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.

TAG ARCHIVES: Kalispell Law Firm

MONTANA AUTO INSURANCE COVERAGE – CRITICAL FACTS TV ADS DON’T TELL YOU

Television advertising for auto insurance is so frequent that it would be helpful if it contained more useful and helpful information. While saving you money is so frequently the theme, some commercials actually do talk about getting the right coverage, sometimes even discussing the help of an agent. How many of those ads discuss the need for good uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage? When was the last time you saw a commercial that discussed the need for underinsured motorist coverage? Have you ever seen one? When was the last ad you saw that talked about medical payments coverage? Again, have you ever seen one? Why is this?

Uninsured motorist coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage are some of the most critical coverage a person can buy to protect their family, but it appears to be neglected in the advertising. It certainly appears that it not popular enough with customers or a big enough concern among consumers that the insurance companies find it worthy to advertise on the subject. Montana is a state with a small enough population, that the big companies do not seem to be worried about reaching out to Montana consumers in their ad campaigns, or even particularly concerned about running afoul of our law when it comes to advertising. Our Unfair Claims Practices statute – Montana Code Annotated 33-18-201 – as interpreted by the Montana Supreme Court – places burdens on insurers to make an effort to live up the advertising

http://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/33/18/33-18-201.htm

33-18-201. Unfair claim settlement practices prohibited. A person may not, with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice, do any of the following:

(8) attempt to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable person would have believed the person was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application

If you insurance company has not lived up to its advertising in how it has addressed or handled your injury claim (or your family) arising from a motor vehicle wreck, contacting a Montana attorney that emphasis personal injury law, notably insurance and motor vehicle injury cases is the right decision.

The time to find out that you do not have enough of the right kind of auto insurance is not after having a wreck where you or your family are injured because of the negligence or reckless conduct of an uninsured, or underinsured, drunk driver. Insurance coverage has to be in place before the crash, wreck or other loss. If you are injured in a car wreck and find out that the at fault driver has no insurance, or simply not enough to address the medical expenses and lost wages, much less other damages, it is like being injured all over again. As the Montana Supreme Court so eloquently stated in the Ridley decision:

One of the most significant obligations that innocent victims of automobile accidents incur and for which mandatory liability insurance laws were enacted, is the obligation to pay the costs of medical treatment. If the insurer has no obligation to pay those expenses in a timely fashion, even though liability is reasonably clear, then the protection provided by Montana’s mandatory liability laws would be of little value.

Medical expenses from even minor injuries can be devastating to a family of average income. The inability to pay them can damage credit and, as alleged in this case, sometimes preclude adequate treatment and recovery from the very injuries caused. Just as importantly, the financial stress of being unable to pay medical expenses can lead to the ill-advised settlement of other legitimate claims in order to secure a benefit to which an innocent victim of an automobile accident is clearly entitled. We conclude that this is not what was intended by the Montana Legislature when mandatory liability insurance laws and unfair claims practice laws were enacted.

Ridley v. Guaranty National Insurance Company, 951 P.2d 987 (Mont. 1997)

– See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/mt-supreme-court/1453789.html#sthash.Doyr5aOV.dpuf

However, many people believe that they have “full coverage” and will have enough insurance for the loss. When folks come into the office after a car wreck and tell us they have “full coverage” the prudent response on our part is to ask them if they have a copy of the declaration sheet, the “dec page” that shows the coverages. While having collision and comprehensive coverage can be helpful and are certainly advisable on most policies – the bodily injury limits, medical payments coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage ultimately often have more to do with a good outcome. This is because the ability to pay medical bills and recover for lost earnings are far more important in the longer term – and often the short term – than the coverage to pay to have a vehicle repaired.

If your agent did not properly advise you about under-insured or uninsured motorist coverage, did your agent live up to the advertising of the insurance company? Some large insurers run advertising, and have run advertising touting how helpful an agent is and the company is at making sure you the right coverage. They advertise that agents can help make sure you don’t have gaps in coverage or not enough coverage. If you suffered a loss and your agent did not do so, or if the insurance company changed your coverage without your permission or knowledge, contact us. We seek to hold insurers accountable and live up to their promises in their advertising to their insureds, the customers that pay the premiums.

DOCTORS, NURSES, PHYSICAL THERAPISTS AND PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS – YOUR TEAM – NATURAL ALLIES NOT ENEMIES

After over twenty years in the practice of law, I have not filed a single medical malpractice claim or pursued a claim against a doctor or health care professional for professional negligence. Why is this, since many attorneys that represent injured folks in motor vehicle injury claims and other injury claims also do medical malpractice claims?

Folks in health care fields dedicate their lives to helping the injured, sick and disabled. So have I in the practice of law. It would be contrary to our mission, and that of Bliven Law Firm, P.C., to pursue medical malpractice claims. I did not become an attorney to sue doctors – quite the contrary. My family is composed largely of medical professionals and counselors. At our office, at Bliven Law Firm, P.C., we work with doctors (medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, doctors of chiropractic, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists and other health care professionals) to assist our clients in their recovery from their injuries and other losses. A big part of representing injured folks when they are injured in a car wreck is getting their medical bills paid. We work to get the bills paid, so clients can get their treatment and get better.

Here in the Kalispell, in the heart of Flathead County and the Flathead Valley, as in other places in Montana, sometimes hospitals, hospital administrators, and even doctors see attorneys who represent injured people – personal injury attorneys – as an enemy – or perhaps a nuisance at best. Among hospital administrators, and even physicians and their staff, “trial lawyers” are not usually popular. We are used to being viewed with suspicion, and frankly, sometimes just flat out hostility. This occurs even when we have never met or had any contact with the office or provider. Unfortunately, because of what some of our colleagues have done and do, suspicion or concern is not entirely unwarranted in general. As they say, one rotten apple spoils the bushel. Physicians spent a great deal of time and energy practicing “defensive medicine” because they are concerned about getting sued for doing what they believe is right and in the interests of their patient, but something goes wrong. I understand. Medicine is an art as well as a science. Sometimes physicians and therapists doing everything correctly, as they are trained and their experience teaches them is the right approach, but patients don’t get better or have bad outcomes. A bad outcome does not mean the doctor or other health care professional did something wrong, and bad outcomes happen sometimes, even when the provider gave the best care possible. Some lawyers spend a considerable amount of their time and energy suing doctors and other health care professionals, others don’t bother to think about the providers concerns or issues. At Bliven Law Firm, P.C., we do not file medical malpractice claims – doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are our allies and friends – not the enemy or a target.Do physicians or other health care professionals make mistakes that contribute to unfavorable outcomes? Everyone makes a mistake at some point in their life, but even those errors do not mean they are below the “standard of care” or are irresponsible.

How do I know this? I grew up in a home where helping others with our careers was held out as a goal to aspire – and my brother is a family practice physician, one sister is a psychiatric nurse, and the other is a counselor. My mother was a nurse and my father a lawyer, then a judge. He taught me many lessons, including how to work with physicians to help clients in a professional and cooperative manner. Not all physicians and nurses are as highly trained, compassionate, dedicated and hard working as my brother and sister, but I believe most are, or try to be. I have great respect and admiration for my brother and sisters in the work they have done for patients, and sacrifices they have made to be care providers, and to continue to do so. Even my wife is a health care professional, and I have learned much from her, and with her while she did her professional education.

In over twenty years of representing the injured, sick and disabled, and working with physicians and other health care professionals – I have learned a few things about how the practice of medicine works, and the challenges health care providers face. Being a health care professional is challenging and demanding, and requires not just a great deal of education, but many skills and qualities. Generally folks enter these professions because they want to use their talents to help others. Unfortunately the economics of health care delivery has an impact on providers, who generally spend far more time than they wish on administration and paperwork, as opposed to the patient care they trained to do. I have also learned a great deal from talking to my family about these issues over the years. Most health care professionals have very long courses of study (physicians have at least 8 years of college, and then often 4-8 years of training in residency after medical school), high work loads, high stress, and tremendous demands placed upon them by the demands of patient care as well as administrative and other requirements. Physical therapists currently also generally earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, and have four years of physical therapy school after college. Many who do not have a DPT, who were educated under the former programs did more course work and hours than a PhD or even some current DPT programs even though they were granted a masters degree in physical therapy, an MSPT. If health care professionals are in private practice, they generally have the headaches of being involved in patient care and all those demands, and on top of it, have to try to run a business. Even those not in “private practice,” but working for the VA or some other agency, are still working to provide health care services to patients in a challenging environment in one form or another, such as the paperwork and the administration. I am very sensitive to these concerns and issues, and do what I can to facilitate care, communication and minimize the impact on them in seeking their opinions which are necessary to establish that treatment is necessary and related to the injury, accident or work exposure.

What sometimes is lost on providers in the system is the dramatic impact on the patient that the opinions expressed by a provider can have on the patient – often just as important as the care rendered. When an attending physician declares an injured worker at maximum medical improvement – MMI – the impact on the patient is dramatic in terms of the care they will (or not) receive, and the impact on their other benefits and life. This is one of many issues which cannot be addressed in detail here, perhaps another time on this blog.

When I practiced law in Oregon (and still do), or when seeking medical opinions outside our immediate area, I enjoy and benefit from talking to and meeting with doctors to discuss their patients I represent, and how best to help them. Communication and cooperation with the provider in the interests of the patient is to the benefit of all involved.This is common in the practice in many areas, but has become circumscribed in our area in the past few years. I miss this dialog and coordination to help patients, and it is frustrating that they are being prevented from speaking to us about their patients. We hope that someday this will be allowed again in this area so patient/clients needs can be served, and the innocent victims of other people’s negligence can get the care they need, while those services timely and appropriately paid. If you are a health care professional treating one of our clients, we welcome your phone call, or other communication.

— Michael A. Bliven

EDUCATION AND RETRAINING KEY FOR RECOVERY FROM WORK OR MOTOR VEHICLE INJURY – IS THE OIL BOOM ENDING?

When injured on the job, or in a car wreck, sometimes injured folks are not able to return to their past work, because it is too heavy or otherwise too physically demanding. Sometimes folks have permanent impairment from a work injury, occupational disease, or other injury, that makes many kinds of work no longer something they can do or sustain. When the past work or trade was skilled and high paying, and the person cannot go back, it can be devastating the injured person and their family. Retraining can help many of these folks obtain skills that will help them make as much or more in a new field, to enter a career that pays as well or more than past work, and has better long term prospects with less risk of injury. This challenge is something many folks are not prepared to face, and need guidance. Also, advanced education is not as accessible or as affordable as it could be. With the impending slow down of high paying jobs in the Baaken oil patch in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, the value of job skills and training are likely to be as important as ever.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2015/0124/Low-oil-prices-chill-a-once-hot-oil-town-in-North-Dakota

http://www.wsj.com/articles/job-engine-running-low-on-gas-as-energy-costs-tumble-1419619419

The production in North Dakota and eastern Montana continues, but the sector is vulnerable. Much of the industry is working hard to keep the production going in the Bakken and the jobs alive:

http://www.arcticgas.gov/2015/north-dakota-community-wants-cut-costs-oil-producers

Many Montana residents have been injured in motor vehicle wrecks, truck wrecks, and industrial accidents and injuries in the Bakken, both in Montana and North Dakota. Many Montana residents have been injured in North Dakota while working for Montana employers, covered by Montana workers’ compensation coverage. These injuries often take the worker out of high paying work. If they cannot go back to the oil fields and those high paying jobs, the question becomes, what is next? Education and training are often the best answer.

However, of the expenses a family incurs that have risen far more than the cost of inflation – higher education and medical expenses have been prominent. Over the past 20 years, the costs of college education, especially at private universities, and health care, have been increasing so fast that they have frequently been in the news. When someone suffers a significant injury in a car accident, regardless of the settlement, the insurance company does not provide or recommend a vocational counselor, or give career and rehabilitation planning advice. They don’t have an interest in the rehabilitation of the injured person, or have the links and roots in the community to vocational and educational resources. This is one of the many ways a local personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm can be of assistance to the innocent victim of someone else’s negligence. At Bliven Law Firm, P.C., we a Kalispell, Montana injury law firm, that represents injured folks against the insurance companies and their lawyers. We are Montana personal injury and accident attorneys that represent the injured, every day of the week, not the insurance companies – not ever.

We represent injured workers in workers’ compensation claims, not employers or insurers – not ever.

In Montana workers’s compensation claims, vocational retraining is sometimes offered by the workers’ compensation carrier – and often not offered at all – as one has to prove a significant amount of disability and a “handicap to employment” under the statute, MCA 39-71-1006. Rehabilitation benefits. 

“(1) A worker is eligible for rehabilitation benefits if:
(a) (i) the worker meets the definition of a disabled worker as provided in 39-71-1011; or
(ii) the worker has, as a result of the work-related injury, a whole person impairment rating of 15% or greater, as established by objective medical findings, and has no actual wage loss;
(b) a rehabilitation provider, as designated by the insurer, certifies that the worker has reasonable vocational goals and reasonable reemployment opportunity. If eligible because of an impairment rating of 15% or more, with rehabilitation the worker will have a reasonable increase in the worker’s wage compared to the wage that the worker received at the time of injury. If eligible because of a wage loss, the worker will have a reasonable reduction in the worker’s actual wage loss with rehabilitation.
(c) a rehabilitation plan is agreed upon by the worker and the insurer and a written copy of the plan is provided to the worker. The plan must take into consideration the worker’s age, education, training, work history, residual physical capacities, and vocational interests. The plan must specify a beginning date and a completion date. The plan must specify the cost of tuition, fees, books, and other reasonable and necessary retraining expenses required to complete the plan.”

In our experience, when a plan is offered by the insurer and their vocational counselor, it is often a minimal plan, designed as much (or more) to minimize the cost to the insurer as it is to assist the injured worker. The vocational and rehabilitation counselor the insurer chooses – as the insurer gets generally to choose under Montana law – has the difficult task of developing a plan that will assist the worker get into another job within the worker’s capacities, but also a plan the claims adjuster that hired them will approve. Therefore, even when retraining is offered by the insurer, the program or benefits are too often do not fully take advantage of the remedies available under Montana law – or as helpful as they could be. It often requires a committed and knowledgeable injured workers’ attorney to seek and retain a vocational rehabilitation specialist to evaluate the injured worker’s limitations and a develop a suitable retraining program. At Bliven Law Firm, P.C., we find it often necessary to consult or retain an independent vocational rehabilitation specialist to evaluate and develop the plan the insurer retained vocational counselor should do. Often, that program involves a proposal for retraining at our local community college, or another program in Montana.

Under Montana law, when an worker has a compensable on the job injury or disease, and they suffer a wage loss as, they can qualify for up to 104 weeks of training.

“(2) A disabled worker is entitled to receive biweekly rehabilitation benefits at the worker’s temporary total disability rate. The benefits must be paid for the period specified in the rehabilitation plan, not to exceed 104 weeks. The rehabilitation plan must be completed within 26 weeks of the completion date specified in the plan. Rehabilitation benefits must be paid biweekly while the worker is satisfactorily progressing in the agreed-upon rehabilitation plan. Rehabilitation benefits payable pursuant to a retraining rehabilitation plan under this section are not payable in a lump sum. Rehabilitation benefits may be paid in a lump sum for job placement services.
(3) In addition to rehabilitation benefits payable under subsection (2), a disabled worker who was injured on or after July 1, 1997, is entitled to receive payment for tuition, fees, books, and other reasonable and necessary retraining expenses, excluding travel and living expenses paid pursuant to the provisions of 39-71-1025, as set forth in department rules and as specified in the rehabilitation plan. Expenses must be paid directly by the insurer.
(4) A worker may not receive temporary total benefits and the benefits under subsection (2) during the same period of time.
(5) A rehabilitation provider authorized by the insurer shall continue to assist the injured worker until the rehabilitation plan is completed.
(6) To be eligible for benefits under this section, a worker is required to begin the rehabilitation plan within 78 weeks of reaching maximum medical healing.
(7) A worker may not receive both wages and rehabilitation benefits without the written consent of the insurer. A worker who receives both wages and rehabilitation benefits without written consent of the insurer is guilty of theft and may be prosecuted under 45-6-301.”

http://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/39/71/39-71-1006.htm

Qualifying is difficult, and getting real vocational assistance is a challenge. Unfortunately, many injured workers are not aware of the potential for vocational rehabilitation, and insurers and the vocational experts they hire do not make such programs available. Likewise, absent advice, someone recovering from injuries in a car wreck may not see the opportunity to go back to school and use this setback as an opportunity to obtain education and skills that will benefit them for the rest of their work life. Another critical factors is that college education remains affordable and accessible at FVCC and similar institutions. http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/20/living/ivory-tower-community-colleges/

We are fortunate in the Flathead Valley to have an excellent college in Flathead Valley Community College, providing excellent educational opportunities at costs far below even public universities, and our college has many professional training programs, as well as the occupational trades. http://www.fvcc.edu/academics/academic-programs.html

Given the pull of the Bakken oil field in eastern Montana and western North Dakota as a source of high paying entry level work, and the improved economy, the enrollment at the college has gone down recently over what it was at the height of the recession. However, given the crash in the price of crude oil per barrel in the past few months, that situation may be changing. As of December 28, 2014, prices had fallen to $54 per barrel, which makes much of the recent oil development in the United State and Alberta. The high paying entry level jobs driving employment in our region may be slowing – or grinding to a halt in the near future.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102292094

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-saudis-naimi-says-opec-will-not-cut-output-however-far-oil-falls-mees-2014-12

The challenges to full enrollment at many of the universities and colleges in the region may be coming to end, as the employment situation may be changing very soon. When looking at long term employment in high paying skilled work, education will always be a good investment, especially for younger workers. However, even non-traditional students and those who have been in the work force for 20 years often find returning to college and updating their occupational skills, or even learning a whole new trade or professional skill to be a worthwhile investment that pays many fold over the years in increased earning capacity.

One of the most successful and prominent parts of FVCC has been its growth in the health sciences and allied health professions, bolstered by the completion of the new Broussard Center for Nursing and Health Sciences. http://www.fvcc.edu/2014/10/fvccs-night-broussard-center-showcase-health-care-career-options/

The college has many other technical and science fields, as well as trades. Many local employers partner with the college to hire graduates of these programs.

When resolving an injury case, or workers’ compensation case, we counsel clients to consider taking the “lemons” given to them by the injury – including the disruption to employment and their physical capacities – and considering “making lemonade.” This can be an opportunity to go back to college, or go to college for the first time, and gain valuable skills and certifications for work in a field with long term and steady employment prospects, including the health sciences and skilled trades.

Flathead Valley Community College has degree programs – that can be completed in two years (104 weeks) or less – in many areas that prepare graduates for careers in fields where they can earn a living wage, and many of these careers are in the health sciences, such as nursing, surgical technician, physical therapy assistant. Other fields, such as the occupational trades, Department of Transportation (DOT) commercial drivers license and hazardous materials handling (HAZMAT). While the times change, so do the programs, as regional community colleges are usually more responsive to changes in economic conditions and employer needs for skilled workers than many four year colleges.At Bliven Law Firm, P.C., we do more than just get the case resolved. We believe getting the medical bills and lost wages addressed, and obtaining fair settlements for our clients is not all we are about. In the course of our representation, we seek to provide clients with advice to assist them get not just appropriate treatment, but also vocational and other resources so that they can better their lives and recover as much as possible from the injury. We respect our clients to make their own decisions about how to recover and proceed, but we do offer guidance and advice to assist them in these and related areas, as we not just attorneys at law, but also counselors at law. We often refer clients to vocational and educational resources so as well to assist them in the transition and recovery process. We are willing to advance costs for such evaluations, when appropriate, for vocational and other evaluations so that we can fully advocate for our clients and their needs. This is part of the dedication to our clients.

When choosing a law firm to assist you after a work injury or car wreck, or other injury (or a disability claim), one of the many considerations is whether or not the firm represents insurance companies and employers most of the time, but then takes cases from the injured person when it happens to not be from one the the insurance companies or employers where they get most of their work. In short, they play for either or any team as opportunity presents itself, like some of the law firms in our area that advertise on the internet, or the phone book for injury cases. Can such a law firm really dedicate themselves fully and wholeheartedly to working for you, when they work of the insurance companies and the “bad guys” most of the time? Is their heart really in it when they take a case for an injured person, when in fact they are really defense trial lawyers who spend most of their time defending wrong doers, insurance companies and trying to defeat fair compensation to the injured, sick and disabled? At Bliven Law Firm, P.C., we are Montana Trial Lawyers (MTLA), members of the American Association of Justice (AAJ), and the National Organization of Social Security Claimant’s Representatives (NOSSCR), who have dedicated our adult work lives to representing and helping the injured, sick, and disabled. Whether you retain our firm or not, we recommend that you seek help from a law firm dedicated to fighting every day for the injured – not the insurance companies, large self-insured employers, and their friends.

We believe that a team of lawyers and staff committed to representing the injured, sick and disabled, with experience in these complimentary areas of law – and working with medical and rehabilitation professionals to assist us and our clients, provides our clients with the best possible representation and assistance. This has been our commitment, and will continue to be at Bliven Law Firm, P.C.

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.

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.

ROLLOVER CRASH ON I-90 NEAR CLINTON LEAVES SEVERAL HURT

download (2)The Montana Highway Patrol reported that a pickup truck carrying at least five people rolled over on Interstate 90 near Clinton on Sunday night.

The pickup was heading west on Interstate 90 when the driver lost control and rolled through the median and into oncoming traffic.

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer says he believes all five people were taken to the hospital, but there’s no immediate word on their conditions.

For more information, click here

If you or a family member has been injured a car accident or a rollover accident in Montana, contact the attorneys of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation. If you have suffered injuries from a Kalispell car accident, you may be entitled to advance payment of medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

The Montana Attorneys of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. help individuals injured in Montana car accidents. Representation is usually based upon a contingency basis depending on what our firm can do for you. For personal injury cases, consultations are free.

COLUMBIA FALLS MAN FACES CRIMINAL CHARGES AFTER KALISPELL CAR ACCIDENT

Sean Francisco West, A 27-year-old Columbia Falls man, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Flathead District Court to negligent vehicular assault, criminal endangerment and failure to remain at the scene of a Kalispell car accident.

The charges stem from a Jan. 19  Kalispell caraccident where West allegedly ran a red light in his sport utility vehicle and smashed into another car.

According to a court document, when Kristy Elrod entered the intersection of Reserve Drive and U.S. 2 on a green light, West T-boned her vehicle.

The crash ejected Derrick Hayward, one of Elrod’s two passengers. Hayward flew approximately 63 feet before landing in the road. Hayward was hospitalized for several days after the Kalipsell car accident with a lacerated liver and other injuries.

A witness reported hearing a crash and running around the corner of a gas station to see a man running away from the SUV. She told him to stop, to which he responded, “I can’t do this,” and kept running.

For more information on the story, click here

For more than 18 years, the Kalispell lawyers of the Kalispell law firm, Bliven Law Firm, P.C. have been aggressively representing innocent victims of Kalispell car accidents.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls or Montana car accident, contact the Kalispell attorneys of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to advance payment of medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

THREE CAR CRASH ON HIGHWAY 93 IN VICTOR STOPS TRAFFIC

5115029bb0c92.preview-620A three car crash in Victor on Highway 93 stopped traffic on Thursday.

The accident was first reported a few minutes after 1 p.m., Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Lath Keith said.

A pickup truck was in the southbound lefthand lane, stopped to turn into the Axmen Propane in Victor, when it was rear-ended by a utility truck. The collision sent the pickup into the northbound lane, where it was struck by a white SUV, Keith said.

The white SUV rolled numerous times, crossing Highway 93 and ending up on the southbound side of the highway in the ditch heading west.

“The scene was so spread out,” Keith said.

“Both impacts were probably near highway speed,” he said.

The male utility truck driver was transported to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula for a compound fracture. The two occupants in the white SUV were taken to Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Hamilton.

Keith said that the accident was technically a four-car accident, although the fourth car was not struck. He said the fourth car was not impacted, as it swerved to avoid the head-on collision. He said the individual in the fourth car is now a witness in the accident.

Shortly after the accident occurred, Keith said they blocked Highway 93 off for two reasons: first for safety and second to see what exactly took place. Highway 93 was blocked for almost two hours from Bell Crossing to Victor Crossing.

For more information on the crash, visit the Missoulian

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If you or someone you know in the Flathead or Mission Valleys has been injured in a car accident, you may be legally entitled to lost wages, advance payment of medical expenses and other damages. Contact the Montana attorneys of the Montana law firm Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation.

MISSOULA THREE-CAR CRASH LEAVES ONE DEAD, OTHERS INJURED

The driver of a vehicle traveling north on Reserve in Missoula lost control of his vehicle and entered into oncoming traffic, Sunday, causing a three-car accident in Missoula.

Sergeant Scott Pastian with the Missoula Police Department says the accident occurred just south of the Reserve and Mullan Road intersection. He says two vehicles were southbound and one was northbound when it entered the southbound lane and was struck by the other two vehicles.

Pastian says the 35 year-old male victim was pronounced dead after being taken to a Missoula Hospital. He said two of the injured parties were transported to St. Patrick Hospital, while the third was taken to Community Medical Center.The other two individuals were treated and released.

The crash occurred around 10:30 a.m. Sunday near the intersection of Reserve and Mullan Road, according to a Missoula Police Department press release.

All three drivers involved in the Missoula crash were injured.

More information is available on Montana news sites

If you or someone you know has suffered a wrongful death or serious injuries from a Missoula car accident, the attorneys at Bliven Law Firm, P.C. can help you receive compensation you may be entitled to receive.

Contact the Montana attorneys of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. who represent the families of innocent victims of Missoula car accidents. Victims of Missoula car accidents may be legally entitled to advance payment of lost wages, medical expenses and home assistance.

Contact the law offices of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation. Our Montana lawyers aggressively represent the families of injured victims of Missoula car accidents.