Nearly everyone in Montana knows a friend, relative, co-worker or acquaintance who has suffered some sort of personal injury in a car or trucking accident, on a worksite, on the premises of a business, or at a hospital during a medical procedure. The injuries suffered by these individuals can have a devastating impact both on the victims themselves and on their families, particularly if there is insufficient insurance coverage to cover their damages.
Unfortunately, many of these injury victims elect not to hire a personal injury attorney and attempt to deal directly with the insurance carrier for the person or entity responsible for causing their injuries. As a result, they frequently do not obtain fair compensation for their injuries.
Insurance carriers strongly encourage injury victims not to hire a personal injury attorney because they know that they can negotiate much smaller settlements with people who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of personal injury litigation. Successfully prosecuting personal injury claims in Montana requires an in depth and specialized understanding of Montana statutory and common law as well as a familiarity with the way in which insurance carriers evaluate claims. When injury victims attempt to navigate this complicated process on their own, they run into pitfalls that result in them recovering a fraction of what they would had they hired an attorney well versed in handling personal injury claims.
This is particularly true in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases involving young victims where insurers have the greatest amount of exposure. For example, a 15 year old boy was recently killed in a tragic auto accident near Missoula, Montana after the driver of his vehicle lost control of the car and rolled into a ditch. Two months later, a 2 year old boy was killed in Ravalli County, Montana in an auto accident on private property. These types of horrific accidents strike fear in the hearts of the insurance carriers for the at fault drivers because of the enormous potential risk faced by the insurer. However, due to the complicated nature of these types of catastrophic injury claims, insurers are often able to avoid fairly compensating unrepresented victims.
In death cases, an experienced personal injury attorney would immediately assess whether the decedents’ family may assert both a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party, and a potential survivorship claim. The survivorship claim would depend upon whether the decedent lived an appreciable period of time prior to succumbing to injuries. In addition, there are several other possible avenues of recovery contingent upon the type and amount of insurance that is available. Serious injury claims also typically involve complicated lien issues which, if not handled properly, could unnecessarily deplete the victim’s recovery. Unfortunately, the insurance carriers for the at fault drivers are under no obligation to inform you of what claims can be asserted, who has the ability to assert those claims, or what forms of insurance are available. This can prove disastrous for injury victims and their families when they attempt to handle personal injury claims on their own because they have no way of knowing whether they have exhausted all their available remedies.
The attorneys at Hoyt and Blewett PLLC specialize in pursuing all types of personal injury claims in Montana and North Dakota, from auto and trucking accident injuries to workplace injuries to medical malpractice injuries, and are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that you are fully compensated by the insurance carrier for the injuries you suffer. If you are injured through someone else’s negligence and are hesitant to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you in your claim against the insurance company, it is important to remember the serious risks involved in attempting to handle your claim without the assistance of experienced counsel.