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Missoula Personal Injury Law Blog

What is the real reason for most semi truck accidents?

At times, accidents on the road can seem inevitable. When large trucks are involved, the situation can become all the more dangerous. While many Montana drivers do not think twice about the daily work schedules of semi truck drivers, this line of work is not an easy one. Why does this industry create hazards for workers across the nation? 

The general size of a semi truck can make it more dangerous alongside smaller vehicles, but ABC News took a step further last year and claimed that the trucking industry was the most deadly occupation. According to the most recent data from the Labor Department, more truck drivers were injured than workers in any other occupation -- having reached the unsettling number of 852 fatalities. The American Truckers Association has worked to reduce the number of fatal accidents, which, as ABC notes, have actually declined in the last three years. Despite the recent increase of trucking employment, that number has dropped by 2 percent.

The difficult issue of a dog attack

Dogs have long been the best friends of humans, and most pet owners could agree that their four-legged children live up to this sentiment. There are, however, differences between a docile pet and an animal that is completely unmanageable. These dogs -- whether their behavior is a result of abuse, poor training or other issue -- can become highly dangerous. Dog attacks and bites are scary situations, and some Montana residents have, unfortunately, experienced this trauma. 

A 9-year-old girl was one such resident who experienced an attack in 2016. The Daily Inter Lake covered this story, in which the girl's neighbor's dog attacked her one afternoon as she played outside. The attack occurred after the girl attempted to grab her ball from the dog's mouth, and resulted in 45 stitches to her face. Fortunately, the attack was not fatal, but to the shock of many, the dog faced no repercussions. After a bite, Montana law requires the animal to be quarantined; instead, the owner of the dog moved to a different town, where the city in which the attack occurred could not order the dog back. However, law enforcement doubted the dog would have faced euthanization since the attack occurred in his own yard. 

Who is responsible for keeping sidewalks clear?

Snow is beautiful when it first falls, but it creates problems getting around Montana. Vehicles have a little help from snowplows that clear the streets, but pedestrians are not so lucky. Snow gets packed down and becomes icy if not cleared from the sidewalks. School-age children, dog-walkers, joggers and others all must use the sidewalks. Everyone is a pedestrian at some point when they get out of their vehicles and walk into work or a business, making icy sidewalks a universal hazard.

Missoula and other cities in Montana lay the responsibility for maintaining clear sidewalks at the feet of the property owner. Missoula Municipal Code 12.16 establishes the obligation of property owners to keep sidewalks in front of and next to their property clear of ice, snow, slush and mud, as well as other obstacles that can hamper pedestrian traffic. Repair of broken, crumbling sidewalks is also assigned to the property owner.

Missoula sergeant accident reminds drivers to move over

As the weather worsens in Missoula, more accidents are likely to occur. Sadly, some of these accidents can impact good Samaritans and emergency responders doing their jobs stopping for other accidents.

Two people were recently taken to the hospital after a crash on December 28, which involved a Missoula County Sheriffs Office Sergeant Gordon Schmill. While Schmill was stationary on the shoulder of the Interstate 90 westbound with his emergency lights activated, he was rear-ended by a car.