Montana Auto Accident Lawyer
A Statewide Car Accident Law Firm
The McGrady Law Firm provides high quality legal representation to clients who have suffered injuries from an auto accident anywhere in Montana. No matter how big or small the wreck or the extent of the injuries involved, attorney Philip McGrady is standing by to help at (406) 322-8647.
As a car accident lawyer serving the entire state, he will work tirelessly on your behalf to get the highest possible settlement or verdict he can. If the insurance company refuses to pay a fair amount, he will take your case to trial and put the matter before a jury.
There’s no fee unless you recover.
If you’ve been injured in a car wreck, don’t let the insurance companies try to push you to an early settlement or tell you that you don’t need a lawyer. Don’t believe everything they say. Philip McGrady is an experienced auto accident lawyer and he has successfully handled numerous cases.
There’s no charge to discuss your case with the McGrady Law Firm to see if you are getting a fair offer from the insurance company. Contact the firm for a free consultation.
What You Should Do After a Wreck:
- • Get a copy of the accident report.
- • Get a copy of all insurance contracts.
- • Get medical records.
- • Save all photographs.
- • Make notes with witness names and phone numbers.
- • Contact the McGrady Law Firm because the value of your case increases with legal representation.
Lawsuits And Settlements Against Negligent Drivers
Car accidents come in all varieties, from mere fender benders where the only damage might be to the automobile all the way to catastrophic vehicle crashes involving serious personal injury and even wrongful death. Damages can include replacing or repairing the automobile itself, medical bills and treatment, lost wages for missed work, pain and suffering, etc.
You aren’t just dealing with monetary damages after a wreck; you also have the personal and professional consequences that could come about. These incidents can wreak havoc on the life of an individual and the person’s entire family.
Motor vehicle accidents can cause whiplash, broken bones, bruising, spinal cord injuries, brain damage, paralysis, and other debilitating medical conditions.
No matter what, if another driver was negligent for causing the accident that you or a loved one were in, that person must be held accountable. Oftentimes, that means dealing directly with the responsible party’s insurance provider as well as our own client’s.
This firm knows what to expect when dealing with insurance providers and the legal teams they hire. If we don’t get an appropriate settlement, we will sue the driver and take the case to court.
After A Car Wreck What Should I Do?
To Assist Your Attorney, Always Request An Accident Report
Assuming you don’t need immediate medical attention and can stick around at the scene of the accident, always be sure to request a police report. Mont. Code Ann. 61-7-101 is called the “Uniform Accident Reporting Act” and speaks to this issue.
An accident report prepared by law enforcement is critical for dealing with the insurance company and can prove invaluable during a lawsuit if you have to go to court.
No matter how minor the wreck might have been, always get a police report. Even in if you’re in some remote part of Montana where you’ll have to wait a long time, it’s worth the wait. Doing so might seem inconvenient at the time but we can promise you that it is worth the hassle.
Let’s say you get into an accident in Yellowstone County. You might be dealing with the Yellowstone County Police Department, the City of Billings Police Department, or even the Montana Highway Patrol. By calling 911 after the crash, dispatchers will send the appropriate law enforcement to your location to investigate.
If you have been injured and have to leave the scene in an ambulance or someone else drives you to the hospital, leave word that you must have a police report. Later on, the law enforcement officer(s) who investigated the accident will probably come to the hospital to interview you in more detail assuming your condition permits it.
Once the investigation is complete, the agency involved will have the accident report available and you will have the opportunity to order it.
By no means does not having a police report bar your ability to recover; however, it will make your life and your attorney’s a lot easier in the future in dealing with a lawsuit or insurance claim.
Car Accident Lawyers Like Having As Much Information and Documentation As Possible
Again, this part assumes you aren’t hurt and don’t need medical treatment for your injuries. If you have been hurt, getting medical assistance should be your first priority.
While on the scene of the accident, be sure to write down the name of the other driver and his/her insurance information. We recommend that you be the one to write down the info and not just let the other person do it for you. For example, you can politely ask for their driver’s license and proof of insurance. From there, you could quickly write those things down.
Also jot down their vehicle tag number, as well as the make and model of their car. Take down the names of any passengers and any witnesses. Try to get their phone numbers if you can.
Take note of any other information that seems pertinent, such as the time of day, the weather conditions, and any other details that could be important later. For example, there might have been a hit-and-run driver involved and so whatever you can remember about that person or their vehicle might be more easily retrievable shortly after the wreck. The same is true of other possible witnesses, people who choose not to stop and give their account of the event to police.
With today’s technology, some people use their smart phones to take pictures or even videos of the accident scene. You could even use your smartphone to quickly take a picture of the other person’s driver’s license and insurance card so that you don’t have to write those things down.
The point of all these things is to document as many facts as you can. As valuable as police reports are, don’t leave it to law enforcement to collect any and all information for you. In fact, if the accident report is difficult to read, leaves out important details like names of witnesses, or even contains errors about how the incident occurred (like whose fault it was), your fact gathering will prove extremely valuable.
Call an Attorney Soon After The Wreck
When things have settled down after a car wreck, finding an attorney to help should be your next line of business. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have plenty of time to contact a law firm. The applicable statute of limitations might be three years for a negligence case in this state. That might seem like a long time, but you need to understand why time is not on your side.
Again, factual documentation is key and having an attorney on your side early on can really help your claim. All of those people who were present during or after the car collision (witnesses, law enforcement, and even the driver) could move out of state, suffer from a debilitating medical condition, or even pass away. This is no joke.
Don’t leave it to chance that every person who could testify on your behalf later will be around and available.
Also, evidence taken after the incident is easier to collect and preserve the closer in time to the event that you are. There could be traffic camera footage, police dashboard footage, tire marks and even the damaged vehicles themselves that might be available in the short term but maybe not the long term.
Another reason retaining counsel early in the process is that you can find out what to do about medical treatment, hospital bills, time out of work, etc. In the event you are dealing with a fatal accident, the kind of case which could bring about a wrongful death claim, your attorney could answer questions about the deceased’s estate, funeral expenses, etc., and other damages allowed for wrongful death.
You can get advice on what do and there is even the possibility that the insurance company could go ahead and authorize certain expenses on your behalf in the short run. For these reasons, having an attorney as soon as possible could be one of the best decisions you ever make.
A Law Office Handling Auto Accident Lawsuits and Insurance Claims Across the Big Sky State
If you were involved in a car accident in Montana, no matter what part of the state you were in, our law office can help you.
It doesn’t matter where you are located or where the accident occurred: Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Missoula, Kalispell, Butte, Miles City, Glendive, Yellowstone, Glacier, or anywhere in between. We’re here to help.
Our office is capable of serving clients all across the state. We can even help people who aren’t residents of this state, assuming the car wreck or other personal injury case occurred in Montana.
Tourist Car Accidents
In Montana, tourist car accidents occur more frequently than people realize.
A lot of people have gone on vacation to Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Big Sky, or traveled to other tourist destinations–and in doing so, they have got into serious car collisions.
When an automobile accident happens in a state where you don’t live, it can be confusing to know what to do and who you can trust.
Philip McGrady is a legal advocate you can trust. And his long track record of success demonstrates his serious commitment to getting results for all of his clients.
Montana Car Accidents by the Numbers
If you drive the roads of Montana, you are at risk of being injured in a car accident. Slick roads, short-winter days, low visibility, driver inattention, driver fatigue, deer and large animals, alcohol…the list of factors which cause or contribute to car accidents goes on and on.
A 2015 Montana Department of Transportation Study found that Montana’s roadway fatalities were up by 32 in 2015 compared to 2014 (224/192). The study also found that ten year (2006-2015) average number of Montana roadway fatalities to be 224. Montana’s 2015 fatality rate (number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled) was 1.81. Montana’s fatality rate continued to be higher than the national rate of approximately 1.12, according to the study.
The State Farm insurance company did a report which ranked Montana number 2 in the nation for wildlife versus car collisions for 2016, according to the Billings Gazette.
Not surprisingly, Montanans like their cars. There are a little over a million of us living in Montana according to the 2016 Census. But there were over 1.4 million “light vehicles” registered in the state of Montana in 2016. And there were an additional 58,000 “heavy trucks” registered in Montana.
According to the Montana DOT study, there were a total of 22,369 reported crashes during 2015 bringing the five-year annual average to 20,913. The summary of 2015 crash details includes 786 serious injury crashes and 204 fatal crashes or 22% of all crashes reported.
The point is, while not the same conditions as driving in and around large cities, you’re still at risk of being in an auto accident when you drive the roads of Montana. No matter the cause of the car accident, whether negligence, inattentive driving, or alcohol-related, traffic accidents cause injuries requiring medical treatment.
The injuries from a car accident can be life changing. The weeks or months following the accident can be the most trying. To compound the physical and emotional impact of the car accident, you may be also dealing with the insurance adjuster for a negligent driver. Your interests are better served letting a lawyer handle these negotiations.
Know Your Entitlements
First you should distinguish between property damage and physical injury. Establishing property damage in regards to the vehicle is relatively straightforward. If the vehicle can be repaired, the damages are the costs of repair. If the vehicle has been totaled, the damages are fair market value. Determining fair market value is not always straightforward.
Past Medical Bills
The first big area of personal injury damages is the costs of past medical bills. This can be determined by requesting an itemized bill from each hospital, treating physician, and other healthcare provider that has rendered services to the injured person due to injuries sustained as a result of the motor vehicle accident. The past medical expenses should be based on the actual charges for the services rendered, not the amount paid by the health insurance carrier, which is typically a significantly discounted rate.
Future Medical Bills
This element of damages is generally established by the testimony of a treating physician. Basically, the treating physician’s testimony should establish why you will need continued treatment in the future and what type of treatment will be needed.
Packed within the lost earnings category are variations such as past lost income, future lost income, and loss of earning capacity. Establishing these types of damages can be done with tax returns, 1099s, testimony from employers, and experts.
In tort law, “general damages” means things like emotional distress, and pain and suffering. These damages are more difficult to calculate. Unlike “special damages,” such as medical expenses, there is a corresponding bill. Calculating general damages is fact specific, and having the assistance of an attorney with experience calculating these damages will go a long way.
Get Your Needs Met
You should contact a Montana lawyer with experience handling car accidents, whether it’s through pre-trial settlement or going to trial.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident anywhere in Montana, whether it’s Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Dillon, Butte, Glasgow, Great Falls, Billings, or Missoula, the McGrady Law Firm can meet your needs.
Get a Free Consultation Now
No matter what your particular circumstances are, or what county it happened in, you have nothing to lose at all by speaking with attorney Philip McGrady for your free initial consultation concerning the case. Your call or email will be kept confidential.
He will travel to your location to visit you or to attend any court hearing, whether in Bozeman, Livingston, Helena, Missoula, Kalispell, Great Falls, Lewistown, Miles City, Glendive, Sydney, Glasgow and more. Towns along the HiLine or anywhere in Eastern Montana, no matter how remote or small the town, Philip McGrady is capable of providing high quality legal services to you and will work tirelessly to get you the most money from your car accident as he can.