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Belgrade, Montana Personal Injury Blog

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.

Why are so many defective guns on the market?

You'd think that the federal government would have stricter safety standards for firearms than just about any other product on the market. Unfortunately, that's not the case. In fact, there are no federal design safety standards for guns made in the U.S. State regulations vary significantly, and Montana is not one of the few states with strict safety standards.

Too many firearms on the market don't have even basic safety features and haven't undergone necessary testing (like drop tests). This often results in unintended shootings, particularly by children and young adults.

Don't let a parking lot crash ruin your holidays

This time of year, most people are spending a lot of time driving around in parking lots. Whether you're at the local shopping center, a neighborhood grocery store, your children's school or your office building, it's essential not to let your guard down just because you're not on the road.

About a fifth of all crashes happen in parking lots. In many cases, they occur because a driver is distracted or just not sufficiently looking around to see who's behind or to the side of them.

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."

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