There’s nothing like getting out to explore nature – especially here in Montana, where we’re privileged to have many beautiful national parks within close driving distance. Whether you’re heading down to Yellowstone or visiting the Crown of the Continent, however, there’s always the possibility that you could be injured in a car accident during your road trip.
If that happens, you may need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to take on your claim and determine who is liable for your injuries. At Hoyt & Blewett PLLC, we have the skill and expertise to protect your interests and seek the fair compensation that you deserve after an accident. Bringing over 100 years of legal experience, our team can help you investigate the incident and hold the right party accountable.
Who Is Liable for a Car Accident?
Whether you’re taking an RV or driving a small passenger car on your Montana road trip, there’s always the possibility that you could get into a vehicle crash. This is especially true during the busy season for our national parks, which typically peaks in July and August. Because Montana is an at-fault state for car accidents, the driver who caused your accident will be the one liable for your injuries.
Of course, determining liability can become more complicated if you also contributed to your accident. The state of Montana adheres to the “51% bar rule,” also known as the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. Under this legal principle, you cannot collect any damages for your injuries if you were 51% or more responsible for your car crash. That means you will need to be certain who caused your accident before pursuing an injury claim against another driver.
What If My Accident Was Caused by Nature?
Because of the natural biodiversity in Montana, there are many environmental factors that could also lead to a car crash, including:
- Herds of wild animals
- Rockslides and mudslides
- Snow and ice from glaciers
- Bears and mountain lions
In the event of a car accident caused by a natural disaster or a wild animal, chances are slim that you will be able to bring a personal injury claim to recover damages from anyone. However, your injuries will likely be covered by your own car insurance provider – and in that case, having an attorney to represent you and negotiate on your behalf could still be highly beneficial.
Can I Sue a National Park for My Car Accident?
Car accidents happen in Montana’s national parks too, and when they do, there are some occasions when the park itself could be held responsible for your injuries. Because these parks are owned by government agencies, those agencies have a clear obligation to maintain public roadways and make sure that all traffic signs are accurate. As long as you can prove that the park knew about a traffic or road hazard and failed to act on it, the appropriate government agency could be held liable for injuries.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
No matter how your auto accident happened, our legal team at Hoyt & Blewett PLLC can help you navigate the process of pursuing a claim, and outline the best course of action for recovery. We hope that you and your family are able to stay safe when visiting Montana’s incredible natural wonders, but if you do need assistance, our doors are open.
Call (406) 233-1302 today to schedule a free case evaluation with our team!