HAYS & HAYES, P.L.L.P.

ATTORNEYS AT LAW

About Auto Accident and Personal Injury Claims. 

 

If you have been in an automobile or other accident in which you have suffered an injury, see one of our attorneys as soon as possible.  It is recommended that you obtain legal representation, if possible, before the insurance companies have taken your recorded statement, which they often do over the phone in the days after the accident.  Insurance adjusters can seem friendly at the outset, but once they have the information they are looking for and have taken your statement, they can become adversarial.  In addition, keep in mind that your right to recovery may not be confined to one individual insurance policy. You will want to consult with us to find out if you have other claims under other coverage or third-party liability.  You will want to know if you have claims for separate medical payments coverage, underinsurance and uninsured motorist coverage under your policy as interpreted under Montana law, which may differ significantly from your rights in a different jurisdiction.  As you might imagine, automobile insurance claims have been the subject of substantial litigation in Montana and our courts have developed important case law on issues substantially outside of the experience of the average client.  For instance, many personal injury claims involve “hidden” issues such as subrogation (claims for reimbursement by a third-party) or other liens which may be imposed against your recovery by a treatment provider, health insurer, Medicaid, Medicare, or ERISA trust.  Other common issues that might be missed include whether or not you can “stack” policies of insurance to increase coverage.  You will want to know if you have the right to recover medical bills and lost wages immediately pending resolution of your underlying claim.  The issues of “stacking” and what are called Ridley and Dubray damages are special legal doctrines in Montana which may differ dramatically from the law in other states.  You should not rely upon the advice of friends or the opinion of the opposing insurance adjuster about these issues or about what constitutes a “fair settlement” of your claim.

Trapper Peak
by:  Alan B. Applebury

 

 

716 South First Street, Hamilton, Montana 59840

Telephone: (406) 363-3090