Who is Liable in a Car Accident?

The number of car accidents in the Kansas City area has increased steadily year on year. By the end of August in 2022, Kansas City Police Department reported that fatalities in car accidents in Kansas City had increased by 25% on the previous year. Many of these accidents are caused by people driving recklessly or negligently. The Kansas City Police Department reported that approximately 60% of fatalities are as a result of at least one driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you have been injured in a car accident, regardless of your circumstances, you are in a vulnerable position. You may be unable to work as a result, or may be suffering with emotional distress, and could be leveraged into accepting far less than adequate settlements than what you deserve. A car accident personal injury lawyer will fight your case to recover the damages that you are entitled to from the other party’s insurance coverage.

Wendt Law personal injury lawyers are experts in car accident claims and in securing the fair compensation for our clients that they deserve. If you have been involved in a car accident, contact Wendt Law on 816-542-6734 for a free consultation to discuss how our attorneys can help you.

What Factors Contribute to Car Accidents?

Predominantly, human error is the main contributing factor of motor vehicle accidents in Kansas City. Other factors that contribute to crashes include:

  • Distracted driving such as texting
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Improper merging; failure to maintain the correct lane
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Driving above the speed limit
  • Inappropriate driving for the weather conditions
  • Ignoring road signs
  • Running red lights and negligent maintenance of a vehicle, to name a few

Whether contributing factors are within the control of the vehicle owner will be taken into consideration when determining liability for a car crash.

Car Accident Investigation

In any car accident, a full investigation is required to determine who is liable. A reputable car accident lawyer in Kansas City will investigate the circumstances of your accident and gather evidence to support your claim. The investigation could include reviewing official accident reports, photographs, and vehicle maintenance records and speaking to witnesses.

If you are in a car accident, it is important to make a note of anyone who witnessed the incident that could testify for you, and whether the other driver admitted that they were at fault.

What Determines Liability for a Car Accident?

When determining who is liable in a car accident, anyone that contributes directly, or indirectly to the cause of an accident could be deemed liable. In addition to the drivers of the vehicles, this could include vehicle manufacturers, property owners, pedestrians, cyclists or government agencies responsible for road safety.

If a driver has had an accident with you, whether they are impaired, drunk, reckless or simply careless, the owner’s insurance company is responsible for any damages that have been caused.

The level of compensation you receive is likely to be dependent on your level of fault for the crash. For example, if you are considered to be at 25% fault for the accident, then you may receive 25% less than your total amount of damages from the accident.

What if the Car Owner Wasn’t Driving?

If you were injured in an accident involving a non-owner driving someone else’s car, you should consult a car accident attorney. Insurance coverage can get more complicated in these situations, and an attorney will assist you with this and get full compensation for your damages.

Negligent Entrustment

If you have been injured in a car accident where the vehicle owner knowingly let someone else drive their car, and this individual shouldn’t have been driving, then you may have a negligent entrustment case.

The car owner should not have let someone drive their car who isn’t fit to do so, this may include knowingly allowing an individual without a license to drive their vehicle. If this is the case, then the car owner may be liable for any damages as a result of the accident.

Texting and Driving

Distracted driving claims the lives of eight people a day in America. Texting and driving is one of the most severe cases of distracted driving, as it takes both the driver’s eyes off the road, and their hands off the wheel. In 2021, nearly 24% of drivers in America reported texting while driving.

There are laws in place to protect road users from the dangers of drivers that are texting, and if you have been a victim of a texting driver, a Wendt Law attorney can help you to receive the compensation that you are entitled to.

Rideshare Accidents

In recent years, accidents involving drivers working for rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly common. Similar factors such as distracted or fatigued driving often cause these accidents.

Whether you are another motorist, passenger, pedestrian or bicyclist, if a careless driver from a rideshare company has caused an accident that you were involved in, the individual or the company’s insurance are responsible for damages that you have incurred.

What Damages Could I Recover From an Accident?

Unless you are deemed to be entirely at fault for a motor vehicle accident, you are still able to recover compensation for your damages, regardless of if you share some of the responsibility for the accident.

If you choose to pursue a car accident claim with a personal injury lawyer, there are a wide range of impacts and damages that you could receive financial compensation for. Damages can be both economic and non-economic, these include, but are not exclusive to:

  • Loss and damage of personal property
  • Current medical costs
  • Potential future medical bills, including therapy and nursing assistance
  • Lost income
  • Severe injuries, pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and problems with sleep
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement

The average financial compensation received in a car accident personal injury settlement in Kansas City is approximately $41,500. In cases involving only minor injuries, the average settlement is typically between $10,000 – $15,000.

Claiming for Loss of Life in a Car Accident

A fatality is the worst possible outcome of an accident, but unfortunately, car crash fatalities are on the increase in Kansas City. If you have lost a family member or loved one in a car accident, you will no doubt be suffering from severe emotional distress, trauma, and additional economic stressors such as funeral costs.

If your loved one has been victim to such a tragic event, then you and your family may find a sense of justice and closure from pursuing a claim for wrongful death. Not only may a claim bring you some sense of justice for your loss, the compensation you receive will help to cover things such as funeral costs and ease financial stress at such an emotional time, allowing you to focus on grieving for your loved one.

What if I am the At Fault Driver Responsible for The Accident?

If you are the at-fault driver and liable in a motor vehicle accident, then it is essential that you seek legal representation.

In order to defend yourself against potential legal proceedings, you will need strong representation and a compelling argument. Having a car accident attorney will support your argument and show the court that you are taking the accident and its implications seriously.

How can a Kansas City Car accident Lawyer help?

Unfortunately, claiming for damages as a result of a car accident will require going through the insurance system and going head-to-head with the insurance company. Insurance companies have the goal of saving as much money as possible on compensation payouts, and they have teams of individuals dedicated to this.

One of the most important steps in any car accident claim is proving negligence to support your case. Wendt Law attorneys are highly experienced in proving negligence in car accidents and will work to establish:

  • A Breach of Duty Of Care — All drivers and road users have a responsibility to use their vehicle safely, and act in a reasonable manner on the roads, if they have not done this then they have breached their duty of care to you.
  • Causation — As a result of the driver’s breach of duty of care, you have sustained car accident injuries.
  • Damages — All of the damages that you have suffered as a result of the accident, including injuries, and property damage and loss for example.

In addition to representing you and your rights aggressively, Wendt Law attorneys will seek expert opinion where necessary to support your claim, aggressively negotiate a fair settlement for you and if it comes to it, continue to fight for the settlement you deserve in a trial.

Wendt Law Car Accident Attorney, Kansas City

A car accident can have a devastating impact on your life either financially, through physical injury, emotional distress or loss of a loved one. In almost all cases, unless you are exclusively at fault for the car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages that you have suffered.

A free consultation with a Wendt Law personal injury lawyer is the first step in taking back control of the situation and seeking a fair settlement for the consequences of the car accident. Contact us today on 816-542-6734 to start your journey to compensation.

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