Billings Car Accident Attorney Fighting for Compensation
A car accident can drastically impact all aspects of your life. From going to work to spending meaningful time with your family, traumatic injuries from an accident can interfere with just about everything you do on a day-to-day basis. While the financial losses stemming from a car accident can be substantial, in many cases the non-financial losses – pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life – can be even more severe. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, your life will truly never be the same. At Ragain & Clark, PC, a Billings car accident attorney can hep accident victims in Montana and Wyoming recover compensation for their losses. Our compassionate attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience, and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients through insurance settlements and verdicts at trial.
*Car Accident Verdicts and/or Settlements
Below are some of the verdicts and settlements we have secured in car accident cases:
- $1M Motor Vehicle Wrongful Death
- $1M Motor Vehicle Wrongful Death
- $680K Motor Vehicle Collision
- $650K Product Liability Seat Belt
- $350K Product Liability Auto Roof
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident in Montana or Wyoming, we will fight aggressively to secure maximum compensation for your accident-related losses. Your initial consultation is free and you pay nothing unless we secure money on your behalf, so contact us now to speak with a Billings car accident attorney today.
- “Ragain and Clark found insurance coverage that applied to my case that I did not even know existed.”
- “Thank you for all of the legal help you have given me over the years. You are so generous and kind.”
- “The brief you filed was readable and easily understood. Polite, yet demanding. I have a new appreciation for the great job you and your team did with our response. Nice work! Please share my appreciation with all who helped.”
Common Car Accident Scenarios
While car accidents may be the most common type of case that a personal injury attorney handles, there are many different types of car accidents, each with its unique challenges. A Billings car accident attorney from Ragain & Clark has experience in handling the following types of cases:
- Drunk driving accidents where the other driver was intoxicated.
- Distracted driving accidents where the driver was texting or simply not paying attention.
- Inclement weather accidents where vision was obscured or a driver was simply not cautious enough.
- Reckless driving where a driver was speeding or driving in an unsafe manner.
- Hit and run accidents where the other driver fled the scene.
- Truck accidents if you were injured in an accident caused by a tractor-trailer or semi-truck.
- Rideshare accidents if the other driver was working for Uber or Lyft or you were injured as a passenger.
- Commercial vehicle accidents if the other driver was driving a company car or other vehicle in the course of their employment.
- Multi-vehicle accidents if you were injured in an accident involving two or more vehicles other than your own.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist claims where the other driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your claim.
- Fender-bender accidents where your injuries and the damage to your vehicle are comparatively minor.
- Passenger and child injuries where you or your child were injured as passengers in a car accident.
The type of accidents listed above can have complex legal issues that may require the assistance of a Billings car accident attorney for you to get the compensation you deserve.
Additional Claims Our Billings Car Accident Attorney Handles
The following types of accidents may not pose complex legal issues, but your claim’s success will depend on careful analysis of the facts. Also, properly documenting your claim is critical to getting fair compensation.
A rear-end collision is an accident where your vehicle is struck by a vehicle behind you. These accidents can be especially serious if you are stopped, and they are moving at a high rate of speed. Rear-end collisions often result in very serious injuries, including concussions, facial fractures, and whiplash.
Side-Impact Collisions (T-Bone Accidents)
T-bone accidents are especially dangerous because there is less space between you and the point of impact than a head-on or rear-end collision. As a result, victims of t-bone accidents often suffer severe injuries, especially if they were sitting on the side of the car that was struck by the other vehicle. Proving fault in a side-impact collision can be difficult, but an experienced Billings car accident lawyer can help.
Head-on collisions can be deadly. When two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide, the forces exerted on the occupants are tremendous and often result in severe injuries. Victims of head-on collisions often suffer head and brain injuries, broken bones, and deep lacerations. If you have been injured in a head-on collision, we strongly recommend that you contact a Billings car accident attorney to ensure that you get the compensation you need.
Sideswipe accidents are when two vehicles are traveling in the same direction when they collide. The vehicle that is struck can be forced off the road or into oncoming traffic. They are usually caused by drivers failing to look before changing lanes or making an illegal lane change.
Rollover accidents are often caused by being t-boned or sideswiped but can occur in almost any scenario. These types of accidents can be catastrophic, resulting in severe injuries and even permanent disabilities.
Our Billings Car Accident Attorney Will Protect Your Legal Rights After a Car Crash in Montana or Wyoming
Dealing with the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident is stressful. Dealing with the insurance companies can also be inordinately frustrating and without legal representation, you have no way of knowing what constitutes a fair settlement in your case. If you have been seriously injured, you may be entitled to a significant financial recovery and you will need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process. Below are five steps to take after a car accident:
1. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Hopefully, you have seen a doctor already. If not, obtaining a diagnosis and treatment should be your first priority. After being discharged, you should carefully follow your doctor’s advice, and make sure you know the date and time of your next appointment.
2. Write Down Everything You Remember
As soon as possible, write down everything you remember about the accident. What happened? Where did it happen? How was the weather? How was the traffic? What did the other driver say to you after the collision? Every detail can be important, and you will want to provide your attorney with as much information as possible.
3. Create a File
As you begin to receive medical bills and statements of benefits in the mail, store copies in a safe place. Put them with the other driver’s insurance information and your copy of the police report (if you have one), and keep copies of any other documentation related to the accident here as well.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
Regardless of who you believe was at fault in the accident, you need to contact your insurance company. However, you should not give a recorded statement. Beyond reporting the basic facts of the accident (where and when it occurred), you should not provide any additional details to your insurer at this time.
5. Speak with a Billings Car Accident Attorney
The best way to protect yourself after a car accident is to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced local attorney will be able to promptly conduct a thorough investigation, deal with the insurance companies for you, and begin working immediately to secure maximum compensation for your accident-related losses.
Recovering Damages After a Wyoming or Montana Auto Accident
Personal injuries incurred in an accident can be severe, resulting in permanent disability and even catastrophic damages like spinal cord injuries or brain damage, which is why you need an experienced Billings car accident lawyer fighting for you. Even if you seem to only be bruised and banged up a bit, you could still develop more serious problems later, which is why it is always a best practice to get checked out by a doctor after any car wreck.
You can experience other types of damages beyond medical issues as well. If you are out of work you will lose your income. You could develop psychological issues following your accident and suffer pain. The following are examples of the types of damages you might be able to claim in a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident with the help of our attorneys.
Medical expenses following an accident can be astronomical, depending on whether you require hospitalization and/or ongoing treatment. For example, you may end up with bills for:
- Ambulance fees
- Charges for surgeries and other in-patient treatments
- Doctor appointments
- Physical therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Medical devices and accessories such as a wheelchair or crutches
- Home health services
- Would care services
Your Billings car accident lawyer can help you determine what your medical fees will be going forward, as often car accident victims need care for weeks, months, or even years after the accident.
Pain and Suffering Lawsuits
Car crash victims usually incur damages for pain and suffering, manifested in some level of physical and/or mental distress that result from the at-fault driver’s negligence. As is the case with medical expenses, you are entitled to compensation for the physical pain you experience after the accident and into the future, even if the experience is prolonged. Emotional damage can also last for a long while, manifesting as anxiety, stress, and/or depression.
If you are unable to work or can only work part-time after an accident, you can sue for lost wages damages. You might miss work as a result of having to attend medical appointments, also resulting in a loss of income. The car accident could even diminish your capacity to perform the kind of work you are trained for and earn the level of wages you enjoyed before the wreck. In determining what damages you might be entitled to for lost wages, the court will look at several factors, including your age, occupation, skills, and life expectancy.
Our Billings Car Accident Attorney Explains How Comparative Negligence Impacts Your Compensation
When determining how much in damages an injured accident victim is entitled to receive, Montana follows a modified comparative negligence standard known as “the 51 percent bar rule.” What this means is that if the court finds you were 51 percent at fault, you will not be able to cover one cent in damages. It is up to your attorney to show that the other driver was at least 50 percent at fault for your injuries. But that is only the beginning. Once you cross that threshold to be able to recover damages, what you recover will be reduced according to the percentage of responsibility you are deemed to have. So, for example, if you were found to be 40 percent at fault and you incurred damages that totaled $100,000, you would be able to collect only $60,000 of that award.
Our Billings Car Accident Attorney Explains What You Need to Know About Working with the Insurance Company
Many people are surprised by how quickly the insurance company wants to settle their claim, often before they even know they have a claim! The reason for this is that the insurance company wants to pay as little as possible on claims that they may be obligated to pay. By making an offer early on, they’re hoping that you will sign away your rights in exchange for a quick cash settlement. Unfortunately, many people later discover that their settlement doesn’t cover all of their expenses and they wind up with bills they can’t pay.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, a Billings accident lawyer can review any offer you receive from the insurance company and advise you as to whether or not it’s fair.
The Insurance Company Keeps Calling Me. Do I Have to Talk to Them?
You are obligated to cooperate with your insurance company if you make a claim. This means that you will have to provide them with the basic facts surrounding the accident, such as when and where the accident happened. However, you need to be aware that anything you say may be used against you when they decide to pay your claim. As a result, you should avoid discussing any of the following:
- The cause of the accident
- Whether you caused the accident in any way
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- Whether your vehicle was damaged
You should tell them that you were injured but limit your comments to the fact that you are seeking medical treatment.
Discussing the accident with the insurance companies can be tricking. One of the advantages of hiring a Billings car accident attorney is that they can speak with the insurance companies on your behalf so as to avoid any misstatements that can cause problems with your claim later on.
The Statute of Limitations for Auto Accident Claims
Under Montana law, you have up to three years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit seeking to recover compensation for your injuries. In Wyoming, you have four years. This is referred to as the “statute of limitations.” Three and four years may seem like a long time, but the years can pass faster than you think. The longer you wait to pursue your claim, the harder it will be to prove your case.
If you do not file your lawsuit within the time limit, you will lose all of your rights. This means that you will not be able to recover any compensation for your injuries no matter how strong your case is. Even if the other driver was grossly negligent, you will not be able to pursue your claim.
Even if you don’t plan to file a lawsuit, the statute of limitations is still important to your case. Once the statute of limitations has expired, the insurance company will refuse to pay your claim because they now have no legal obligation to pay.
Our Billings Car Accident Attorney Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions
My insurance company is offering me a settlement. Should I accept it?
You may be surprised at how quickly your insurance company is offering to settle your claim. Whether or not you should accept it is a difficult question to answer. However, you should understand what happens when you settle your claim. As part of the settlement process, you will be required to sign some kind of agreement that releases them from any further liability related to your accident. This means that you cannot pursue additional compensation if you develop complications or your injuries are more severe than you thought. In summary, the amount of compensation you accept may not cover all of your losses. Before accepting your settlement, we recommend that you speak with a Billings car accident attorney.
Do I need to pursue a claim if I have health insurance?
Health insurance will only cover your medical bills, less any copays and/or deductibles. If you pursue a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for any unpaid medical expenses, any lost income if you cannot work due to your injuries, and your pain and suffering. Your losses in addition to your medical costs could be significant.
I don’t want to go to court. Should I still speak with a Billings car accident attorney?
Most non-lawyers do not want to go to court. The good news is that most car accident cases settle without even filing a lawsuit. A Billings car accident attorney can still help you with your claim by gathering the evidence and documentation you need, preparing and filing the paperwork, and speaking with your insurance company on your behalf. They can essentially handle all aspects of the claim process so that you can focus on getting better.
Why do some cases go to trial?
Cases that involve complex legal issues or where the main facts are in dispute may require going to court to get fully resolved. An experienced Billings car accident attorney will likely be able to tell you at your initial consultation whether they think your case may require legal action.
The other driver says that I’m at fault. Does this mean I can’t pursue a claim?
It’s first important to understand that the driver may be blaming you because they don’t want to admit their own fault. That said, even if you are partially to blame for the accident, you can still pursue compensation. Under Montana’s comparative negligence law, you would be unable to seek compensation only if you were more at fault than the other driver. A Billings car accident attorney can review your case and explain how the comparative negligence law may apply.
What is my car accident case worth?
Of course, the value of your case will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident and especially the extent of your injuries. The value of your claim will be the total of your medical bills, damage to your vehicle, any lost wages, and your pain and suffering. An attorney can likely provide you with an estimate of what your case may be worth at your initial consultation.
Contact a Billings Car Accident Attorney Today
*Past results should not be construed to create an expectation of result in any other case. The facts and circumstances of your case may be different and must be evaluated on its own merit.