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Serving all of Montana for over 25 years

Bliven Law Firm, P.C. is a Montana personal injury law firm located in Northwest Montana serving all of Montana. A group of experienced, dedicated professionals who care about their clients’ needs. Our Montana personal injury attorneys have over 25 years of experience in aggressively pursuing the goals of our clients.

WINTER DRIVING DANGERS – CONSIDERATIONS AND REMEDIES

We have recently had the usual dangerous winter driving conditions in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and other areas of Flathead County, Flathead valley, and surrounding areas, such as Lincoln County (Libby, Eureka), Lake County (Polson, Ronan, Mission Valley), Sanders County (Plains, Thompson Falls), Mineral County (St. Regis, Superior), and Glacier County (Browning, Cut Bank). The November ice rain, snow and ice gave way to December ice rain, snow, ice, fog and and other dangerous conditions -particularly in northwest Montana – as Flathead County sits on the west slope of the Swan Range of the Rocky Mountains. While one of the most beautiful places in the world, our weather can make driving more treacherous than it appears, even to local residents. The variable conditions can catch drivers off guard. Reference to local media shows us the dangers out on our roads, and sadly fatal car crashes are simply too common:

http://www.dailyinterlake.com/members/article_3610c362-87df-11e4-93b1-ebad69941f92.html?mode=jam

http://www.kpax.com/category/flathead-county-coverage/

http://www.nbcmontana.com/kcfw/news

In all of Montana we have many injuries in car wrecks. Factors that contribute to the high rate of injury crashes include a unique combination: high travel speeds, bad weather, challenging road conditions, and drunk driving – drunk driving that is unfortunately among the highest rates in the country. According to the latest statistics available in a recent article linked below, Montana ranks second worst,with only North Dakota, our neighbor to the east, with higher (worse) rates:

2. Montana
Drunk driving deaths per 100,000: 9.0
 Total DUI arrests: 4,418 (9th lowest)
 Beer consumption per capita: 41.0 gallons (3rd highest)
Pct. of minors consuming alcohol: 29.7% (7th highest)
pct. of binge drinkers: 19.2% (17th highest)

“Montana was among the states with the highest youth consumption of alcohol and the highest rates of binge drinking among underage residents. Sadly, for every 100,000 people in the state, 3.8 underage residents were killed in drunk driving accidents, second highest in the country. Montana residents, on average, drank 41 gallons of beer per capita, more than all but two other states — North Dakota and New Hampshire. Nearly 20% of minors said they engaged in binge drinking over the prior 30 days, sixth highest in the country. In total, 19.2% of state residents said they engaged in binge drinking over the previous month, among the highest percentages in the country.”

Read more: States With the Most Drunk Driving – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/04/25/states-with-the-most-drunk-driving/#ixzz3N9Vwi3gO

Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Whitefish and the other areas around Whitefish Mountain Resort (formerly known as Big Mountain, as it is still known to most local residents) and Glacier Park are beautiful and provide winter recreation second to none. However, local residents and visitors must always be mindful of the conditions and dangers on our roads. Many of the visitors to the area find our road system that has struggled to keep up with population growth continue to be a challenge. While we look forward to the completion of the US Highway 93 bypass, and we have had significant upgrades to our local infrastructure in the past few years, we still are behind in terms of the infrastructure to handle the amount of traffic as our population grows and the number of visitors to Glacier National Park continues to set records. This creates conditions that are dangerous for local residents and our visitors from other states – as well as Alberta, British Columbia, the rest of Canada. While many of our visitors are from states like Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, the Pacific Northwest and other regions that see much snow and ice, we also have a large number of visitors each year from places like Texas, Arizona and California that do not. Car wrecks that occur even at low speeds can result in serious injuries – despite what insurance claims adjusters – and the “biomechanics experts” and insurance defense attorneys they hire to defend their denials of fair compensation for these injuries say.

At this time of year, snow tires (whether with studs or similar), and careful driving are highly recommended. The use of seat belts at all times is also essential. The failure to utilize a seat belt and ejection from the vehicle are factors in many fatal car wrecks. Wearing a seat belt is a critical and well established way to reduce fatal injuries, regardless of the cause of motor vehicle crashes. Another factor to consider is the time of day or night – at this time of year in particular given holiday parties – staying off the roads after midnight and recognizing that between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. that a rather significant percentage of drivers on the road that have been drinking – makes staying at home (or at the hotel etc.) a good decision.

One winter driving danger that folks do not consider – in addition to driving without adequate or appropriate tires, awareness of conditions, not using seat belts – is driving (or being a passenger) without adequate insurance coverage.

We have a high rate of uninsured and underinsured drivers in Montana. “Defensive driving” as far as we concerned, also includes carrying substantial uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to protect your family and passengers from irresponsible drivers on the roads. Underinsured motors coverage is some of the least expensive, and most critical coverage one can purchase. I have seen underinsured motorist coverage of $100,000 for $21 per year. The most challenging part of underinsured motorist coverage is asking for it from your agent or the insurance company, and making sure everyone is covered under the policy you believe is covered under the policy. “Full coverage” means that you have enough insurance and kind of insurance to meet your needs. This includes having substantial med pay coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. A good agent will strongly recommend adequate uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, even insist on it or require you to sign an acknowledgment and waiver if you decline it, or simply decline to write an inadequate policy. An agent should write the policy coverages and sell you a policy with adequate coverage that considers your potential expenses and potential lost earning capacity, among other factors. However, if buying a policy online or over the phone in a few minutes, it requires that the consumer be aware and seek the coverage, or even seek it from a different company if not offered. This is a lot to ask of the consumer, and buyer beware. Of the ways to save money on an auto policy, skipping underinsured motorist coverage is not the way. A better approach would be to increase the deductible for collision or comprehensive coverage. Please also make sure that everyone who lives in your home is listed on the insurance policy, family member or not, so that the insurance company does not have that as a basis to try to deny coverage.

At Bliven Law Firm, P.C., the attorneys are happy to answer questions about your auto insurance converge, including reviewing your policy, and we counsel clients about getting coverage that will address their situation and needs to help protect their family in the event of a motor vehicle crash that results in injuries.

At Bliven Law Firm, P.C., we emphasize representing the insured, sick and disabled. Whether a car wreck, other injury, workers’ compensation injury, or disability claim, we have the skill, experience and dedication to assist you and your family. We are located in Kalispell, Flathead County, Montana, in the heart of the Flathead Valley. We are a law firm the represents the innocent victims injured by the negligence and wrongful conduct of others. We do not represent the insurance companies – or the wrong doers. We are firmly rooted in the community, and we are here to serve you.

NAVITAS NATURALS© EXPANDS VOLUNTARY RECALL FOR ORGANIC SPROUTED CHIA POWDER PRODUCTS

Navitas Naturals©, the Superfood Company™, today announced an expansion of its voluntary and precautionary recall to include additional expiration dates of products containing Organic Sprouted Chia Powder, due to the possible presence of Salmonella.

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“Based on investigations by FDA and California Department of Public Health, one of our suppliers Health Matters America Inc. has expanded their recall of Chia products. As a result, we are expanding our voluntary recall to include a broader date range of products. Our business depends on providing safe and healthy food and we will not take chances with our consumer’s wellbeing. Because of this priority, in an abundance of caution, we have deliberately and voluntarily expanded this recall” stated Zach Adelman, Chief Executive Officer of Navitas Naturals. Based on information from CDC we are not aware of any reported illnesses associated with the products included in this expanded date range.

The affected products were distributed nationally and include:

  • Navitas Naturals Organic Sprouted Chia Powder, 8oz, UPC 858847000369 all best by dates up to and including 11/22/2015
  • Navitas Naturals Omega Blend Sprouted Smoothie Mix, 8oz, UPC 858847000314 all best by dates up to and including 11/05/2015

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Williams-Sonoma Omega 3 Smoothie Mixer, 8 oz, SKU 506436 all best by dates up to and including OC 2015

No other Navitas Naturals products are affected by this recall.

“We are continuing to work hand-in-hand with the FDA and California Department of Public Health. We take our responsibility to consumers very seriously and we are taking immediate actions within our supply chain and with our own quality assurance protocols to ensure this does not happen again” stated Adelman.

Consumers who have purchased either of these products are urged to not eat the products, and to dispose of them or return them to the store where they were originally purchased.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses.

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Customers with questions or who would like product replacements or refunds may contact (406) 755-6828.

Kalispell attorneys, Bliven Law Firm, P.C., represent injured victims of Salmonella poisoning. If you or someone you know has been sick because of Salmonella or other bacteria from recalled food products, or food borne illness contact the attorneys at Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to payment of wage loss, medical expenses and other damages for food borne illness damages.

BUTTE CAR ACCIDENT LEAVES ONE DEAD

53914cb98fbf1.preview-620Authorities are reporting a teenage girl died in a single car accident in Butte on Thursday.

The Butte car accident occurred outside of highway 2 near the top of Pipestone Pass.

“The vehicle was traveling at what I believe to be a fairly high rate of speed for that road,” Klapan said. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

The Butte teen was driving westbound on the road when the vehicle crossed the eastbound lane and went off the left side of the road, causing the vehicle to become airborne. The vehicle rotated three-quarter times, landed no its front and overturned, coming to a stop on its roof. The vehicle burst into flames upon impact, according to MHP.

Speed was a factor. It is unknown if alcohol was involved. More information is available here.

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to recover damages. The attorneys at Bliven Law Firm, P.C. represent victims of car accidents in Montana.

Bliven Law Firm, P.C. is a full service Montana law firm with lawyers dedicated to car accidents, wrongful death, head injuries and other serious injuries. Our attorneys fight for car accident victims throughout the state of Montana, including, Whitefish, Lakeside, Butte, Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Missoula, Butte, Bozeman, Sydney and Billings.

For a free consultation, please visit our website or call (406) 755-6828.

HAMBURGER RECALLS ENDANGERS HEALTH OF CONSUMERS IN MANY STATES AND MAY AFFECT MONTANA AND OREGON

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2013 – National Beef Packing Co., a Liberal, Kan., establishment, is recalling approximately 22,737 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The following products are subject to recall:

• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 80/20 Coarse Ground Chuck, package code “0481.”
• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 81/19 Coarse Ground Beef, package code “0421.”
• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck, package code “0484.”
All these products have a “USE BY/SELL BY DATE” of June 14, 2013, and bear the establishment number “EST. 208A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were produced on May 25, 2013, and shipped to various institutions and retail establishments in Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, and Arizona. FSIS and the establishment are concerned that some product may be frozen and in shoppers’ freezers.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS monitoring which confirmed a positive result for E.coli O157:H7. An investigation determined the firm was the sole supplier of the source materials used to produce the positive product. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF GROUND BEEF RECALLED DUE TO POSSIBLE PRESENCE OF E.COLI, THE 0157:H7 CONTAMINATION

470_2645275-300x240The USDA recalled 10 lb. pageages of “National Beef” 80/20 Coarse Ground chuck. The exact details can be found under the News Release portion of USDA. http://www.fsis.usda.gov. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a total of 33 persons have been infected with the deadly Shinga Toxin producing Escherichia coli commonly referenced as (STECO157:H7). The major concern with this toxin is that for young children, the elderly or otherwise immune compromised individuals, may develop HUS. HUS is a type of kidney failure that can result in kidney failure and death. Symptoms develop over a period of 4-7 days after consumption and include, vomiting, ,

Diarrhea along with high fever and fatigue. If you have eaten this product and you are experiencing the above symptoms within the incubation period seek medical help immediately.

There have been no reports accounted for in Montana. There have been 2 cases of HUS which have resulted as of this date. Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (or haemolytic-uraemic syndrome), abbreviated HUS, is a disease characterized by hemolytic anemia (anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells), acute kidney failure (uremia), and a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemolytic-uremic_syndrome. This condition is often caused by the STEC) 157:H7 toxin. In other outbreaks it has led to death. In many situations physicians will treat symptoms with anti-biotics. This makes the situation worse in most cases. If HUS is detected in my opinion only a top level trauma center would be recommended. Since there are no such trauma centers here in Montana or Flathead County, patients in my experience have been successfully treated at Sacred Heart in Spokane, Harbor View, and Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital.

The Department of Agriculture has detected the toxin from the National Beef Packing Co. in Liberal Kansas. Approximately 23,000 pounds have been recalled.

Although no cases have been reported yet in Montana, the CDC is concerned that the beef may still be in freezers. Moreover much of the plants products are sold to fast food distributors which could enlarge the outbreak to other states including Montana. Moreover, the condition travels with you. If you consume the product at a fast food restaurant in another state then you may suffer from the E. Coli although there are no reported cases here in Montana yet. Often it takes a year to understand the full extent of an outbreak.

If you are unsure, contact your local health department they will take down your symptoms and compare them with those of the particular outbreak identified by the CDC. If you feel you have suffered food poisoning obtain medical attention without delay and contact our office to protect your legal rights. We fight for those who suffer from unsafe food production.

Written by Scott L. Anderson, food poisoning attorney, licensed in Montana, Oregon Alaska 

 WASHINGTON, June 18, 2013 – National Beef Packing Co., a Liberal, Kan., establishment, is recalling approximately 22,737 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The following products are subject to recall:

• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 80/20 Coarse Ground Chuck, package code “0481.”
• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 81/19 Coarse Ground Beef, package code “0421.”
• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck, package code “0484.”

All these products have a “USE BY/SELL BY DATE” of June 14, 2013, and bear the establishment number “EST. 208A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were produced on May 25, 2013, and shipped to various institutions and retail establishments in Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, and Arizona. FSIS and the establishment are concerned that some product may be frozen and in shoppers’ freezers.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS monitoring which confirmed a positive result for E.coli O157:H7. An investigation determined the firm was the sole supplier of the source materials used to produce the positive product. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls

DRUMMOND CAR ACCIDENT INJURES THREE

download (1)A single car accident near Drummond injured three Sunday afternoon. The vehicle was traveling east on Interstate 90 when the vehicle lost control and rolled on the highway.

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper James Handy said the vehicle  was carrying three women when it rolled near mile marker 136. The driver and the passengers were all transported to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula; one was taken there by Life Flight.

The crash is still under investigation.

“We’re not sure yet, there may have been another (vehicle involved) but they might not have even known it,” Handy said.

For more information on the Drummond Car Accident, please visit the Missoulian.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a rollover car accident in Montana, contact the personal injury attorney of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation. Our Montana attorneys will discuss your car accident without charge.

If you or a family member has been seriously injured in an Interstate rollover crash, you may be entitled to advance payment of medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. Our Kalispell attorneys have handled thousands of car accident cases. We aggressively represent victims of car accidents throughout Montana, including Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Kila, Libby, Missoula, Sanders County, Great Falls, Billings, Bozeman and Butte.

 

BOZEMAN CRASH INJURES TWO

The driver of a Subaru caused a two-car accident in Bozeman after the driver of the Subaru turned left into oncoming traffic.

The Bozeman car accident occurred on Secondary Highway 205 and Valley Center spur.

A woman in a Subaru wagon sustained an injury to her face but was talking and coherent, Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Patrick McLaughlin said. She was taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. The second occupant of that vehicle was also taken to the hospital.

For updated information on the Bozeman crash, visit KAJ18

Bliven Law Firm, P.C. a Kalispell law firm with three attorneys who represent personal injury clients, aggressively represents the victims of car accidents in Bozeman and other towns in Montana including Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kila, Lakeside, Polson, Missoula and throughout the state of Montana.

For Montana residents injured in a car accident, we provide a free consultation to discuss your case. For most car accident cases, in Bozeman, Kalispell, Missoula or elsewhere, we represent car accident clients on a contingency basis. We aggressively represent our clients rights to reach a fair and just outcome, inside or outside of the courtroom.

MONTANA HIGHWAY PATROL REPORTS INCREASED ACCIDENTS IN FLATHEAD VALLEY

downloadThe Montana Highway Patrol reported an increase in traffic accidents in the Flathead Valley.

In the past two weeks, two fatal accidents occurred on Highway 2 in Kalispell. Although there has been an increase in recent Flathead Valley car accidents, the Montana Highway Patrol reported impaired accidents are down 35 percent.

Sergeant Jim Sanderson of the Montana Highway Patrol says they’re doing the best they can to make sure the roads are safe for drivers.

“The patrol has taken a very proactive stance on impaired driving,” said Sanderson.  “We’ve introduced A-RIDE schools to all patrol officers and most other agencies, which is Advanced Roadside Impaired Driver Enforcement, and we follow that up with a drug recognition expert program.”

To avoid an accident in the Flathead Valley, drivers should:

  • Never operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription drugs;
  • Avoid texting and driving;
  • Safely use headlights;
  • Remember to use flashers and turn signals;
  • Pull over and rest if you are tired;
  • Obey all safety laws; and
  • Lookout for pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists.
KALISPELL CAR ACCIDENT LEAVES 1 DEAD AND AT LEAST 2 SERIOUSLY INJURED

20130607-112016-resized-jpgThree people were injured and one died Friday morning when a gray Nissan crossed the center line and struck a mini-can traveling in the opposite direction. It was the second fatal Kalispell car accident on Highway 2 this week.

According to Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Patrick Herman, the male occupant of a gray Nissan Sentra died, and the female occupant is in critical condition after the collision with a white minivan in the Highway 2 crash. The two passengers in the minivan, both men, were taken to receive medical treatment for non-life-threatening injuries, Herman said.

The driver of the car was killed on impact, with Lieb adding that a female passenger was critically injured in the Kalispell fatal car accident and was taken by Alert Helicopter to Kalispell Regional Medical Center. The driver of the mini-van in the Kalispell car accident is hospitalized with serious injuries.

More information on the fatal Kalispell car accident can be found at the following news sources:

http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/two_dead_after_head_on_crash_on_highway_2/33851/

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/head-on-collision-near-glacier-airport/-/14594602/20468964/-/cucuyaz/-/index.html

Bliven Law Firm, P.C., a Montana law firm with three Kalispell Lawyers, has helped thousands of clients and their families who were seriously injured in accidents like the Kalispell car accident described above.

Injured victims, and their spouses (in some circumstances) may be legally entitled to advance payment of medical expenses, lost wages and medical care.

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured or hurt in  a Kalispell car accident, our lawyers will provide a free consultation to discuss your case. In cases of serious injuries we can even visit you. Call now for a free consultation at (406) 755-6828.

DOWNPOUR CAUSES 2 CAR ACCIDENT OUTSIDE OF MISSOULA

51ad03c61020e.preview-620Heavy rain and bald tires caused a two-car accident outside of Missoula A two-car crash caused by a heavy downpour and bald tires slowed westbound traffic on Interstate 90 early Monday afternoon.

Emergency crews responded to the accident near East Missoula at mile marker 108 at roughly 1:30 p.m.

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Paul Pfau confirmed what witnesses said after the accident: The driver of the Nissan was going too fast for conditions.

“The car was going a little too fast for conditions with bald tires,” Pfau said. “It hydroplaned on the bridge deck, hit the bridge guardrail and bounced into traffic, where it was T-boned by another vehicle,” Pfau said.

Dave and Theresa Scott were traveling from Twin Falls, Idaho, to Spokane, Wash., when the accident occurred in front of them. The couple pulled over to see what they could do to help.

“We didn’t know if anyone was calling 9-1-1,” Scott said. “The rain was coming down pretty hard. We were one of the first who pulled over.”

Pfau said the driver of the Nissan was cited for driving too fast for conditions.

For more information click here

Our office has three Montana attorneys who practice personal injury law for injured Montanans. If you or someone you know has been injured in a Missoula car accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or worse in a Montana or Missoula car accident, you may be entitled to advance payment of medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. Each case is different and depends on the facts. Our Kalispell lawyers aggressively represent and fight for the rights of innocent victims of car accidents in Montana.