Bozeman Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury cases can be complex and time-consuming. The most important step in a personal injury case is ensuring that the proper evidence has been collected. The Bozeman personal injury lawyers at Heenan & Cook are experienced in handling these cases and understand the intricacies involved with a variety of claims.
Our attorneys work with each client to compile all necessary documentation, which often includes consulting with medical experts to ensure effective representation. The personal injury attorneys at Heenan & Cook will always put your best interests first and work to get you the best recovery possible. Contact our law firm for a free consultation to see how our firm can help.
Bozeman Personal Injury Legal Resources
- Why Choose Us
- How Do I Choose the Best Personal Injury Attorney for My Case?
- How Can Our Experienced Bozeman Personal Injury Lawyers Help?
- Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
- What are Common Types of Personal Injury Cases?
- How Do I Pay For a Lawyer In an Injury Case?
- What Damages Can I Recover After a Personal Injury in Montana?
- What Is The Statute of Limitations To File an Injury Claim in Montana?
- Contact Us
Why Choose Heenan & Cook for Bozeman Personal Injury Cases?
The Bozeman accident attorneys at Heenan & Cook have decades of experience handling complex personal injury and general litigation matters. We understand more than just the laws around personal injury cases. We understand our client’s unique needs, which can include:
- Medical challenges
- Financial challenges
- Rural communities
- Pursuing proper compensation
The Bozeman personal injury lawyers at Heenan & Cook, PLLC offer dependable and reliable counsel for our clients. Our clients are top priority, and we will always work with you when gathering facts and evidence to provide you with proper legal analysis and the strong advocacy you need for a successful case.
How Do I Choose the Best Personal Injury Attorney for My Case?
Choosing a competent, ethical and effective personal injury attorney can literally determine whether or not you are compensated for your injury. One of the factors that insurance companies look at when evaluating an injured person’s claim is who their lawyer is. If you are represented by a lawyer the insurance company doesn’t take seriously, then the insurance company will likely seek to resolve your claim for less money.
So how do you choose? The internet is filled with lawyer ads, all of which basically say the same thing. Many lawyers advertise as handling “serious personal injury” but, if they get such a case, actually refer it to someone else. Many lawyers pretend to be in Montana, but they are really in a city far away and know nothing about Montana or its laws!
The internet is also full of information about attorneys, but this information may seem overwhelming, and again, the lawyer with the splashiest website may not be the best lawyer to handle your personal injury claim. Here are a few tips:
- Get a referral from an attorney you know. He or she will probably know someone who specializes in your area of need. Most of our law firm’s referrals come from other attorneys or legal professionals.
- Ask about the firm’s background and philosophy. Some lawyers, in our opinion, are in it for the wrong reason- they are driven by money and see clients only in this way. Ask the lawyer you are considering hiring why they handle personal injury claims. If they don’t have a good answer, ask yourself whether this is the type of lawyer you want to handle your injury claim.
- Ask who will handle your claim. Many firms rely heavily on non-lawyer paralegals or inexperienced associate attorneys to handle the bulk of the work. We do things just the opposite. We personally handle all of the legal work that goes into prosecuting clients’ claims. We believe that when someone becomes our client, they become our client and get personal attention throughout your claim.
- Ask the lawyer about their credentials. Don’t be ashamed to ask about the lawyer’s credentials, including experience in actually trying a cases like yours. Ask the lawyer if they have published articles or written anything that has been accepted for publication in legal journals. Ask if the lawyer has spoken at legal seminars. These are signs of respect that the legal community has for the lawyer’s skill and knowledge.
- Find out about the lawyer’s ethics. There is a reason some lawyers have a bad name- many of them deserve it. Lawyers know which other lawyers are ethical and which are not. Consumers, unfortunately, may not. Some lawyers commit ethical violations yet continue to practice law. Contact the State Bar at (406) 442-7660 or at www.montanbar.org) to find out whether the lawyer you are considering hiring has ever been subject to ethical discipline.
How Can Our Experienced Bozeman Personal Injury Lawyers Help?
In determining whether to hire a Bozeman personal injury attorney, you need to know what the attorney will do for you. When we take on an injury claim, we:
- Advance the costs of prosecuting your injury claim (which can sometimes be substantial).
- Meet with the client to discuss the claim and outline a common plan for successfully resolving the claim.
- Educate our client about the litigation process and provide a “roadmap” for what the client can expect to encounter. When we bring a claim, it is important for our firm to make sure our clients understand just how hard we will both need to work to achieve a successful outcome.
- Independently investigate the client’s claim, including compiling witness statements, photographs, documents, and physical evidence.
- Reviewing applicable insurance policies to determine sources of recovery, including: (a) the responsible party, (b) our client’s policy, and (c) and additional insurance policies which may be applicable, such as worker’s compensation.
- Review our client’s doctor’s records and discuss the claim with them.
- Research any legal issues which we expect to arise throughout the course of the prosecution of the claim.
- Analyze any liens in place which may take away from our client’s recovery, and determine whether the lien is enforceable or not.
- Conduct negotiations with the insurance adjustor or the insurance company’s lawyer.
- Prepare a complaint and summons.
- Conduct “discovery,” which means asking for and responding to requests for information. This is both in written form (called “interrogatories” and “requests for production”) as well as through the recorded depositions of witnesses.
- Hire necessary experts to support or prove aspects of our client’s claim.
- Research, file and respond to motions brought pursuant to the rules of civil procedure.
- Prepare our client and other witnesses for trial.
- Organize exhibits for trial.
- When applicable, schedule and prepare documents for mediation in advance of trial.
- Explain our client’s claim and injuries to a jury at trial.
- Research, file and respond to motions brought after trial, such as appeals or motions to overturn the jury’s verdict.
- Inform our client through the entire process what can be expected, and offer honest (not sugarcoated) opinions about the status of the claim.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
You definitely do not need an attorney for every small accident case. Sometimes, the costs of hiring a personal injury lawyer outweigh the benefits. We explain to people in some circumstances that it is not cost-effective to use an attorney to prosecute their claim, and that they are better off not hiring us to prosecute it.
Other times, however, we can show an injury victim how we can add serious value to their claim and enhance their chances of recovery.
How do you know if your claim is large enough to warrant hiring an attorney?
Although there are no hard and fast rules, generally a serious injury claim is one where significant medical bills (more than $5,000) have or will need to be paid, and/or where the injury is not temporary but rather causes long-term or permanent pain or disability. In order to receive fair compensation from an insurance company- either through negotiations with the insurance adjustor or through a legal proceeding- you will need to gather and support your claim with evidence.
This can include gathering medical records, interviewing witnesses, retaining experts, and researching the legal aspects of the claim. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, the lawyer takes care of all of this for you. (We tell our clients that when they hire us, we take on the stress of dealing with the claim so they can focus on getting better.) You may be willing to spend the time and energy to gather necessary documentation and negotiate your claim with the insurance adjustor or present your claim in court. Most people do not relish this task. Experienced personal injury lawyers know how to navigate the claims process and legal system.
A personal injury attorney will focus on representing the victims of a personal injury case and ensuring that they receive just compensation. The laws governing personal injury claims hold the necessary parties liable for the injuries they caused due to their intentional or negligent misconduct.
Personal injury cases are classified as tort law, which seeks to provide compensation to the injured party when a civil wrongdoing has occurred. Under tort law, there are three types of torts—negligence, intentional, and strict liability. Personal injury cases will likely fall under negligence claims.
There are four elements that must be established in a negligence claim: (1) duty, (2) breach, (3) injury, and (4) causation. There are many parts to personal injury cases, and it can quickly become complicated, which is why having an experienced personal injury attorney is vital in order to get the results you deserve.
What are Common Types of Personal Injury Cases?
Personal injury claims come in all shapes and sizes. Our attorneys represent clients in wide variety of cases including, but not limited to:
The highest number of personal injury cases in Montana comes from road accidents, which includes pedestrian, car, and truck accidents. In the latest reporting year, Montana Department of Transportation reported a total of 1,224 serious or fatal injuries, which was an increase of six percent from the previous report.
How Do I Pay For a Lawyer In an Injury Case?
Heenan & Cook Injury Accident Lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning the injury victim never needs to pay out of pocket for legal representation. Thus, if you or a loved one is injured, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact us to evaluate your claim.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Personal Injury in Montana?
There may be various types of compensation available to personal injury victims in Bozeman, Montana. At Heenan & Cook, our team works diligently to ensure that clients are able to recover both economic and non-economic losses as a result of an injury caused by the actions of another individual or entity.
You will often hear these referred to as special damages, and this revolves around the types of losses that are tangible in the aftermath of an injury. We can calculate the economic damages by gathering various bills, receipts, tax returns, pay stubs, and more. Some of the most common economic losses and injury victim in Bozeman sustains includes:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Prescription medications or medical devices
- Property damages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost income and loss of future earnings
These types of losses are often referred to as general damages, though they are not as tangible or calculable as the economic damages mentioned above. However, just because there may not be any bills or receipts to directly add these expenses up, it is crucial for them to be included in the total losses a person recovers compensation for. The most common non-economic losses include:
- Physical pain and suffering damages
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Loss of consortium for spouse and family members
There is no total amount of compensation paid to Bozeman, Montana, injury victims if their case is successful. Whether a person recovers compensation through an insurance settlement or a personal injury jury verdict, the total amount of money they receive will vary depending on various factors related to each particular claim. This includes the severity of any injuries, how long it takes to recover, the total level of pain and suffering losses, and whether or not there was any shared fault.
In some cases, personal injury victims may be able to recover punitive damages. These types of losses are not awarded in every case, and they are reserved for instances where the defendant’s actions are considered particularly egregious or intentional. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and send a message to others that the types of behavior displayed when causing this injury are not acceptable.
What Is The Statute of Limitations To File an Injury Claim in Montana?
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury due to the negligent actions of another individual or entity in Montana, you need to file your claim against that party as soon as possible. The personal injury statute of limitations in this state is three years from the date an injury occurs. This means that if a claim is filed past this three-year timeline, the injury victim will be unable to recover the compensation they are entitled to. The case will simply be dismissed.
Additionally, there are typically insurance carriers involved in these claims. However, insurance carriers also have their own reporting deadlines that are far shorter than the three-year personal injury statute of limitations. You need to report an injury to the appropriate insurance carrier within a day or two after the incident occurs in order for the case to not be delayed or denied.
Heenan & Cook has a team of experienced attorneys and legal staff to properly represent each client and to simplify the complexities of the litigation process. Our Bozeman personal injury attorneys will work toward an efficient and cost-effective solution that benefits each client.
We can help in and out of the courtroom. Whether you are wanting to go to trial or settle through negotiations, we are here to help.
Arrange a free consultation with our team by completing our online contact form or calling us at (406) 898-4WIN.