A husband and wife wound up in the hospital on July 1 after a two-vehicle collision near the West End of Billings. A 19-year-old driver was said to have caused the car accident when he ran his GMC Jimmy through a stop sign at a high rate of speed. The Jimmy crashed into a pickup truck being driven by a married couple in their late 20s. All three people required hospital treatment, but the young husband appears to have suffered the most serious injuries. At the time of a local news report, he remained under hospital observation.

As this accident underscores, driver negligence can change people’s lives in a split second. Fortunately, there is no indication that anyone involved in the July 1 car accident suffered any permanent or disabling injury. Nonetheless, if a personal injury claim isn’t pursued, the accident victims could suffer financial and personal costs in the aftermath of this frightening crash. To prevent such a situation, the victims may need to pursue civil claims to obtain compensation for injuries.

Above and beyond medical expenses and damages to their vehicle, the couple likely endured considerable pain and suffering stemming from the accident. It is not uncommon for people involved in a high-speed crash to experience long-lasting emotional distress. In addition, until the husband recovers from his injuries, the couple may struggle financially due to lost wages.

Reports give no indication as to whether the at-fault driver carried comprehensive insurance coverage, but in any event, the couple may not be able to rely on insurance proceeds as a source of adequate compensation for their injuries. Insurance companies regularly try to minimize the value of injury claims and shift fault to the victim. Even if the at-fault driver’s insurance agrees to pay up to its policy limits, the scope of coverage could fall short of full compensation. In order to obtain full and fair compensation, the couple may do well to explore their legal options for holding the responsible party accountable.

Source: Billings Gazette, “3 injured in 2-car collision on West End,” July 2, 2012