Car accidents happen every day. Drivers involved often face challenges with insurance issues and navigating their options for legal recourse. Drivers in Kansas and Missouri should speak with a Kansas City car accident lawyer to know how to file car accident claims and what to expect after an accident; the process is going to be different for each state.
Determining Fault for Your Car Accident
One of the most important factors in any car accident claim is fault. An at-fault driver is generally liable for any damages he or she causes to another party. However, state laws often come into play. Laws may restrict who may file a lawsuit, how much they can recover, and how insurance functions in the claim.
Kansas is one of several states to follow a no-fault rule for car accident claims. Missouri, on the other hand, uses a typical fault-based system. Despite the no-fault rule, it is still possible to take legal action against a negligent driver in Kansas under certain conditions.
Insurance Issues for a Car Accident Claim in Kansas
Fault may or may not come into play after a Kansas car accident. All Kansas drivers must carry auto insurance that satisfies the state’s minimum coverage requirements. When an accident happens, a driver must refer to his or her own policy for recovery regardless of who caused the accident. The minimum insurance requirements in Kansas include no-fault personal injury protection that goes toward the policyholder’s losses after an accident.
Under these requirements, personal injury protection benefits may go toward a policyholder, a policyholder’s loved one or relative who suffers injuries, or any other party injured in an accident the policyholder caused. While these limitations affect medical expenses and lost income, there are no restrictions on property damage claims. If a driver incurs vehicle repair costs due to a negligent driver’s action, he or she can pursue a property damage liability claim against the at-fault driver without limitation.
Kansas drivers must also carry liability coverage for accidents they cause. The minimum requirements are $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage and property damage and $50,000 minimum total accident coverage. Kansas also requires drivers to carry $25,000 in underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury. In addition, drivers must carry $50,000 in total accident coverage for an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver.
It’s possible to go beyond the no-fault rule under certain circumstances. In Kansas, a driver can sue another at-fault driver if negligence leads to a permanent disability, a bone fracture of a weight-bearing bone, permanent disfigurement, or any other permanent medical issue.
Filing a Car Accident Claim in Missouri
Missouri operates under a fault-based system and requires drivers to carry at least 25/50/10 coverage. This means at least $25,000 for bodily injury liability coverage, $50,000 total accident coverage, and $10,000 property damage liability coverage. However, an at-fault driver is liable for injuries and damages he or she causes. A Missouri driver would file a claim against an at-fault driver’s liability policy for recovery after an accident. If the at-fault driver’s policy is insufficient, then he or she can pursue a personal injury lawsuit to make up the difference.
Both Kansas and Missouri operate under comparative negligence laws. This means that if a plaintiff in a personal injury case bears any fault for his or her damages, he or she loses a portion of the insurance settlement or case award equivalent to his or her percentage of fault. It’s essential for any driver in Kansas or Missouri to seek reliable legal assistance after a car accident. A Kansas City personal injury attorney can handle insurance issues and maximize their recoveries.