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Belgrade, Montana Personal Injury Blog

What new drivers should know about sharing the road with trucks

You've been helping your teen get lots of practice behind the wheel as they prepare to take their road test. They've mastered driving at night, in the snow and rain, on mountain roads and highways.

Then one day as you're driving on Interstate 90, a semitruck approaches behind you. You see the look of terror in your teen's eyes. The truck passes. Now it's in front of you, but that doesn't seem to lessen your child's fear.

Signs that an older person in your life may need to stop driving

An older loved one has been involved in a crash. Fortunately, it wasn't wasn't their fault. Perhaps another driver ran a stop sign, and your family member wasn't able to react in time to avoid them. Maybe another driver changed lanes without signaling, and they weren't able to get out of the way in time to avoid a crash.

Driving involves a lot of split-second decisions and constant awareness of your surroundings. Those things are necessary not just to be a safe driver but to do your best to avoid crashes with unsafe ones.

Gun owners should be aware of defective triggers

The vast majority of gun owners in the United States are responsible individuals who are passionate about safely owning and maintaining their guns. This is why so many have been outraged to learn that some types of guns on the market have been alleged to have defective triggers.

Over a dozen models of Remington firearms have been investigated for allegedly having a malfunctioning trigger, meaning that guns would fire even though their trigger had not been pulled. The allegations mean that over 7.5 million responsible gun owners could be inadvertently putting themselves and their families at risk by owning these potentially defective guns.

Black ice doesn't have to cause a crash

You've probably heard that black ice is one of the most dangerous road conditions you can encounter. In Montana, black ice can occur in some areas throughout many months of the year -- particularly on mountain roads. It's essential to know how to minimize the chances of being involved in a crash caused by black ice.

First, let's make sure it's clear what black ice is. It's not actually black. It's just difficult to see because it doesn't have as many air bubbles as ice typically has, so it may look like a bit of water -- or be virtually invisible.

Semitruck hits pickup stalled on Montana highway, kills boy

A tragic crash on the evening of Jan. 16 involving a semitruck and a pickup truck claimed the life of a 9-year-old Harrison boy. The crash occurred on Highway 287 near Ennis.

According to the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP), the driver of the Ford F-150 pickup truck struck an elk. The truck, which apparently became disabled, was sitting in a northbound lane of the highway with its lights off when the semitruck hit it.

Common problems with AR-15s

Even if you've owned and fired AR-15s for years, you can experience problems with the rifle not firing properly -- or at all. Some malfunctions are caused by human error. Others are caused by problems with the firearm itself. Let's look at some of the most common reasons that AR-15s malfunction:

  • Feed malfunctions: Failure to feed can happen anywhere between loading and firing for a number of reasons. There are different types of ammunition feed malfunctions that can occur with the AR-15.
  • Firing malfunctions: Failure to fire is most often caused by a defective firing pin or defective ammunition.
  • Failure to extract: This can be a particularly dangerous malfunction because it means that a cartridge is still in the chamber. If a live round is fed in to that cartridge, the AR-15 can fire unexpectedly.
  • Magazine/buffer spring malfunctions: If more than one magazine fails to work, it may be because the buffer spring is worn or damaged.

Too many injuries and fatalities are caused by defective firearms or by people trying to fix a problem on their own. If you are having issues with your AR-15 not working properly, it's best to take it to a reputable, experienced firearms dealer for examination and repair. They can also tell you if there's a defect with the weapon.

Can you hold a driver liable for a crash during bad weather?

Montana drivers face a variety of hazardous driving conditions during the winter. What happens if you're struck and injured by a driver who claims that they couldn't prevent the crash? They might argue that they hit a patch of ice or that a sudden snowstorm blinded them.

These are just two examples of excuses that drivers make -- and many feel deservedly so -- for striking other vehicles or even pedestrians. However, in many cases, drivers can face liability even if weather conditions contributed to or caused a crash.

The hidden risk of buying Remington rifles at a gun show

With many consumer goods, purchasing an item pre-owned or used can be infinitely more affordable than purchasing an item brand new. People often think of vehicles when thinking of product depreciation before resale, but firearms may also be subject to a notable loss of value after purchase by the initial consumer. Consumers can and do pay a premium for a brand new firearm directly from the manufacturer.

Much like vehicles, firearms have a base price below which they are unlikely to dip, even in secondhand sales or at auction. Buyers will probably pay between 50-75% of the original retail price when purchasing a used firearm. In other words, buying used firearms can make gun ownership much more affordable for Montana residents on a budget.

Where are most of Montana's fatal crashes? You might be surprised

One of the things that makes Montana special for those of us who live here and the many people who visit our state every year is the wide open spaces. You can travel down roads for miles on end without seeing another vehicle -- just mountains, land and bison.

However, like all states, we have our share of crashes, and too many of them are fatal. The Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) recently released information about the number of fatal crashes during 2019, and what kind of roads they occurred on. The numbers represent crashes between Jan. 1 and Dec. 23. The MHP also compared the data with the previous year.

Tips for staying safe on the road after dark

Driving at night is challenging and even frightening for many people. Older people in particular experience problems because of changes in vision due to aging. No matter what your age and extent of driving experience, if you've been the victim of a car crash, particularly one that occurred at night, being behind the wheel after dark can be a terrifying thing.

However, for many people, night driving -- especially during the winter months -- is necessary. Below are some tips to help you stay safer.

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Ramler Law Office, P.C.
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Belgrade, MT 59714

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