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Statements You Shouldn’t Say at the Scene of an Accident

After an accident, you may be feeling shaken and confused. This is a common reaction for most people. The scene of a collision can be a very hectic place. Many factors come into play and emotions are usually running high.

Despite your efforts to do everything right behind the wheel, some accidents are simply out of your control. When you’ve been involved in a crash due to another driver’s negligence, there are certain statements you should avoid saying at the scene of an accident.

In the following article, we will outline what words can hurt your legal claim and stop you from getting maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Don’t worry. Our car accident lawyers with The Advocates are here to guide you through the aftermath of a collision.

What Not to Say After a Car Accident

One of the most common mistakes people make at the scene of an accident is unintentionally giving an admission of fault, especially in situations where you are not the driver responsible for the crash. Some statements can accidentally allude to an admission of guilt. These words often include:

 

1. Do not say “I am sorry” after the accident– While it’s human nature to want to reconcile a very stressful environment, you should not apologize for something you didn’t do. Even though this advice can be used in most life situations, you certainly do not want to say you are sorry at the scene of an accident because this is considered an admission of fault.

2. Do not speculate or give inaccurate information– Giving information that may or may not be true about the exact cause of your accident can potentially hurt your legal claim. If the statements you give prove to be inaccurate, the at-fault party’s insurance company may misinterpret your words or even portray a new narrative suggesting that you are the driver responsible for the crash.

3. Do not say “I am okay” at the scene of an accident– Even if you don’t feel like you’ve been injured, you should avoid stating that you feel fine. Some accident injuries take several days or even weeks to notice. If you plan on filing a personal injury claim, this type of statement can be used against you and the legitimacy of your injuries.

4. Do not say the accident was your fault– Unfortunately, we sometimes admit to things that are not our fault to simply de-escalate a tense situation. However, if you are ever involved in an accident that is not your fault, you should avoid saying this at all costs. It may help to take a few seconds to collect your thoughts right after the collision occurs before speaking to the other driver, any witnesses or the police.

In addition to the above statements, you should keep communication at the scene of an accident very limited to what is absolutely necessary, i.e. contact and insurance information.

When to Contact a Montana Attorney

If you or a loved one were involved in an accident through no fault of your own, you will need an Advocate on your side. Our car accident attorneys know the ins and outs of determining fault and getting you the recovery you are owed.

Don’t wait to contact our law firm. You can call The Advocates today at 406-534-7179 or chat directly with one of our lawyers on our homepage.

Tips For Driving Safely on Rural Roads

More than half of all accidents occur on rural roads while only 13 percent of the country’s population lives in rural areas. Here are some tips to avoid accidents on these potentially dangerous roads.

1. Slow Down

While rural roads may give you the impression that you are all alone on the open road, you must be watchful for other drivers. Follow the speed limit. If you do not see any signs go a reasonable speed – slower than freeway speed.

2. Watch for Blind Curves

Rural roads can be difficult to navigate because they are not as well kept as urban roads. They may not be graded like urban roads, and the visibility may be limited. If you are driving around a curve where you may not be able to see other drivers. Stay as far right as you can without sliding off the road. Go slow enough that you have time to react and respond to anything that crosses your path.

3. Pass carefully

Some rural two-lane roads allow for passing on the left. Always approach these areas carefully. As you pass you will be moving into the path of oncoming traffic. Always check to make sure your path to pass is clear.

4. Watch for slow-moving vehicles.

Rural roads can be home to certain slow moving vehicles like tractors and farm trucks. Tractors move slowly and may be wider than other vehicles, but it is legal for them to be on the road. Treat them like you would any other vehicle. Give them space to travel, and do not follow too closely.

The Top 5 Most Dangerous Roads in Montana

With few dense urban centers, most people are surprised to learn Montana is the most dangerous state to drive in. With a record 22.6 car accident deaths per 100,000 people, Montana’s roads and highways are some of the most deadly in the entire country. The biggest reasons why are due to low seat belt use, only 74% compared to the national average of 87%, and a culture of drinking and driving. Too often, driving in Montana is a gamble for too many commuters. Below is a list The Montana Advocates have compiled of the top 5 deadliest roadways in all of Montana.

5. US Highway 191: An Icy Gauntlet of Death

During the winter US Highway 191 is so dangerous that locals suggest avoiding driving through the Canyon despite it being the quickest route to Bozeman and the Yellowstone National Park. Running north to south from Bozeman down to West Yellowstone, US 191 is a snaking and twisting reach of carnage and destruction during the snowy season and is responsible for plenty of car accidents each year. Built in the shadows of two mountain ranges and long known as the preferred route for hurried 18-wheelers that skid and slid as they rush to deliver their cargo, driving through this expanse of Montana asphalt is a little like running the gauntlet. Traveling down an iced US 191 is without a doubt a white-knuckle, panic-inducing experience. Any motorist prone to heart palpitations or a weak bladder should probably just take Highway 287 instead.

4. US Highway 12: The Road of Treachery

From forest fires to rock slides to moose crossings, US Highway 12 surely has its fair share of treacherous obstacles for drivers to overcome. But what earns this roadway a spot on this list is the winding and bending dangers of the infamous Lolo Pass. Located on the border of Montana and Idaho, Lolo Pass is a sky high mountain roadway twisting through the Rocky Mountains at an eye-popping elevation of over 5,000 feet. With few guardrails and sharp turns that seem to pop up out of nowhere, Lolo Pass is a dizzying experience that requires absolute attention of any driver willing to test the mettle of its asphalt. Do yourself a favor when traveling on US 12 and just ignore any texts you receive while driving and try not to blink too long because a moment of distraction is all it takes to send you careening off the road and down into the chasm below.

3. US Highway 93: Where the Wild Things Are

Reaching south from the Canadian border straight through Missoula and all the way down to Idaho, US Highway 93 is one of the most deadly roads to travel on in the United States due to the enormous amount of animal crossings. With over 3,000 wildlife crashes reported in Montana for the year of 2015, Highway 93 is ground zero for animal car accidents in the US. The most dangerous section, however, is the 20-mile stretch between the 90 and 110 mileposts, which studies have shown to have the highest concentration of deer, elk, and even bears lumbering across the roadway. So if you ever find yourself traveling down northwest along Flatlead Lake on US 93, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any lonely moose crossing the road.

2. US Highway 2: The Lonely Road

What lands the infamous US Highway 2 in the penultimate spot on this list is how remote much of this roadway is at times. Indeed, the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety lists Highway 2 as one of the most dangerous roads in the country due to its abnormal fatality rate, which is easily the highest in the nation. The reason for Highway 2 is due to how long it takes for emergency vehicles to respond to an accident. Car accident victims must often fend for themselves while they wait on average of 80 minutes for ambulances arrive. And considering that Montanans have a propensity of not using seat belts, Highway 2 is deathtrap just waiting to spring.

1. Interstate 90: Don’t Let the Good Times Roll

It’s little surprise that Interstate 90 sits atop the rankings for most dangerous Montana roads. In fact, I-90 is considered the most dangerous stretch of highway in all of the United States. And the reason why has nothing to do with the road itself or any wildlife wandering over its paved lanes.

Unfortunately, I-90 owes its reputation of recklessness to one thing and one thing alone: drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there was an average of 5 drunk-driving-related deaths per 100,000 people between 2004 to 2013 along Interstate 90. Heavy drinking is a big part of Montana culture and when you mix this with the usual distracted drivers, excessive speeding, and a statewide habit of not using seat belts, Interstate 90 is, by far, the de facto highway of mayhem and destruction in the entire United States.

Call the Attorneys with the Advocates Today

And there you have it. The worst roads and highways in all of Montana. Automobile accidents are a grim reality of the road for far too many people. If you’ve been hurt in an accident through no fault of your own you will need an Advocate on your side. Our car accident lawyers have decades of experience helping victim of an accident victims recover what they are owed according to Montana law. Don’t wait to get back on the road to recovery. Contact the Montana Advocates today. You can either call our office at 406-534-7179 or chat online with a live car accident attorney right now from our homepage. You deserve an Advocate!

Tips to Prevent Road Rage and the Accidents It Causes

How to Handle Road Rage and Potential Dangers

1. Leave in plenty of time.

The best tip for avoiding road rage is to avoid stressful situations, which lead to an annoyed, angry, easily tipped off driver. If it is in your control, leave in enough time to get your destination on time with plenty of wiggle room. If you are not worried about being late, you may be less agitated when you run into thick traffic or an annoying driver.

2. Move over if someone is tailing you.

Drivers who follow too closely are annoying and rude. It can seem like they are impatient to go faster, trolling you, or just being plain stupid. Instead of slamming on your brakes or going exactly the speed limit to give the trailing driver a dose of their own annoying medicine, just pull over and allow the vehicle behind you to pass you. Sudden braking and following too closely are some of the most common causes of auto accidents. If you can avoid those situations, you will have a safer time on the road.

3. Give up trying to be the fastest car on the road.

Some people just want to be the fastest, best, coolest car on the road. Increased speed is another of the most common causes of automobile accidents. Remember that traveling is not about status and reputation. It is more important to get to your destination alive and in one piece.

4. Do not take it personally.

If you are late, you cannot stop someone from tailing you, and you are having a hard time giving up your reputation as a street racer, avoid road rage by staying calm. Do not get angry because people do stupid things. The actions of other drivers are their actions, and they have nothing to do with you. Do not worry about things you cannot control. In other words, do not allow other drivers to damage your calm.

Top 5 Things to Do After an Accident

Top 5 Accidents in Montana History

Despite having a statewide population of just over a million, Montana sure has seen its fair share of dramatic crashes. Indeed, did you know that the highway death rate in Montana currently ranks as the third highest in the entire United States? Montana, also, has the unfortunate distinction of being the deadliest state for teenage drivers involved in car accidents. In fact, Montana’s teen driver crash rate surpasses the national average by over 200 percent.

Montana has a long history of crashes, however. From planes to trucks to buses and even trains, here are the top 5 most dramatic accidents in the history of Montana.

The Great Custer Creek Train Wreck of 1938

Known unanimously as the worst train disaster in all of Montana railway history, this horrendous accident killed 47 train passengers and caused nearly twice as many injuries. The train accident occurred when the bridge supporting

the Milwaukee Road train company’s Olympian collapsed about Custer Creek just outside of Saugus, Montana. The bridge collapsed after a flood had washed away many of its foundations.

The train accident took place shortly after midnight as the Olympian was carrying over 150 passengers from Chicago to Tacoma at around 50 miles per hour. The train accident happened so quickly and with so little warning that when emergency personnel retrieved the body of the train’s engineer, he was still in his seat with his hands still on the controls of the train.

The 1957 Great Falls Truck Crash

Easily one of the saddest accidents in Montana took place in 1957 when five local high school students and a music teacher were killed in a tragic collision with a truck. The students and the teacher were from Ford Benton high school and were traveling to a music festival to perform when their vehicle collided with a freighter semi-truck. The driver was survived the semi truck accident the only person to survive the crash, suffering a minor injury to his knee. To this day, the residents of Fort Benton still talk about the tragic loss of life that terrible day in March.

The Wrestling Team Bus Crash of 1984

Ask anyone in Whitefish about the worst crash in the town’s history and they’ll likely point to the 1984 bus crash involving the local wrestling team. The infamous bus crash claimed the lives of 9 people and injured nearly two dozen more. In a town of less than 5,000, the 1984 bus accident was a shock to nearly everyone in Whitefish.

The bus accident, itself, took place in the middle of a snowstorm in the dead of winter when the bus carrying the local wrestling team collided with a fuel tanker. The bus, carrying wrestlers, cheerleaders, and several other Whitefish High School students, was returning from a match when it hit the fuel tanker head on. The bus driver was killed instantly, as were several of the wrestlers sitting near the front of the bus. At the time it was considered one of the worst accidents ever in Montana, one people from Whitefish still remember to this day.

2009 Cemetery Plane Crash

Without a doubt the most tragic plane crash happened in 2009 when a single-engine plane carrying 14 people crashed in a nearby cemetery. What’s so tragic about this plane crash accident is that half of the victims were children.

A witness to the plane crash said the plane looked like it was doing stunts as it jerked wildly from side to side before coming down in the cemetery. Investigators later said the plane was likely exceeded it’s weight limit due to overcrowding. Typically, this model of plane can carry no more than 10 people at a time. The purpose of the plane trip was to take the children on a ski trip to Bozeman. No one in the cemetery at the time of the crash was injured.

Christmas Eve Crash of 2016

One of the worst crashes anyone on the Montana Highway Patrol ever witnessed happened on Christmas Eve in 2016. During the middle of the afternoon on Highway 93, a pickup truck attempted to pass the cars in front of him by crossing the center line and collided with a massive semi-truck. The collision was so violent and was with so much force that it ejected the driver of the pickup, killing him instantly.

Indeed, the pickup truck hit the semi truck so fast that investigators found debris from the truck accident over 500 feet from the crash site. Even the local sheriff admitted that he hadn’t seen a truck accident so violent in all of his 25 years working for the police force.

Call the Attorneys With the Advocates Today

There you have it. The top 5 accidents in the history of Montana. Crashes and accidents on the road are an unfortunate reality for far too many people. If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like to be involved in a real life accident, the Montana Highway Patrol put together this instructional video.

If you’re ever the victim of an accident through no fault of your own, you will need an Advocate to help you during the aftermath. The car accident attorneys with the Advocates have decades of experience helping accident victims just like you. You can either call our office at 406-629-1194 or chat online right this minute with a live attorney from our homepage. Don’t wait to get back on the road to recovery. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case. You deserve an Advocate!

Speak with an Advocate Today!