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Automotive Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline

Navigating Automotive or Injury Lawsuits

Navigating your first automotive accident or injury lawsuit can be a stressful and confusing time. To make things easier, we have put together an automotive personal injury lawsuit timeline.

We will discuss how long you have to file an auto personal injury lawsuit in Montana, as well as what you can file for, and what steps you need to take. This article will familiarize you with the process and what you can expect. Continue reading “Automotive Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline”

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Are Dashboard Cameras Admissible For Montana Car Accident Claims?

In recent years dashcams have become increasingly popular in Montana and throughout America. The advances in small camera technology have made dashcams, or alternatives like the GoPro, affordable and easy to use in cars. Having video evidence can make a big difference in Montana auto accident claims.

 

A dashcam is shorthand for dashboard camera. As the name suggests, it is a camera that sits on your dashboard or is attached to the windshield. Dashcams face forward and capture footage of the cars first-person view. Dashcam videos can be used by Montana car accident lawyers to support testimony. Continue reading “Are Dashboard Cameras Admissible For Montana Car Accident Claims?”

Montana Legislature Once Again Rejects Motorcycle Helmet Law

Montana law currently requires only those under the age of 18 to wear helmets while operating a motorcycle.  Hence, under state law, all adult motorcyclists can legally operate a motorcycle without a helmet.

In 2013 the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that all states enact mandatory helmet laws for motorcyclists.  According to Consumer Reports, in states where mandatory helmet laws are passed, helmet usage is nearly 100% thereby reducing deaths and injuries from motorcycle accidents.

Unfortunately, helmet usage typically declines in states, like Montana, where such laws do not exist.  The Montana Highway Patrol has noted that only 40% to 50% of motorcyclists injured in crashes in Montana wear helmets.

Given the safety concerns regarding helmet usage and riders injured in motorcycle accidents, the Montana legislature recently considered a proposed bill that would mandate that motorcyclists of all ages wear helmets or face a $50 fine.

The bill would only apply to motorcycle use outside the city limits. However, the next day following the hearing, the bill was tabled by the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee, meaning the legislation is most likely dead.

Montana’s Resistance to Laws Mandating Motorcycle Helmet Use

The recent legislative effort to require helmets followed the same fate as previous attempts to change the law. For instance, in 2007, a universal motorcycle law was quickly defeated in the Montana legislature.

However, Montana has not always permitted motorcyclists to ride without helmets.  Prior to 1977, Montana enacted a motorcycle helmet law.  This law was improvidently repealed in 1977 due to concerns about personal freedom.

There is little question that the repeal of Montana’s motorcycle helmet law has caused needless injuries and deaths for bikers.

Recent High Profile Motorcycle Accidents

There have recently been a number of high-profile motorcycle accidents in Montana and around the country that have raised debate about the need for enacting helmet laws.

A Republican state lawmaker who opposed helmet laws was fatally injured in a tragic motorcycle accident when a truck turned unexpectedly turned left into his lane. He was killed even though he wore a helmet.

Last summer, an off-duty sheriff was critically injured in a motorcycle accident near Missoula, Montana, when he was not wearing a helmet.

Despite these high-profile accidents, there simply does not appear to be much political will in the Montana to impose mandatory helmet laws.

Are Motorcycle Helmet Laws Necessary?

Some opponents of motorcycle helmet laws claim that laws mandating motorcycle helmet use infringe on personal freedom. Others complain that helmets are uncomfortable, too hot to wear in the summer or unsafe because they limit visibility.

The opponents, however, ignore the data and tremendous social costs imposed on society due to motorcycle accidents.  Various groups around Montana, including hospitals, public safety advocates, and personal injury lawyers, argue that mandatory helmet laws reduce the severity of costly head injuries, minimize disabilities and keep motorcycle accident victims off of Medicaid and other public assistance problems.

It is undisputable that helmets help save lives and that the benefits to public safety far outweigh the costs of personal freedom.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Call Hoyt and Blewett Today.

If you were injured while riding a motorcycle due to the negligence of another vehicle, you likely have a claim against the responsible driver regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.  The motorcycle accident lawyers at Hoyt and Blewett have been representing bikers injured in Missoula and across the state of Montana for decades.  If you have been injured, you owe it to yourself to contact Montana personal injury lawyers at Hoyt and Blewett for a free consultation.

Montana Takes Action to Reduce Car Accidents on Two-Lane Highways

Located at the cross-section of two dangerous two-lane highways near the Canadian border lies the windy railroad town of Havre, Montana.   Havre is the eighth largest city in Montana.

Unlike most Montana cities, which are connected by at least one interstate, Havre has no access to an interstate. It can only be accessed by two-lane highways.  As a result, those who drive to Havre face more safety hazards than those who drive to other cities in Montana.

Continue reading “Montana Takes Action to Reduce Car Accidents on Two-Lane Highways”

Montana Rules of The Road – Where Are Cyclists Allowed?

Spring is fast approaching. When the snow begins to melt in the coming weeks you will start to notice people biking in Montana and sharing the roadways. This, in turn, is sure to reignite the ongoing debate between motorists and cyclists over who rules the road.  Over the course of our decades of experience in representing motorcycle and auto accident victims, one thing is certain – seemingly everyone has their own interpretation of the Montana Bicycle law.
Continue reading “Montana Rules of The Road – Where Are Cyclists Allowed?”

Winter Automobile Accidents in Montana

The car accident attorneys at Hoyt & Blewett have represented the people of Montana for over 30 years, and have successfully won numerous seven-figure jury verdicts against insurance companies and corporations. With that said, there have been thousands of automobile-related fatalities in the United States. With an average of 7,100 weather related US automobile deaths each year, and 116,800 people injured in vehicle accidents involving snowy, slushy or icy driving conditions each year, the residents of the state of Montana are set to experience yet another dangerous winter on the roads.

Continue reading “Winter Automobile Accidents in Montana”

Should Residents of Butte, Montana be Concerned About Water Pollution?

Recent reports of over 3,000 geese that died from exposure to toxic chemicals in a contaminated storage pond near Butte, Montana has raised concern for the safety of residents and surrounding areas in Western Montana. Although no human casualties have been reported as a result of the contaminated water, officials warn that measures must be taken to protect the region’s residents before the poisonous mix seeps into the Butte, Montana water supply. Residents should familiarize themselves with the situation and the protections that are available to compensate them for environmental damage in Butte, Montana.

Continue reading “Should Residents of Butte, Montana be Concerned About Water Pollution?”

Montana’s Laws on Distracted Driving and Cell Phones

Each year in Montana, hundreds of people are seriously injured in auto and trucking accidents as a direct result of distracted drivers who talk and/or text on their cell phones.  This has become such a serious problem that numerous cities across Montana have implemented ordinances banning the use of hand held devices while driving. Continue reading “Montana’s Laws on Distracted Driving and Cell Phones”