If you or a family member were injured in a car accident in Kansas City, you’re not alone. With nearly 500,000 people living in Missouri’s largest city, it’s no surprise that car wrecks happen every day. If you need legal help or want to know your rights, contact our Kansas City car accident lawyers right now for a free, zero-obligation consultation. Attorney Samuel M. Wendt has dedicated his practice to helping people in Missouri and Kansas who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Attorney Wendt is an award-winning Kansas City personal injury attorney and has been selected as one of Kansas and Missouri’s “Super Lawyers” every year from 2008 forward. He has also been selected by the National Trial Lawyers Association as one of Missouri’s Top 100 trial attorneys and is also a Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum member as a result of winning millions for his clients.
When choosing a Kansas City car collision lawyer to help you, it’s important to choose one who has a great track record of results and has the experience to help you win your case. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
What Can a Kansas City Car Accident Attorney Do for Me?
Not every car crash in Missouri requires the assistance of an accident lawyer. If you’ve been in an accident and were not injured, you can most likely handle the claim yourself directly with the insurance company. However, if you were injured in the crash, the smartest thing you can do is call a qualified auto accident lawyer before talking to the other side’s insurance company. It’s no secret that insurance companies will try to avoid paying or try and pay you as little as possible in order to settle an accident claim. They don’t want to deal with the best car accident lawyers because they know they will end up paying a much higher settlement if attorneys get involved.
It’s not uncommon to hear stories of insurance companies offering pennies on the dollar for what an accident case is actually worth. A law firm will often take a small settlement offer and turn it into a significantly larger settlement for their client. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, property damage, physical pain, and emotional suffering. In addition to this, some of the other things a Kansas City auto accident attorney can do include:
Get an investigation team out to the accident location to make sure evidence is preserved
Handle dealing with the insurance companies
Communicate with your health care providers to obtain the medical records needed in your case
Negotiate with lien holders on your claim to potentially reduce the amount of those liens
Negotiate with the insurance adjuster or defense attorney so you get a fair settlement amount
If a fair settlement amount is not offered, car accident lawyers with trial experience can fight your case in court
Help you find medical care
Recover compensation from missed work
Advance all costs in your case so you don’t need to come up with any money out of pocket. You only pay if they successfully handle your case
Who Can Be Held Liable After a Car Accident?
Liability refers to a person’s responsibility for a victim’s damages due to fault for the car accident. The laws surrounding liability and fault change from state to state. In Missouri, fault laws preside over car accident claims, meaning all parties involved in a car accident must determine who is at fault and file their insurance claims with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. Kansas, on the other hand, is a no-fault state, meaning all parties will seek recovery from their insurance companies. The liable party could be the other driver or several possible defendants.
The most common defendant in a car accident claim is the other driver. Another driver could absorb liability for damages if he or she was guilty of driver drowsiness, distraction, negligence, carelessness, or recklessness that caused the wreck. Proving another driver’s liability may take re-creating the accident, hiring crash experts, and interviewing eyewitnesses.
A Third Party
A third party is someone not directly involved in the accident, but potentially responsible due to the rules of vicarious liability. For example, a minor’s parents could be vicariously liable for the actions of the minor. Third parties that could be responsible include employers, auto mechanics, and dram shops for drunk driving accidents.
A Car Part Manufacturer
A manufacturer or part distributor could be responsible for an accident if one or both of the vehicles involved contained a defect that contributed to the collision. Common defective parts include tires, airbags, seat belts, and brakes. If a defective auto part caused the wreck, the manufacturer could be liable.
Kansas City Government
A victim may be able to hold the government liable if a roadway defect contributed to the crash. A poorly designed roadway or parking lot, malfunctioning traffic lights, poor roadway maintenance, low visibility due to overgrown shrubs, potholes, road debris, and unsafe construction zones are all examples of defects that would fall under the city’s jurisdiction.
Many car accident claims involve shared fault among multiple parties. In these cases, choosing to hire a car accident lawyer in Kansas City can lead to better compensation by enabling you to choose the best defendant to hold responsible for payment. The rule of joint and liability states that more than one party could share fault between them. The victim may then seek damages from one of the at-fault parties, and then that party will file claims against the other defendants for reimbursement. Knowing which defendant is most likely to have the money to pay a settlement or verdict is something with which an attorney could help.
When Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer?
After you have received medical attention following a serious car collision, it is best to contact an accident attorney. The sooner you contact an injury attorney, the better: your lawyer can start building your case and strategizing the best method to maximize the value of your unique case.
Choosing to contact a personal injury lawyer should be paramount if you were involved in any of the following scenarios:
The collision caused a serious or life-altering injury
The crash resulted in a fatality
Fault or liability cannot be determined
A pedestrian, bicyclist, motorist, or cyclist was involved in the collision
The scene of the crash was in a school zone, construction zone, or on government property
The police report is inaccurate or does not fully describe details of the collision
You have reservations or concerns regarding your insurance policy or insurance company
If you are curious whether you should contact an attorney, the Wendt Law Firm P.C. offers free, no-obligation consultations.
An experienced car accident attorney will work for you to gather evidence, build your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and take your case to trial, if necessary. While you focus on recovering, your attorney will work diligently to fight for compensation to help rebuild your life.
How Much Should You Expect From a Car Accident Settlement?
A frequently asked question during a car accident claim is, “How much is my case worth?” The answer to this question is important for your future. If you have recently suffered injuries in an auto accident, the amount of money your car collision lawyer could potentially recover on your behalf might change your life. You may be able to obtain the financial recovery to pay for your lost income from missing work, mounting medical bills, and expensive vehicle repairs.
An average car accident settlement amount does not exist in Kansas City. The results of a car accident case can vary considerably on a case-by-case basis. The answer will depend on the seriousness of your injuries and the costs of losses. For an idea of what your case could be worth, add up your economic damages such as medical bills and vehicle repairs. Then, multiply this number by three. This is the amount your car insurance company may be willing to pay to resolve your claim.
You have better odds of obtaining a full and fair financial recovery, no matter your situation, with help from a Kansas City accident attorney. A lawyer with years of experience handling car crash claims can go up against an insurance corporation on your behalf. Your lawyer will negotiate aggressively with insurance adjusters to ensure a fair amount. Hiring a lawyer could help you maximize your settlement award in Missouri.
Car Accident Laws: Missouri Vs. Kansas
There is a primary seat belt law in place in Kansas and a secondary safety belt law in Missouri. Secondary seat belt laws mean police officers must have another reason for pulling the individual over. Local municipalities, including KC, have their own primary seat belt ordinances. An “unrestrained occupant” is a common factor in fatal accidents. Failure to use restraint devices can result in death and disabling injuries.
The NHTSA reports that seat belts saved about 13,941 lives in 2015. About 27.5 million people in the U.S. still fail to buckle up during their daily drives. In the KC region, 41.3% of fatalities and 19% of injuries involved unrestrained occupants at the time of impact. Aside from the many driver safety laws in Missouri and Kansas, there are also specific statutes regarding car crash lawsuits. You must obey state-specific laws to bring your claim, depending on where in Kansas City you reside.
There are deadlines for filing personal injury claims with the civil courts. Accident victims have two years from the date of injury to file a claim in Kansas, and five years from the date of injury to file in Missouri. Missouri is a pure comparative fault state, while Kansas abides by modified comparative fault laws. This means that those in Missouri may collect damages regardless of the plaintiff’s portion of fault, but in Kansas, a plaintiff cannot be more than 50% at fault to recover damages. Retain an auto accident lawyer with experience handling claims in both states for the best possible representation.
Notable Roads in Kansas City
Boasting a 15-county metropolitan area anchored by Kansas City, MO, and more than 2 million residents, there are unfortunately amply opportunities for traffic collisions. Our law firm has handled personal injury cases on the four major U.S. interstate highways that pass through KC plus Kansas and Missouri state highways, from the K-5 and the K-32 to Route 9 and Route 152.
Other notable local roads with an increased risk of accidents include:
Broadway: An entertainment center in one of Kansas City’s oldest neighborhoods, this street is home to many bars, live jazz outlets, and quality restaurants.
Swope Parkway: This street is the most accessible way from the city’s midtown to Swope Park.
North Oak Trafficway: This major commercial road is home to its fair share of crashes.
Common Injuries After a Car Accident
Auto collisions can lead to any number of injuries and negative side effects, but some are more common than others. Some of the possible side effects of a car crash include:
Soft tissue injuries such as whiplash. A person may suffer from whiplash when the force of a blow causes him or her to strike a dashboard, airbag, steering column, or seatback. Whiplash often presents with debilitating pain to the neck and may necessitate a brace, which can diminish one’s quality of life.
Fractures to the limbs or ribs. A fracture can occur upon impact, even at slow speeds. Fractured arms, legs, or ribs can take weeks or even months to heal and might require physical therapy or surgery. Even minor fractures can represent expensive medical costs and effects on well-being.
Core injuries. Seat belts help protect against serious injuries, but they can also cause injuries to the core area of the body. At high speeds, the force of a seat belt locking can lead to bruising or even damage to internal organs. Soft tissue injuries to the core may also result from the force of the airbags.
Head injuries. Motor vehicle accidents are some of the leading causes of concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Head injuries range from mild to severe and can impact a person’s ability to function for a lifetime.
Spinal cord injuries. Similarly, a spinal cord injury often affects a person’s ability to function and lead normal lives. They have negative consequences such as paralysis, loss of motor or sensory function, and an inability to enjoy previous activities.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in Kansas City
After you’ve handled your medical concerns, a Kansas City personal injury attorney can help you determine your options for legal recourse. If a negligent driver or third party caused your car accident, you have rights. Our team of lawyers can help you secure compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering resulting from your crash.
You may ask yourself, “How can I find an attorney near me” after a car crash in Kansas City. Contact the Wendt Law Firm team today to schedule a free consultation about your case with one of our Kansas City car accident lawyers. We’ll review your car accident case with the utmost attention and let you know what type of compensation to expect from a lawsuit.