Personal Injury/Insurance

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

In a basic sense, representing clients in a personal injury matter involves pursuing recovery of damages from a party who caused physical injury to the client. Damages include any specific damages the client has suffered (for example, past and future medical expenses, lost wages and other economic losses, out of pocket expenses, etc.) and “general damages” (For example, physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of/altered course of life, loss of relationships, etc.). Because pursuit of the party who caused injury involves triggering the party’s liability insurance coverage, and possibly your own insurance coverage if available, pursuing personal injury claims involves and relates to the laws governing insurance claims, insurance coverage, and insurance companies.

Individuals who suffer a personal injury often face a daunting situation. As medical bills pile up, their ability to work and earn a living is immediately impaired, and the extent of their injuries and permanent impairments may not be immediately clear. Without effective legal representation, those injured and their loved ones may quickly experience a domino effect. The compounding impact of serious injuries, ongoing medical expenses, and reduced earnings may leave them vulnerable. They may accept less compensation for their damages than they deserve, or worse, they may find themselves unhealed and in a state of irreparable financial ruin.

At Markette & Chouinard, P.C., if you have suffered a personal injury, we will assist you in the short term and long term. We immediately identify all possible sources of recovery and seek to secure payment for ongoing care and wage loss. Our goal is to relieve you of the financial pressure and related anxiety to the fullest extent possible to allow you to pursue the medical care and treatment you need.

In the meantime, we seek to obtain the necessary medical and other evidence to build and pursue your claim. A variety of factors impact the value of your claim, including but not limited to the facts that led to your injuries, your medical history, the existence and strength of medical evidence, and the amount of available insurance coverage. Our goal is to maximize your ultimate recovery, whether through negotiation or trial. While many cases settle before it is necessary to file a lawsuit and proceed to trial, some do not and the time it takes to resolve a personal injury claim can vary significantly. Whatever your claim requires, we are your advocate from start to finish.

Fees in personal injury cases are charged on a “contingent” basis, meaning we do not charge a fee unless and until we recover money for you. Consultations regarding potential personal injury claims are always free.

Insurance

People and small businesses purchase insurance to protect their property, themselves and the ones they love. When you purchase insurance you expect and should be in “good hands”. However, when disaster strikes, this is not always the case. If you have experienced an event or loss you expected insurance to cover but your insurance company has delayed or refused coverage, it may be necessary to pursue your rights through a lawyer. At Markette & Chouinard, P.C., we have assisted many clients in pursuing insurance claims to access the coverage they are entitled to, and we have recovered damages when insurance companies have breached their insurance contracts, acted in violation of the law and in bad faith.

The insurance coverage you have purchased is based on an insurance contract between you and the company. Contract law applies, however, insurance companies are also governed by special standards imposed under the law. For example, in Montana, insurance companies are subject to the Montana Unfair Trade Practices Act, which codifies various obligations imposed on insurance companies with respect to insurance contracts and processing insurance claims.

Retaining a lawyer experienced in insurance law is critical if you find yourself at odds with an insurance company. Common disputes with insurance companies stem from but are not limited to: an insurance companies’ failure to promptly pay a claim; refusing to pay a claim; refusing to pay the fair value of a claim, refusing to provide a defense or coverage for a claim made against the insured party, misrepresenting insurance coverage; and other actions which constitute a violation of the Montana Unfair Trade Practices Act or bad faith.

Fees in matters involving insurance claims may be charged on a “contingent” basis, meaning we do not charge a fee unless we recover money for you, or at our prevailing hourly rates, depending on the circumstances. Consultations regarding potential insurance claims are always free.