Bozeman Car Accident Lawyer

Cars are a necessity to get around the great state of Montana. However, we take for granted that these high-ton moving vehicles can cause severe accidents due to the negligence of others. A car injury can be a life-changing event that forever alters the course of an individual and his or her loved ones. Car accidents may result in financial turmoil, emotional distress, and physical injuries that a victim will need to manage for his or her entire life.

When a car accident occurs due to the carelessness of others, a victim should seek recovery for the damages they incur. Pursuing legal action does not need to be looked at as an act of vengeance. Rather, legal recourse is necessary for just action to deal with the consequences following a significant event such as a car crash.

Car accidents are complicated matters and multiple third-parties may get involved. Insurers, lawyers, vehicular repair shops, etc. may all try to refute taking any responsibility for the costs of recovery. However, a victim should not be held responsible for the haphazard actions caused by others.

At Beck, Amsden & Stalpes, our Bozeman car accident attorneys will fight to provide you with the best legal representation to prevent you from settling for a bad offer. Contact our firm today for your free consultation and get the justice that you deserve.

The Frequency of Car Accidents in Bozeman

Montana is a boon for car accidents. In 2022, there were 9,560 fatalities due to auto traffic accidents in Montana as compared to 8,935 in 2021. Prior to that, the number of fatal car crashes rose from 2020 to 2021 by 12.75%. In Bozeman specifically, a total of 1,260 car crashes occurred in 2021.

Common Types of Car Accidents

Car accidents can be classified based on the type of accident that occurs. There are several types of car accidents that can occur. Each type has varying levels of severity depending on the situation and road conditions.

  • Head-on collisions – When the front-end of two cars from lanes going in opposite directions collide.
  • Rear-end collision – When the front end of one car crashes into the back end of another.
  • Side-impact collision/T-Bone accidents – Typically occurs at intersections. When the front end of one car hits the side of another.
  • Vehicle rollover – When a car tumbles to its side or lands on its roof. This type of accident typically has high fatality rates.
  • Multiple vehicle collision – When one car hits another and as a result, produces a chain reaction of crashes.
  • Sideswipe accidents – When a car hits the side of another car that is in a lane that is moving in the same direction.
  • Merging accidents – When a car hits another in an attempt to merge into a lane of traffic.

Common Causes of Car Accidents With Potential Recovery

There are various types of incidents that can cause a car accident. Some of the more common causes that are seen in legal claims include:

  • Driving at excessive speeds
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Reckless driving
  • Violation of traffic rules
  • Tailgating (following the rear end of another vehicle at a hazardous distance)
  • Not stopping at red lights
  • Jaywalking pedestrians
  • Pedestrians crossing the road at the wrong time
  • Break failure (this may be from a car manufacturing defect)
  • Bursting tires
  • Damaged headlights, especially in low visibility weather/nighttime

Recoverable Compensation in Car Accidents

The compensation that can be recovered in a car accident case depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of the accident and the type of damages incurred. Damages are most commonly split into three (3) different categories:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are compensation for monetary losses that you’ve incurred related to the accident. Some examples are medical costs, surgery fees, medical check-ups, vehicle repair fees, current lost wages, and future lost wages due to reduced earning capacity.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to compensation that may be provided for injuries that are potentially non-measurable. Some examples of non-economic damages include lessened quality of life, physical pain and suffering, anxiety, PTSD, depression, loss of consortium (can be filed by a spouse whose partner died from the accident), and loss of society (can be filed by friends/family of the deceased).

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are technically a subcategory of non-compensatory damages. These damages are typically only applied in the most extreme cases, when malice or intention is involved in the accident. So when a driver purposely hits the victim, or if the driver was severely impaired by drugs at the time of the accident, punitive damages may be allowed by the judge.

How can your compensation be calculated?

Economic damages are measurable by definition. Bills, receipts, and other forms of documentation are crucial if requested to provide proof of evidence as to the alleged amount being claimed.

Although there is no exact method of calculating non-economic damages, multipliers are often used as a parameter that the jury or judge may elect to abide by. So for example, a multiplier of 1.5x would allow one and a half times the alleged amount of total economic damages to be recoverable.

Punitive damages are the most severe multipliers as the jury is typically tasked with the amount to be “inflicted” so as to dissuade future wrongdoers from replicating the act.

There are certain guidelines in place when calculating the amount for your compensation. So of course,minor wounds and bruises will not allow for as high of a recoverable amount as someone who suffered disabling or fatal injuries.

Insurance typically also plays a large role in these requests when coverage is claimed. Montana law requires its car owners to hold a minimum insurance coverage of $20,000 for property damage and $25,000 for physical injury to cover.

Bozeman follows Montana’s comparative negligence doctrine. This means that the amount of recoverable damages may depend on your own contribution to the accident. The degree of blame assessed in the accident may end up lessening your compensation.

Contact our Bozeman Car Accident Attorneys Today

Our Bozeman personal injury lawyers understand the struggle of being involved in a life-changing situation. Our clients come to us with severe injuries completely impacting their life in a way that was totally unexpected. At Beck, Amsden & Stalpes, we take confidence in providing you with the legal representation to place you in the best position for recovery.

While no case is completely predictable, we will be with you each step of the way to ensure that you are not shortchanged by people trying to weasel out of their liability. Contact our Bozeman car accident lawyers today for your free consultation.