Missoula Legal Blog

MONTANA'S MOVE OVER LAW INCLUDES POLICE, EMS, FIRE, TOW OPERATORS AND MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL

In Montana, it's the law to slow down and move over when you see the lights of a stationary emergency, towing or maintenance vehicle.  The move over law is required to be observed on all Montana roadways open to the public.  When unable to move over, you are required to slow down by at least 20 mph.  Not only is this the law, but taking these simple steps could save a life and it is your moral responsibility as a driver on Montana's roadways to move over.  The lives of emergency and road assistance workers are put on the line to do their jobs and they depend on motorists paying attention, slowing down, and moving over.  Emergency scenes are complicated and there is always more going on than other motorists on the road can see or appreciate.  For example, officers, fire, and EMS personnel may be tending to injured people, communicating with other emergency responders, assessing injuries, and controlling the scene, among other duties.  These responders don't have time to have to continuously look over their shoulders to stay safe.  Move over and slow down. It's the law. 

JOHNSON & JOHNSON AND DEPUY ORTHOPAEDICS: DESPICABLE AND VILE CONDUCT OVER $1 BILLION VERDICT IN DEPUY PINNACLE HIP IMPLANT CASES

After an 11-week trial, yesterday a federal jury in Dallas ordered Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopaedics to pay over $1 billion in damages to six individuals who suffered serious and severe damages after being prescribed and implanted with DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant devices. The verdict was handed down as a result of the jury's determination that Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopaedics are guilty of "despicable and vile conduct" for knowingly and fraudulently selling Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant devices that they knew were defective and dangerous for consumers

RECOGNIZING SIGNS OF NURSING HOME ABUSE

Often, family members do not have the skills and resources to care for their elderly loved ones who require special care.  Having to delegate this care to a skilled facility is a heart-wrenching decision that many people are required to make at some time in their life.  When the decision is made, it is imperative to ensure your loved one is receiving the attention and care they deserve and that is promised by the nursing home.  If the facility hired to care for your loved one fails to perform its duties appropriately and adequately, the elderly individual and his or her family members may have the right to recover damages for injuries resulting from the facilities breach of its duties and care.

Elderly individuals in nursing homes are vulnerable and can't protect themselves - that is the very nature of assisted living or long-term care centers.  Sadly, because of this, the elderly and infirm become targets of neglect or victims of crime.  Nursing home abuse is often unreported because the victims do not report the abuse for fear of being further neglected, dependence on others, or difficulty communicating.  You can help your loved one by being an effective advocate for them, staying in touch regularly, and by knowing the signs of elder abuse.

THE BASICS OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE POLICY COVERAGE

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In 2015, there were a total of 47,149 vehicle crashes in Montana, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For many of these crashes, there were multiple injured victims.    

No one plans on being injured in an automobile accident.  Unfortunately, serious crashes happen every day and even crashes that may seem minor as a passerby can result in significant damages and hardships for those involved.  Even those who are injured victims in these crashes may not know how serious their injuries may be.  For these reasons, it is crucial that you have adequate automobile insurance coverage to protect not only yourself, but others as well.  Understanding your automobile insurance policy and the coverages available to you is crucial. 

UPCOMING HOLIDAYS ARE MOST DANGEROUS FOR DRIVING

Some of our nation's most anticipated and celebrated holidays are quickly approaching.  While holidays are an exciting time and are often filled with family and friends gathering to celebrate, for those traveling, this can all too often lead to increased danger on the roadways.

During the holidays we are faced with additional distractions, obligations, and time commitments.

If you are traveling during the holidays, please use extra caution.  This is especially important in Montana. 

BEWARE AND PREPARE FOR WINTER DRIVING AND CRASHES

Paoli Law Firm's Clients Share Their Experience to Help Increase Winter Driving Awareness:

Click Here to Watch the Video


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Paoli Law Firm's clients, a mother and her two children, were the victims of the horrific crash caught on this highway patrol in-car video on December 28, 2014 when a semi tractor-trailer lost control and plowed into their car on Interstate 90 near Missoula, Montana.

WELLS FARGO SCANDAL EXPOSED

WELLS FARGO.JPGWells Fargo has been exposed for abusing its customers by opening approximately 2 million accounts and credit cards for depositors who did not ask for them and did not know about them.  Wells Fargo employees went so far as to create phony PIN numbers and fake email addresses to enroll customers in online banking services, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said.   You may have been paying bank fees on accounts you didn't even sign up for.  If a credit card was opened without you knowing about it, your credit score could have been affected.

Blizzard Conditions Don't Excuse Bad Driving

The Montana legislature repealed the old "basic rule" speed statute in 1999. The relevant part of the statute now reads:

Subject to the maximum speed limits set forth in subsection (1), a person shall operate a vehicle in a careful and prudent manner and at a reduced rate of speed no greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions existing at the point of operation, taking into account the amount and character of traffic, visibility, weather, and roadway conditions.

Mont. Code Ann. § 61-8-303(3)(emphasis added). In other words, you can never legally drive faster than the posted limit but sometimes the law may require you to drive slower.

TRAFFIC SAFETY IN SCHOOL ZONES

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More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program.

It goes without saying that once school starts there is an increase in traffic congestion in school zones and in residential areas during drop-off and pick-up times.  This includes increased vehicles on the road and in parking lots, foot traffic on sidewalks and in crosswalks, and bicycle traffic.  This requires extra vigilance on the part of all drivers, as not only do drivers need to focus on the road, but they also need to focus on their surroundings, which includes an increase in children on their way to and from school. 

Volkswagen Proposed Class Settlement Program

In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" MDL

Sandra Di Mauro, Michael Di Mauro, Rebecca Connors, Duane Simons, and Donna Simons, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., and Volkswagen Aktiengesselschaft, Defendant.

Volkswagen Proposed Class Settlement Program

In September 2015 Volkswagen admitted it had installed a "defeat device" designed to cheat emissions tests, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said that the cars emit as much as 40 times the standard for nitrogen oxides.

After months of litigation, Volkwagen will pay up to $14.7 billion to resolve consumer class actions filed as a result of its emissions scandal made public on September 18, 2015.

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