Helena Personal Injury Lawyer

Being involved in a serious accident caused by someone else can be one of the worst downward trajectories to go through in life. Imagine working hard every day, optimizing your budget as best you can, and trying to stay debt-free only to have all your money spent on recovery: medical bills, doctor’s appointments, surgical fees, etc. No one wants to be in this position.

But what if we tell you you don’t have to go through all this hassle? The financial burden can be lifted off your shoulders with the help of an experienced Helena personal injury lawyer. You don’t have to go through this traumatizing process alone because we will fight for you to get the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact our Helena personal injury lawyers at (406) 586 – 8700 today to protect your rights.

Definition and Examples of Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases are a type of civil law that is designed to protect the rights of those who have been injured due to the negligence of another. Here are some examples:

What Type of Compensation Can You Get Out of a Personal Injury Claim?

You don’t have to pay the bills from your own pocket. You (the plaintiff) can demand accountability from the one who injured you (the defendant). This accountability can come in the form of a settlement. In the State of Montana, these are the types of settlement you can file for:

Economic Damages

These are measurable monetary losses such as:

  • Hospital bills
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Medical check-ups
  • Loss of wages (income lost due to the time you were absent from work due to the injury)
  • Loss of future wages (income you will lose in the future because you have lost the capacity to work due to a disability caused by the accident)
  • Loss of employment
  • Loss of business opportunities
  • Loss of property
  • Repair costs of damaged properties
  • Household services while victim is in recovery (this is only applicable in cases where you didn’t need a housekeeper before you got the injury)
  • Parking fees for going to and from the hospital/recovery center
  • Canceled trips

Non-Economic Damages

These damages cannot be counted in monetary terms and are subjective to the victim’s experiences. These include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Emotional distress
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Loss of consortium – the loss of one’s spouse (upon death) accompanied by the loss of their love, care, affection, and sexual relations
  • Loss of society and companionship – this is the loss that family and friends can claim. For example, a mother can claim that their psychological well-being will never be the same due to the loss of a son.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of a victim’s reputation

Punitive Damages

This type of damage claim is of a special type. Whereas the above-mentioned damages (economic/non-economic) are called “compensatory damages” because they are meant to cover a plaintiff’s damage costs, punitive damages are meant to “punish” the defendant. Punitive damages are awarded by a court to a plaintiff when it is proven that the defendant maliciously or negligently caused the accident. For example, the defendant was found to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol during a car accident. The key concept here is that the defendant is conscious of the possible harm their act might cause others, and yet still did the act anyway.

Damage Claim Caps for Government Entities

The total damage claims for personal injury cases against government entities or employees cannot exceed $1.5 million for one incident, and if there are multiple plaintiffs for one accident, each one cannot get more than $750,000 each. Contacting a Helena personal injury attorney can help navigate the tricky landscape.

Statute of Limitations: Is It Too Late to File Your Case?

Personal injury law has a law called statute of limitations. This is a law that sets the deadline on when you can file a personal injury claim. The reason this law exists is to ensure that the plaintiff will not wait too long to file the case for the following reasons:

  • memories fade over time, and witness statements may not be accurate
  • some forms of evidence may become unavailable over time

In the State of Montana, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is usually 3 years. This means that if you wait longer than 3 years to file your personal injury case, you may no longer be eligible to compensation for your damages and the court may refuse to hear your case.

Statute of limitations have some exceptions:

  • The statute of limitations does not apply to minors. For example, if your 8-year-old son was hit by a car, you may wait to file the case until he turns 18 (as long as the injury is still provable by then).
  • For defamation and malicious prosecution cases, the statute of limitations is 2 years.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that states that a person who is injured by the negligence of another person cannot recover damages if his or her own actions contributed to the injury.

In a personal injury case in Helena, comparative negligence can be used by the defendant to avoid liability when there are multiple parties responsible for an accident. As the plaintiff, your party must show that you are not more negligent than the defendant. Only in this way can you recover damages.

Montana follows a “modified” comparative negligence. In this case, a 51% bar rule is used: you cannot receive compensatory damages if your share of fault in the accident is deemed 51% or more.

Hire A Helena Personal Injury Attorney Now

A Helena personal injury lawyer can help with a personal injury case by making sure that your rights are being upheld and that you are compensated appropriately. Here is how we can help you:

  • We take care of all the paperwork and legal proceedings
  • Your case does not have to reach court, we can recover settlement by negotiating for a settlement with insurance adjusters
  • We handle the legal aspects of your case, determining which laws apply in a particular situation

Call us today to set up your free consultation. We are here to help you.