Montana, also known as "Big Sky Country," is so beautiful that it can distract even the most diligent of drivers. The state has its fair share of car accidents, personal injuries and negligence cases. Sometimes it's difficult to figure out where to place blame and liability. Perhaps it was you who was injured, or maybe it was a friend or family member. Whatever happens, if you need guidance for your personal injury case, Enjuris has the answers.
This is where you’ll find Montana's revised statutes. The website has details about how long you have to bring a case, monetary limits on personal injury cases (which are also known as damage caps), and other important information.
In Montana, you have three years to bring a personal injury and two years to bring a property damage claim. That means you have three years to file your paperwork with the court, not that your case has to be completed in that time frame.
The first meeting with a personal injury attorney is normally free of charge. (Note that other legal specialties, such as criminal defense law or real estate law, are different.) After that, lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they will take a third of the eventual reward or settlement, plus whatever office expenses they incur along the way.
If your case ends up going to trial, the percentage could rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment. These numbers aren't determined by law, so don't be surprised if your lawyer suggests something else.
These are some cases of legal importance that came out of the Montana courts:
Betterman v. Montana, 578 U.S. _____ (2016): The United States Supreme Court held that the right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment does not necessarily mean the right to speedy sentencing. This came about when the defendant was held in jail for 14 months before being sentenced for assaulting a family member. He said that this violated his constitutional rights; however, the Court stated that the right to a speedy trial is different than sentencing because it a defendant is innocent until proven guilty, and it is a system of checks and balance.
Baxter v. Montana, 2009 MT 449: This Montana Supreme Court case discussed whether terminally ill patients had the right to die with dignity. The Court managed to sneak around the question of whether the right to die was guaranteed under the state constitution, which advocates had hoped for; they instead voted on the narrower ground that neither legal precedent nor the state's statute deemed a doctor's assistance was against public policy.
State v. Stanko, No. 97-486 (1998): When the plaintiff was pulled over for driving 85 miles per hour, but the Montana statute only said that driving "at a rate of speed greater than is reasonable and proper under the conditions existing at the point of operation" was against the law. He brought a suit that claimed this was void for vagueness, and the Montana Supreme Court agreed, saying that it violated the state Constitution.
There are a large number of issues you can solve without the help of an attorney, surprisingly enough. If you don't know where to begin, a law librarian can help you. They are usually legally trained, and they can help you both with texts or online research engines like LexisNexis or Westlaw.
Are you or a loved one still reeling after an accident? You need real answers to help you deal with real life challenges facing your recovery. Get started here to learn about the core pillars of personal injury law and the common questions surrounding them.