Monthly Archives: February 2014

The “One Bite” Rule in Kansas for Dog Bite Accidents

Owning a dog can bring a family closer together. It can provide companionship for parents and kids alike. A dog can protect its family and provide joy in our lives. However, we all must remember that dogs are animals with instincts that go back for generations. Humans have domesticated what once was a wild animal. Therefore, dog owners must always be cautious and ensure their dogs are properly trained and socialized in order to decrease the chances that a dog bite accident may occur.

Under Kansas law, the common law rule regarding dog bites applies. If a dog owner knows, or has reason to know that his or her dog is dangerous, then the dog owner is therefore put on notice that the dog may attack or bite another pet or person upon contact. For example, if you own a dog and your dog growls or snaps at another person, this is sufficient to know that your dog is potentially dangerous. Thus, the owner is given “one bite,” or one warning that he or she will be liable for any future bites. However, it is important to understand that if a dog does bite or attack an individual, and the individual suffers an injury as a result, the owner is liable regardless of whether or not the owner was aware the dog was potentially dangerous.

A dog owner should be aware that his or her dog is potentially dangerous if the dog has a tendency to growl, snap or jump on other people, even if the dog does not actually bite. For example, if a dog frantically barks in its own backyard along the fence, and growls at people walking by on the visible sidewalk, this may be sufficient for the owner to be aware the dog is potentially dangerous. Further, if a dog jumps and knocks someone over, but does not bite, if that person is injured, the owner may be liable for the injuries.

What We Can Do To Prevent Dog Bites?

In order to minimize the serious injuries and deaths that occur everywhere across the United States from dog bites, dog owners must be overly cautious. This means that if an owner has even the slightest feeling that his or her dog may be aggressive towards others, it is best not to allow the dog to come into close contact with others. However, if a dog is socialized from an early age, this may prevent the dog from showing signs of aggression in adulthood. Socialization while on leash is the best thing dog owners can do, encouraging their dogs to be friendly with others (i.e., praising a dog for showing positive behaviors towards another pet or person. The bottom line is that dogs can be unpredictable due to their nature as animals, and dog bites are dangerous incidents that all dog owners need to take very seriously.

Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA Today To Schedule A Free Consultation

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries as a result of a dog bite, you are entitled to compensation. Dog bites can cause permanent scarring and leave you in a state of emotional distress – thereafter leaving you afraid to interact with most dogs. To find out more about your potential personal injury claim for being injured as a result of a dog bite, you should speak with Attorney Michael R. Lawless as soon as possible. With 27 years of legal experience, Michael R. Lawless has the skill and knowledge to represent his clients to the fullest. He will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule your free consultation, contact our office today by calling our Lenexa, Kansas office at (913)-681-5566. You may also reach us by calling our toll-free number at 1 (800)-734-3771, or you may contact us online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

Kansas City Bicycle Accidents – Who Is At Fault?

More and more Kansas City residents decide each day to start riding bicycles as a form of transportation, leisure, and/or exercise.   As more bicyclists head to the roads, the risk of serious injury or death resulting from a bicycle accident increases.  Kansas City does have some bicycle lanes dedicated only to bicyclists, however, many streets do not have bicycle lanes, and are narrow, have very little room for cars alone, and place bicyclists in a very vulnerable position.

Bicyclists and Motorists Must Follow the Same Rules of the Road

Bicyclists are treated like any other motor vehicle when they are traveling on roadways.  For example, a bicyclist must signal when he or she changes lanes, and turns right or left.  Bicyclists must also come to a complete stop at stop signs and stop at red lights, just like other motorists.  This can be frustrating for many motorists who get stuck being slow moving bicycles.  Many motorists then try to quickly get around the bicyclists, and often do so despite heavy traffic.  This conduct creates a serious risk for an accident to occur.  If the motorist ends up colliding with the bicyclist or another motorist, he or she would be at fault for any injuries the bicyclist or other motorists have suffered.

On the other hand, bicyclists may be at fault for an accident if the bicyclist is not following all traffic laws.  For example, if a bicyclist fails to stop at a stop sign or runs a red light, and this conduct results in a collision with another vehicle, the bicyclist may be responsible for his or her own injuries.  To determine if a bicyclist is truly at fault for an accident, it takes the help of a seasoned Kansas City bicycle accident attorney to investigate the facts of the accident.  Were there any witnesses?  Are there traffic cameras at the intersection where the accident occurred?  Was either the bicyclist or the motorist involved in the accident under the influence of drugs or alcohol?  These are questions you should ask if you were involved in a bicycle accident to help determine the true negligent party.

Do Bike Lanes Help?

Some bicyclists believe designated bicycle lanes are helpful to promote safe riding, while other bicyclists believe they are either dangerous, or have no effect at all on bicycle and road safety.  Kansas City does not have a sufficient number of designated bicycle lanes to really know if they are creating a safer environment for bicyclists.

Many people believe bicycle lanes enable motorists to safely pass the bicyclists without having to change lanes and drive directly behind the bicycle.  However, many people also believe bike lanes create a risk for accidents to occur when a motorist is trying to turn right at a street while a bicyclist is close by.  The motorist may not see the bicyclist closely behind and could turn directly into the bicyclist.  Thus, there seem to be pros and cons to bicycle lanes.  Perhaps they help to reduce accidents, or perhaps they don’t.

Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries resulting from a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation.  Determining fault in bicycle accident cases can be difficult, but with the help of a qualified Kansas City bicycle accident attorney, you are more likely to receive the compensation you deserve.  With 27 years of experience helping injured Kansas residents, Kansas Bicycle Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless has the skill and devotion necessary to advocate on your behalf and hold the negligent party responsible for causing your injuries and suffering.  Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA today to schedule a free consultation.  You can reach us by calling locally at (913) 681-5566.  You may also call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771, or you may contact us online and we will get back to you right away.

Kansas City Accident Attorney Reviews Lane Splitting and Motorcycle Laws in Kansas

Motorcyclists must follow the rules of the road just like any other driver of a motor vehicle. Due to their small size, anyone operating a motorcycle is at an increased risk of suffering serious injuries in the event of an accident. Some accidents may not be preventable, however, the severity of injuries may not be as extreme if all drivers pay attention to one another and take precautionary steps to respect each other on the road. One thing that many motorcyclists do that can lead to dangerous accidents is called lane splitting. This is where motorcyclists choose to drive between lanes in order to get through traffic. This is against Kansas traffic laws and can lead to severe injury or death both for motorcyclists and for other drivers on the road.

Why Is Lane Splitting So Dangerous?

Lane splitting is dangerous because drivers may not be able to spot motorcyclists as easily as larger vehicles. For example, if a driver of a car or SUV wishes to change lanes, that person may look in his or her car mirrors and the coast may look clear. However, the driver may not be able to see a motorcyclist speeding by in between lanes, and this may lead to the driver switching lanes and colliding with the motorcyclist. In such a case, most people may believe that even though the driver of the car hit the motorcycle, the motorcyclist should be at fault for the accident for breaking the law by lane splitting. This may be the case in some circumstances, but it is important to remember that drivers have a duty to avoid serious accidents to the best of their ability. As such, if a driver is inattentive and does not attempt to ensure the coast is clear, that driver could be just as much at fault as the motorcyclist if a collision occurs.

What Are Other Motorcycle Laws In Kansas?

Because motorcyclists have an increased risk of suffering serious harm if they are involved in an automobile accident, they should take all measures possible to reduce the severity of injuries they suffer. For example, wearing helmets and eye gear can significantly reduce the risk of causing head trauma that can result in permanent injuries. However, helmets are not required for all riders in Kansas, and eye protection is only required in some circumstances.

A summary of the key motorcycle laws in Kansas include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Daylight use of headlights is required;
• Eye protection is required unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen;
• Lane splitting is not authorized;
• Only a left mirror is required;
• A separate passenger seat is required if riding with a passenger;
• A skill and knowledge test is required to waive motorcycle education;
• A safety helmet is required for motorcyclists under the age of 18; and
• Turn signals are required for all motorcycles

The above-listed laws are typical of most states. Many people believe that helmets should be required for all motorcyclists, but this simply has not been the standard for the United States. Thus, if you are a motorcyclist, you should consider just how serious injuries may be if you are involved in an accident with any other type of vehicle. Regardless of whether or not an accident is your fault, you could suffer permanent harm that could prevent you from ever riding a motorcycle again.

Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA Today To Schedule A Free Consultation

Suffering an injury as a result of a motorcycle accident can leave you with devastating injuries and potentially the loss of a loved one. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Kansas motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Attorney Michael R. Lawless is a personal injury and automobile accident attorney with 27 years of experience helping individuals like you receive the compensation they deserve. To find out if your injuries were the result of another’s negligence, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with Michael R. Lawless. You may reach us by calling our Lenexa, Kansas office at (913)-681-5566, or you may call us toll-free at 1 (800)-734-3771. You may also contact us online, and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

Kansas City Truck Accident Attorney Examines The Dangerous Consequences of Driver Fatigue

Kansas residents are aware of just how busy our highways are. With I-70 spanning across the entire state, this highway is a main route for interstate commerce. Along with busy highways comes an increase in the amount of semi-trucks on the road. We need these trucks to deliver the goods we want, however, when truck drivers are working long hours, it is inevitable that they will become tired, increasing the risk for serious accidents.

There are rules and regulations that require truck drivers to get a certain amount of rest between shifts. Truck drivers are supposed to keep a log of their activity to ensure they are complying with the rules and regulations, but there is never a guarantee that a truck driver will comply with such rules. For example, if a truck driver is running behind schedule, he or she may be encouraged to catch up and drive for more than 10-15 hours at once.

When truck drivers are fatigued, they begin to experience some, if not all of the symptoms and behaviors listed below:

• Blurred vision;
• Road hypnosis;
• Headaches;
• Extreme drowsiness;
• An increase in the consumption of coffee, energy drinks and other substances used to stay awake; and
• Loss of control of the truck

When truck drivers find themselves having any of the above symptoms or find themselves drinking an increased amount of caffeine or taking supplements to stay awake, then this is an indication they need more rest. We all need rest to rejuvenate, and especially in cases where your job duties require you to drive on highways for hours on end. Further, I-70 is a busy highway with very few curves, so drivers simply go straight and can easily get “road hypnosis” where their eyes begin to play tricks on them. With highways that have more curves and turns, drivers must be a little more alert and this keeps them awake. Only driving straight for long periods of time can increase the chances of driver fatigue.

What Injuries Can Result From Truck Driver Fatigue?

When truck drivers are not well rested, they put both themselves and others on the road at risk for suffering severe injuries, and even causing death in the worst circumstances. The injuries resulting from truck driving accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Severe head trauma, such as concussions, skull fractures, and swelling of the brain;
• Broken bones;
• Soft tissue damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments;
• Internal damage to organs with extensive bleeding;
• Loss of limbs; and
• Becoming paralyzed

Each of the injuries listed above can be life-changing, requiring medical treatment for years on end, and possibly forever. Healthcare is extremely expensive and injured individuals may be stuck with a mountain of bills. When you or a loved one is injured or killed because of a truck driver’s negligence in causing an accident, you need to seek the advice of an experienced trucking accident attorney to explain what your options are. With trucking accidents, you may not only be filing a lawsuit against the truck driver, but also the truck driver’s employer. Employers must ensure their drivers are getting sufficient rest, and thus have a responsibility to ensure their drivers are being as safe as possible while on the road. By speaking with a Kansas trucking accident attorney, you will know for sure whether or not you have a valid cause of action under Kansas law.

Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA To Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation. With how busy our highways are today, the risk of truck driver fatigue has gone up. Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas personal injury and automobile accident attorney with 27 years of experience. He has represented victims of serious accidents and has the skill to fight for your right to compensation. You should not have to suffer as a result of a trucking accident caused by driver fatigue. To schedule your free consultation with Michael R. Lawless, contact our Lenexa, Kansas office today by calling (913)-681-5566. You may also reach us toll-free at 1 (800)-734-3771, or you may contact us online and we will respond as soon as possible.

Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Explains How to Prove a Slip & Fall Case

Most people associate personal injury lawsuits with automobile accidents and slip and fall cases.  While personal injury law is much broader, it is true that automobile accidents and slip and fall cases take up a large portion of personal injury lawsuits in Kansas.  As to slip and fall cases, they are not as easy to prove as many people believe. In fact, it is not as simple as falling in a store and blaming the store for the injuries you suffered as a result of the fall.  There must be additional evidence to show that the store was negligent in some way in causing you to fall and suffer injuries.

In order to determine who is responsible for the injuries you have suffered after a slip and fall accident, you must be able to prove one of the following:

  • The owner of the property where the slip and fall accident occurred (or an employee), must have actually caused the floor surface to be dangerous (such as spilled liquid, worn out floor surface, or icy floor surface);
  • The owner of the property (or an employee) must have known that the floor surface was dangerous and failed to take measures to remove the hazardous conditions; or
  • The owner of the property (or an employee) should have known that the floor surface was dangerous because a reasonable person in the same or similar situation would have discovered the hazard and taken steps to remove the hazard.

Sometimes it is easy to prove a slip and fall case if all of the necessary evidence is available.  For example, if there are witnesses to the accident and/or camera footage, it should be much easier to prove whether or not the owner of the property (or an employee) was responsible for causing your injuries.  On the other hand, if there are no cameras and no witnesses, it is easy for a customer to spill liquid him or herself, slip and fall, and claim the owner of the store (or an employee) is responsible for your injuries resulting from the accident.

Unfortunately, these are cases that give slip and fall claims a bad reputation.  Many people believe such claims are frivolous most of the time and have absolutely no merit.  This is certainly not the case, and with the help of a qualified Kansas City personal injury attorney, you can fight to receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries you suffered as a result of a slip and fall accident.

It is important to remember that while many slip and fall accidents occur in the commercial setting (such as a grocery store or other retail establishment), many slip and fall cases occur on private property.  To determine whether or not the location of your slip and fall accident will affect your ability to receive compensation, you will need the assistance and advice of an experienced Kansas City personal injury attorney.

Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

Slip and fall accidents are very common in Kansas, and they can often be difficult to prove.  If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation.  To find out if you may have a valid personal injury claim, you should consider speaking with a Kansas City personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  Kansas Slip and Fall Attorney Michael R. Lawless has 27 years of experience representing injured individuals and has helped them receive the compensation they deserve.  Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential personal injury claim.  You may reach us by calling (913) 681-5566, or you may call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771.  You may also contact us online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

Kansas Motorcycle Accident Attorney Discusses Importance of Safety Helmets

Motorcycle accidents cause serious injuries and death to many Kansas citizens each year.   In fact, it is inevitable that any motorcycle accident is likely to result in serious injuries, at a minimum.  While motorcyclists are certainly taking a risk by sharing Kansas roadways with semi-trucks, automobiles, pickup trucks, and fellow motorcyclists, they still should be protected and are entitled to compensation when their injuries are caused by another’s negligent conduct.

Under Kansas law, safety helmets are only required for motorcyclists under the age of 18.  However, Kansas also has comparative fault for personal injury and other tort lawsuits, whereby a jury may decide that your failure to wear a helmet contributed to your injuries.  Your potential compensation may be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault for your own injuries.  This may not seem fair, but this is the standard in Kansas, and every motorcyclist should be aware of the limits that may be placed on a potential personal injury lawsuit.

To ensure that your decision to operate your motorcycle without a safety helmet does not hinder your ability to receive compensation for your injuries, you should allow a Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney to review your potential case in great detail.  It takes the skill of a qualified motorcycle accident attorney to determine if a negligent driver was at fault for causing the accident that you were involved in, and this is the most important part of your case.  Whether or not you were wearing a helmet should not be the most important factor considered, and you deserve an attorney who will do his or her best to limit the negative impact of your choice to not wear a safety helmet.

Drivers Are In a Better Position to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents

Many motorcyclists drive too fast on our Kansas highways, and drive erratically, changing lanes frequently without signaling.  However, this is not representative of most Kansas motorcyclists.  The fact of the matter is that many drivers operate their vehicles dangerously on our Kansas roadways as well, and this poses a serious risk of harm to other motorists, but especially motorcyclists.  Motorcyclists are naturally at risk for harm due to the small size of the motorcycle and the lack of a protected vehicle.  Cars and trucks have greater visibility and can move to avoid hitting a smaller motorcycle much easier than they can avoid hitting another car or truck.

Motorists often have trouble sharing the road, and must learn to do so in order to promote the safety of all drivers in an effort to prevent unnecessary accidents.  This unfortunately is not the case for many motorists, and this results in motorcycle accidents on a regular basis.  Motorcyclists have a duty to adhere to all Kansas traffic laws, but they are not in a position to avoid accidents in the same way that cars and trucks can.  Until the majority of motorists can learn to safely share the road, accident will continue to occur, and the consequences will be the serious injury and possible death of hundreds of innocent motorcyclists.

Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been injured or a loved one killed as a result of a motorcycle accident, you deserve the assistance of a seasoned Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney who will advocate for you to receive what you deserve.  Motorcycle accidents often result in permanent and debilitating injuries.  With 27 years of experience, Kansas Motorcycle Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless has represented clients that have suffered such injuries, and he knows what needs to be done to hold the negligent party responsible.  To schedule your free consultation with Michael R. Lawless, PA, contact us today by calling locally at (913) 681-5566, or by calling our toll-free number at (800) 734-3771.  You may also contact us online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

Kansas Nursing Homes – When Medication Errors Cause Injury and Death

When a loved one is placed in a nursing home, the expectation is that he or she will receive quality healthcare by caring and professional healthcare providers.  However, this unfortunately is not the picture for many nursing home patients across the U.S. Nursing home staff members responsible for administering medication to patients have a responsibility to ensure that patients are receiving the correct medication and the proper dosage of same.  Even the slightest difference in a prescribed dose of medication could seriously injure or kill an innocent nursing home patient.  With this in mind, consider the following primer on medication errors:

Types of Medication Errors

Medication errors occur in a variety of situations, and are preventable.  Such situations include, but certainly are not limited to, the following:

  • Failure to keep accurate medication records;
  • Failure to confirm that the patient taking the medication is in fact the correct patient (i.e., failure to read a patient’s wristband to match the name with the nursing home records);
  • Failure to give a patient his or her medication on time (this can cause patients to have adverse reactions and experience withdrawal symptoms);
  • Administering the wrong medication entirely; and
  • Administering either a lower or higher dose than prescribed by the patient’s physician.

Medication can save lives, but it can also end lives.  One small mistake could leave a patient injured or very ill.  Many patients are not aware of what their medication looks like, especially when they are reliant on a nurse to administer the medication every day.  Further, many pills look the same, and nursing home patients should not be expected to remember the small details of their medication.  Therefore, nursing home staff members have a heightened duty to ensure each patient is receiving the correct medication at the correct dosage.

Consequences of Medication Errors

If a nursing home patient falls victim to a nursing home staff member’s medication error, that patient is at risk for suffering any of the following injuries or illnesses:

  • Allergic reaction to medication administered in error;
  • Overdose of a particular medication;
  • Withdrawal symptoms;
  • Brain damage;
  • Internal bleeding;
  • Damage to internal organs;
  • Heart attack;
  • Blood clots;
  • Anaphylaxis; and
  • Death.

These are not the only injuries or illnesses that may result from a nursing home staff member’s medication error.  Regardless of how a medication error happens, it is more often than not something that could have been prevented with careful attention.  It may take a little extra time to double check a patient’s medication records, but taking such a step can prevent an innocent patient from suffering an injury or illness from taking the wrong medication, or the wrong dose of a prescribed medication.  Medication errors cause both physical and emotional pain and suffering, and injured or ill patients deserve to be compensated for their suffering.

Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

Nursing home abuse and neglect occurs much more often than it should.  Nursing homes should be a place of healing, but has instead turned into a place that many people fear.  If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should speak with a Kansas City personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  With 27 years of experience helping individuals receive compensation for their injuries and suffering, Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless knows what it takes to hold nursing homes responsible for their negligent and reckless conduct.  Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA today to schedule a free consultation.  You can reach us by calling (913) 681-5566, or by calling our toll-free number at (800) 734-3771.  You may also contact us online and we will get back to you right away.

Kansas City Fender Bender Accidents Can Be More Dangerous Than You Think

Fender bender accidents are daily occurrences throughout Kansas City.  They are often more annoying than anything else.  Most people do not suffer serious injuries after being involved in a fender bender accident, but some people do suffer debilitating and permanent injuries that require substantial medical treatment.  When you have been injured in an auto accident, only you know just how bad your injuries are.  Because fender bender accidents are not seen as very serious accidents, it is difficult for many people to understand that even the smallest amount of impact between two cars can cause physical injuries.

What Types of Injuries Result From Fender Bender Accidents?

The more common injuries suffered after being involved in a fender bender accident include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Head and neck injuries (such as hitting your head on the steering wheel or airbag, or suffering whiplash as your neck quickly jerks back and forth);
  • Broken ribs from hitting the steering wheel or airbag;
  • Internal bleeding; and
  • Spinal and back injuries.

While many back and neck injuries may be treatable with conventional medication and physical therapy, some injuries may have long-lasting effects that turn into other health problems, such as arthritis and chronic pain.  Further, even mild head injuries could lead to internal bleeding of the brain, and some spinal injuries could lead to paralysis, albeit not as often as most other injuries.  It is important to understand that severe injuries don’t just result from horrific automobile accidents.  Some injuries that occur in more serious accidents may be more severe at the outset and require extensive treatment.  However, many of those injuries are resolved over time, while a back injury could progressively get worse from year to year, costing you thousands of dollars in medical bills for continued treatment.

How a Kansas City Auto Accident Attorney Can Help You

Because fender bender accidents are so common and typically easy to resolve, it becomes more complicated when one person involved in the accident manifests symptoms of an injury later on.  Even with documentation of a head, neck or back injury, it could be difficult to prove that your injuries were the result of a fender bender accident.  For these reasons, you should consult with a skilled Kansas City Auto Accident Attorney who can investigate each and every fact of your case to link your injuries to the fender bender accident you were involved in.  If you suffered injuries due to another driver’s negligence in hitting you, you deserve to receive compensation no matter how serious the fender bender accident was.

An experienced auto accident attorney knows what to expect from insurance companies that will seek to prove that your injury was not caused by the other driver causing the accident.  You need an attorney by your side to advocate for your right to receive compensation for your injuries.  After all, but for the fender bender, you would not have the injuries you have today.

Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

No matter how serious an accident may seem, the subsequent injuries may not be detectable right away.  Symptoms could manifest a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months following an accident.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a fender bender accident, or any other type of automobile accident, you should speak with a Kansas City auto accident attorney right away.  Kansas Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless is a seasoned and dedicated legal advocate with 27 years of experience helping individuals who have suffered injuries after being involved in an auto accident.  To schedule a free consultation, contact Michael R. Lawless, PA today at (913) 681-5566, or by calling our toll-free number at (800) 734-3771.  You may also contact us online and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

What Benefits Does Kansas Workers’ Compensation Offer?

Most Kansans are aware of what benefits are covered by workers’ compensation on a general level.  We know that there will be medical expenses, lost wages, and possibly the inability to work in the future.  However, there is additional information about workers’ compensation that you should be aware of when filing a workers’ compensation claim in Kansas.

There are limits on particular benefits that may not be easy to understand when you initially file a claim.  The law regarding workers’ compensation can be very difficult to understand, but with the help of a Kansas workers’ compensation attorney, you will know everything you need to know in order to utilize your workers’ compensation benefits as much as possible.  The workers’ compensation benefits provided to eligible employees include the following:

  • Medical Benefits: The entire cost to provide medical treatment for a workplace injury or illness is covered by your workers’ compensation benefits.  There is no limit on the amount and no time limit on how long treatment can be given.  The employer will choose the medical provider who will administer treatment to the injured or ill worker.  If you wish to seek medical treatment from a provider of your choice, you can do so, but there may be a limit on the amount the workers’ compensation coverage will pay in benefits.
  • Disability Benefits: Payments are made to injured or ill workers for their inability to work, whether the disability is partial or total, and whether the disability is temporary or permanent.  The amount of benefits is determined by a percentage of the injured or ill worker’s wage, and is subject to a weekly minimum and maximum limit on the payment amount.  Payments continue for so long as the worker is considered disabled.
  • Death Benefits: If a worker dies as a result of a workplace injury or illness, the surviving spouse and children are eligible for death benefits based upon a percentage of the worker’s wages, and subject to a cap.  Further, a minimum benefit amount is provided regardless of what the workers’ wages were.  The death benefits also provide a burial allowance.

How a Kansas Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You

In order to ensure that you are receiving the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve, you should seek the opinion of a Kansas workers’ compensation attorney who can help you successfully file a workers’ compensation claim and take full advantage of the allowable benefits. Many people handle workers’ compensation claims on their own, however, an attorney can handle the difficult and confusing process on your behalf.

When you have been injured, the last thing you want to do is communicate with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, or directly with your employer to dispute coverage issues.  Leave this job to an attorney so that you can focus on getting better after your workplace injury or illness.  An attorney will relieve a large amount of stress that comes along with being injured or becoming ill in the workplace, and dealing with the workers’ compensation process.

Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

Workers’ compensation benefits are essential to helping injured and ill workers recover and get back on track.  However, you should be aware of what the limits of your workers’ compensation benefits are.  To fully understand what to expect and what benefits you will be receiving after filing a successful workers’ compensation claim, you should consider speaking with a Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.  Kansas Workers’ Compensation Attorney Michael R. Lawless has 27 years of experience helping injured and ill individuals recover the compensation they deserve for workplace injuries.  To schedule a free consultation, contact Michael R. Lawless, P.A. today by calling us locally at (913) 681-5566, or by calling our toll-free number at (800) 734-3771.  You may also contact us online and we will respond as soon as possible.

When Kansas Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Denied

Workers’ compensation benefits can help injured or ill employees cover their medical expenses and also, a portion of their lost wages. However, there are exceptions that result in the denial of some workers’ compensation claims.  The purpose of workers’ compensation for Kansas workers is to promote a healthy workforce so that injured or ill employees are taken care of in a time of need.  Therefore, if a workplace injury or illness is caused by preventable and unnecessary conduct, a workers’ compensation claim can lawfully be denied.

Kansas Workers’ Compensation Law

Under Kansas law, workers’ compensation claims are denied if the injury or illness to the worker results from the following conduct:

  • The worker deliberately caused his or her own injury or illness;
  • The worker’s failure to use protective measures required by law in order to guard against an accident that causes an injury or illness;
  • The worker’s failure to use protective measures provided by the employer to guard accident an against that causes an injury or illness;
  • The worker’s reckless violation of the employer’s workplace safety rules and regulations; or
  • The worker’s voluntary participation in fighting or horseplay with a co-worker for any reason at all, whether work-related or not.

If you believe your workplace injury or illness may be considered one that was caused by any of the above conduct, you should speak with a Kansas Workers’ Compensation Attorney as soon as possible.  There are always exceptions to the rules, and an attorney can determine if you should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Regardless of how your injury or illness occurred while on the job, it is extremely important to notify your employer of the injury or illness and file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible.  Take steps to prove your injury or illness and document why you believe the accident occurred.  For example, if a co-worker punched you, causing you to fall and injure yourself, your version of the facts will likely be different than the co-worker’s version of the facts.  If your employer and/or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier believe your injury resulted from a fight you were a part of, you may be denied benefits.  A Kansas workers’ compensation attorney can help you fight to receive the benefits you deserve.

While some workers may not deserve workers’ compensation benefits when they intentionally caused their own injuries or illnesses, there are a substantial number of Kansas workers who are denied workers’ compensation benefits based on facts that do not tell the whole story.  As such, you should consider allowing a Kansas workers’ compensation attorney to stand by your side and advocate on your behalf.  With the proper representation and adequate documentation, you should be able to receive benefits to compensate you for the injury or illness you have suffered.

Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you have recently been injured or become ill while on the job, you should seek the advice of a Kansas workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.  An attorney will thoroughly investigate your workplace injury or illness to determine if your claim may be at risk for denial.  With 27 years of experience representing the rights of injured Kansas workers, Kansas Workers’ Compensation Attorney Michael R. Lawless has the skill and dedication to help you receive the compensation you deserve for suffering a workplace injury or illness.  To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential workers’ compensation claim, contact Michael R. Lawless, P.A. today by calling our office locally at (913) 681-5566, or calling our toll-free number at (800) 734-3771.  You may also contact us online and we will respond as soon as possible.