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Auto Accidents

The shock and confusion of Auto Accident law

No one plans a car crash or an auto accident claim. The car crash comes and your world is focused on the immediate needs of the family. The more serious the injury the more it impacts the family. Suddenly on top of an already full life you have all kinds of other demands including trips to the doctors, calls to insurance companies, and caring for family members.
Calling a lawyer is the last thing on your mind. But the last thing you think of may be the most important way to care for your family in the long run. The disability from the accident may have a long term impact on your family unless your legal claim is prepared…now. You simply have too much on your plate to prepare the claim, even if you knew how.
We will help. If you don’t need a lawyer we will tell you. Recognize that you can use some help, and ask. The call to our office will mean a lot to your family in the long run.
We are here to serve.

A sad auto accident call

It is so sad for me to get a call from someone hurt in an auto accident calling after the time has passed to file a claim. More often than you would guess folks decide they don’t need a lawyer and decide to handle the case on their own…only to find out too late that they waited just a few days or months too long before making the call.

It is even more tragic because had they called our office for a free appointment they would have at least found out the deadlines, even if they decided not to hire the firm. Most folks who come for the first appointment come to realize how important it is to be properly represented. Insurance companies know the deadlines, and if they drag things out long enough your claim is wiped out.

There are a few exceptions to the general rule but more often than not, if you do not file in time, the claim is dead.

Don’t let that happen to you. Call us when you have a personal injury claim. We handle all types of personal injury claims, including auto accidents, work comp, on the job, slip and falls and others.

How long do I have to file an auto accident lawsuit in Kansas?

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Patton and Patton, Personal Injury Lawyerrs

How long do I have to file an auto accident lawsuit in Kansas?
Your general rule is that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for negligence. Having said that, keep in mind there are always exceptions for specific fact situations. If your accident happened longer than two years ago it could not hurt you to call a lawyer anyway. For example minor children have a longer time period, because they are minors. An uninsured motorist claim is actually a claim based on contract and will have a different statute of limitations. So give us call and we can check it out for you. Remember the conference is free.

How do I pick the right lawyer for me?

Selecting the right Lawyer for you is important.

The initial conference is free.

You certainly want a lawyer that understands the area of the law involving your claim, but hiring a lawyer usually means a lot more. You will be spending a lot of time with the lawyer so make sure you find someone that understands you and how to relate to you. You want to feel comfortable asking questions because you are the decision maker, not the lawyer.
I would suggest you give us a call. We can chat over the phone concerning your case and we will know in short order if your case is a good fit for our firm. If not, we can suggest some alternatives that might help you find the right lawyer for you and your case.

What is the first thing you should do legally when you get in a car wreck?

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Feel free to call our office if you get in an accident. We can help you sort through the many decisions and forms you will have to deal with right after an accident. An auto accident first conference is free to you and it will help you get your questions answered. For example, you will need to know who to call to get your bills paid. You will need to know how to get the accident report, and how to do an investigation of the case. When you hire us we work with you to get the claim reported and to file a personal injury protection form with your no-fault insurance carrier. We will give you guidance on the property damage claim, and represent you if needed in the personal injury claim. There are a thousand and one questions in a car wreck case and we have the experience to give you the proper answers. We answer your questions and much more.

No Fault Insurance

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When you purchase an auto liability policy for your vehicle

the policy will have Personal Injury Protection benefits, or PIP for short. This is the no-fault part of your policy which provides you certain benefits after the car crash even if the crash was your fault. The idea is to get the bills paid and then to sort out the liability later. Each policy must have PIP benefits by statute. Before this statute was passed the injured parties were getting sued by the medical providers because the liability insurance company would not settle until it got a full release and the injured party didn’t want to settle until they knew the full extent of their damages. As a result, there was a long period of time before the insurance money was available to pay medical bills. Now under this no-fault provision the bills are to be paid right away and then the liability policy of the driver at fault would reimburse the PIP company later. You should contact your insurance agent and ask for a PIP form to be sent to you. You fill out the form and return it to the insurance company to start the process.

A person who owns a car must recover PIP benefits from his or her own insurance policy. If the injured person owns no vehicle he may obtain PIP benefits from the insurance of the car he or she was in at the time of the accident.

The Comparative Negligence statute is applied to Kansas Auto Accident cases

Comparative fault Laws can be complex

The Comparative Negligence statute is applied to Kansas Auto Accident cases. This means that you may be partially at fault and still recover. Your percent of fault will reduce the amount of the verdict. For example if you are 10% at fault in an auto accident and have a verdict of $100,000.00 then the award would be reduced by $10,000.00 which is 10% of the total verdict. When there are many parties each one may be compared, and there is a process to compare the fault of those that are not in the case.
If you are 50% or more at fault, then your claim is barred and you recover nothing.
The statute, K.S.A. 60-258a, provides in part, “When the comparative negligence of the parties is an issue and recovery is permitted against more than one party, each party is liable for that portion of the total dollar amount awarded as damages to a claimant in the proportion that the amount of that party’s causal negligence bears to the amount of the causal negligence attributed to all parties against whom recovery is permitted.”

Kansas Auto Accident & Personal Injury Protection Benefits
When you are hurt in a car crash you will usually have insurance on your car. Your own insurance will pay you certain benefits including medical benefits and loss of monthly earnings, among other benefits. The loss paid for monthly earnings is defined by the Kansas State Law which is as follows :K.S.A. 40-3103 Definitions…..

(l) “Monthly earnings” means: (1) In the case of a regularly employed person or a person regularly self-employed, 1/12 of the annual earnings at the time of injury; or (2) in the case of a person not regularly employed or self-employed, or of an unemployed person, 1/12 of the anticipated annual earnings from the time such person would reasonably have been expected to be regularly employed. In calculating the anticipated annual earnings of an unemployed person who has previously been employed, the insurer shall average the annual compensation of such person not to exceed five years preceding the year of injury or death, during which such person was employed.

We represent clients who often have disability as a result of injury.

Individuals with injuries and long term disability have a shorter work life expectancy for a variety of reasons including the fact they take more time off work due to pain, to seek follow up medical care and other disability related reasons. They are the first to be laid off and last to be hired. Their future employment opportunities are also limited because jobs they were able to perform before the injury they are no longer able to perform. This makes it harder to be re-employed because they have fewer options. (car crash facts)

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