Monthly Archives: March 2016

Kansas Auto Accidents – What is the Independent Medical Examination (IME)?

Auto accidents can range from being very minor, annoying occurrences, to being major catastrophic events that result in substantial physical injuries or death. Auto accidents are a fact of life, as people are bound to hit one another while sharing the roads. Along with the stressful and painful process of dealing with insurance companies, you may also find yourself in a legal battle if another person was at fault for causing the accident that resulted in your suffering.

Filing an Auto Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit

When you seek compensation from a responsible party in an auto accident case, you will be dealing with the other driver’s insurance company more so than the other driver him or herself. As part of this process, you may be required to undergo what’s called an “Independent Medical Examination,” also commonly referred to as “IME.” This is an evaluation done by a physician chosen by the defendant driver’s automobile insurance carrier.

As such, the evaluation results regarding your injuries and whether or not they are related to the auto accident may not be as impartial as you hope. Physicians performing these examinations are paid for their services, so while there are certainly physicians that will provide an honest, impartial evaluation, there are other physicians who may not be as forthcoming in linking your injuries to the auto accident. Because the IME is a crucial part of your auto accident case, it is imperative that you allow a qualified Kansas auto accident attorney to help you through the IME process as far as how the process works, and what you should expect from the examination.

What Happens During the Independent Medical Examination?

A physician chosen by the defendant driver’s insurance carrier will complete a full physical evaluation of you in addition to reviewing your medical records that document you suffered injuries following the automobile accident. The physician will then formulate an opinion as to whether or not he or she believes your current injuries and related symptoms are a direct result of the automobile accident caused by the negligent driver. Because this physician is chosen by the defendant driver’s insurance carrier, do not be surprised if the opinion is not helpful for your case. For example, the physician may suggest that your current injuries were really caused by a preexisting condition or preexisting injury that occurred before the automobile accident in question.

The most important thing you or your loved one can do when undergoing an IME, is to be sure you bring someone with you to the examination, whether it is a spouse, a family member, or a close friend. Having a witness to confirm what occurred during the IME can be very helpful if there is a discrepancy between what you remember from the IME and what the physician remembers from the IME. While the IME is certainly not a fun process, it is required in most auto accident cases, and with the help of a skilled Kansas auto accident attorney, you will have peace of mind that you are doing everything you need to do to help your potential case.

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

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a car, motorcycle, trucking, or any other automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation if your injuries were caused by another person’s negligent conduct. As part of dealing with the aftermath of an automobile accident, you may be faced with a medical evaluation that will be very important for your potential personal injury case. If you believe another person is responsible for the injuries you or your loved one has suffered, it is important that you consult with a qualified Kansas auto accident attorney right away. Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas auto accident and personal injury attorney with more than 27 years of experience helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential auto 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.

 

More FAQs About Motorcycle Accidents in Kansas: Part II

If you are one of the over 100,000 individuals injured in a motorcycle accident, you are likely feeling hurt, confused, and unclear as to your legal rights and how best to protect them. In Part I of this two part series, we began our list of frequently asked questions concerning motorcycle accidents in Kansas. We addressed the most common causes of such accidents, including negligence on the part of the driver of the motor vehicle as well as equipment failure, faulty motorcycles, and defective roadways.

In Part II, we continue our list of questions frequently posed by clients who have been involved in a motorcycle accident.

What actions can I pursue?

Motorcycle accident victims can seek compensation for their property damage and personal injuries sustained due to the negligence of another through a personal injury action. Personal injury lawsuits must generally be filed within two years of the injury, though some exceptions may apply.

What actions can the family members of a deceased motorcycle accident victim pursue?

Family members of an individual who has been killed in a motorcycle accident can seek recovery through a wrongful death suit, filed against the at fault driver. In Kansas, wrongful death suits can be filed by any heir to the decedent.

What types of compensation are available to those injured in a motorcycle accident in Kansas?

Your recovery will vary widely depending upon the facts of your case. Some common damages sought in a personal injury action include:

  • Emergency room bills
  • Hospital admission bills
  • Ambulance or helicopter transportation expenses
  • Physician bills
  • Physical therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Future disability
  • Impaired earning ability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Impaired quality of life
  • Loss of consortium (brought in a separate action on behalf of the spouse of the injured victim)

The families of a deceased motorcycle accident victim often seek recovery for the following damages in a wrongful death action:

  • Conscious pain and suffering of the decedent
  • Loss wages
  • Loss of deceased earning capacity
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of consortium (brought by decedent’s spouse in separate action)
  • Child’s loss of parental consortium (brought in an independent action)
  • Loss of affection and companionship

What if I was partially at fault for the accident?

Kansas has adopted the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. Under this doctrine, an individual who is partially at fault or responsible for the motorcycle accident will not be barred from recovery, so long as their degree of fault is less than the other driver’s. In other words, the victim will be barred from recovery if his or her negligence is equal to or greater than the defendant’s. A motorcycle accident victim’s recovery will be reduced by the degree of his or her negligence that contributed to the accident.

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

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas Motorcycle Accident attorney with more than 27 years of experience helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve.  Motorcycle accident victims often sustain serious injuries in an accident, including head trauma, neck and back damage, broken limbs, and more. Medical expenses will quickly mount and motorcycle accident victims should act fast to preserve their legal rights. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential motorcycle 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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accidents in Kansas: Part I

Motorcycles have become increasingly popular across Kansas in the past few years. Motorcycle enthusiasts love the thrill of the open road and freedom associated with riding a motorcycle. Unfortunately, with the increase in the number of motorcycles on Kansas roadways has come a rise in the incidence of accidents. Over 100,000 motorcycle accidents occur each year across the U.S. and about 4,500 individuals will die in these accidents. Motorcyclists often sustain more serious injuries in an accident due to their lack of structural protections. As such, it is important that motorcycle accident victims seek the assistance of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash.

The following is a list of questions frequently posed by those who have been involved in a motorcycle crash.

What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Kansas?

            Most motorcycle accidents involving a motorcycle and a motor vehicle can be attributed to driver error. If the driver of a motor vehicle fails to exercise reasonable caution and injuries a motorcyclist, the driver can be held accountable for the injuries and property damage sustained by the motorcyclist. Common causes of negligent operation of a motor vehicle that lead to motorcycle crashes include:

  • Left hand turns into motorcyclists—possibly the most common cause of motorcycle accidents, motor vehicle drivers often make a left hand turn without checking in their mirrors or looking over their shoulder. This can result in turning right into a motorcycle, causing serious injury to the motorcyclist who is left with no time to stop.
  • Unsafe lane changes—drivers are required to use turn signals and check blind spots before switching lanes, but many fail to take theses requisite precautions. Given the lesser visibility of motorcyclists, drivers often merge into the motorcycle.
  • Distracted driving—driving while talking on the phone, texting, eating, emailing, and the like will take a driver’s eyes and attention away from the road. While distracted driving is dangerous for all road users, motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable because they are less visible.
  • Speeding—drivers who speed are less likely to be able to stop in time to avoid an accident with a motorcycle. They may also not see an approaching motorcyclist due to their reckless behavior.

Are all motorcycle accidents in Kansas caused by driver error?

            No. While many accidents are ultimately caused by driver error, this does not apply to all. A motorcycle collision in Kansas can also be attributed to: defective motorcycles, equipment failure, or defective roadways. When any of these conditions give rise to a crash, the property owner of the defective roadway or the manufacturer of the defective equipment or motorcycle may be held liable. Motorcyclists can bring an action under premises liability or products liable to obtain recovery for their injuries sustained.

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

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas Motorcycle Accident attorney with more than 27 years of experience helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve.  Motorcycle accident victims often sustain serious injuries in an accident, including head trauma, neck and back damage, broken limbs, and more. Medical expenses will quickly mount and motorcycle accident victims should act fast to preserve their legal rights. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential motorcycle 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.