Monthly Archives: April 2011

New Legislation May Reduce the Risk of Sudden Unintended Acceleration Accidents

Toyota has been hard hit by issues involving sudden unanticipated acceleration accidents involving its vehicles.  A new recall was recently announced that covers an additional 2.2 million vehicles linked to potential unintended sudden acceleration issues.  These accidents have been variously linked to sticky accelerator pedals, defective floor mats and faulty electronics.  The issue of unintended acceleration accidents associated with Toyota vehicles first became prominent in the wake of a 2009 fatal car crash involving a Highway Patrol Officer in San Diego who was killed when his vehicle accelerated to speeds in excess of a hundred mph.  The family of the San Diego victims settled a wrongful death lawsuits with Toyota for $10 million.  New legislation is now being discussed in Congress, which may help reduce the risk of sudden acceleration collisions by increasing certain safety standards that apply to auto manufacturers.

If you have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one in a serious car accident in Missouri or Kansas, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  At the law firm of Michael R. Lawless P.A., Attorney at Law, we have been representing those seriously injured in serious car accidents in Kansas and Missouri since 1980.  As advocates for those injured by defective motor vehicles, we welcome the proposed legislation, which may help make Kansas and Missouri residents on our roadways safer.

Two specific legislative changes are being proposed that would have a significant impact on Kansas auto accident lawsuits. The first change being proposed would require installing an apparatus that gives an automobile braking system priority over its accelerator.  This change is a response to the massive recalls and growing number of accidents linked to sudden unintended acceleration accidents.  Many victims involved in these accidents have indicated that their vehicle continued to accelerate out of control despite desperate attempts to depress the brakes.

In theory, this safety improvement seems to make sense, but some contend that the requirement could be a double-edged sword.  If automakers implement such a system, it means that one’s car will respond differently and may increase car accident risk because drivers are not prepared for how their car responds in such a situation.

The other change that is being considered is to mandate data recorders that would record valuable information that could be used to provide critical information about braking, acceleration and speed that might be critical when the facts are in dispute regarding how an auto accident occurred.  Because there will be objective data to substantiate disputed testimony regarding the cause of such unintended acceleration accidents, the change could mean that Kansas auto accident cases may settle more quickly or litigation may be avoided entirely where there is little question of liability.

Our experienced Kansas City auto collision lawyers will continue to follow this legislation closely because of the significant impact it could have on Kansas auto accident litigation.  Our law firm continually implements the most current technology and most recent developments in the law so that we can devise the most effective legal strategy for our clients.  If you or your loved ones are involved in a serious Kansas auto accident, an experienced Kansas City car accident lawyer carefully investigate the circumstances of our clients’ cases and employ state of the art litigation technology to help obtain the best possible results for our clients.

We will discuss your case free of charge and will provide an honest assessment of your chance of receiving compensation.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Kansas or Missouri, call us today for your free initial consultation at 1-800-734- 3771. Michael R. Lawless, Attorney at Law, P.C, provides personal injury representation in eastern Kansas and western Missouri, including the communities of Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Shawnee, Merriam, Mission, Roeland Park, Westwood, Fairway, Prairie Village, Lawrence, Topeka, Gardner, Kansas City, Grandview, Harrisonville, Belton, Pleasant Hill, Clinton, Lees Summit, Raytown, Peculiar, Lawrence, Strasburg, Freeman, and Garden City.

Kansas City Car Accident Attorney Discusses Delayed-Symptom Injuries and Kansas Auto Accidents

Delayed-symptom injuries in automobile accidents are common, and the effect of a motor vehicle collision on the human body may not be immediately known. While some serious car accidents involve injuries that obviously require immediate medical attention, others may involve hidden injuries that do not surface until after the accident.  In these instances, a Kansas auto accident victim may not immediately notice that he or she even has an injury following a car crash and only discover later that he or she has potentially serious symptoms.

Commonly reported symptoms or injuries that may not become apparent until sometime after a Kansas City car accident include:

  • Whiplash
  • Concussion
  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Internal bleeding
  • Sprains
  • Back pain
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Individuals who are involved in a car crash should make sure to visit a medical professional if they experience any pain, problems with mobility, or health problems as soon as possible.  These types of delayed-symptom injuries occur in car accidents because of the sudden back and forth motion the body is subjected to upon impact with another vehicle or a stationary object.  The force of an abrupt stop is traumatic on one’s body, and the damage it causes can be quite extensive.

Delayed-symptom injuries are one reason an experienced Kansas auto collision attorney will advise you to seek a thorough medical evaluation before settling a claim.  Many times an insurance adjuster will try to settle a car crash claim quickly after the accident if you tell the adjuster that you have no injuries.  If you settle with the insurance company, the adjuster will typically ask you to sign a general release that waives all past, present and future claims including claims related to injuries that you do not even know exist.  If you suffer a delayed-symptom injury and settle the claim before the symptoms become obvious, you may not even receive enough compensation to cover your medical expenses.  This can devastate a family financially and even result in bankruptcy.

For example, a compression fractures of the spinal column is a serious delayed-symptom injury that results in a compressed or crushed vertebrae in your back.  This is a fairly common injury in rear-end collisions or when your vehicle crashes into a non-moving automobile or object.   After this type of collision, the car crash victim may simply feel sore at first, but after a period of time the pain may steadily increase to a debilitating level.

Without treatment, delayed injuries can damage the joints, discs, spinal cord, muscles, nerves and ligaments in your back and/or neck. Your injury can even result in a permanent life-long disability.  At the law firm of Michael R. Lawless P.A., Attorney at Law, we have seen the potentially tragic consequences when a Kansas auto accident victim does not seek immediate medical treatment.  Sometimes the delay in treatment results in a poor prognosis or creates obstacles to a car accident victim’s personal injury lawsuit.  If you are involved in a serious Kansas auto collision and suffer serious injury or lose a loved one to wrongful death, our law firm has been helping car crash victims in Kansas and Missouri since 1980.  A Kansas City car accident attorney from our office offers zealous advocacy to those who suffer injury resulting from the negligence of third parties throughout Kansas and Missouri.  If you or a loved one has suffered injury in a Kansas or Missouri car accident, call us today at 1-800-734-3771 for your free no obligation initial consultation.