The 5 Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Montana

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Personal injury cases come in all shapes and sizes. These five are the most common in Montana.

Each year, thousands of people around the country sustain injuries in accidents that are not their fault. Perhaps they were walking through a park when a stranger’s dog attacked. Maybe they were involved in a car accident caused by a drunk or distracted driver. These situations are unfortunate and, frequently for the injured party, expensive. Fortunately, personal injury law allows injured people to seek compensation in cases where someone’s negligence or bad intentions caused harm.

While many accidents lend themselves to personal injury cases, some are more widespread than others. Here are a few of the most common types of personal injury cases in Montana. 

1. Car Accidents

Montana has about 150,000 miles of roadways within the state, so it’s not surprising that car accidents top this list. Car accidents happen for many reasons.

The ones that lead to personal injury claims, though, often involve a driver who isn’t being cautious or following the rules of the road. In cases where a drunk or careless driver caused an accident, the plaintiff can usually hold them financially responsible. 

2. Slip and Fall Cases

When a property owner opens their land to other people, either guests or customers, they accept responsibility for keeping the property safe, free of hazards, and functional. When they don’t, injuries can occur and lead to slip and fall cases.

We’ve written about slip and fall liability in the past, and are happy to discuss your options with you if you find yourself involved in a situation like this.

3. Slander

While it may not involve physical injury, slander is a common kind of personal injury claim. Here’s the definition of slander, according to AllLaw

“Defamation of character in the form of libel or slander refers to the fact that a person can suffer an injury to his or her reputation as a result of untrue statements. The exact nature of what defamation plaintiff must prove will vary depending on who the plaintiff is, and the forum where the statement was made.  The average person usually needs to prove that an untrue negative statement was made and that actual harm (financial loss) came from it.”

Defamation suits can be challenging to try and require the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney. 

4. Dog Bites

Most dog owners are responsible, and most dogs are friendly, but bites and attacks do happen. If a dog bites or otherwise hurts you, you can generally hold the owner financially responsible for any injuries caused by the animal. 

This said the laws vary from state to state. In some states, there are “one bite” rules, which require an owner to adopt responsible for damages caused only after they have a reason to believe their dog is aggressive (true for dog owners whose dogs have bitten someone once before). Other states, require owners to be liable for all damages their dog causes, even if the animal has no history of aggression. In Montana, an injured person can hold a pet owner accountable as long as the following are true:

  • a dog bite caused the injury,
  • the injured person was on public property or lawfully on private property,
  • the incident took place within the limits of an incorporated city or town, and
  • the injured person did not provoke the dog.

In Montana, the owner can be held liable even if it’s the dog’s first instance of aggression.

5. Assault

Assault or battery cases aren’t caused by negligence, but by someone’s willful bad intentions. These cases frequently involve a criminal element. Victims can also file personal injury cases, though, in an attempt to seek damages for injuries.

Find a Skilled Montana Personal Injury Attorney to Help You

When it comes time to file a personal injury suit, you need a skilled attorney to navigate the process with you. McGrady law has tried hundreds of Montana personal injury cases and is here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more!