Personal Injury Attorneys in Billings, Montana

When you’re injured due to someone else's negligence, you have the right to seek compensation. Personal injury claims are designed to reimburse you for the costs associated with your injury, including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.  

It's important to understand the essential elements of a personal injury claim, which typically include proving that the other party owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused your injuries as a direct result of their actions or inaction.  

Whether it’s a car accident, a slip and fall, or an animal attack, these incidents often lead to significant medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress.  

At Gerstner Adam Law, we are dedicated to helping you through personal injury claims in Montana so you can focus on your recovery. 

Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

At Gerstner Adam Law, our team has experience assisting clients in various types of personal injury cases. Some types of cases we commonly handle include: 

  • Motor vehicle accidents: These involve collisions and incidents with cars, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Common causes include distracted driving, driving under the influence, speeding, and reckless driving. Victims may suffer from whiplash, fractures, concussions, and other serious injuries. Legal claims often focus on proving driver negligence or product liability for defective vehicle parts. 

  • Slip and fall accidents: These occur due to unsafe conditions on a property such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, poor lighting, or lack of proper signage. Property owners and managers have a duty to maintain safe environments for visitors. In these cases, the injured party must show that the property owner was aware of the hazardous condition and failed to address it in a reasonable time frame. 

  • Dog bites and animal attacks: Pet owners can be held accountable for their animals' actions, especially if the owner knew or should have known about the animal's aggressive tendencies. Victims may suffer from puncture wounds, infections, and emotional trauma. Montana follows a strict liability rule where the owner is always responsible, so long as the victim is in a public place or lawfully in a private place. 

  • Wrongful death: This involves seeking justice and compensation for families who have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence or wrongful actions. Typical cases include fatal car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and criminal acts. Families may seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and lost future earnings. Establishing liability involves proving that the death was caused by the defendant's negligent or intentional actions. 

Understanding the specifics of each type of personal injury case can help you better navigate the legal process and increase your chances of securing fair compensation for your injuries. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial to effectively manage your claim and protect your rights.

Focus on Recovery


Steps to Take After a Personal Injury 

Knowing what to do after an injury can make a significant difference in your case. By taking the following steps, you can have a one-up on your claim:  

  • Seek medical attention: Your health is the top priority. Even if you think your injuries are minor, it's crucial to get checked by a medical professional. Some injuries may not show symptoms immediately but could worsen over time if left untreated. Prompt medical attention also provides documentation of the injury's severity and timing. 

  • Document the scene: Take photos and gather evidence. Capture images of the accident scene, your injuries, any property damage, and other relevant details. This could include skid marks, weather conditions, or any hazards that contributed to the incident. Video recordings can also be helpful. Detailed documentation helps establish the facts and can be a valuable asset in legal proceedings. 

  • Obtain contact information: Collect the names and contact details of any witnesses. Witnesses can provide essential testimonies that corroborate your account of the incident. Ensure you gather their full names, phone numbers, and email addresses. If possible, take brief notes on what each witness observed, as memories can fade over time. 

  • Follow medical advice: Stay consistent with your treatment plan. Adhering to your doctor's recommendations is vital for your recovery and for building a strong case. This includes attending all follow-up appointments, taking prescribed medications, and following through with physical therapy or other treatments. Non-compliance can be used against you by insurance companies or opposing counsel. 

  • Keep records: Maintain documentation of your medical treatments, expenses, and any communication with involved parties. Keep all medical bills, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, and a journal detailing your recovery process, including pain levels and any limitations you experience. Record communications with insurance companies, employers, or anyone else related to the incident. 

  • Contact an attorney: Reach out to our experienced team at Gerstner Adam Law to discuss your case. We provide critical guidance on navigating the legal system, negotiating with insurance companies, and ensuring you receive fair compensation. Early consultation with a legal professional can help preserve evidence and protect your rights from the outset.

Determining Fault and Liability

Montana operates under a “modified comparative fault” rule, which can complicate the process of awarding damages. This rule is designed to allocate fault between all parties involved in an incident and proportionally reduce the amount of compensation based on each party's degree of fault. 

The modified comparative fault rule in Montana follows these guidelines: 

  • Less than 50% fault: If you are found to be less than 50% at fault for an incident, you are eligible to recover damages. However, the total amount of damages you can recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For instance, if you are 20% at fault, your recoverable damages will be reduced by 20%. 

  • 51% or more fault: If you are found to be 51% or more at fault, you are barred from recovering any damages. This threshold ensures that a party who is primarily responsible for an incident cannot benefit from their negligence. 

Legal Implications of Modified Comparative Fault

Understanding the modified comparative fault rule is crucial for both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury cases. For plaintiffs, it highlights the importance of gathering strong evidence to demonstrate that their share of the fault is less than 50%.

For defendants, it provides a pathway to reduce or eliminate their liability by proving that the plaintiff's fault exceeds the 50% threshold. 

Strategic Approaches in Litigation 

Both parties involved in a dispute will often engage in strategic approaches to influence the determination of fault. Plaintiffs might focus on presenting evidence that minimizes their negligence, such as witness testimonies, expert analysis, and thorough documentation of the incident.

Defendants could aim to highlight any actions or inaction by the plaintiff that contributed to the incident, thereby increasing the plaintiff's percentage of fault and potentially crossing the 51% threshold to avoid liability. 

Practical Considerations 

The modified comparative fault rule can significantly impact insurance settlements. Insurance companies will carefully analyze the fault distribution to determine their payout obligations. 

Additionally, understanding this rule can be a powerful tool during settlement negotiations. Both parties might prefer to settle out of court to avoid the uncertainty and expenses associated with a trial, but the potential outcomes based on fault percentages will heavily influence these negotiations. 

By diving deeper into the nuances of the modified comparative fault rule, individuals involved in personal injury cases can better determine fault and liability in Montana. 

Dealing With Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often act in their own interests, which can make the claims process challenging. Here are a few tips when handling insurance companies:  

  • Stay calm: Be polite but firm. 

  • Don’t admit fault: Provide facts without admitting any level of fault. 

  • Document communications: Keep a record of all interactions with insurance representatives. 

  • Consult your attorney: Before accepting any settlement, discuss it with your lawyer to ensure it’s fair. 

Why Choose Gerstner Adam Law?

Our attorneys at Gerstner Adam Law bring years of experience and compassionate service to every case. We have the resources to provide:  

  • Expert legal guidance: We remain up to date on Montana laws to provide the best legal guidance and advice. 

  • A thorough investigation: We conduct detailed investigations to build a strong case on your behalf. 

  • Aggressive representation: We fight tirelessly to secure the fair and equitable compensation you deserve. 

  • Personalized service: We tailor our approach to meet your unique needs and the specific circumstances of your case.

Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Billings, Montana 

Don’t deal with a personal injury claim alone. Reach out to Gerstner Adam Law for compassionate and skilled legal representation in Billings and throughout Montana. Schedule your free consultation today and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.