If you must file a claim for compensation following a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver in Montana, you need to understand the basics of how these claims work. Knowing what happens during the settlement of these claims, what you have to prove to hold the negligent party liable, and the types of compensation that you are entitled to can be helpful to avoid getting taken advantage of by the other driver’s insurance company. Another vital law that you need to know and follow is the statute of limitations.
Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases in Montana
The statute of limitations is the time period that you have to file a civil lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused your car or truck accident. Like other states, Montana has its own statute of limitations law that sets the deadline for filing a lawsuit in personal injury cases. If you miss this deadline, the judge would most likely refuse to hear your case.
The specific statute of limitations rules that you must follow will be based on whether you are pursuing a claim for personal injuries, property damage, or the wrongful death of a loved one. Here are the deadlines for filing a lawsuit in motor vehicle accident cases:
- Three years from the date of the accident for personal injuries.
- Two years from the date of the accident for property damages.
- Three years from the date of the victim’s death, and NOT the date of the accident, if he died from his injuries caused in the motor vehicle accident.
Why You Do Not Want to Wait to File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
If your motor vehicle accident occurred recently, you may feel that you have years to file your claim and lawsuit. However, this would be a mistake that can weaken the strength of your claim and make it more difficult for even an experienced personal injury attorney to negotiate the settlement that you deserve. Here is why waiting to pursue your claim is not a good strategy:
- Waiting can be perceived by the insurance company as a lack of interest in your case. The insurance adjuster may be more likely to question the cause of the accident and the severity of your injuries if you wait to pursue your right to compensation.
- You could lose key pieces of evidence that can help you prove the other driver’s negligence. For example, a nearby business’ surveillance tape that may have recorded the accident may have been taped over or the vehicles may have been repaired before an expert could inspect them.
- Eyewitnesses to your car accident may move or have their memories fade if your attorney does not obtain a written statement from them soon after your crash. Neutral third parties who have no interest in your claim can be powerful corroborating witnesses that you do not want to lose.
Were you seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver? Attorney Lucas Foust at the Foust Law Office, is here to aggressively fight for the compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering that you may be entitled to. Learn why we are different from other law firms. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation with Lucas to discuss your legal options and how he can assist you.