Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law
At Ramler Law Office, P.C., we know that life can be turned upside down in an instant following a car accident or other incident in which you or a loved one suffers a serious injury. When life is disrupted by an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, it results in a number of questions. We answer some of those questions here and welcome the opportunity to answer any other questions you may have during a free consultation.
Q: Why should I hire Ramler Law Office, P.C. after an injury accident?
The lawyers at Ramler Law Office, P.C. have been helping injured people after accidents for more than 35 years and have the experience, dedication and knowledge to help you obtain a full and fair recovery under the law.
Q: Should I trust the insurance company to protect my rights?
No. The insurance company is in business to make a profit. The insurance company maximizes its profits by minimizing the amount it pays on claims. The insurance company will try to minimize the amount it pays you to help maximize its profits.
Q: How do I know if I need a personal injury lawyer following an injury accident?
Generally speaking, the more serious your injuries are, the more likely it is you will benefit from the services of a personal injury attorney. If your medical costs are minor and your claim for property loss is covered satisfactorily, you may be able to handle the paperwork on your own. However, if your injuries cause significant disability, prevent you from working for an extended period or you have significant medical expense, you will need to recover compensation for your disability, lost wages or medical expenses through an insurance claim. Because insurance companies are primarily concerned about their bottom line, they work to minimize what they pay out in claims or even attempt to deny valid claims. At Ramler Law Office, we understand the tactics insurance companies use and know how to combat these strategies to maximize the amount our clients recover. Our goal is to put more money in your pocket than you would recover without us, even after our attorney fee and expenses are paid.
Q: How will my injury case be valued?
Under Montana law, there are two types of damages you can collect in a personal injury claim: economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are the costs you incur as a direct result of the accident. This may include current and future medical costs, property loss, lost wages, the cost of services you are unable to perform around the house as a result of your injuries. Noneconomic damages include damages for mental and physical pain and suffering, damages for loss of your ability to enjoy and engage in your normal living activities, as well as damages for loss of consortium.
Montana allows the court to assign a percentage of fault to all parties involved in an accident. If it is determined you are 51 percent or more at fault for the injuries you suffered, you will not be allowed to recover damages. If you are found to be 50 percent or less at fault, the amount you recover may be reduced as a result. For example, if you suffered $10,000 in damages, but it was determined you were 30 percent at fault, the court will award you $7,000.
Punitive damages are limited to the lesser of $10 million or 3 percent of a defendant’s net worth.
Here again, a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer can protect your best interests in terms of valuing your case and work to ensure you are not wrongfully assigned blame for an accident.
Q: How long will my case take to resolve?
Because every case is unique, there is no way to answer this until reviewing the facts of your case — and even then, it may be difficult to determine. The more serious your accident, the longer it may take to resolve. For starters, it is important to wait until you reach maximum physical recovery to help determine the full value of your case. If there is a dispute regarding fault, it may require extensive investigation. If your injuries are complex (i.e., a traumatic brain injury), extensive medical treatment may be necessary to establish the severity of the injury and produce full medical reports for trial. A small percentage of injury cases go to trial, but if your case is litigated, it could take several weeks or months to resolve. Beware of law firms that promise to resolve your injury lawsuit quickly. That may be a sign the attorneys do not intend to work to maximize the amount you recover.
Q: How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?
Most personal injury law firms, including Ramler Law Office, P.C., take injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you will not pay any costs upfront, and the lawyers will only collect a fee if they help you obtain a recovery, either through a negotiated settlement or a verdict. Generally, a law firm receives one-third of a settlement or verdict. The claimant also will be responsible for legal costs incurred to build the case. This includes court filing fees, deposition fees, laboratory costs and other expenses. You will not be responsible to reimburse Ramler Law Office, P.C. for costs incurred in prosecuting your case if there is no recovery.
Q: How long do I have to file an injury lawsuit in Montana?
Montana law provides an injury victim three years from the date of an injury or accident to file a lawsuit for negligence or product liability.
Ready To Answer Your Questions And Advocate On Your Behalf
We welcome the opportunity to review the facts of your case and answer any questions you have regarding an injury you suffered due to someone else’s negligence. We represent injured individuals throughout Montana from our office in Bozeman. Call 406-924-4810 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.