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Belgrade, Montana Personal Injury Blog

Car accident back injuries are not always obvious

Although car safety features are better than they have ever been, car accidents remain one of the most common ways for a person to suffer a serious injury. Often, the impact of an accident leaves victims with injuries that do not cause any immediate pain or visible signs, although the injuries themselves are often quite serious.

Delayed pain injuries come in many forms, some more harmful than others. Whiplash, head injuries, internal bleeding and partial organ damage may all take several hours or days to cause pain, and some of these can even turn life-threatening. Delayed pain back and neck injuries can truly alter the quality of a victim's life for a matter of months, or for remainder of the victim's life, if the victim does not receive proper diagnosis and treatment quickly.

Was that truck driver who hit you tested for sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is considered such a potential threat to driving safety that professional truck drivers who are found to have a moderate to severe form of the condition will lose their commercial driver's license (CDL) if they don't undergo treatment. It's no wonder that many drivers won't take a test to determine whether they have sleep apnea if they don't have to.

Currently, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) doesn't require companies to test their drivers. Doctors who examine drivers to assess their fitness for a CDL can determine on a case-by-case basis whether to test someone. They may test people who are at greater risk for sleep apnea because they're overweight, they're smokers or are older. However, anyone can suffer from the condition. Businesses can determine whether they will require drivers to undergo testing before they hire them or at intervals after they've been hired.

Supreme Court lets lawsuit against Remington move forward

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by Remington Arms Co. LLC to a lower court's finding that families impacted by the Sandy Hook massacre can sue the gun manufacturer. Advocates for gun reform say that the high court's decision, which lets the lawsuit move forward, may help other victims and survivors of gun-related crimes sue the gun manufacturer.

These lawsuits have largely been prevented or not gone far because of a federal law enacted nearly 15 years ago. That law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, protects gun manufacturers as well as sellers from lawsuits based on injuries and deaths caused by "criminal or unlawful misuse" of a gun. However, a lawsuit can still be brought if a company has "knowingly violated a state or federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product."

Why 'hungover' driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving

If you're on the road late in the evening or in the middle of the night, it's only natural to worry that some of your fellow drivers might be under the influence of alcohol. However, "morning after" or "hungover" driving can be just as dangerous.

People who stay out late drinking and then get just a few hours of sleep before going to work or elsewhere the next morning may still have more than the legal amount of alcohol in their system. In Montana, bars can stay open until 2:00 a.m. Even if someone takes an Uber home, if they head out to work or the gym at 6:00 or 7:00 a.m., they may still be intoxicated.

Man pleads not guilty to vehicular homicide in head-on crash

A 23-year-old man who's facing multiple charges for a fatal crash that killed a Kalispell mother and daughter has pleaded not guilty. The Minnesota man, who is currently in jail in Flathead County on $500,000 bond, appeared in court earlier this month. He is accused of vehicular homicide while being under the influence of alcohol.

According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the man was driving northbound on Montana Highway 35 in July when he moved into the southbound lane. He crashed head-on into the vehicle carrying the two women. According to a local television report, they both died at the scene. The Minnesota man was taken to the hospital.

Tips for safely sharing the road with large trucks

It's only natural to be a little nervous when you're driving near a large commercial truck on one of Montana's highways -- particularly in the winter months when the roads can be slick. Many of the over 250,000 annual crashes involving a car and a large truck can be avoided. Car drivers can do their part by knowing how to safely share the road with trucks.

First, drivers need to remember that large trucks need extra room to make turns and to stop. It's also essential to remember that their blind spots are larger than those of cars and other smaller vehicles. These blind spots (or "no zones") are its right front quarter, left rear quarter and immediately behind it.

Gun safety tips to keep your children safe

Many people consider the legal right to own a gun a big part of their life. While there's nothing wrong with owning a gun and storing it in your home, it's critical to do so with the well-being of your loved ones in mind.

For example, if you keep guns in the same house as your children, there are steps you can take to prevent a potentially serious accident. Here are five to keep in mind:

  • Keep guns out of reach: When guns are out of reach and out of sight, they're typically out of mind. Leaving guns lying around, such as in an unsecured box or on a table, is inviting trouble.
  • Use a gun lock: This goes along with the point above. A gun that is not in use should be stored in a locked container that is out of sight and out of reach. And since you're using a gun lock, even if the gun is found, your children won't be able to access it.
  • Store ammunition in a separate container: By doing this, your children won't be able to use the gun even if they find it. Once again, store the ammunition in a locked container that is out of reach.
  • Be careful when traveling with your gun: For example, if you're taking your gun in your car, be sure that it has a lockable container. This keeps your children and others away from the gun, both while you're in and outside of the vehicle.
  • Talk to your children about gun safety: You don't want to jump into this too soon, but there are benefits of explaining the risks associated with guns. You may also want to teach your children how to properly handle a gun should they come in contact with one.

Some of Montana's most beautiful roads are the most dangerous

Montana is home to some of the most beautiful natural sights in the country -- and maybe the world. However, many of the stretches of road you need to drive to see these sights up close are also the most dangerous.

What one driver considers dangerous, another may find exhilarating. Whether a road seems risky to drive may depend on what time of year you're driving on it. Mountain passes can be particularly hazardous during the winter, for example.

Semitruck crash causes massive talcum powder spill

One reason why commercial truck accidents can be so serious is that many times the contents of the truck spill onto the road. Everything from large, heavy objects to toxic chemicals can create a road hazard for vehicles that weren't even near the site of the crash.

Recently, a semitruck overturned on Interstate 90 near St. Regis, spilling approximately 56,000 pounds of talcum powder onto the road and into the St. Regis River. According to the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP), the driver was turning a corner near Drexel around 9:00 p.m. on Oct. 15 when the trailer section of the truck hit a barrier, causing the talcum powder he was carrying to fall out of the truck.

Give snowplows plenty of room on the road

Snowplows are a common sight on Montana roads and highways throughout the winter and a welcome one -- unless you get stuck behind one. That can be frustrating. However, it's essential for drivers to exercise caution whenever they encounter a snowplow.

Remember that these are large, heavy vehicles. The plows in the front are wider than the the vehicle and may extend over the lane or center line.

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

Phone: 406-924-4810
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