How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer
Accidents can happen to anyone and at any time. When an injury takes place, not only must the focus be on our personal wellness and well-being, but also on holding the responsible party liable for damages. Unfortunately, many people neglect the latter focus on personal injury claims because they buy into the myth that lawyers are too expensive and they are better off navigating things alone. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
At Gerstner Adam Law, we strive to provide compassionate, assertive advocacy when you need it most. Retaining legal counsel is certainly an investment, so it’s vital you know what to look for when you choose a personal injury attorney.
Overview of Personal Injury in Montana
Within seconds of searching the internet, one can find no shortage of information on personal injury. What must be considered is that personal injury laws vary from state to state and not fully understanding the proper rules and procedures can make a difficult situation much worse. That’s a key reason why reaching out to a skilled lawyer is so important.
Personal injuries in Montana can be thought of as separated into two broad categories: intentional injuries and negligent injuries.
Intentional injuries take place when someone else causes injury on purpose, even if the offender had no intention of causing a certain level of harm. For example, if during a domestic dispute one individual slaps the other person in the face and breaks their nose, the offender could be held responsible for all damages related to the broken nose.
Negligent injuries are typically described as accidental. However, these injuries could have been avoided had the other party demonstrated a reasonable level of due diligence and responsibility. For example, a motorist who was texting while driving and rear-ended another vehicle might be liable for all injuries sustained in the accident.
Another aspect of personal injury to consider is in regard to comparative negligence. Comparative negligence means the total percentage of fault is analyzed and separated between the two parties. This means that if an individual is determined to be 40 percent responsible for the injury, they can only be awarded 60 percent of the damages they seek. Keep in mind that in the state of Montana, when the injured party is more than 50 percent responsible, little if any damages may be recovered.
Lastly, it is important to know that most personal injury claims in Montana must be filed within three years of the date of the injury. If the injured party waits longer, the claim will be easily dismissed.
Important Qualities in a Personal Injury Attorney
When a person gets hurt, it’s normal to want the best care possible and to return to life as normal. Sometimes, when intent or negligence causes those injuries, an attorney needs to be a part of the path back to wellness and being made whole. Here are three essential qualities that all personal injury attorneys should demonstrate when representing accident victims and their families:
Provide personalized and unique representation
Every case is unique, and because of this, the best attorneys handle each case personally. If an attorney fails to demonstrate empathy and seems to adopt a cookie-cutter approach, it’s time to seek representation elsewhere.
Your attorney is providing a service for you and the best attorneys will keep open lines of communication. If an attorney fails to keep you in the loop or is always unavailable, it’s time for a change.
Have specialized knowledge
Even though an attorney may advertise that they handle all types of personal injury cases doesn’t mean they have reliable knowledge and the experience to develop a sensible strategy for your case. If the attorney does not have specific experience that relates to the uniqueness of your case, find one that does.
A final consideration when recognizing the important qualities of a personal injury attorney is that of local representation and experience. Although it might be tempting to work with an online budget attorney, laws can vary significantly from state to state. Understanding both local and state laws is the foundation for pursuing the best possible legal outcome.
Gerstner Adam Law: Practical & Purposeful Counsel
If you have been in an accident and need guidance, reach out to Gerstner Adam Law. Partnering with the right attorney who has the important qualities necessary to provide excellent representation is crucial to protecting your rights and seeking fair compensation. If you are in Billings, Montana, or neighboring areas of Glendive, Miles City, Sidney, or anywhere else in the rest of the state, reach out today and get the help you need.