Bliven Law Firm, P.C.

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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.

KALISPELL WOMAN TO BE CHARGED WITH DUI AFTER HEAD-ON COLLISION

A drunk driver caused a head-on collision on Highway 2 in East Kalispell Tuesday morning.

Officers said Tami Smith was driving south on Highway 2 when she drove into oncoming traffic and caused the car accident in Kalispell.

Ms. Smith faces charges for driving under the influence, as well as driving without a valid driver’s license and driving without insurance.

For more information click here.

Drunk driving is an alarming trend that has continued to plague Montana. Forbes reported that Montana leads the nation in drunk driving fatalities per capita. In 2008, Montana reported 11.1 drunk driving accident fatalities per 100,000 people.

For over 25 years, Bliven Law Firm, P.C. has been helping the innocent victims of drunk driving accidents in Montana in cities like Libby, Eureka, Kalispell, Lakeside, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, Bozeman and more. We offer free consultations for victims of Montana drunk driving accidents.

In our experience, many drunk drivers are uninsured. Many Montanans are unaware that if they are hit by an uninsured drunk driver in a car accident, that they may file an uninsured motorist claim if they have purchased the insurance.

In our experience, uninsured insurance is often very affordable. We encourage all motorists to have uninsured and under insured insurance, to protect themselves and their family members against uninsured drunk drivers in Montana. Speak to an insurance agent to discuss your available insurance coverage options.

NEW STUDY SUGGESTS MEN MORE LIKELY TO CAUSE ACCIDENTS ON SNOW AND ICE

A recent study by a Purdue professor suggests that men and women are more likely to be involved in car accidents in different types of weather.

Men older than age 45 are much more likely to crash their vehicles on icy and snowy roads, especially if they are diving four-wheel drive trucks according to Purdue University researcher Fred Mannering found.

“There may be a sense of invulnerability with four-wheel drive trucks leading the drivers to not slow down as much as they should,” Mannering said in an interview. “The reality is that four-wheel drive gets you up to speed faster in snow and ice, but it doesn’t help you stop any quicker.”

Female drivers of all ages, meanwhile, are more likely to lose control and crash on rain-slicked roads most often because of their failure to sense reduced friction on wet pavement, according to the results of the study.

For more information click here

For over 25 years, the law offices of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. has helped injured victims of Montana car accidents. We urge all people to exercise caution while driving on the snow and ice and to avoid car accidents in Montana.

If you have been hurt in a car accident from snow and ice in Billings, Great Falls, Missoula, Bozeman, Kalispell, Helena, Columbia Falls, Lakeside, Whitefish or anywhere else in Montana, contact Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a FREEE CASE EVALUATION.

FIRST WINTER SNOW CAUSES FLATHEAD VALLEY CAR ACCIDENTS

downloadThe Montana Highway Patrol stated they responded to 18 car accidents in Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Whitefish and the rest of the Flathead Valley, Thursday.

Kalispell Fire Chief Dave Dedman said drivers need to slow down.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident in the Flathead Valley, or elsewhere in Montana, contact the law offices of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation. Bliven Law Firm, P.C. has two Kalispell lawyers to answer your questions and help you receive the compensation you deserve.

FIVE TIPS FOR PRESERVING A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM

Call the Police

If you have been hit in an auto-accident, call the police. The responding officer should help gather witness names, compile a report and take pictures. That information will be essential in establishing liability. Failing to contact the local authorities can result in disputed liability. Someone who may want to “take care of an accident” without the police or insurance, may deny liability later.

Obtain Witness Contact Information

If someone else saw the accident, obtain their contact information. Independent witnesses can provide valuable information and help establish liability.

Take Pictures

If you are able to take pictures of the scene of the accident, do so. Many phones are equipped with cameras. Photographic evidence is a useful tool to document damage to your vehicle as well as to your body. If you have lacerations, broken bones or bruises, photograph it. The strength of a personal injury claim is often dependent on the available evidence. Taking photographs of the accident, scene, damage to your vehicle and bodily injuries will provide support and evidence for your damages.

If Injured, Seek Medical Attention Immediately

One of the biggest mistakes that an unrepresented personal injury claimant makes is refusing to seek medical treatment after an accident. Even low speed accidents may cause significant, permanent, or long-term injuries. Failing to seek medical attention can adversely effect your long-term health. In addition, an insurance company may refuse to pay for medical treatment sustained in an auto accident in Montana, if the claimant does not receive treatment until weeks or months after the accident. If you feel you have sustained injuries from an auto accident, seek medical attention immediately.

Contact an Attorney

If you have been injured because of the negligence of another, in an auto accident, seek the legal advice of an attorney. He or she can advise you as to your rights under Montana law. He or she should also represent your best interests to see that you receive proper medical treatment and care. If you have been seriously injured in an auto accident, you may miss days, weeks or months from your job. An attorney will help you receive funds to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and to obtain sums for future medical expenses and other related damages.

Additional Resources

If you have been injured in an auto accident in Montana, call the law offices of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. at (406) 755-6828 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Firm has been helping personal injury and wrongful death victims for 25 years. We care about the community and helping injured victims.

FIVE REASONS TO CALL A LAWYER AFTER A MONTANA CAR ACCIDENT

downloadIf you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, here are five reasons why should give Bliven Law Firm, P.C., a Kalispell law firm, with three  Montana attorneys, a call to start working on your case.

1.     Accident, Injury and Disability Consultations are always FREE.  There is no fee unless we recover money for you.  Ask us to explain contingent attorney’s fees.

 2.     Delays in gathering evidence and filing your claim can hurt your case. Let us get started.

 3.     We work for YOU, not corporate shareholders.

4.     The Insurance companies have lawyers working hard on your case.

5.      An experienced, full service, injury and disability law office can put the law on your side.

MONTANATOP 10 FOR BAD DRIVERS

Montana Drivers were ranked as the eight worst in the United States according to a report published by carinsurancecomparison.com.

Montana Roads are also the most dangerous according to the same source. For every 100 million miles driven, there are 2.12 fatalities, the highest in the nation.

Icy roads and treacherous conditions in the winter time can further exacerbate the problem and cause more car accidents in Montana. Although studded tires, four-wheel drive and traction devices may help during the winter time, sometimes defensive drivers are hit by others who are less prepared.

For over 25 years, Bliven Law Firm, P.C. has helped innocent victims of car accidents recover the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, call Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation.

MONTANA AUTO ACCIDENT LAWYER ADVISES AGAINST CHOOSING AN INSURANCE AUTO BODY REPAIR SHOP, THE LAW SAYS YOU CHOOSE.

Wrecked-Cars-300x224As a part of our service to our clients who are victims of automobile or motorcycle accidents we handle the property damages portion of the claim without charge when we also handle the personal injury claim.  We have received recent complaints that “preferred insurance” auto body shops are being suggested by several insurance adjusters.  We have also received reports of adjusters threatening to cut off or take away a rental car if the vehicle is not towed to a certain shop.

However Montana Law is very clear on this.  Sec. 33-18-224 Designation of specific automobile body repair businesses prohibited.  “An insurance company including its producers and adjusters, that issues or renews a policy of insurance in this state covering, in whole or in part, a motor vehicle may not:

(i)            require that a claimant under the policy use a particular automobile body repair business or location for an estimate or a repair; or

(ii)          engage in any act or practice that intimidates, coercers or threatens a claimant or that provides an incentive or inducement for a claimant to use a particular automobile body repair business or locations .

(c)             Upon request, the insurance company shall provide, without prejudice or bias, the claimant with a list that includes all automobile body repair businesses or locations that are reasonably close or convenient to the claimant . . .

Many times insurance companies will in even subtle ways suggest a preferred shop or recommend a shop.  This is strictly prohibited.  If you have a auto damage claim in Montana your interests are in finding the best possible repair shop available.

In my 18 years of experience as a Montana Personal Injury Lawyer in Kalispell, Whitefish and Columbia Falls I have found a few shops that work with the insurance company and repeatedly overlook certain items which cannot be seen such as transmission damage, frame damage, engine damage.  They may also use inferior parts or techniques, which are not up to industry standards.  While, all of the auto body shops in Flathead County, Montana say they guarantee their work, I have received repeated complaints about having to bring the vehicle back for extended time periods without the problem being fixed, or being told its not covered.

In fact there are some excellent, high end auto body repair shops here in the Flathead Valley that pride themselves on a reputation of excellence.  If an item is questioned by the insurance adjuster, they give the claimant the benefit of the doubt and fix it.  Their goal is to do a great job as their manner of advertising to their clients.  Also as part of our full service philosophy we help guide our clients to the best available shop for their needs.  We don’t care about the insurance companies only our clients.  You are entitled to a comparable rental vehicle.  Therefore if you had a pickup truck that was wrecked in an auto accident the insurance company has to pay for a similar vehicle such as another pickup truck.

You do not have to get three estimates, nor do you need to chose the lowest.

Many people believe they have to get three comparative estimates.  Some insurance adjusters lead them to this belief in the hope that you will chose their shop which will cut corners to get the insurance company business.  Montana Law allows you to pick which shop to take your vehicle to for repair and you do not need to get any comparative estimates.

There are many things that can substantially decrease the value of an insurance claim.  Often it starts out with a recorded statement where seemingly harmless questions come back to haunt you.  If you have been injured in a Montana Automobile accident we can help.  We will take care of the statement for you and coordinating the vehicle damage settlement, repairs and rental car.  If you have been injured we offer these services without charge when we handle your injury case.

TRAFFIC SAFETY CONCERNS ABOUT HIGHWAY 93 WHITEFISH WEST PROJECT RAISED BY LOCAL PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

whitfishwest-300x191Last night on the drive to Whitefish from Kalispell on the relatively newly completed 4 lane Highway 93 North “expressway” to Whitefish during rush hour, on an icy surface, raised concerns.  The concerns include the Highway West Project, overall Montana Highway Safety and auto accident prevention planning.

All four lanes of Highway 93 North to Whitefish, were packed car to car, truck to car, without a barely a car length between each traveling at the brisk speed of 70 miles per hour + on an icy road.  I observed vehicles with bald tires and can only presume a fair number of uninsured drivers constituent with Montana DOT statistics. In an attempt to slow down to the speed limit of 65, I was tailgated and practically run off the road.  One deer or car crossing the road at Happy Valley would have caused in my opinion at least an Eight-vehicle pile up, with likely fatality.

Granted it was 5:30 p.m. rush hour.  Nonetheless this raised questions.   I recall when two lanes from Kalispell to Whitefish were more than sufficient and seemed safer.  As a result I looked into the population statistics and found that the population of the City of Whitefish has grown an astounding 45% since 1990.  This does not even include the out of city, growth areas.

My family has lived in the Flathead for 18 years.  We live close to Whitefish.  Our family and children are involved in the Whitefish community, along with family relatives.  I have been helping Whitefish families and individuals by providing representation as a personal injury attorney along with business and family matters.  We handle many insurance claims from Whitefish due to our Whitefish family and involvement in the community.

For a change I wanted to try express my own concerns about the crowding conditions on highway 93 North in Whitefish and the trends that my research seems to indicate are occurring.  My family drives on Highway 93 North to Whitefish almost every day of the week.  I want to bring awareness to the dangers of the high-speed rush hour before the wrongful death or serious injury case of a friend, relative or client.

While our accident lawyers have recovered Millions in settlements including Whitefish Auto Accident Injury victims and those injured by Drunk Drivers in and around Whitefish, Montana Law only compensates personal injury victims with money damages.  It does not reverse the serious permanent injuries or wrongful death that results from dangerous road conditions.

The first factor I looked at was population increase.  There is a steady trend for the Whitefish area having the highest population growth in the County.  Second I factored in the Montana Department of Transportation road safety information about Highway 93 North in the Whitefish area.

Due to the alarming incident of automobile accidents and motorcycle accidents in the Highway 93 North corridor between Kalispell and Whitefish the Montana Department of Transportation has designated this area a “High Crash Enforcement Corridor”.  Montana DOT Drunk Driving Accident report for 2010 indicates there remains a substantial drunk driving problem for the Whitefish Highway 93 North corridor, which was also considered in the designation.  The map and more information may be located athttp://www.mdt.mt.gov/publications/docs/brochures/safety/current_chsp.pdf

The final factor I considered in my analysis is the Whitefish West Project which has resulted in a Whitefish downtown traffic juggernaut.  However, when completed it will result in another 5 mile expressway from downtown Whitefish out to Twin Bridges Road, milepost 133.

Over the years as I have traveled Highway 93 North and based anecdotally as a Whitefish accident lawyer I have notice that after the expansion initially traffic was very light.  It is my belief that the improved road brought access to greater growth in the Whitefish area due to its connection to the higher paying jobs in Kalispell.  With the expansion under the Whitefish Highway 93 corridor it would seem that further subdivision and growth will, over time result in more traffic accidents and serious accident injuries.

I enjoy visiting friends and family in Whitefish.  Our family enjoys the community activities and we do our best to give back to the community. However, we have lived in Columbia Falls since starting my Montana Personal Injury practice 25 years ago, which is now Bliven Law Firm, P.C., Montana Trial Attorneys.  I truly believe that Whitefish is a wonderful destination for Flathead County residents to enjoy the activities, visit relatives and participate in the community.  I do not believe that you have to live there to be involved or enjoy all that Whitefish has to offer.

My primary concern as a Whitefish Injury Lawyer is that people are moving into Whitefish and the Whitefish area to enjoy the amenities.  The result will be a much more dangerous highway 93 North and Whitefish West expressway.  I do not want to see anymore, friends, relatives or clients from Whitefish killed or injured on a dangerous highway.

With all of the construction occurring and roadblocks I am beginning to avoid the frequent trips to Whitefish, which are for recreational activities.  My final thought which is much less important than Montana Highway accidents and injuries, was whether, too much growth, will divert other Flathead Residents to competing communities with similar amenities.   Only time will tell whether too much of a good thing will spoil the small old west town atmosphere Whitefish has offered in the past.

FDA WARNS CONSUMERS NOT TO EAT FROZEN OYSTERS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat certain ASSI Brand frozen oysters from Korea following an outbreak of illness in Washington state caused by norovirus.

• The frozen oyster meat (shucked; not in shell), is packed in 3-lb bags . Each bag is labeled  ASSI Brand “INDIVIDUALLY QUICK FROZEN OYSTER” with a “Better if Used By” date of “2013.02.232.”  Each bag identifies Central Fisheries Co. Ltd., as the packer and Korean Farms of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., as the distributor. Korean Farms has voluntarily agreed to recall these oysters.

• The individual bags are shipped in boxes of 10 bags each with the lot number C-110223, appearing on each shipping carton , along with a “SHUCKED DATE: 2011.02.24.

• These oysters, which were served in a Washington state restaurant and were eaten by three people who became ill, have been sampled and tested positive by FDA for norovirus genotypes I and II.

Norovirus causes acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). The most common symptoms are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. The illness often begins suddenly and norovirus can make people feel extremely ill with frequent vomiting and diarrhea. Most people get better within 1 to 2 days. Dehydration can be a problem among some people with norovirus infection, especially the very young, the elderly, and people with other illnesses.

For more information click here

KALISPELL MAN DIES IN HEAD-ON CRASH

Flathead County Deputy Coroner Jordan White says that Joel Lewis Coyle, 57, of Kalsipell was pronounced dead at the scene of the two vehicle wreck that happened at about 2:30 p.m. on Friday.

Two trucks collided head on Highway 2 east, near Birch Road. Coyle’s pickup  apparently crossed the divider and two lanes of traffic before colliding head on with a silver Dodge pickup. The driver and passenger in that vehicle were both rushed to the hospital.

“He apparently died on impact,” said Undersheriff Jordan White. “We’re continuing, in cooperation with the Highway Patrol, to figure out the circumstances around this and to determine if alcohol or medical factors or anything else contributed to this crash.”