Monthly Archives: January 2016

A Look at Sidewalk Falls in Kansas

Most of us walk along the sidewalk on a daily basis without ever giving consideration to our safety while doing so. A shallow pothole, crack in the pavement, misplaced item, or protruding root can shatter that illusion of security as you travel head first towards the pavement. Sidewalk injuries occur at disturbing rates throughout Kansas, frequently taking place in the winter months when ice and snow accumulate on sidewalks, but also occurring year round due to a variety of dangerous conditions.

Some of the most common causes of sidewalk falls in and around Kansas City include:

  • Cracks—uneven elevations or cracks in pavement are very common and often develop gradually over time. Cracks can be attributed to tree roots, weather, the age of the sidewalk material, and soil conditions. They can also result from defective or poor materials used in construction of the sidewalk.
  • Potholes—when the surface of the sidewalk separates, potholes develop. Similar to cracks, potholes can be attributed to tree roots or the accumulation of pooled water or snow.
  • Snow or ice—parts of Kentucky receive generous coatings of snow or ice during the winter. These weather conditions create highly slippery surfaces and lead to a large number of falls each year.
  • Debris—children’s toys or wagons, unkempt or overflowing trashcans, bikes, and any other objects that find their way to the sidewalk can lead to falls.

Different cities and towns across Kansas will have varying regulations concerning maintenance of sidewalks. For instance, in Haven, KS, property owners are responsible for adjacent sidewalks. However, to address concerns over dangerous sidewalk conditions, the city has recently cracked down on enforcement of sidewalk safety, but will reimburse property owners for sidewalk repair in the amount of the cost of the concrete to repair the deficient sections of the sidewalk. Similarly, in Lawrence, property owners must remove snow or ice within 48 hours of cessation of accumulation of the snow or ice on the sidewalk.

Sidewalks that do not adjoin residential or commercial property are usually the responsibility of the state, municipal, or federal authority that controls that sidewalk. The government entity will have the same duty to maintain the sidewalk in safe condition for pedestrians.

Individuals who slip and fall on a Kansas sidewalk may be able to recover for their injuries sustained under premises liability law. Property owners will not be liable for every fall, but they can be found liable if they caused a defect to exist in the sidewalk or knew of a defect but failed to remedy it. Further, under the theory of constructive liability, the property owner could be held liable for a defect that he or she should have known existed.

Contact Kansas City Slip and Fall Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident, Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas Personal Injury attorney with more than 27 years of experience helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve.  Individuals injured in sidewalk slip and fall accidents can seek recovery from adjacent property owners for their injuries sustained in the accident. Slip and fall victims must act fast to preserve their legal rights. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential slip and fall accident case, contact Michael R. Lawless, PA by calling our office locally at (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.

 

A Look at the Devastating Injuries Sustained in Truck Crashes

Truck accidents are among the most serious of accidents to occur on Kansas roadways. These massive vehicles, often exceeding 80,000 tons, wreck havoc on passenger cars stuck in their wake. Over 140,000 individuals are injured in truck accidents across the country each year, and more than 4,000 will perish in such accidents.

The following is a list of the most common injuries sustained by truck accident victims:

  • Brain and head injuries—head and brain injuries are among the most catastrophic and debilitating of all injuries experienced by truck accident victims. Symptoms of head injuries following an accident include: loss of memory, blurred vision, chronic headaches, diminished mental capacity, vision changes, and changes in cognition. Head and brain injuries can range in severity from concussions, bruising and bleeding to traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries are among the most serious injuries a truck accident victim can sustain and can result in permanent mental impairment.
  • Neck injuries—hundreds of thousands of truck accident victims will sustain neck injuries in the crash. These injuries can range from relatively minor whiplash to more serious injuries like cervical dislocation.
  • Back and spinal cord injuries—the back and spinal cord are vulnerable parts of the body that can experience serious injury in the event of a crash. Spinal cord injuries can cause loss of feeling or function in the arms, legs, and other extremities. Compression of the spinal cord, as often occurs in a truck accident, can cause loss of range of motion, extreme pain, and even paralysis. Any back injury will cause pain and limit one’s mobility or ability to fulfill work obligations.
  • Internal injuries—the weight and speed of impact of a truck can cause internal organ injuries, including damage to the lungs, kidneys, heart, liver, and spleen. Internal organ damage is often life threatening and will require immediate medical treatment. Recovery from these injuries can include surgery, transplants, and intensive rehabilitation. It is not uncommon for lifelong effects to stem from a truck accident that caused internal injuries.
  • Broken bones—broken bones caused by the impact of a truck accident are extremely painful. Improperly healed breaks will lead to a host of medical problems.
  • Amputation or loss of a body part—the loss of a limb or other body part is one of the most devastating injuries that results from a serious truck accident. These injuries will require months or years of physical therapy, prosthetics, and often psychological trauma.
  • Burns or other injuries due to toxic chemicals—commercial trucks are often hauling dangerous, flammable chemicals. In the event of an accident, the occupants of a passenger vehicle may be exposed to hazardous chemicals or burned by chemical fires. Burns can result in permanent disfigurement and inhalation of toxic chemicals can lead to long-term health problems. 

Contact Kansas Truck Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been involved in truck accident, Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas Truck Accident attorney with more than 27 years of experience helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve.  Given their immense size and mass, truck accidents are among the most serious accidents to occur on the roadways. Victims often suffer catastrophic injuries and even death. For the victims of truck accidents, medical expenses will quickly mount and truck accident victims should act fast to preserve their legal rights. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential truck accident case, contact Michael R. Lawless, PA by calling our office locally at (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.