Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Billings, MT

Montana's amazing geography and scenery offer some exciting motorcycle experiences. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to accidents and severe injuries. According to statistics from the Montana Department of Transportation, there were 357 total motorcycle crashes reported statewide in 2019. Without seatbelts and airbags, there is little to protect motorcyclists from serious and catastrophic injuries such as road rash, facial fractures, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, disfigurement, limb amputation, spinal cord injuries, and sometimes death.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a motorcycle accident, you are within your rights to pursue fair compensation. At Gerstner Adam Law, we are dedicated to offering comprehensive legal guidance and representation to clients in their motorcycle accident cases. As experienced Montana personal injury attorneys, our team will fight to protect your rights, work to hold the responsible parties accountable, and help you pursue fair financial compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, future medical treatment, additional pain and suffering you experienced, or loss.

At Gerstner Adam Law, our team proudly represents clients throughout Billings, Montana, and the surrounding communities of Sidney, Glendive, and Miles City.

Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident

The period following a motorcycle accident can be emotional and unsettling, but the next steps you take — or do not take — can have a significant effect on the outcome of your injury claim. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, here are the steps to take:

  • Remain calm, get to safety, and help other victims
  • Call 911 to get immediate treatment for your injuries
  • Report the incident to the police
  • Collect information from the other parties involved, such as the driver's name, license number, address, phone number, insurance policy, and insurance identification number
  • Obtain the police report, witness statements, testimonies, and accident scene pictures
  • Document your doctor's appointments, all medical treatments received, your personal account of the incident, and how it has impacted your daily life
  • Inform your insurance provider of the motorcycle accident
  • Hire an experienced lawyer to file an injury claim or help you negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies

It is possible, however, that you could forget important details or misplace vital information if you continue to delay, so the sooner you take the above steps following the accident, the better.

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Montana Motorcycle Laws

Here are some of the laws governing the use of motorcycles in the state of Montana:

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is a traffic maneuver in which a motorcyclist drives between two rows of cars moving in the same direction. Montana law S.B.9, which goes into effect on October 1, 2021, says motorcycle riders are permitted to split between other motorists under the following conditions:

  • The lanes are wide enough
  • The road conditions are safe
  • The rider is traveling under 20 mph

Helmet Requirements

Montana's motorcycle helmet law mandates that all motorcycle operators and passengers under 18 years of age wear helmets. Helmets must meet the standards of the state's Department of Justice.

Passengers

Any passengers under 18 years or age must wear a helmet regardless of the driver's experience or age. Passengers should not be in a position that interferes with the motorcycle's normal operation.

Liability Coverage

The minimum liability limits for Montana motorcycle insurance are as follows:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person in a single accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more persons in a single accident
  • $10,000 for property damage in a single accident

Determining Fault

Montana is an “at-fault” state. This means that the driver who caused the motorcycle accident (the at-fault party) will be held liable for injuries, property damage, and other losses suffered by the accident victims. In order to prove negligence and recover damages, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care
  • The defendant breached the duty of care owed
  • The injury was caused by the defendant's breach or negligence
  • The plaintiff suffered some kind of physical or financial harm

Modified Comparative Fault

Montana operates under a "modified comparative fault" rule, with a 51% bar. According to this system, motorcycle accident victims are eligible to seek compensation for their injuries, provided that they are partially or equally (50% or less) responsible for the accident. The amount of compensation you may recover, however, will be reduced by your fault percentage.

For example, if the court awards $50,000 in damages against the at-fault party and you are found to have been 10% at fault for the accident, your damages will be reduced by $5,000. You will only be able to recover $45,000. If you are found to have been mostly (51% or more) responsible for your injuries, you will be barred from receiving any compensation.

How an Experienced
Attorney Can Help

Being injured in a motorcycle accident can affect you physically, mentally, and financially. Thankfully, you don't have to face these challenges on your own. When you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you hire a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to protect your rights and help you seek deserved compensation for your injuries.

At Gerstner Adam Law, we have the resources and experience to represent motorcycle accident victims and their families in their injury claims. As your legal counsel, we can:

  • Fight to protect your rights and work to hold the liable parties accountable
  • Review every aspect of your case and conduct a thorough, private investigation
  • Gather and document relevant information, evidence, witness statements, and police reports
  • Help prove fault and establish liability
  • Determine the full extent of your injuries or losses, and estimate case-value
  • Help negotiate a fair settlement with insurance providers
  • Take additional legal action, where required

Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Serving Billings, Montana

If you or a family member was hurt in a motorcycle accident, contact us at Gerstner Adam Law to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. Our team can offer you the experienced legal counsel, support, and compassionate representation you need. We're proud to represent clients throughout Billings, Sidney, Glendive, and Miles City, Montana. Call us to get the help you need.