Auto Accident Attorneys
Kansas Auto Accidents
IMPORTANT: Before You Talk To The Adjuster…
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In Kansas, a car accident occurs once every 8 minutes. There are 60,000 accidents annually involving 96,000 vehicles. If it happens to you, you may need an attorney.
Negligence means someone is at fault
In a high percentage of each auto accident someone is at fault or negligent. Negligence comes from a driver violating a legal duty such as failure to give full time and attention to driving, failure to yield the right-of-way, driving too fast for the conditions or following too closely and many other types of negligence. The fact is the accident happened because someone was driving while drunk or otherwise not using the standard of care of the law requires.
I can handle my own claim, right? How hard can it be?
Sure you can, if you know how. Even though these auto accidents are common, it is not a common experience for you. Chances are if you are in an auto accident it will be your first time. Chances are you did not go to school to learn how to handle all accident claims. You do not know how to handle all the complexities of your own auto accident claim. In the reality is even though you believe it is clear that the other driver’s of fault these cases can become very complex very fast. You’ll get a phone call from an insurance adjuster that will assure you that you simply do not need to contact a lawyer. So why is it the adjuster doesn’t want you to call a lawyer? It doesn’t cost anything to contact a lawyer for the initial visit. If it turns out you really do need a lawyer, it’s best to get that lawyer involved right up front. This is why you need to call one of the our Topeka or Lenexa Personal Injury lawyers today.
What can a lawyer do?
First and foremost we can answer questions. In fact most the time individuals are so unfamiliar with this territory they don’t even know the questions to ask. So in our free initial conference we can give you some real direction, let you know what the lay of the land is so you can put this entire claim in perspective. Then after you have all the facts you can decide whether or not you need to have a lawyer. The insurance adjuster may be a very nice person, but they simply do not have your financial interest at heart. They are looking out for the insurance company. You need someone to look out for you. That’s where we come in, we are in your corner. Give us a call. 785 –273–4330.
What happens when I call your office?
When you call about your auto accident you will be greeted by a friendly legal assistant who will be one of the team members at Patton and Patton. This person is highly trained to assist you in connecting with the best lawyer to help you with your case. You will then talked to that attorney briefly on the phone. The attorney will set up a free appointment to come into the office. Our office is conveniently located in downtown Topeka and the Bank of America Tower on the 11th floor. However, we represent individuals who are not living in the Topeka area. We often assist individuals across the state are simply not able to come into the office by using the telephone, Internet, email and regular mail. This brief interview, whether in person or over the phone, usually takes about 30 minutes and we can give you the background you need to make a reasonable decision. When we take a personal injury case we get paid a percentage what we get for you. If we do not get you any compensation, we do not charge a fee for our time.
What can I recover?
In an auto accident case, you have a claim against the individual fault for your out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, money for pain and suffering as well as money for permanent disability. We know the experts that we can retain to assist you in proving up your case so that you can receive the maximum recovery. Our lawyers are well trained to handle every type of motor vehicle negligence case. Call for free case evaluation. Our number is 273-4330.
Personal Injury Auto Accidents: Liens
Most individuals involved in an auto accident have not heard the word “lien”. The word lien is a legal claim that someone or something has on the property of another person until a debt has been paid back, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary. As a practical matter it means that someone is making claim to your personal injury recovery. Some liens are required by law, some liens are created by contract and there are a variety of ways to deal with these liens.
Personal Injury Protection
In auto accident cases the most common lien is what’s referred to as the personal injury protection lien or the PIP lien. Your own insurance company initially pays for medical bills under the no-fault provisions of your insurance contract referred to as personal injury protection. Buried in your insurance policy is a provision that if you recover the same dollars from the liability carrier you will repay your own insurance company. They often will send a letter to the liability carrier and others involved expressing their claimed right to a lien. This lien can be reduced or modified based upon a number of factors under the law or negotiated by the parties.
Although under Kansas law health insurance companies are not entitled to a lien against your auto accident recovery few people now have true health insurance. Other types of arrangements that we refer to as insurance are entitled to a lien. For example Medicare will claim a lien for payments made and it’s important to go through their process and so that the lien is satisfied. Again there are a number of things that can be done to modify the lien. In certain types of cases you have to consider the Medicare’s interest in future medical care after your settlement is made. The entire field dealing with Medicare and their future interests as well as the lien can be very complicated.
If the person hurt in an auto accident has been receiving Medicaid, which is based upon income, then the state may assert a lien. The law also gives hospitals a lien up to a certain dollar amount. ERISA claims are being made which include a lien for medical payments. Medical doctors not generally entitled to a lien but some chiropractic offices have been requiring patients sign a consensual contractual lien against recovery in order to receive treatment. You should contact an attorney before you sign such a document. If you are contacted by any lienholder before you sign or provide any information any information be sure to discuss this matter with an attorney.
There are a variety of different types of auto accident liens. Each case requires an analysis of the particular lien to come up with the best strategy for avoiding or reducing the lien so that you can receive the maximum recovery in case. We have the experience to help you with this process. Give us a call at 785-273-4330 or in the Kansas City area (913) 228-1440.
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