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: MONTANA LAW FIRM

REPRESENTING THE INNOCENT INJURED – NOT THE INSURANCE COMPANIES AND MAYHEM

When your or a family member has been injured in a car wreck because someone else was negligent or worse – criminally reckless like a drunk driver – having a skilled, experienced, dedicated and caring attorney is key. Having a Montana accident injury attorney and law firm – a solid team – that only advocates for you and folks like you, and not the other side on the other days of the week, is also critically important. Getting in a car wreck in Montana, caused by someone acting like an idiot – can cause all kind of mayhem in your life – medical expenses, lost earnings, inability to engage in activities you enjoy, pain, not being able to sleep at night; it can get downright depressing. Yes, I have been through it as the injured person in the car wreck, the victim of negligence and the insurance company and their profit motives. My experience with the people from the company that advertises about their “good hands” and what happens with the mayhem – has helped make me the advocate for the injured and an attorney dedicated to fight those folks every day. We don’t work from the insurance companies and their minions – only the injured folks. Even before I was injured in a car wreck, and then had to hire my own personal injury attorney to deal with the insurance company, I knew the auto insurance companies were not all they claimed to be. My experience in reality was more bitter and educational than I would have liked, as the insurer denied responsibility, and I was compelled ultimately to file suit and proceed with litigation to get justice. However, once you have been run through the insurance company grist mill as they grind up injured people to increase their profits with the delay, deny, defend tactics – it becomes clear that many insurers are at war with the injured in order to increase profits.

The battle rages against justice by many of the big insurance companies, not just in each claim, but at the Legislature and in the courts. Insurance companies have lobbyists writing legislation to make it easier for them to make more money, deprive the injured of just compensation, and the benefit of the bargain in their insurance contracts. The Montana Supreme Court has to decided cases frequently to interpret the laws passed at the Legislature regarding auto insurance carriers. These insurer lobbyist created bills passed by the Legislature, including anti-stacking legislation, are designed to help the insurance companies make more money by paying less on claims. You will probably recognize the names of the insurance companies in these cases. We don’t take cases from the insurance companies to defend the wrong doers – just the injured people. We don’t defend the insurance companies. However, many of these lawyers that work for the insurance companies actually file lawsuits against the injured people. This is called a Declaratory Judgment action – where your own insurance company sues you. Can you believe it? You suffer a devastating injury in a motor vehicle wreck, or you get run over – literally – and your insurance company sues YOU! Yes, insurance companies can and do file lawsuits against their own insured customers to ask the Court to declare that they are not underinsured or are not covered! This is called a Declaratory Judgment action, and I have seen insurance companies sue injured folks – to ask the Court to declare there is no coverage. Can you imagine that – you get hurt and make a claim to recover for your losses under your policy, and the insurance company adds insult to injury by suing YOU. They do this so that they can not only deny payment, but to try to get the upper hand in the litigation they fight against you to try to prevent you getting the benefit of your insurance policy (that they wrote). We only represent the injured person and their family – not the insurance company. This sets us apart from some other local and Montana law firms that advertise on the internet to represent you in injury claims.

Experienced and skilled attorneys that represent (only) injured person – and who do not represent the insurance companies and defend them on the other days of the week and hours of the day – can help get your the results and fair treatment you deserve and have a dedication and commitment that cannot be matched by the fair weather injury attorneys. We identify with your concerns and problems, not those of the claims adjusters and the insurance companies that hire defense attorneys. When it comes the insurance companies and personal injury battles, an injured person is best served by an attorney that does not have a conflict of conscience about going after the insurance companies and holding them accountable. Consumers need a lawyer that works for consumers every day, not the insurance companies half the week and then represents the “other side” – the consumers and victims of the insurance companies on the other days.

At Bliven Law Firm, P.C., Kalispell Montana, we do not have divided loyalties, or conflicts regarding who we represent – we only represent the injured, sick, and the disabled. We represent consumers – not the insurance companies – or their customers that cause the wreck and hurt innocent people. Unlike some of our “competitors” who advertise for injury cases from consumers on attorney websites and lawyer websites to represent the injured – but also or usually take work from the insurance companies (and sometimes even advertise their experience working for the insurance companies as being useful experience) – we don’t work for insurance companies – ever. We find that to be contrary to our mission, which is to represent and assist innocent victims of motor vehicle wrecks, and other injuries caused by the negligence and bad acts of others. Can you imagine Darth Vader getting in a X-wing fighter and getting in formation to help Luke Skywalker attack the ‘Death Star’ known as Big Insurance Company? Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? In our opinion, lawyers that help insurance companies deprive injured folks of just compensation and defend the insurance companies (and or those who cause the injuries one day), and then say they are going to go all out for injured party in a different case are just as ridiculous. Make no mistake, insurance is big, big business in the United States, and the insurance companies have huge profits at stake – even in claims in Montana.

When injured because of someone else’s negligence, we urge you to hire a Trial Lawyer, not an insurance DEFENSE trial lawyer that works for insurance companies. Before you call an attorney about your injury case to get help, check out their website, phone book ad or other media presence to find out whether they believe in helping innocent victims of injuries, that they actually believe you should obtain just and fair compensation, as all injury victims should receive. If they do insurance defense work, we submit such lawyers are not the best choice to represent you and care for your needs when you are injured and suffer loss.

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

BILLINGS WORKERS INJURED IN HOTEL CONSTRUCTION

570eb5af2953b.imageBillings Fire Battalion Chief Terry Larson, reported on Wednesday, that two framing subcontractors were injured while setting trusses on the future Comfort Suites on Wednesday.

According to Larson, high winds were to blame. One man fall approximately 40 feet down an elevator shaft and another fell 15 feet down the same shaft before hitting the third floor of the building.

The 32 mph gust reached up to 45 mph according the NWS’ airport-based observation equipment. Often there is little difference between the speed of stronger winds on the Rims and in the areas below. For more information on the event, please visit the Missoulian.

If you or someone you know has been injured at work, please contact the offices of Bliven Law Firm, P.C., a Montana law firm, with a practice focused and dedicated to Montana Workers Compensation claims. Montana is a no-fault workers compensation state. Injured Montana workers are entitled to medical benefits, wage loss benefits, partial disability and permanent disability benefits, depending on the facts of the claim. Insurance companies frequently dispute claims and deny benefits to Montana injured workers.

The Montana licensed attorneys of Bliven Law Firm, P.C., have helped thousands of workers compensation clients, from Kalispell, Billings, Glendive, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Lakeside, Missoula, Helena, Great Falls, Butte, Bozeman and other Montana cities, receive benefits that insurance companies otherwise denied. We aggressively represent Montana Workers Compensation clients and help them receive benefits that they deserve.

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

For more than 18 years, the Montana attorneys of the Montana law firm have represented injured innocent victims of car accidents in the Flathead and Mission Valleys.

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.