Vehicle Accidents Archives

General Qualifications for a Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver

Common types of commercial motor vehicles include tractor-trailers, truck and trailer combinations (doubles and triples), buses, tanker vehicles, dump trucks, and passenger vans.  Being involved in a crash with a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is extremely frightening and may cause serious injuries or death.  Of course, because a CMV is much larger and heavier than the majority of vehicles on the highway, the damage and mayhem they cause in a crash is immense.

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. 

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The Montana legislature repealed the old "basic rule" speed statute in 1999.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.

Safety Violations of an At-Fault Semi Truck Company

david-small.jpgIf you have been involved in a semi truck accident, the big rig driver and the trucking company may very well have violated safety rules issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Violations of FMCSA regulations are direct factors in most collisions caused by semi truck drivers.

How to Beat the Colossus

If you have been involved in an automobile collision where another person is at-fault their insurance company may use a computer program known as Colossus to evaluate your claim.  Many insurance companies including Allstate, Farmers, The Hartford, Travelers, USAA, Zurich, Ohio Casualty, Metropolitan, and Aetna use Colossus. Colossus was first licensed by Allstate as a way to standardize claims and to save money on claims payments.  Colossus also identifies lawyers who file lawsuits and will litigate your case and conversely those who are known to settle claims for the best offer insurance companies give.  Colossus attributes a higher value to your claim when you are represented by a lawyer who is experienced and who will proceed with litigation on your behalf when an insurance company is unwilling to fairly resolve your claim.  At Paoli Law Firm we do exactly that for our clients.

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