and new regulations are enacted to prevent similar accidents in the future.
When a motorcycle is involved in a collision with a car or truck, the motorcyclist is at a severe disadvantage. Motorcyclists lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, and are at greater risk of being severely injured or killed than occupants of larger vehicles. When the driver of the larger vehicle is intoxicated, the risk is even more deadly.
In recent years there has been a lot of media attention given to the dangers of drunk driving and texting while driving. While these driving behaviors are serious safety issues in Montana, it is important to remember that speeding remains the cause of a significant number of deadly motor vehicle accidents. In fact, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, speeding is a factor in one-third of all car accident fatalities nationwide.
When an individual is injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, Montana law allows that individual to sue the negligent driver and recover monetary damages. These damages provide compensation for losses including medical expenses, lost income from work and pain and suffering. These damages can be significant and, in virtually every case, they are paid by the negligent driver's automobile liability insurance company.
Montana car accidents can be a momentary lapse in judgement in an otherwise spotless driving record. It can happen quickly when changing the radio, being distracted by your kids or by driving too fast for road conditions. These accidents are a little easier to justify because there is really no malicious intent on behalf of the driver. The other type of accidents, like drunk driving accidents, are tougher to understand.
Self-driving cars are probably the future of road transportation, although how soon that will happen is anyone's guess. As far as we know they haven't made an appearance yet in Montana, but in California they have been extensively tested on public roadways. The California Department of Motor Vehicles recently released some data about accidents that have occurred in that state involving self-driving cars.
The sudden death of a loved one in a fatal motor vehicle crash is devastating for any family. Those who are left behind may be overwhelmed by shock and grief. If the deceased victim was a breadwinner for the family, their grief may be quickly followed by feelings of fear for the future. At the Edmiston and Colton Law Firm, we have many years of experience helping families through these extremely difficult times.
A tragic pedestrian accident claimed the life of a Billings woman late last month. The woman was killed when she was struck by a pickup truck on Bench Boulevard in the Billings Heights.