Cok Kinzler PLLP

Bozeman Personal Injury Blog

Are all brain injuries the same?

An injury to the brain is always serious, but people in Montana should understand that not all brain injuries are the same. They can vary in severity due to the cause of the injury as well as the type and impact of force, and the effects of a brain injury can vary greatly as well.

According to WebMD, there are two types of brain damage. One is acquired brain injury, which is commonly related to brain pressure. This type of damage takes place at the cellular level and some of the causes are stroke, tumors, degenerative diseases and other non-force causes. The other type of harm to the brain is traumatic brain injury, which happens when a force strikes the head which causes the brain to move and retain damage.

Bicycle accidents during Memorial Day weekend

Many people enjoy celebrating Memorial Day, and Americans across the country recently celebrated this holiday with their loved ones. Warmer temperatures and the unofficial start of summer brought many people together to enjoy barbecues, go to the beach and ride their bicycles. Unfortunately, this also brings the chance of a bicycle accident, which may be especially likely due to drunk driving and busy traffic. If you were involved in a bike accident during the holiday weekend, you may be struggling with a number of serious challenges.

Not only can a bicycle accident shatter someone’s holiday celebrations, but the consequences may continue to turn their life upside down in different ways. They may lose the ability to work because of an injury they sustained after being hit by a car, or they may develop mental trauma that prevents them from riding their bicycle ever again. It is very unfortunate that many of these accidents are caused by careless drivers and those who do not obey traffic laws. Our law office firmly believes that drivers who collide with bicyclists or cause a bicyclist to become injured or killed because of their erratic driving should not be let off the hook.

Family vacations and motor vehicle wrecks

Many people welcome Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of the summer season, and a lot of families go on road trips over this holiday weekend and look forward to additional vacations during the summer months. Some parents may be able to take time off work during this season and many kids are out of school. Combined with warmer temperatures, this can be an excellent time of year to take to the road and visit another state (or a different country). Unfortunately, this carries a number of risks, including the possibility of a motor vehicle accident.

If you are involved in a crash during a family trip, you may be devastated. The accident may not only ruin your vacation plans, but it could leave you and your loved ones with serious injuries and mental trauma. There are certain risk factors that may be even more likely to cause a crash during a vacation, such as distracted driving and less familiarity with roads in a different area. Regrettably, these accidents have left many families with serious physical, financial and emotional hurdles that ultimately alter the course of their lives.

There is always risk of injury on a motorcycle

After record-breaking snow in Montana this winter, you may be more anxious than ever to get your motorcycle tuned and ready to go. You can feel the changes in the air, and you are ready to hit the open road.

Because the warmer days seem to fly by so quickly and winter will be here again before you know it, you may be tempted to pack as much into your summer ride as possible. However, your life may depend on the safety precautions you take because you can never be certain that other drivers will be looking out for you.

Chronic pain following a car crash

There are many ways in which motor vehicle wreck victims may suffer, but the physical toll of a wreck can be devastating. Even if an accident victim does not sustain any broken bones, they may struggle with chronic pain following a collision. Moreover, those who are able to recover from an injury may find that their injury leads to chronic pain later in life. Unfortunately, pain can be very debilitating, and it can serve as a constant reminder of an accident that was caused by a careless driver, which never should have taken place. For these reasons and many more, it is imperative for auto accident victims to seek justice.

Long-term pain can have a negative impact on a car crash victim’s life in many ways. They may struggle to perform their job duties, or they may find that the pain takes away their happiness in life. Those struggling with chronic pain may have to stop participating in physical activities that have brought them a lot of joy throughout their lives, such as skiing, golfing, surfing, going jogging and so on. Unfortunately, chronic pain can be difficult to detect early on, such as someone who does not realize that they hurt their back during an accident.

The Glasgow Coma Scale explained

As you sit and contemplate the road that lies ahead of you and your loved one after they have suffered a traumatic brain injury in Bozeman, your first need to understand exactly what their prognosis may be. Yet when people in your same situation come to us here at Cok Kinzler PLLP, they often question how can they know what their family members or friends may be facing so soon after having suffered their injuries. Knowing that may indeed by possible thanks to a clinical observation test known as the Glasgow Coma Scale. 

When clinicians first receive your loved one after they have suffered a TBI, the extent of the injury must be determined. That determination is made by observing your family member or friend's motor skills, language and eye movement. Standard responses are hoped for, while delayed or hindered responses can indicate a serious brain injury. The clinicians treating your loved one will assign point totals in each of the aforementioned three categories and then add them together to get an overall score. 

Recovering from a crash as a newlywed

Moving forward from a motor vehicle wreck can be incredibly challenging for any victim, but some people have an especially hard time when they find themselves in this position. For example, those who recently got married may be devastated by a motor vehicle collision, not only because of serious injuries and financial challenges but because plans (such as going on a honeymoon or having a child) may be derailed by the accident. If you recently tied the knot and have been involved in a collision, it is very important to be aware of your legal options and your rights.

Newlyweds may find themselves in these accidents for many reasons. For example, someone may be involved in a crash while driving in an area that they are not familiar with because they held their wedding in another state. A recently married couple may be involved in an accident which leaves them both with serious injuries, and it is especially devastating when someone loses their spouse in a traffic accident that was caused by a reckless driver.

The Phantom of the Courtroom Insurance companies and the myth of no insurance

Insurance companies nearly always play a huge role in how, when, and why lawsuits are brought, and whether the case is settled or decided by a jury. But you will seldom see them acknowledged or even mentioned in a courtroom. Like the wizard behind the curtain, they control many levers, but are never seen.

The parties sit at tables in the front of the room, their lawyers beside them. Spectators are scattered along benches in the back, watching the witness testifying on the stand. Jurors are in the jury box paying quiet attention. The bailiff and court reporter sit near the judge, unmistakable in her black robe. Everyone with an important role in the case can be seen in the courtroom - everyone, that is, except the one hidden behind a cloak of invisibility and a curtain of silence.

Why is speeding so dangerous?

Of all the risky driving behaviors one could partake in, speeding is among the most deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding was cited in over 26% of all traffic deaths occurring in 2017. Along with driving over the posted speed limit, which is designed with motorist safety in mind, many people also drive to fast when faced with certain road conditions, such as inclement weather. 

Additionally, speeding has a wide range of effects that compromise the safety of you and other drivers. When driving at high rates of speed you have less control over your vehicle. When faced with a sudden, unexpected road hazard, your ability to stop and retain control over your vehicle is greatly diminished. Also, driving at high rates of speed impacts the ability of airbags and other safety devices. As a result, you'll be less protected when involved in a crash. Lastly, speeding often increases the severity of injuries sustained during an accident. 

What types of product defects create liability in Montana?

When you and others in Montana purchase products you expect to be, or have been warned that they are, hazardous, you are likely more careful when using them. Some products that would be otherwise relatively safe, have defects that may put you at risk for suffering serious injury or death. If you have been injured as a result of using a product, it may behoove you to understand the types of defects that create liability.

Some products carry defects that are intended and present even before they are manufactured. According to the Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, these are known as design defects.  For example, a chair may be designed with three legs for aesthetic purposes. However, this may also make it more prone to tipping over, which could result in serious injuries for the person who was sitting in the chair.

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