What should I do if I am in an accident?
If you are involved in an accident, it is critically important to gather as much information as you can immediately. In the case of an auto accident that means taking down the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. You should contact the police immediately to ensure a report is filed. Take pictures of the accident scene and vehicle damage, and be sure to get contact information for any witnesses who saw the accident.
If you are injured, make sure you get the medical attention you need. Being involved in an accident is a traumatic experience, and many people will be in shock after an accident and not know what to do. If you believe you are injured at all, go to a hospital and get evaluated. It is better to be safe than just go home and try to sleep it off. You need a trained medical professional to perform any needed diagnostics and evaluate you for any injuries.
Do I need an attorney?
Insurance companies are businesses, and like any business, they are in the business of making money. If you are injured in an accident and try to negotiate with the insurance company by yourself, the deck is stacked against you. Studies done by the Insurance Research Council show that injured persons represented by an attorney receive an average settlement 2.5 times larger than unpresented parties. The insurance companies would prefer that you don’t hire an attorney, so they can settle your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. They are professionals who are trained and skilled in minimizing your injuries, minimizing your damages, and getting you to sign off on your legal rights and accept pennies on the dollar of the compensation you are entitled to. Don’t go it alone – get a skilled attorney in your corner with proven results.
When should I retain an attorney?
It is important to get a skilled advocate on your side AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after you are injured in an accident. Valuable evidence and critical information should be identified, gathered and preserved immediately. Witnesses need to be identified and interviewed, and crucial information (like GPS logs, electronic data recorders, and “black boxes”) should be identified, documented and preserved. You should retain an attorney before you speak with the insurance company, who will try to take a recorded statement from you as soon as possible. These statements are not to benefit you — they are to benefit the insurance company, who is looking for information they can use against you later. If you were injured in an accident, contact an attorney immediately.
Who will pay my medical bills?
If you are injured due to the negligence of another person, that person’s insurance company has a legal obligation under Montana law to pay for your medical expenses that are incurred as a result of an accident. Unfortunately, some insurance companies will not pay, and you may get stuck with medical bills and collection notices for something that wasn’t even your fault. If this happens, you need an attorney who will take the insurance company to task and make sure all your related expenses are covered.
Why hire Craig Hensel?
Free consultation / Free case evaluation
- Craig will review your case and discuss your options with you free of charge. Clients are never charged a fee unless Craig wins your case.
- Craig has extensive legal and courtroom experience, and has been practicing law in Billings, Montana since 1996.
Competent, tenacious, ethical representation
- You can count on Craig to be an aggressive advocate for your rights, and to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Personalized, compassionate service
- Craig maintains a small caseload so that he can give every case and every client the attention they deserve. Being injured can be an extremely traumatizing event. Craig will help you navigate this complicated process and be by your side every step of the way. Craig will handle all the legal details and deal with the insurance companies so that you can focus on the most important thing – getting better and getting back to your life.
Efficient, prompt case resolution
- Craig will aggressively pursue settlement and try to get you fair compensation for your injuries as soon as possible, so that you can get on with your life. In those cases where the insurance companies will not agree to fair and reasonable compensation, Craig is a skilled trial attorney who will fight for you in court.
“I will handle all communication with the insurance company and try to negotiate a fair settlement with the opposing party prior to trial. If negotiations are unsuccessful, I will fight for you aggressively in court.”
~ Craig C. Hensel