With so many cars on the roads, traffic accidents are common occurrences in today’s society. However, an estimated 20,000 Americans died in car crashes in the first half of 2022, and countless more were injured. The severity of a car accident should not be underestimated. Accidents can result in substantial physical and emotional trauma and a permanent change to a victim’s way of life.
If you have been in a car accident, you may be experiencing financial stress from medical bills and time off work, ongoing pain from your injuries, emotional trauma, and even permanent impacts on your quality of life. Although financial compensation will not fix what happened to you, it can go towards reducing the stress you and your family are under.
A car accident personal injury claim helps victims recover financial compensation for the suffering they have endured because of an accident. Not only can a settlement cover the financial costs you have incurred, but it can also go towards any future treatment and therapy, any adjustments you need to make to your home, and any loss in earning potential.
Wendt Law attorneys empathize with the terrible position that car accident victims are in, and we fight tooth and nail for our client’s rights. Our goal is to secure the best possible settlement for victims to support their recovery and help them to move on with their lives.
Contact Wendt Law today for a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer by calling us at 816-542-6734.
When Do I Need A Car Accident Attorney?
There is no legal requirement to hire an attorney for minor car accidents in Kansas City. Some small vehicle crashes can be handled between the involved parties without legal representation. However, any accident presents the opportunity to be pressured into accepting more responsibility than you should. Even minor car accidents can generate substantial costs for property damage and minor injuries. If you aren’t properly defended, you could find yourself responsible for your own and the other driver’s expenses. A car accident lawyer ensures that your rights are protected, no matter how minor the case may seem.
If you are looking to file a personal injury claim, you or your attorney will need to go head-to-head with the other driver’s insurance company for the settlement you deserve. The insurance company will use a skilled insurance adjuster to carefully scrutinize your claim and minimize your settlement where possible. Seeking legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident will allow your attorney to advise you on how best to proceed and avoid giving the insurance adjusters ammunition to dispute your claim.
Auto insurance companies are experts in arguing claims and reducing the amount of compensation they pay. An experienced car accident attorney can anticipate the methods used by insurance companies, provide strong arguments to counter them, and ensure you receive the best possible settlement.
If you believe you are responsible for the car accident, an attorney is essential to defend yourself. The other driver may file a personal injury lawsuit against you and you could be responsible for compensation to cover their damages. In serious car accidents, you may also find yourself facing criminal charges. Regardless of your situation, hiring a car accident attorney will give you the best chance of defending yourself.
In addition to hiring an attorney, it is also important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. If you do not seek medical attention quickly, the defendant’s insurance may claim that your injuries were not severe enough to require immediate medical care, and they may deny compensation.
Who Is Liable For A Car Accident?
Anyone that contributes directly or indirectly to the cause of an accident could be deemed liable. Although it is likely to be one or both car drivers, this can also include vehicle manufacturers, property owners, pedestrians, cyclists, or government agencies responsible for road safety.
In Kansas City, the car accident fault is determined by the law of negligence. Drivers have a “Duty of Care” to behave responsibly for those sharing the road with them. This aims to ensure the safety of all individuals using public and private roads, including other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. If a driver breaches this duty of care, they are seen to be demonstrating negligence and can be found at fault or liable for the accident. Negligence is defined as behavior that falls short of what a reasonable person would or would not do in a given situation.
The level of compensation from a car accident is likely to depend on each party’s level of fault for the crash. For example, if you are considered 50% at fault for the accident, you may receive 50% less than your total damages from the accident.
What If I Am Responsible For The Accident?
It is important to remember not to admit fault at the scene of an accident. If you believe you are responsible for an accident, seek legal advice as soon as possible. You may find yourself liable for compensation for damages that the other driver encounters or you could even be facing criminal charges.
However, if you are only partially at fault, you can still claim compensation for the injuries you have suffered, but the compensation will be reduced to reflect your level of fault. An experienced car accident lawyer will be essential to defend your case and ensure that you are not held liable for more than you are responsible for.
Negligent and Reckless Behaviour
Some examples of an automobile driver behaving negligently or recklessly include the following:
Distracted driving, such as texting and driving.
Driving over the speed limit.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Driving while tired.
Making an illegal turn.
Running stop lights.
Changing lanes without checking for oncoming traffic.
Failing to follow the rules of the road.
Failing to adhere to the right of way.
Driving inappropriately for the conditions.
Factors That Cause Car Accidents
The most common reason for car accidents is drivers behaving negligently or recklessly on the roads. Distracted driving and driving while impaired are common causes and often result in severe accidents. However, there are additional factors that can contribute to accidents.
Adverse weather conditions, such as ice and snow, can make driving more dangerous and can contribute to accidents. Similarly, other environmental conditions such as poorly lit roads or missing road signs are also factors. Poorly maintained roads and uneven surfaces can play a role in contributing to motor vehicle accidents.
A malfunctioning or badly maintained motor vehicle may also cause a car accident. In this situation, the manufacturer, car owner, and car maintenance provider could be responsible.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Fortunately, some car accidents result in no personal injury or minor injuries such as cuts and bruises. However, this is not always the case with accidents, serious injuries can vary from broken bones to death. Americans spend 1 million days in hospitals a year due to car accidents, costing approximately $33 billion in lost wages.
Typical injuries seen as a result of a car crash include the following:
Head injuries, such as concussions.
Cuts, abrasions, sprains.
Scarring and disfigurement.
Car Accident Personal Injury Claim
An accident can have serious impacts on your way of life and personal circumstances. You may incur additional financial costs, such as property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. In addition to non-financial costs, such as emotional distress and trauma. A car accident personal injury claim allows car accident victims that have been injured to recover compensation for the damages they have suffered.
A personal injury attorney will work with you to build a case to recover fair compensation for the accident. This includes gathering evidence such as medical records documenting your physical injuries, accident reports, and witness statements. In your case, your attorney will prove three main elements, that the perpetrator breached their duty of care, that the breach of care caused your injuries, and the damages you have encountered due to your injuries.
Damages In A Car Accident Claim
A range of damages can be recovered from the at fault driver in Kansas City, including costs of medical treatment, missed work, compensation for pain and suffering, and future medical bills. Damages are divided into three categories:
Economic damages – This includes actual financial costs resulting from the accident, such as property damage, medical expenses, future medical bills and treatment, therapy, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity.
Non-economic damages – These are designed to compensate for the intangible losses caused to a car accident victim, including emotional distress, depression, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Punitive damages – These aim to punish the at fault driver for their wrongdoing. Punitive damages aim to discourage any similar future behavior, act as a deterrent to others, and provide the car accident victim with a sense of justice.
An experienced personal injury attorney will build a strong case and provide evidence to support the damages that you have suffered and secure the maximum compensation possible.
Statute Of Limitations
In Missouri, the statute of limitations to file a claim following an accident is five years and in Kansas, it is two years, starting on the date that the incident first occurred. This timeframe only applies to filing a case with the court and not to an insurance claim. Although this may seem like plenty of time, it takes time to prepare the paperwork to file a strong case, so starting the process early is important. As soon as you feel able to do so, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to begin the claims process.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you will not be able to file a claim with their insurance company. However, it is a legal requirement in Kansas and Missouri for all motorists to have uninsured driver cover, as such, you can seek reimbursement from your own insurance company as opposed to the at fault driver’s policy. If you have been hit by an uninsured driver, you should contact your insurance company.
In some circumstances, your insurance company may try to challenge your claim and delay or dispute your settlement. A car accident lawyer will ensure that your claim is processed fairly and that you do not receive unfair treatment from the insurance company.
Why Choose Wendt Law Car Accident Lawyers?
Once you agree to representation from a Wendt Law car accident lawyer, we get to work immediately to develop your case and prepare the necessary paperwork. We will take the weight off your shoulders and allow you to focus on your health and well-being, knowing that your case is in safe hands.
Experience is key to winning complex and challenging cases against aggressive insurance companies. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable auto accident attorneys has over 40 years of combined experience. We are led by Samuel Wendt, one of the Top 50 Super Lawyers in Kansas City, and we are confident in using our wealth of experience to win your case.
Let Us Carry The Burden
A car accident can be a highly stressful and traumatic event. Often victims are not in a position to adequately fight for the compensation they deserve following an accident. At Wendt Law, our attorneys have the experience, skill, and passion to successfully fight your case on your behalf and secure your compensation. We handle all of the complexities of your case, gather the evidence, and put forward a strong argument so that you can focus on your recovery while we work towards your settlement.
Often car accident victims are in a vulnerable position following an accident, suffering from physical and emotional injuries and potential financial issues. This makes you particularly vulnerable to the aggressive negotiations of the insurance adjuster and could result in you receiving a settlement far smaller than you deserve. However, if we handle your case, we will diligently pursue the fair compensation settlement you are entitled to.
Free Case Evaluation
We understand that on top of emotional and physical stress, car accidents can put victims under substantial financial strain. As such, we are proud to offer a free case review to all car accident victims to allow them to discuss their options with our skilled attorneys with no fees. We will evaluate your case and advise you on the best next steps for you, with no obligation to continue with representation if you don’t wish to do so.
Contingency Fee Basis
Our car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, otherwise known as no-win, no-fee. Our attorneys will not take their legal fees if you do not win your case, instead, they will take their fees from the final settlement amount when your case is won. This means that you won’t receive any surprise costs to add to your stress during your case. We will outline our fee structure clearly at your initial consultation so you know what to expect upfront.
Another benefit of our contingency fee basis is that you can rest assured that our attorneys are confident enough that they will win your case that they won’t get paid unless they do. Wendt Law attorneys are highly skilled in car accident cases and have the knowledge to win your case and secure the maximum compensation possible.
Contact Wendt Law Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, get in touch today for your free consultation to discuss your options and begin your journey to compensation. You can contact us at 816-542-6734.