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Allen saw the flash of brake lights ahead of him. He intuitively slowed down, when suddenly, all the cars screeched to a halt. Allen slammed on his brake and managed to quickly stop. He quickly glanced at his rear-view mirror, seeing the car behind him approaching fast. Allen felt the sudden pang of his seat belt pulling against his heaving body as he careened forward. It all happened so fast.
In Montana, a car accident can happen anywhere. It can happen at any time. It can also range in seriousness from a minor fender bender to a serious fatality. A car accident leads to immense uncertainty. Questions like who is at fault, what should I do next, and who I should contact are all common after an accident. If you have been the victim of an accident, speaking with a vehicle accident attorney can help resolve many of your questions. An attorney from the Advocates Law can liberate you from much of the confusion following an accident.
Knowing who was at fault is an important part of your case. Montana is a “fault” state, meaning in an accident, someone is determined to be legally at fault. This distinction gives the victim of a car accident multiple options for compensation. The compensation from your accident can over the cost of medical bills, vehicle repair, and other problems stemming from the accident.
Generally, the fault is determined based on the state’s legal definition of negligence. In Montana, a person is liable when they are negligent. Montana Code states that a person is negligent for an injury “by the person’s want of ordinary care or skill in the management of the person’s property.” Therefore, if someone fails to exercise an ordinary level of care while driving, that person is liable. So in the example above, the person who rear-ended Allen could be at fault. Other times, knowing who was at fault can be a little trickier. In these cases, a police officer can help determine who is at fault, but insurance companies have the final say in this matter.
Knowing what to do immediately following an accident can be challenging. The chaos of the situation can erode your decision-making abilities. Some key reminders include:
- Stay calm
- Assess your injuries
- Move to a safe location
- Call the police
- Exchange insurance information
- Take pictures of the damage
Each of these steps can be beneficial following an accident. For example, taking pictures of the damage to your vehicle can provide important evidence for the insurance company.
Knowing who you should contact immediately following your accident can help reduce the overall stress of the accident. First, you should inform your insurance company. Whether this is through a phone call, online, or even using app services. They will give you instructions on what you should do next. Follow the insurance company’s instructions.
Contacting a car accident lawyer can also be a valuable decision. Not every car accident case will be taken by an attorney, so speaking with an attorney to determine if you have a case is important. The Advocates Law can be a great resource for you. They are a vehicle accident attorneys with an office in Billings, serving all of Montana. Your Advocate will help you through this challenging time. The Advocates Law offers FREE CONSULTATIONS where the unique details of your case can be considered individually. Even if the lawyer decides not to take your case, your Advocate can give you valuable advice on what to do next. Call today!
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