Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer
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Auto Accidents in Kansas City
Despite the advances of seemingly countless safety features, car accidents continue to happen at an alarming rate. According to the most recent data offered by the Missouri Highway Patrol, an average of 150,000 car accidents occur each year in the state. Nearly 125,000 of these accidents involve injuries, and sadly, almost 2,000 include fatalities.
A car accident can change your life in an instant. One minute, you are sitting in your car at an intersection minding your own business, the next someone looking down at their phone slams into you from behind and sends you to the hospital. You are taken to the emergency room, only to find out that you have serious spinal injuries. You are going to need additional x-rays, physical therapy, follow-up appointments, and possibly surgery. You are in a lot of pain and certainly won’t be going into work tomorrow.
Then the questions start to come. Who’s going to pay for these hospital bills? How am I going to pay for the treatment I need to get better? How am I going to make ends meet while I’m unable to work? What about my car? Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company?
While you wrestle with these questions, reality also starts to set in. This is going to be more than just a burden on your bank account. It is now clear that your injuries are going to impair your daily activities as well. You can’t do the things you like to do – gardening, exercising, playing with your kids, visiting with friends. You can’t help around the house and the pain is constantly nagging at you. Why should you have to deal with this because someone else wasn’t being careful? Should you receive compensation for the changes to my life and pain you’ve endured?
Justice is only served when the responsible party for your accident and injuries compensates you for your losses. If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident, consult with a Kansas City car accident lawyer about your rights to claim compensation.
At the law office of Kevin A. Jones, we would like to answer your questions and help you get through this stressful time. We will talk to you and tell you if you have a case for free. If you decide to hire a lawyer, we can take your case on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we recover for you. Give us a call to see if we can help.
Different Types of Car Accidents
Kansas City traffic accidents cover a broad range of accident types. Kevin will be able to help you file a claim for compensation for any of the following vehicle-related accidents.
Passenger Vehicle Accident
Passenger vehicles include any type of car or truck that is driven for non-commercial purposes. These accidents generally involve two or more vehicles and are the most common type of traffic accident.
However, you can have single-car accidents. Single car accidents may be hit-and-run accidents, rollover accidents, and accidents where cars are pushed off the road by another vehicle.
Trucking Accident – Commercial Vehicles
Trucking accidents involve a passenger vehicle and commercial vehicles from box truck size to 18-wheelers. Due to the sheer size and force of large commercial vehicles, trucking accidents often result in serious injuries to the passengers in the smaller vehicle.
Motorcycle accidents are often classified under car accidents because they are a form of transportation. These accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries for the motorcyclist. Motorcycle accidents are more prominent in the summer months.
Pedestrian accidents nearly always include a vehicle striking a pedestrian. This is why these types of accidents are classified under car accidents. Pedestrian accidents include any person using the roadways that are not in a vehicle.
Many people do not realize that personal watercraft accidents are generally included under the car accident category. The only exception is if the accident occurred in international waters, on a commercial watercraft, or was a work-related injury.
What To Do After A Car Accident Happens
The average car accident happens in seconds. Those few seconds can change your life forever. The actions that you take after a car accident can impact your legal rights and ability to seek full and fair compensation for your injuries. We therefore encourage you to use the following guidelines after a car accident
Notify Emergency Services
The first thing that you must do is notify emergency services that an injury accident has occurred. You will need to have an official police report of the event so that you can file a claim with the insurance company covering the accident.
Make sure that when you talk to the police about the accident that you refrain from implying or stating that you had any responsibility for the accident. It is natural for people to want to assume some of the responsibility for an accident, even if it is not true. But be careful not to say anything that might get misinterpreted into an admission of fault while you are at the scene of the accident. Even a sympathetic “I’m sorry” could be construed as an admission of fault.
Get Medical Treatment Immediately
After a car accident, it is in your best interest to go and have a medical exam. If your injuries did not require transport by ambulance, you should still be evaluated by a medical professional in the emergency room.
Many injuries may not be immediately apparent when you are in an accident. Your adrenaline and emotions are running high at this time, and you may pass off signs of an injury as just being stress-related. However, these symptoms may be a sign of something much more serious.
A headache or stiff neck could be the sign of a concussion, brain injury, or neck injury. An upset stomach could be the result of organ damage or internal bleeding. Aches and pains could be the result of fractures. It will always be in your best interest to seek medical care. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Contact Insurance Company
You will need to contact your insurance company about the accident. This will start the process of making a claim and ensure that your medical care is being covered right from the start. However, it is wise to refrain from making a complete statement to the insurance company at this time.
The insurance adjuster will want you to make a full statement about the accident and injuries. They will push for this information so that they can begin trying to close the case. It is recommended that you decline to make a full statement to the insurance company until you speak with an attorney.
Politely decline to make a statement and inform your insurance company that you will be seeking legal representation. You have a right to talk to an attorney, and they have to honor this request.
Document Everything You Remember
When your injuries have been stabilized, take a few minutes, and write down everything that you can remember about the accident. Include things such as weather conditions, what you remember seeing right before the accident occurred, and anything that may have caught your attention after the accident. All of this information could be beneficial at a later time, and you may have difficulty remembering these details if you don’t write them down right away.
You will want to contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. This is the best way to protect your rights. Your attorney will manage all interactions with the insurance company on your behalf.
Your attorney will also provide you with many beneficial services to help build a solid case for compensation. Although you have up to five years to file a claim in Missouri (only two in Kansas), waiting to hire a lawyer and file your claim will likely decrease the value of your case substantially.
Follow Through With Medical Treatment
You will want to make sure that you follow through with all recommended medical care for your injuries. Missing appointments or refusing care makes the insurance company believe that you do not need medical care and that your injuries are not as serious as you have documented.
Limit Social Media Postings
Insurance companies now have teams dedicated to searching social media platforms for information about people that have made a claim for compensation. They look for any kind of information that can be used against the claimant so that they can reduce or deny the compensation package.
Avoid posting too much information about your accident and injuries. Do not post anything mean or attacking online about the people that caused the accident or the insurance companies. Avoid posting any pictures of yourself online, even if they are old pictures. Never discuss anything online about your conversations with your attorneys.
Even if you have not followed all of these steps, don’t worry. As a skilled Kansas City car accident lawyer, we know how to sidestep a few pitfalls and may still be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
Some people mistakenly believe that if they were partially at-fault for a car accident, they will not be able to make a claim for compensation. That would be true in some states, where being just one percent at fault could bar you from making a claim. But Missouri is one of 13 states that have comparative negligence laws in effect concerning accidents. What this means is that even if you are partially responsible for an accident, you can still make a claim for compensation.
However, comparative negligence will affect your overall compensation package. Any percentage that you are found responsible will be deducted from your compensation package. For instance, if it is found that you were 25 percent responsible for the accident, and you were awarded $100,000 as compensation, your compensation would be reduced by $25,000.
If you have any questions about how comparative negligence works or applies to your case, you should call a car accident attorney in Kansas City and ask these questions during your initial consultation.
Common Causes for Car Accidents In Missouri
While it is true that anything can cause an accident, there are some actions that are more commonly associated with car accidents. The most common causes of accidents in Missouri include:
- Aggressive Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Driving Under the Influence
- Improper Lane Changes
- Intersection Accidents
- Weather Conditions
- Poor Road Conditions
Aggressive and distracted driving have become the two leading causes of accidents in Missouri. Sadly, both of these types of accidents can easily be avoided. It is very important to understand that aggressive and reckless behavior behind the wheel is not only a danger to yourself but also to others.
Distracted driving is quickly rising to first place for the main cause of car accidents. Although laws are in place to discourage people from using handheld devices while driving, many people continue to text or using the Internet while driving.
Types of Compensation Available For Car Accident Victims
During your initial meeting with our car accident lawyer Kevin A. Jones, he will discuss with you the types of compensation that you are entitled to for your injuries and financial losses. You may qualify for one or more of the following types of compensation.
All medical expenses related to your injuries will be part of your compensation package. This will also include any future medical care that you may need. Medical expenses are part of every compensation package, regardless of any other benefits that you may be entitled to for the accident.
Lost Wages and Benefits
If your injuries prevented you from going to work, your attorney could seek all of the lost income that you experienced since the accident. This will include your wages and any employer-paid benefits that you may not have received as a result of being absent.
If your injuries will prevent you from returning to work, or if you can only return at a limited capacity, your lawyer will seek compensation for all of your future earnings potential as well as any employer-paid benefits that you would lose as a result of not being able to return to work.
If you have additional expenses related to your injury, your attorney may be able to claim compensation for these costs. Some of these expenses may include changes you have had to make to your home or vehicle to accommodate your injury, cost to replace broken prescription eyeglasses or dental work, or over the counter supplies required by your doctor to treat your injuries.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering compensation is unique to each case. Since every injury is as different as the person it happens to, there cannot be a “set” value on this type of compensation. Your attorney will explain to you how they have calculated the amount for your case.
Punitive damages are only awarded by the court as a form of punishment against the responsible party. This is generally reserved for special cases. Punitive damages are usually given when the negligent act was something that was malicious, done with intent, or illegal, such as driving under the influence.
If your loved one has lost their life as a result of a car accident, some surviving family members may have the right to file a claim for wrongful death. If you believe that your family member suffered a wrongful death in a car accident, you are encouraged to speak with an attorney.
Services Provided By Your Car Accident Lawyer Kansas City
When you hire an attorney to manage your car accident case, you will benefit from many services that they provide. As soon as you sign the retainer agreement for their services, your attorney will begin building your case for compensation. Some of the services they will provide will include:
- Reviewing accident information and police reports. This will include reviewing any video of the accident and any other evidence collected by the police.
- Interview witnesses.
- Speak with accident reconstruction specialists so the fault of the accident can be determined professionally.
- Speak with your doctors and medical experts about your injuries and anticipated recovery.
- Review financial records to determine lost wages and benefits.
- Interact with the insurance company on your behalf throughout the entire legal process.
- Make sure that the insurance company is providing you with all the benefits that you are entitled to under the law.
- Negotiate a fair settlement.
- Take your case to trial if necessary.
Your attorney will also provide additional services based on the needs of your case. If you have any questions about your case or what services your attorney will provide, you should ask them during your initial consultation.
How Much Does A Car Accident Attorney Cost?
Our law firm offers its service on a contingency basis. This means that there is never a fee for our services until we win your case. We believe that this is the best way to ensure that everyone has access to legal representation when they have been injured.
The car accident has already caused you financial strain. This law firm is not here to place more financial burdens on you in your time of need. Starting with your free consultation all of our legal services will not be charged until we settle your case. Once we win your claim, we get paid.
During your initial consultation, your attorney will explain to you how the contingency-based program works and the cost of our services. They will further explain that you do not have to worry about any of this until your case is settled.
Contact A Car Accident Lawyer In Missouri Today
Injuries sustained in a car accident can change your life. These changes may be small and short term, or they might be life-altering. In either case, it is only right that the responsible party for your injuries cover your losses.
It is always recommended that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident occurs. Even though you have up to five years to make a claim for compensation, filing early is always beneficial. This is the best way to protect your rights to file a claim.
When you work with a car accident attorney, you will have a better chance of receiving a fair settlement for your losses. Your attorney understands the laws and the insurance policies covering these accidents and can make sure that the insurance companies abide by these terms.
If you were recently in a Missouri car accident, we welcome the opportunity to talk to you about your case and give you a free case evaluation. If we can help, we will. If we can’t, we hope we can at least give you some good information and point you in the right direction.
Motor vehicle collisions often result in injuries that alter our abilities to work and enjoy life. A Kansas City car accident lawyer can help you get the resources you need to recover and get your life back on track.
Commercial vehicles dominate the roadways. Unfortunately, motor carriers often put speed and profits over safety. The consequences can be catastrophic. If you were hurt, call a truck accident attorney in Kansas City to discuss your legal remedies.
Motorcyclists have every right to be on the road as other motorists. But all too often, they are seriously injured because others won’t share the road. Kevin A. Jones is an accident lawyer in Kansas City who holds road hogs accountable for their reckless driving.
The brain is the control center for the entire body. Brain injuries can cause life-altering physical and mental changes. If you had a head injury, click here to learn more about how a Kansas City personal injury attorney can help.
Human life is precious. But unfortunately, it is all too often cut short by the careless and reckless behavior of others. We are a wrongful death law firm in Kansas City, and we give closure to grieving families by holding wrongdoers accountable.