Have you been injured recently in a slip and fall caused by someone else’s negligence? If so, you should know about a couple Montana state laws that could drastically impact your case.
Read on to learn about time limits and shared fault regarding your case, and how to maximize compensation for your injuries.
Montana Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations
Montana’s statute of limitations is a law that sets time limits for the right to have your lawsuit heard in civil court. This time limit varies from state to state, and also depends on the type of case.
In the state of Montana, most personal injury lawsuits (including slip and fall cases) are given three years between the date of your injury and the date you file your lawsuit.
An exception is for property damage, where the statute of limitations is just two years.
If you wait too long and file your lawsuit after that 2-3 year period, the defendant and his or her lawyer will surely ask for the case to be dismissed—and a vast majority of the time, it will be. In some exceptional cases, the “clock” on your injury may be paused under specific circumstances, but you shouldn’t count on it.
After filing your lawsuit on time, the next logical step is proving that the defendant failed to take adequate, reasonable steps to keep their property safe and to prevent your accident—which is exactly where a skilled personal injury attorney comes into play.
Montana Slip and Fall Comparative Negligence
When you’re considering a claim against the owner of a property for injuries sustained in a slip and fall, prepare for the other side to claim that you bear at least some of the responsibility for your accident. The success or failure of your case depends on your ability (or more specifically, your lawyer’s ability) to counter this argument.
To spare you from the legalese surrounding Montana’s comparative negligence laws, consider this example:
Pretend you fell at a local convenience store, and your lawsuit goes to trial. The defendant claims you were using your cell phone prior to your fall, and the jury agrees—holding you partly at fault for either contributing to or directly causing your accident. In this situation, you’re still able to recover damages as long as your contribution to the fall was not greater than the property owner’s.
If you’re found to be 40% at fault for the fall and you suffered a total of $100,000 in damages, then the property owner will only be responsible for the other 60%, or $60,000. And in Montana, if it’s discovered that you contributed more than 50% to your fall, you’re unable to recover any damages.
The most common arguments you can expect to here from the defendant include:
- You were in a prohibited area of the property (or part of the property where visitors aren’t expected)
- You were distracted or weren’t paying attention
- The dangerous condition that caused your fall should have been obvious, such as a spill blocked off by cones or signs
Depending on your case, the property owner may have a weak or strong argument—which is why it’s so important to choose the right personal injury attorney in Montana.
Pick the Right Attorney to Maximize Your Payout
It’s no secret that injured people who choose the wrong attorney can see their damages drastically reduced, or disappear altogether.
Our team at Glacier is committed to winning our clients maximum settlements and verdicts by Montana state law, giving you a chance to get your life back on track after a serious injury caused by someone else’s negligence.
If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall accident, the time to act is now—don’t let the statute of limitations bar you from recovering the compensation you deserve. Call us or complete the brief form below, and let’s get to work.