Category Archives: Car Accidents

Kansas Distracted Driving Crash Lawyer Discusses Texting While Driving Accidents

Jacob Mansch is a Kansas educator with a story to tell. Already wheelchair-bound because of spina bifida (a birth defect in which the spinal cord of an infant fails to develop properly), Mr. Mansch was seriously injured in a car accident that left him hospitalized for five months. The driver that caused the crash was allegedly distracted by his telephone at the time of the accident. Now, Mr. Mansch is using his accident and injuries to help bring awareness to others about the dangers of texting while driving.

Texting While Driving Statistics

The dangers of driving while distracted are well-documented, yet many people consider driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of drugs to be a much larger issue. While driving under the influence is certainly dangerous, statistics show that texting while driving – especially amongst teenaged drivers – is fast becoming an epidemic. Consider the following statistics:

  • During 2013, ten percent of all drivers between the ages of 15 years and 19 years who were involved in fatal crashes were distracted by a cell phone at the time of the crash (the highest percentage of any age group studied);
  • It is estimated that 3,154 people were killed and 424,000 others were injured in 2013 in crashes caused by distracted drivers;
  • A teen is more likely to receive a call or text from his or her own parents while the teen is driving than from any other person;
  • A driver’s risk of being involved in a crash increases by a factor of four when that driver is using a cell phone, regardless of whether the cell phone is a “hands-free” device;
  • Cell phone usage while driving is estimated to reduce the amount of brain activity dedicated to driving by up to 37 percent.

While distracted driving increases any driver’s risk of being involved in a serious or fatal car accident regardless of the driver’s age, these same statistics show that teenage drivers are more likely than any other age group to be seriously injured or killed in distracted driving accidents.

Keep your Teen Drivers Safe

On Kansas roads (especially those long, lonesome roads in the western part of the state), it can be tempting for teen drivers to pass the time and miles by checking their e-mails and texts, social media, or voicemails. Distracted driving accidents can occur on these roads, too. To help keep their teens safe, parents should teach (and model!) the following behaviors to their teen drivers:

  • Teach your children to put away their cellphones while driving. They should turn the phone off while the car is in motion so that they will not be tempted to reach for it should a text or voicemail alert go off while the teen is driving;
  • Tell your teen driver to set an automatic message to his or her phone alerting those who might try to call or text that he or she is driving and will reply to messages when he or she arrives at his or her destination;
  • As parents, do not call your children or text them if you know they are on the road (and, again, teach your children not to answer the phone until they arrive at their destination);
  • Finally, tell your children that if they believe they must check their phones or return messages while on the road, they should first pull off at a safe location, park their cars, and then return the message(s) before resuming their trip.

Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas Distracted Driving Crash Lawyer helping families and individuals harmed by distracted drivers recover compensation for their injuries and losses. Contact his law office by calling (800) 734-3771 if you or a loved one have been injured or killed by a distracted driver.

Kansas Car Accident Attorney Describes New “Driverless” License

A former racecar driver who was paralyzed in an accident 16 years ago is making news on the roads once again. Earlier this week, Sam Schmidt became the first individual to receive a license allowing him to drive a specially-modified Chevrolet Corvette. Mr. Schmidt is paralyzed from the neck down as a result of a horrific accident, and although he has been able to sail a sailboat using only his chin he has not been able to drive a car since his accident. Due to advances in technology, however, Mr. Schmidt is now able to do just that. Mr. Schmidt’s story is providing hope to thousands of individuals whose disabilities and impairments had previously prevented them from driving a vehicle.

License to Drive Though Paralyzed

Because of his paralysis, Mr. Schmidt is not able to operate the accelerator, brake pedal, or steering wheel of a traditional automobile. With advances in technology, however, a specialized Corvette was created that would enable Mr. Schmidt to control the vehicle using only head movements. Nevada has allowed Mr. Schmidt to obtain a “driver’s” license that would enable him to operate the car on Nevada roadways, provided the following limitations are met:

  • Schmidt must drive with a licensed driver in the passenger seat who is capable of taking control of the car in an emergency (Mr. Schmidt’s Corvette has a steering wheel and pedals on the passenger’s side of the vehicle);
  • Schmidt is not permitted to drive on ice or snow;
  • Schmidt must drive on Nevada roadways (the license is not yet recognized as valid by other states);
  • Schmidt must follow a pilot car while driving (that is, there must be a second vehicle operated by a licensed driver who “leads” or “guides” Mr. Schmidt and his car);

Nevada has indicated that, in time, it will consider lifting some of these restrictions if it determines it is safe to do so.

Driving in Violation of Restrictions and Car Accident Lawsuits

Many individuals aside from Mr. Schmidt have one or more restrictions on their licenses. For example, many people must wear corrective lenses while driving because their ability to see things close up and/or see objects far away. Drivers who are young and/or inexperienced may be restricted to driving only when they are accompanied by a licensed driver, when they are driving to and from certain authorized locations, and/or during certain times of the day. Commercial drivers must meet certain requirements as well.

If a driver with a restricted license or a license with limitations imposed upon it is involved in a crash, does evidence that these restrictions or limitations were violated have any bearing? Potentially so, as many of these limitations are connected to a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. If these limitations were made known to the driver with the restricted license and the driver willfully chose to drive in violation of these restrictions, this may be considered an unreasonable course of conduct that breaches the duty of care. How much impact a violation of these restrictions will have depends on the cause of the accident and whether any other person is responsible for the crash.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, contact Kansas car accident lawyer Michael R. Lawless right away. Kansas Car Accident Attorney Mr. Lawless’s investigation into your case will reveal whether the at-fault driver violated any restrictions placed on his or her license. In any event, Mr. Lawless will fight vigorously to assist you in obtaining full and fair compensation. Contact Michael R. Lawless today by calling (800) 734-3771.

 

Kansas Über Accident Attorney Explains How Lawsuits for Compensation May Change Very Quickly

Within the past few months, ridesharing company Über has announced and moved forward with plans to replace its human drivers with automated, driverless cars. While this may excite those in favor of technological advances, such a move causes problems for Über’s current roster of human drivers and raises important questions about how an injury victim will be compensated if Über’s fleet were to become driverless.

 

The Harm to the Human Drivers of Über

 

Currently, a significant number of individuals make extra money for themselves and/or their families by driving for Über. These individuals are not necessarily employees of Über: rather, they sign up to become an independent contractor / driver through Über’s website. If approved, the person will decide when he or she wishes to accept fares and when they would like to be “off the clock.” When they are accepting fares, their information is displayed on Über’s app to passengers who are needing a ride. If selected to provide a ride, the driver receives information about the passenger’s location and intended destination. At the conclusion of the ride, the passenger’s credit card is automatically billed by Über for the amount of the fare, and the driver’s share is deposited into his or her designated account. But by eliminating human drivers in favor of robotic cars, Über will be hurting these human drivers financially as some of them depend on the money they receive from fares in order to supplement other income and to help make ends meet.

Questions of Liability Will Remain

 It has always been confusing for injury victims and attorneys alike to determine exactly who is responsible when an “on the clock” Über driver injures another person. While a transition to driverless cars may change the nature of the questions that must be determined regarding liability, obtaining compensation for injury victims injured by one of these autonomous cars is still likely to be difficult. A new cast of characters may be responsible in any given Über accident, including:

  1. Über employees and the company itself, if the company knew or should have known that the autonomous car in question was defective or in need of repair;
  2. The manufacturer of the car, if a mechanical defect caused the accident. Consider the danger of an autonomous car with a steering system defect or braking system defect.
  3. The designer or programmer of the car’s “robotic brain” – the sensors and computers that tell the car where to go, when to turn, and when to stop – if the car’s computer system is behind the car crash.

This will make investigating an Über accident on behalf of an injured client even more intensive and expensive. Attorneys will likely need to consult with one or more experts on a regular basis to determine what caused a particular crash and whose negligence or carelessness enabled the accident to happen. While attorneys like Kansas City attorney Michael R. Lawless are always committed to helping injury victims obtain fair and full compensation, clients should expect that their attorney may need additional time and resources before being able to provide the client with a “game plan” for obtaining compensation.

Contact a Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been injured by an Über driver or has suffered injuries or losses in any other type of car accident case, contact

Within the past few months, ridesharing company Über has announced and moved forward with plans to replace its human drivers with automated, driverless cars. While this may excite those in favor of technological advances, such a move causes problems for Über’s current roster of human drivers and raises important questions about how an injury victim will be compensated if Über’s fleet were to become driverless.

The Harm to the Human Drivers of Über

 Currently, a significant number of individuals make extra money for themselves and/or their families by driving for Über. These individuals are not necessarily employees of Über: rather, they sign up to become an independent contractor / driver through Über’s website. If approved, the person will decide when he or she wishes to accept fares and when they would like to be “off the clock.” When they are accepting fares, their information is displayed on Über’s app to passengers who are needing a ride. If selected to provide a ride, the driver receives information about the passenger’s location and intended destination. At the conclusion of the ride, the passenger’s credit card is automatically billed by Über for the amount of the fare, and the driver’s share is deposited into his or her designated account. But by eliminating human drivers in favor of robotic cars, Über will be hurting these human drivers financially as some of them depend on the money they receive from fares in order to supplement other income and to help make ends meet.

Questions of Liability Will Remain

It has always been confusing for injury victims and attorneys alike to determine exactly who is responsible when an “on the clock” Über driver injures another person. While a transition to driverless cars may change the nature of the questions that must be determined regarding liability, obtaining compensation for injury victims injured by one of these autonomous cars is still likely to be difficult. A new cast of characters may be responsible in any given Über accident, including:

  1. Über employees and the company itself, if the company knew or should have known that the autonomous car in question was defective or in need of repair;
  2. The manufacturer of the car, if a mechanical defect caused the accident. Consider the danger of an autonomous car with a steering system defect or braking system defect.
  3. The designer or programmer of the car’s “robotic brain” – the sensors and computers that tell the car where to go, when to turn, and when to stop – if the car’s computer system is behind the car crash.

This will make investigating an Über accident on behalf of an injured client even more intensive and expensive. Attorneys will likely need to consult with one or more experts on a regular basis to determine what caused a particular crash and whose negligence or carelessness enabled the accident to happen. While attorneys like Kansas City attorney Michael R. Lawless are always committed to helping injury victims obtain fair and full compensation, clients should expect that their attorney may need additional time and resources before being able to provide the client with a “game plan” for obtaining compensation.

Contact a Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been injured by an Über driver or has suffered injuries or losses in any other type of car accident case, contact attorney Michael R. Lawless right away at (800) 734-3771. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses you experienced as a result of your crash.

Kansas Über Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless right away at (800) 734-3771. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses you experienced as a result of your crash.

Kansas Car Crash Attorney Describes How to Use Admissions in Your Injury Lawsuit

It is no secret that after a Kansas car crash, “anything you cay (or write) can and will be used against you” if you seek compensation from another driver. This is why you should not tell the other driver, a witness, or a police officer that you are “sorry” for the accident or somehow insinuate that the accident was primarily your fault. Similarly, you should not post any description of the accident to your social media accounts or give any insurance company a written statement unless you have discussed doing so with your attorney. When you notice that the other driver who you believed caused your car crash violates this advice, does this mean your car accident lawsuit is guaranteed to succeed? Not necessarily.

The Best Statements are Those in Writing and Clearly Made by the At-Fault Driver

 When a “confession” or “admission of responsibility” is made following a car accident, its persuasive power will depend on how the admission is recorded and whether it is clear that the at-fault driver made that admission. The most powerful and persuasive admissions are those that are made by the at-fault driver in writing and that are clearly attributable to the at-fault driver. Some of the least persuasive admissions are those made orally to you alone, as the at-fault driver can deny that he or she ever made the statement. For example, an allegedly at-fault driver who posts a statement on his Facebook account shortly after returning home from an accident in which the driver admits he was not looking when he entered the intersection just before the crash will have a difficult time explaining in court why this statement should not be held against him. Conversely, if that same driver only said to you that he was “sorry” for the accident and no one else heard him but you, it will be challenging to get the driver to admit in court that he made this statement to you.

What if All I Have is an Oral Admission of Fault?

To be certain, an oral admission of fault by the other driver is better than no admission at all. But to maximize the impact of an oral admission of fault made by the other driver in your car crash, consider the following:

  • If you are speaking to the other driver the presence of the third party, ask the third party if he or she heard the other driver’s admission. If so, be certain to obtain this third party’s contact information so he or she can be called as a corroborating witness, if needed. You may also ask if that witness will provide a statement to law enforcement officers about what the other driver said to him or her;
  • Write down what the other driver said as soon as possible after the crash, along with all other details about the crash that you can remember. The sooner you make this written report and the more details you include, the more credible your written recollection may appear to a judge or jury. Be certain to write down the exact words the other driver used.

Provide this information to your Kansas car crash lawyer, Michael R. Lawless. Seasoned Kansas City Car Crash Attorney Michael Lawless’ experience and knowledge means he is well-equipped to make the best use of such statements in your trial. Call Michael R. Lawless today at (800) 734-3771.

How Do I Value My Pain and Suffering?

A personal injury accident often causes physical and emotional or mental injuries. Anyone who doubts that these mental or emotional injuries are real and traumatic need only consider the depression that can set in when a person realizes that he or she is no longer able to participate in his or her favorite pastime. Or the trauma and fear that a person experiences any time he or she sits in a car after having been seriously injured in a car accident. Compensation for these mental injuries are often pursued in personal injury cases (under the name, “pain and suffering” damages). Do you know how to go about proving not only the existence of these injuries but also their extent?

Proving Pain and Suffering Damages

In some cases, the existence of mental or emotional injuries is easy to prove. Records from therapists and counselors consulted after the accident often provide a clear picture of the extent and nature of the victim’s mental or emotional trauma. Where a counselor or therapist was not consulted, family, friends, neighbors, and/or coworkers (for instance) can all attest to their personal observations of the victim following the accident. This group of lay witnesses will also be necessary to talk about the victim’s life and demeanor prior to the accident. For example, a friend may testify that the victim used to be lively and active and would never miss her morning run. The friend may then testify that, since the accident, the victim rarely leaves her living room, is always downcast and sullen when with others, and only talks about how much she misses running.

Therefore, when proving the existence of pain and suffering damages, it is usually necessary to establish the attitude, activities, and demeanor of the victim before the accident as well as the changes that have taken place since the accident occurred. The greater the disparity between these two periods of the victim’s life, the easier it will be to establish pain and suffering.

Proving the Value of Pain and Suffering Damages

The value of pain and suffering damages is much more difficult to determine as it is so personal. How much is a constant ache that won’t go away worth? What amount of money adequately compensates someone who is now in constant fear of getting into an automobile? These are intensely personal questions that will differ from case to case. The “cost” of an ache or pain to a young and formerly-healthy victim who was active may be different from the “cost” of that same ache or pain to an elderly individual who had previous mobility problems.

Unless a statute limits the amount of “pain and suffering” damages that can be sought, victims are free to pursue pain and suffering damages in any amount they believe is supported by the evidence. The greater the difference between the victim’s life before the injury accident and the victim’s life since the accident, the greater the amount of pain and suffering damages the victim can recover (generally speaking, of course).

Why an Attorney’s Help is Crucial – Seasoned Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer Michael R. Lawless possesses the experience and knowledge necessary to help you properly value your “pain and suffering” damages. He will help you to understand what amount of pain and suffering damages is realistic in your case and will fight aggressively and zealously to help you obtain an amount that fairly compensates you. He can assist you in locating the evidence and individuals you need to help prove the existence and extent of your pain and suffering damages. Contact the office of Michael R. Lawless for assistance with your personal injury case by calling (800) 734-3771.

Staying Safe While Bicycling

The summer months bring not only sweltering heat to the Kansas plains but also bicyclists to Kansas roadways. Whether they participating in a marathon ride across the entire state or simply getting some exercise on the open roads, motorists will certainly begin to share the road with an increasing number of bicyclists in the coming months. Even rural roads and highways are not immune from this phenomenon. With the increased number of individuals riding bicycles on Kansas roads comes (of course) an increased risk of a bicycle crash.

Bicycle accidents can be catastrophic for the bicyclist when he or she is struck by a car, truck, or some other motor vehicle. Serious injuries – even death – have occurred as the result of an otherwise low-speed collision between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist. While nothing a bicyclist does can prevent all accidents from occurring, there are steps that bicyclists can take to reduce the chance of suffering a fatal or catastrophic injury in the event of a crash:

  1. Always wear your helmet! Wearing a properly-fitted and approved bicycle helmet can drastically reduce the chances of suffering a serious head injury in a bicycle accident. (A helmet does little good, however, if it is not properly-fitted or is not of an approved construction.) You should don your helmet before you take to the road and keep the helmet on any time you are on your bike, even if you are pulled off on the side of the road to take a brake.
  2. Wear highly-visible attire. You need to make yourself visible to motorists, especially if you are cycling on open rural roads where motorists are less likely to be paying attention. Make sure to wear bright, visible colors and to have reflectors on your bicycle. If you are riding at night, wear reflective clothing and use a headlamp and tail lamp on your bicycle. Some individuals even place flags on their bikes. Anything you can do to draw a motorist’s attention to you is beneficial.
  3. Obey the rules of the road. Reduce the likelihood of a bicycle collision by following the rules of the road. Do not cut in front of other motorists and proceed at a safe speed for the prevailing conditions. Before stopping or turning, provide a hand signal or other visible signal so that other motorists know your intentions. Ride defensively and be observant of the movement of traffic around you. Do not ride while distracted (i.e., with headphones or while texting), especially in congested areas. If you are riding alongside traffic, do not linger in a vehicle’s “blind spot.”
  4. Carry “crash essentials.” If you are involved in a bicycle crash and you are far from home, it would be very helpful for you to have a first aid kit and a charged cell phone at your disposal. You may also wish to include other “survival-type” gear as part of your “crash kit” in case you are stranded for a period of time. Also include a notebook and small camera (if your phone does not have a camera) so you can take pictures of your injuries and the accident scene if you are involved in a crash.

Finally, as soon as possible following your bicycle crash, contact Michael Lawless, a seasoned Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney for assistance. Mr. Lawless will take the information available about your accident and help you determine your legal rights. He is a zealous advocate who helps is clients pursue compensation for their injuries following bicycle accidents and other personal injury accidents caused by others. You can reach the office of Michael R. Lawless by calling (800) 734-3771.

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.

 

Kansas Car Accident Attorney Explains the Importance of Defensive Driving

Defensive driving is a specialized form of driving that focuses on maximizing safety by using various safe driving techniques that give motorists advance time to identify and address hazards on the road. The purpose of defensive driving is to avoid collisions with other cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

While everyone in the state of Kansas is required to pass a driving test and written exam in order to obtain a driver’s license, it is fairly easy to pass these exams. In addition, many individuals cram a lot of information about traffic laws and safety into their brains in order to pass the written exam without retaining anything long term. Finally, Kansas only requires drivers to pass both exams once when they first apply for a driver’s license. There is no requirement for continuing education or courses nor periodic retesting. Many people on the road are simply unaware of certain traffic laws while other drivers are careless or even reckless when behind the wheel.

There were a total of 58,472 reported car accidents in 2013 that involved over 132,200 people. 13,106 of these involved serious injuries, and 327 were fatal. That means 1.94 accidents occurred for every one million miles driven by vehicles throughout Kansas. Over 50% of vehicles involved in accidents were cars. Likewise, the vast majority of victims were car occupants, though pickup truck and SUV occupants were close behind. The Kansas Department of Transportation estimates that 4 out of 5 crashes are caused by driver issues, such as failing to give full attention to the road, failing to yield right of way, speeding, and following too closely.

There are a variety of different ways to learn defensive driving in Kansas. Many organizations offer classes that teach students how to anticipate different dangerous situations that may require quick thinking and reflexes. Some of these courses involve discussion and hypotheticals, while others involve simulations and practice. The simulations replicate real-world situations, including bad weather, traffic, sharp turns, and poor lighting conditions. In addition, defensive driving courses give students a refresher on Kansas state traffic laws.

While defensive driving classes may sound incredibly boring, they can be life-saving. For instance, did you know that when parking on a hill facing downward, you turn your wheels toward the right shoulder, but when parking on a hill facing upward, you turn your wheels toward the left shoulder? Or that when your car hydroplanes during one of Kansas’s famous summer thunderstorms, you should never slam on your brakes? Defensive driving courses will provide you with a wealth of knowledge regarding unsafe road conditions, as well as how to react when other drivers on the road are careless or negligent.

In addition, defensive driving courses are usually fairly short and can be completed in one day. The Kansas DMV often gives credit for defensive driving courses by reducing points on your license or reducing a fine for a moving violation, and many insurance companies will agree to not raise your rates after a ticket or accident if you provide proof that you completed a course.

Defensive driving courses usually focus on:

  • Anatomy of a car accident
  • How to prevent or anticipate a collision
  • How to deal with road rage, exhaustion or stress
  • The effects of intoxication on driving
  • Available safety equipment in a car
  • Kansas traffic laws

Contact Our Kansas Personal Injury Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation

For almost 30 years, Michael R. Lawless, P.A. has dedicated its practice to representing victims of heinous Kansas car accidents. Following a car accident, you need to focus on recovering. Michael R. Lawless, P.A. can assist you with reviewing your accident, conducting an independent investigation, negotiating with the other party, and zealously advocating for your best interests both inside and outside the courtroom. Michael R. Lawless, P.A. provides free consultations to potential clients throughout the state of Kansas. Contact our Lenexa, Kansas law firm at (913) 681-5566 or toll-free at (800) 734-3771 today.

Kansas Auto Accidents – Filing a Third-Party Vehicle Damage Claim

Physical health and safety are the most important things to consider after an automobile accident has occurred. Automobiles are replaceable, but people are not. Therefore, whether or not your car may be drivable after an auto accident should be the least of your worries. After you have recovered from your injuries, you can then start to think about what happens with your damaged or totaled vehicle. Most auto accident cases address personal injuries that are suffered as a result of a driver’s negligent conduct. However, in addition to personal injury lawsuits, people may file a third-party claim against the negligent driver, and such claim is defended by the negligent driver’s insurance carrier.

After the Automobile Accident

After you have been involved in an automobile accident, you will likely be in close communications with both your automobile insurance carrier, and another driver’s insurance carrier. If you have suffered injuries as a result of the accident, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the allegedly negligent driver. In addition to this lawsuit, you may seek to recover the costs of repairs made to your car, but this particular claim is completely separate from any personal injury lawsuit. In order to seek compensation for vehicle damage, you will need to file a third-party claim against the allegedly negligent driver. As with personal injury actions, the other driver’s automobile insurance carrier will be defending any claim filed against the driver.

You will need to get at least one repair estimate that calculates what the total cost would be to fix your vehicle. While you are not required to get more than one estimate, it is advisable that you obtain at least two or three estimates simply for comparison. You will then need to provide the estimate or estimates to the other driver’s insurance adjuster. If the other driver was truly at fault for the accident that caused your vehicle damage, the insurance company is likely to offer you a particular amount to settle the claim. Further, the insurance company does have a right to inspect your vehicle for the damage and/or get its own estimate for how much repairs will cost.

As with many things in life, you may not be happy with the compensation that is offered to you for purposes of repairing your car. You may negotiate with the other driver’s insurance adjuster to determine what a fair settlement amount is. In such cases, you should consider having a Kansas auto accident attorney standing by your side to help you through the negotiation process. With the help of a qualified Kansas auto accident attorney, you are less likely to be taken advantage of by the insurance adjuster during the negotiation and settlement process.

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

 If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident, and you believe you may be entitled to compensation either for the injuries you have suffered, or to cover the cost to repair or replace your vehicle, it is essential that you consult with a Kansas auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Not all auto accidents are treated alike, and each potential case deserves the attention of an attorney who will thoroughly evaluate your potential claim. With more than 27 years of experience, Kansas auto accident attorney Michael R. Lawless has devoted his practice to helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve for the harms they have suffered. If you would like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential case, please contact Michael R. Lawless, PA today 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.

Kansas Car Accident Attorney Explains the Importance of Defensive Driving

Defensive driving is a specialized form of driving that focuses on maximizing safety by using various safe driving techniques that give motorists advance time to identify and address hazards on the road. The purpose of defensive driving is to avoid collisions with other cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

While everyone in the state of Kansas is required to pass a driving test and written exam in order to obtain a driver’s license, it is fairly easy to pass these exams. In addition, many individuals cram a lot of information about traffic laws and safety into their brains in order to pass the written exam without retaining anything long term. Finally, Kansas only requires drivers to pass both exams once when they first apply for a driver’s license. There is no requirement for continuing education or courses nor periodic retesting. Many people on the road are simply unaware of certain traffic laws while other drivers are careless or even reckless when behind the wheel.

There were a total of 58,472 reported car accidents in 2013 that involved over 132,200 people. 13,106 of these involved serious injuries, and 327 were fatal. That means 1.94 accidents occurred for every one million miles driven by vehicles throughout Kansas. Over 50% of vehicles involved in accidents were cars. Likewise, the vast majority of victims were car occupants, though pickup truck and SUV occupants were close behind. The Kansas Department of Transportation estimates that 4 out of 5 crashes are caused by driver issues, such as failing to give full attention to the road, failing to yield right of way, speeding, and following too closely.

There are a variety of different ways to learn defensive driving in Kansas. Many organizations offer classes that teach students how to anticipate different dangerous situations that may require quick thinking and reflexes. Some of these courses involve discussion and hypotheticals, while others involve simulations and practice. The simulations replicate real-world situations, including bad weather, traffic, sharp turns, and poor lighting conditions. In addition, defensive driving courses give students a refresher on Kansas state traffic laws.

While defensive driving classes may sound incredibly boring, they can be life-saving. For instance, did you know that when parking on a hill facing downward, you turn your wheels toward the right shoulder, but when parking on a hill facing upward, you turn your wheels toward the left shoulder? Or that when your car hydroplanes during one of Kansas’s famous summer thunderstorms, you should never slam on your brakes? Defensive driving courses will provide you with a wealth of knowledge regarding unsafe road conditions, as well as how to react when other drivers on the road are careless or negligent.

In addition, defensive driving courses are usually fairly short and can be completed in one day. The Kansas DMV often gives credit for defensive driving courses by reducing points on your license or reducing a fine for a moving violation, and many insurance companies will agree to not raise your rates after a ticket or accident if you provide proof that you completed a course.

Defensive driving courses usually focus on:

  • Anatomy of a car accident
  • How to prevent or anticipate a collision
  • How to deal with road rage, exhaustion or stress
  • The effects of intoxication on driving
  • Available safety equipment in a car
  • Kansas traffic laws

Contact Kansas’s Premier Personal Injury Boutique Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation

For almost 30 years, Michael R. Lawless, P.A. has dedicated its practice to representing victims of heinous Kansas car accidents. Following a car accident, you need to focus on recovering. Michael R. Lawless, P.A. can assist you with reviewing your accident, conducting an independent investigation, negotiating with the other party, and zealously advocating for your best interests both inside and outside the courtroom. Michael R. Lawless, P.A. provides free consultations to potential clients throughout the state of Kansas. Contact our Lenexa, Kansas law firm at (913) 681-5566 or toll-free at (800) 734-3771 today.