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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Overcorrection leads to fatal car accident in Montana

A relatively common cause of car accidents is a driver's attempt to overcorrect after letting the vehicle drift off the shoulder of the road. This kind of mistake may be especially dangerous in Montana, where long stretches of road can lull drivers into a state of inattention.

Still, overcorrecting a mistake that results from driver negligence still amounts to driver negligence, and a split-second car accident that results from jerking a car back onto the road can be the subject of a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Unfortunately, that appears to have been the case recently in northwestern Montana.

A 46-year-old driver on Highway 28 apparently let her vehicle move off the right side of the roadway. The Montana Highway Patrol says she overcorrected to the point of crossing into the opposite lane, where her car then crashed into an oncoming pickup driven by a Columbia Falls man with two passengers.

Sadly, a 21-year-old man in the woman's vehicle suffered fatal injuries. Emergency responders transported the driver of the car and a passenger to a hospital in Missoula. Those survivors were said to have critical injuries.

The occupants of the truck were also injured, but a local news report did not indicate the degree to which they had been hurt.

Since the fatal crash apparently resulted from a mistake on the part of one of the drivers, civil claims of wrongful death or personal injury could follow. In such a case, it is important to know that insurance companies will do what is legally in their power to reduce payouts to victims. That is why car accident victims or their families need skilled legal representation to obtain the full compensation they deserve.

Source: The Seattle Times, "Spokane man dies, several injured in MT crash," Oct. 8, 2012

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