Category Archives: Personal Injury

Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Safety During Upcoming Bike Across Kansas Event

Each year, 800 or so bicyclists traverse the wide expanse of the Sunflower State in the annual Bike Across Kansas event. This year’s route begins at the Colorado border and ends eight days later in Leavenworth, Kansas. For those eight days in June, however, drivers along the route will need to share the road with hundreds of bicyclists. During this time, the risk of a bicycle wreck along the route will be significantly elevated.

Riding Safe During Bike Across Kansas

For bicyclists participating in the event, there are some preventative steps that can be taken now to reduce the likelihood of trouble along the way:

  • Purchase and obtain the proper equipment: A safe ride begins with purchasing the equipment you need to stay safe and ensure your bicycle is in good operating condition. At the very least, you should consider purchasing a properly-fitted and appropriate helmet, protective eyewear, gloves or other hand protection, highly-visible clothing, and supplies (such as sunscreen, lip balm, and first aid basics along with basic bike repair tools). You should also carry a cellular phone with an extra power source in the vent you need to summon emergency medical personnel.
  • Try not to become separated from other bicyclists: The old adage, “There is strength in numbers” is especially true during Bike Across Kansas. By staying around others in the convoy, you will be able to receive assistance quickly in the event your equipment breaks or you are struck by a motorist. You should also make certain that a loved one or trusted friend has a map of your route and is available to receive regular updates from you along your route.
  • Ride defensively: As a bicyclist, you are subject to the same rules of the road as other motorists. In addition, you should ride your bicycle with the assumption that other motorists who are sharing the road with you will not be able to see you well or brake in time to avoid an accident. This means you should allow for plenty of room between you and other vehicles, not travel in a vehicle’s blind spot, and ensure that your path is clear before turning or stopping.

If you do become injured along the route, be certain that you summon emergency medical assistance quickly to your location. If at all possible, move yourself and your bike to the side and off of the road. Use flares, signals, or other means of attracting the attention of other riders or motorists.

There may be an increased incentive for a motorist who strikes a bicyclist to leave the scene of the crash as opposed to render aid to you and help you in seeking assistance. If this occurs, attempt to remember and record as much information as you can about your accident and the vehicle and person who caused your crash. Give this information to any law enforcement officer who arrives to help you, and give this information to your personal injury attorney as well. The more information you can recall about the vehicle that caused your crash and/or its driver, the more likely it is that you will be able to locate this individual and hold him or her responsible for your injuries.

If you or a loved one are injured by another on Kansas’ roads and highways, contact seasoned Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless, Attorney at Law at (800) 734-3771 for assistance in exercising your legal rights. Attorney Michael R. Lawless will help you pursue compensation for your injuries and losses against the person or persons responsible for your losses.

Kansas Car Accident Attorney Explains Whether a Driver’s Medical Condition Can Lead to Negligent Driving

Epilepsy and heart attacks are just a few of the serious medical conditions that can cause a driver to suddenly lose control of his or her car and crash – sometimes into another vehicle, causing additional injuries and damage. These events can leave victims with serious injuries, just as any other vehicle crash caused by negligence or recklessness. However, an injury victim may have additional difficulties in recovering full and fair compensation – doing so may require the assistance of a resourceful and thorough car crash lawyer.

Negligence May – or May Not – Include Driving with a Medical Condition

Liability for the injuries and losses of another after a car accident requires proof that the at-fault driver acted (at the very least) with carelessness or negligence. This means, for example, that the at-fault driver needs to have made a decision that a reasonable individual would not have made under the same or similar circumstances before he or she can be held responsible for the injuries that may result from a car crash. It is not always the case, however, that driving with a medical condition (or while taking prescription medication) is a careless act. Factors that will need to be examined by a knowledgeable car crash attorney include:

  • Whether the at-fault driver has been diagnosed with a condition that makes it dangerous for him or her to drive: A driver who has no reason to know that he or she suffers from an epileptic condition or is susceptible to fainting (for example) would have no reason to think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car. Conversely, a driver who has suffered a number of seizures or who has fainted before would have more reason to be cautious about getting behind the wheel of a car.
  • What the driver’s doctor has suggested the person not drive: It is usually reasonable for an individual to rely on the advice and suggestions of his or her doctor. If the driver at fault in a particular accident has been told by his or her doctor that he or she should not drive (or should only drive under certain conditions), this would suggest the driver’s decision to get behind the wheel was unreasonable (and, hence, negligent).
  • How many times the driver has experienced medical distress while driving: Even in the absence of a diagnosis or instructions from his or her doctor, a driver who has fainted, experienced a seizure, suffered a heart attack, or experienced any other type of medical distress while driving – whether an accident resulted or not – should seriously consider whether it is safe for him or her to continue driving.

The presence of one or more of these factors may suggest that the driver’s decision to take to the road and drive was unreasonable and negligent, even if the driver did not expect or intend to suffer a medical emergency while driving.

When you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash where the at-fault driver suffered a medical emergency, contact Kansas Car Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless to determine what your next steps should be. Although it may be natural to feel compassion or sympathy for the at-fault driver given his or her medical conditions, the driver should be held to account for the harm he or she caused if he or she had reason to know driving could be dangerous. Call Michael R. Lawless at (800) 734-3771, and let us investigate the facts and circumstances of your case and take decisive action to protect your rights after a car crash.

 

Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Top Ways to Make 2017 a Safe Year for Driving

A recent article in the Kansas City Star reported that over the New Year’s holiday weekend, an average of 31 individuals are killed across the nation each day of the holiday in drunk driving accidents. That means, within the span of approximately 48 hours, over 60 individuals lose their lives in collisions caused by intoxicated drivers – more than one per hour. While statistics and past experience might suggest that drunk driving in Kansas will continue through 2017, there is no reason this must be the case. Like other bad driving behaviors that can lead to traffic injuries and deaths, drinking and driving is a choice. This year can be safer for you – and your family – if you decide to practice safe behaviors such as:

  • Wearing your seatbelt each and every time you travel. Statistics show that you are more likely to survive a serious traffic collision – and survive with fewer catastrophic injuries – if you wear a seatbelt. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that seat belts saved approximately 12,800 lives in 2014 alone and can reduce the chance of injury or death by approximately half. Not only should you wear a seatbelt, but you should encourage your passengers and your children to wear a seatbelt at all times as well.
  • Do Not Drive While Drunk … or While Drowsy … or While Distracted. While attention is paid to drunk driving during the holidays, distracted driving and drowsy driving (that is, driving with too little sleep) are just as dangerous as consuming alcohol and/or drugs before driving. Besides refusing to drink or use drugs before driving, make sure you get enough sleep before driving (even for short trips) and put your cellphone away before embarking on your trip.  In addition, avoid the temptation to eat while you are driving – foods such as tacos, pizza, soups, and other similar foods require a great deal of attention and focus to safely eat. Therefore, you should find a safe place to stop your car and consume your meal before continuing on your way.
  • Drive defensively. Although it is tempting to violate traffic laws or drive in an aggressive manner to get to your destination faster, the few seconds or minutes you might save on your travel time are not worth the increased risk of a traffic collision that speeding, failing to give other vehicles a proper signal or space when passing, and/or deliberately or inadvertently violating traffic laws can create.
  • Take action against other negligent or careless drivers. If you do happen to be involved in a car crash caused by another driver who is driving in a careless manner, take swift action to protect your rights by speaking with a Kansas car wreck attorney. The benefits you receive from an insurance claim settlement may not be sufficient to cover all of your losses and expenses, and there is no reason you ought to bear the financial burden of your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses when these are caused by another’s negligence.

While these behaviors may not completely insulate you from all traffic crashes, your risk of being involved in an injury collision or fatal accident decreases when you decide to drive safely. Michael R. Lawless is dedicated to helping Kansas drivers remain safe and recover compensation for their injuries when they are hurt in car crashes caused by other drivers’ unsafe driving behavior. Contact Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Michael R. Lawless’s firm today by calling (800) 734-3771 to discuss your car accident and the rights you may be able to exercise.

 

Kansas Car Crash Attorney Explains How Passengers’ Negligence Can Cause Accidents

A typical car crash case in Kansas involves one or more injury victims bringing suit against one or more allegedly-negligent drivers of cars, trucks, and/or commercial vehicles. Although the facts and circumstances that led to these crashes will vary from case to case, the underlying allegations of such cases is the same: that one or more drivers operated a vehicle in a careless or reckless way and, in so doing, caused the victim(s) to suffer harm. In some cases, the victim(s) may allege that a third-party – such as a municipality or state agency responsible for designing or maintaining a roadway – also played a role in causing the crash. The one person that you do not often hear of playing a role in an accident (but who can, in fact, be the primary cause of a crash)? The passenger of a motor vehicle.

Why So Few Lawsuits Against Passengers?

An injured motorist may choose to file a lawsuit against any person or entity he or she believes played a role in causing a crash. Bringing suit against all parties who may be responsible for causing a crash is an essential step in the victim’s quest to obtain full and fair compensation: If the victim only brings suit against a person who is 30 percent responsible for the crash, the victim may only be able to recover 30 percent of the monetary damages to which he or she would be entitled.

Passengers of motor vehicles can certainly engage in negligent or careless behavior that can lead to a crash. More specifically, a passenger may cause a distraction for the driver of a vehicle by engaging the driver in conversation, pointing out something that causes the driver to take his or her eyes off of the road, or engaging in other similar behavior. There have even been incidents in which the passenger of the vehicle has grabbed the steering wheel of the vehicle while the vehicle is in motion (in jest or during a fight) and caused the driver to lose control. So why does there seem to be so few vehicle passengers who are named as defendants in cases? There are at least two reasons:

  • First, in many cases the injured driver and the passenger are related to one another or are in a relationship with one another. The driver and passenger may be husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, or have some other connection with one another. In such a case, the “costs” to the driver in bringing a suit (both monetary as well as costs to familial or other intimate relationships) may be too great.
  • Second, it can be challenging to gather the proof necessary to prove that a passenger was negligent and what role this negligence played in causing the plaintiff’s injuries. Absent testimony from the passenger him- or herself or the driver of the vehicle in which the passenger was riding (who, for the reasons listed above, may not have any incentive to cooperate with the injured plaintiff’s lawsuit.

Can an Attorney Help Find Evidence of a Passenger’s Responsibility?

 Even though evidence of a passenger’s culpability in causing an accident might be scarce, the chances of finding such information increase when you retain the services of an experienced and resourceful personal injury lawyer like Kansas Car Crash Attorney Michael R. Lawless. He strives to help his clients by identifying and bringing suit against all responsible parties so as to help ensure his clients receive full and fair compensation or their injuries. Contact him today to discuss your car accident recovery by calling (800) 734-3771.

Kansas Bus Accident Lawyer Comments on Horrific California Bus Accident (Pt. 2)

In an earlier article we looked at the recent California bus crash that left dozens of individuals dead and many more injured after a bus rear-ended a tractor-trailer at a time when the bus was believed to be going 65 miles per hour and the truck five miles per hour. What can make bus accidents truly frightening for injured passengers is not knowing what to do in the aftermath of such a crash.

Steps to Take After a Bus Crash

Although passengers who are traveling on a bus when the bus is involved in an accident may discover that they are in the midst of a confusing and terrifying situation, they are not by any means without the power or ability to help themselves. Keep these tips in mind when traveling by bus in case you find yourself involved in a bus crash:

  • Keep calm and consider your situation: Unlike in a passenger in car crash, escaping a bus accident is not as simple as opening the door and stepping away. In the moments after a bus crash, adrenaline will be running and it can be tempting to jump out of your seat and run to the front of the bus. Before you do so, however, get a handle on your situation: Are you injured? Can you move? What pain or odd sensations do you feel, if any? Is the bus on fire? Is there an odd smell or the smell of chemicals? Answering these few questions (it should only take you a moment or two) can tell you (1) if you should move; and (2) the direction you should move. If you cannot feel your legs or arms, or if your neck or back hurt, you may have suffered a spinal cord injury. In this case, you should not attempt to move unless doing so is absolutely necessary to save your life. If the bus is on fire, move low and go to the nearest emergency exit as quickly as possible.
  • Get clear of the bus: Once you exit the bus, try and get yourself as far away from the bus crash as possible. There is always a possibility that fuel might be leaking and could ignite. If emergency medical personnel are on the scene, meet with these people right away and have them examine you for injuries. Unless you suffered no injuries at all or only very minor injuries, it can be helpful to have them transport you to the hospital so that any injuries you did receive are treated promptly and appropriately.
  • Record your recollections: As soon as you are able to do so, record everything you remember about the bus crash, including the people sitting around you and the conversations, noises, and sights you remember just before the crash. Even if you believe you cannot remember much about the accident, the few details you may be able to remember can be enough to lead to more substantial information or evidence about the case. If nothing else, attempt to recall the name of the bus company, the driver, and the intended route (departure city and destination city) of the bus. The more information you can remember, the easier it will be for your bus accident lawyer to track down important records about your incident.

Because of the complexities present in most every bus crash incident, you should obtain experienced and knowledgeable counsel to help you understand your rights and seek compensation. Kansas Bus Accident Lawyer Michael R. Lawless is a compassionate yet dedicated advocate for Kansas bus crash victims. Contact his office today for help with your case by calling (800) 734-3771.

 

Kansas Bus Accident Lawyer Comments on Horrific California Bus Accident (Pt. 1)

Late this month a California bus accident along Interstate 10 that left approximately a dozen individuals dead and several more wounded made national news. The bus was transporting individuals from a desert casino location. Within hours of the crash, news outlets were describing the crash as one of the deadliest bus crashes in the state’s history. According to preliminary news reports from Fox News and other outlets, the bus was traveling nearly 65 miles per hour (perhaps more) when it struck the rear-end of a tractor-trailer that had slowed to 5 miles per hour. From photographs, the bus and trailer appear to have crushed or collapsed into one another. The investigation into the cause of the crash continues.

Dangers of Bus Accidents

A passenger on a bus might reasonably believe that he or she is safer in the event of a crash than the occupant of a passenger car. There is reason for this belief – busses are heavier and larger than most other vehicles – a collision between a bus and a passenger car is almost always going to do more damage to the passenger car than the bus. Yet, passengers of a bus are at a disadvantage when the bus collides with another commercial vehicle. Passengers do not have restraints, which means the significant “jolt” from a collision can send passengers into the aisles and around the cabin. Passengers may strike their heads or appendages on seats, windows, and other passengers. Not only this, but many busses are like airliners in that bags are permitted to be stored above the seats. In the event of a crash, these bags can come tumbling down on top of passengers and cause head injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Finally, passengers may become trapped on a bus that is on fire or leaking toxic substances because of the number of people on the bus and the disproportionately small number of exits.

Causes of Bus Accidents

Any bus accident can be tragic given that the mistake or careless action of one person (the bus driver) can negatively impact the lives of dozens of other people. Officials with the California Highway Patrol indicated that (at the present time, at least) it did not appear as if the bus driver attempted to brake before hitting the tractor-trailer, suggesting that the bus crash in California may have been caused by inattentive or drowsy driving. Although the crash did not happen in Kansas, a similar crash could easily occur given that Kansas has long stretches of flat roads and is a major thoroughfare for busses traveling from east to west and from west to east. Just as may be true in this California incident, a long open road at night can easily dull the senses of the bus driver and result in a catastrophe. When this occurs (again, as is true in the California accident) there may be dozens of deaths and/or serious injuries that result.

Passengers injured in bus crashes may be entitled to recover compensation if a careless bus driver caused an injury accident or if the reckless or careless acts of another person led to the bus crash that caused your injuries. This may include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses and losses attributable to the crash. If you or a loved one are injured in a tour bus crash, chartered bus crash, or public transportation bus accident, contact Kansas Bus Accident Lawyer Michael R. Lawless (800) 734-3771 if you or a loved one have been injured or killed by a distracted driver.

Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Describes the Most Common Motorcycle Injuries

In addition to bicyclists, the summer months also bring out motorcyclists. Kansas’ highways (especially in the more rural area) are best experienced by motorcycle (not to mention, the wind is a great way to keep cool on hot summer days. But just as motorcycling can be fun and exhilarating, it can also be dangerous. Because of the construction of motorcycles and the manner in which they are ridden, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer certain injuries than the occupants of a passenger car. These injuries include:

  • Pelvic injuries: Of course, a motorcyclist rides a motorcycle by straddling the bike. A sudden stop or collision can cause the bike to slam against the rider’s pelvis and/or legs, causing broken bones or serious bruising. Aside from being painful, these injuries can result in significant mobility challenges. Not only this, if a motorcyclist’s reproductive organs are not sufficiently protected, pelvic injuries can result in serious damage to these body parts as well. These injuries can negatively impact the person’s ability to procreate or engage in physical relations with others.
  • “Road rash”: When a motorcyclist is thrown from his or her motorcycle and skids across the road or other hard surface, the motorcyclist can suffer severe abrasions to any exposed skin. Even skin that is covered by clothing can skill be affected if the clothing is not thick enough or made to protect against skid-related injuries. These severe abrasions are most commonly referred to as “road rash.” “Road rash” is much more serious than the “rug burn” children often suffer during play. Road rash can damage skin and muscle tissue and require extensive and multiple surgeries to repair.
  • Amputation/Loss of limb: When a body part or appendage becomes trapped or crushed between two hard surfaces, that body part may become amputated. For example, a motorcyclist may attempt to swerve to avoid a collision with a car only to have his or her leg trapped between the motorcycle and the car. Amputations are (obviously) serious injuries that can permanently impact the life of the victim. Expensive prosthetics can help the victim experience some measure of normalcy, but the victim many never be as active as he or she was before the amputation.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Motorcyclists are at a significant risk of suffering a brain or head injury in a motorcycle accident. This is why government agencies and rider advocacy groups strongly encourage riders to always wear a properly-fitted and approved helmet any time they ride. A traumatic brain injury – even a mild one – can require medical attention and treatment. More serious brain injuries can result in the victim requiring constant care and attention (which imposes a physical and financial burden on the victim and his or her family).

What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident

When you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, your first concern should be obtaining immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Because of the seriousness of many motorcycle injuries, obtaining prompt treatment is necessary in order to minimize the harm you might otherwise suffer. Once medical assistance has been summoned, you can then worry about taking photographs of the scene of the accident and your injuries as well as making obtaining the contact information for the other driver involved and any witnesses.

Because many injured motorcyclists do not have the time or resources to investigate their own accidents, it is important that you obtain legal representation as soon as possible. Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Michael R. Lawless can assist you in obtaining compensation after a motorcycle accident caused by another person. Call his office today at (800) 734-3771 to discuss your motorcycle injury case.

Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Head Injuries

You are in the stands watching your child play baseball. Your child is in the outfield when the batter hits a ball high in the air in the direction of your child. Your child and another outfielder run toward where they believe the ball will drop. Your child’s focus and the focus of the other player are concentrated on the ball – they do not even see each other. Your child and the other player converge and collide, hitting their heads against one another. Your child falls to the ground and lies motionless for a few, agonizing moments. Then, your child gets up – a little unsteady, but your child appears to be okay. Should you worry?

Or consider that your child is playing on the community playground. Your child climbs to the top of the slide and beckons you to watch as he or she slides down. You watch with joy – then terror – as your child slides quickly down the slide. As he or she reaches the end of the slide, your child falls backwards, hitting his or her head on the end of the slide. Your child screams in pain as blood begins to erupt from the wound. Is this a cause for concern?

Children and Traumatic Brain Injuries

 Just like adults, children can suffer traumatic brain injuries as the result of sports injuries, falls, and other forms of rough play. Unlike adults, however, children may not be able articulate that they have suffered a traumatic brain injury and need medical attention. Unfortunately, failing to obtain prompt treatment for a traumatic brain injury can cause additional harm to your child.

If your child suffers a blow to the head and exhibits any of the following signs or symptoms, you should err on the side of caution and obtain prompt medical treatment for your child:

  • Your child is rendered unconscious and/or exhibits any signs of memory loss;
  • Confusion;
  • Unexplained, extreme, or unreasonable emotions or swings in emotion;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Loss of interest in activities your child used to enjoy;
  • Trouble concentrating or difficulty speaking;
  • Persistent headache;
  • Lethargy or fatigue;
  • General complaints about your child’s “head hurting”

Even if your child is not exhibiting any of these signs or symptoms, if you are concerned about your child’s well-being you should take him or her to a doctor or emergency room quickly.

Compensation is Available for Some Traumatic Brain Injuries

 In some cases, your child’s traumatic brain injury is the result of an “accident” and no person can be held responsible. For example, the situation in which your child collides with another child, there is likely no legal recourse you can take against the other child’s family to recover compensation for your child’s head injury. However, if your child’s head is injured in a car accident, because of the deliberate act of another, or (in the case of the slide) because of a defective product, compensation may be available. The determining factor is whether another person engaged in negligent or reckless behavior and this behavior caused your child’s injury.

Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Michael R. Lawless is an experienced personal injury attorney helping Kansas residents and families recover compensation following injury accidents caused by another. He will carefully analyze the facts of your case so that you can understand your legal rights and how these rights can be asserted. He will help you decide on an appropriate course of action to take if your child suffers from a head injury. Contact his office today at (800) 734-3771 and discuss your child’s injury with Michael R. Lawless today.

Avoid These Seven Deadly Personal Injury Lawsuit Sins (Part I)

Okay, in reality, none of these actions or behaviors will actually cause you to physically expire. However, they can make life very difficult for you in the aftermath of a personal injury accident. It is common to assume that once you have been injured that your ability to recover damages (and the value of these damages) is set in stone. This is simply not true: In fact, your actions following your injury accident can have as great of an impact on your ability to recover damages and the value of those damages as can the facts that led to the accident. Avoid these seven “deadly sins” to give yourself the greatest opportunity to succeed in your lawsuit:

  1. Being Apologetic

Nothing sinks a personal injury lawsuit faster than admissions of fault or liability by the injured plaintiff. In every jurisdiction, admissions made by one party in a lawsuit are admissible without the need for the party themselves to testify. This means that if you say “I’m sorry,” “I wasn’t looking where I was going,” “I’m so clumsy,” or anything of this nature, expect that the other party in your lawsuit will bring this up in your lawsuit and argue that you share some, if not all, of the blame for causing the accident.

  1. Being Tough

While one might assume that only men would attempt to act tough, women too may try to minimize the severity of their injuries following a personal injury accident. Men and women alike may feel as if they do not have time to be sick or injured and/or cannot afford to miss time from work. As a result, they may delay seeking medical evaluation and treatment. Not only can this result in injuries becoming worse and more complicated to treat (and thereby increasing the patient’s costs and recovery time), but failing to seek medical treatment and following the doctor’s advice following an injury can be considered negligent behavior that reduces the amount of your recovery.

  1. Procrastinating

When it comes to your injury lawsuit, you only have a limited amount of time in which to investigate the cause(s) of your accident, identify the responsible party or parties, and file your complaint for damages. This time limit is contained in the state’s statute of limitations and begins running on the date of your accident. While several years may seem like a long time, the truth is that this time can run very quickly given all that you must do following an accident.

  1. Relying on Your Memory

By the time your personal injury lawsuit is resolved you will have told your version of events to various individuals several times. When your version of events is not consistent from one telling to the next, it negatively impacts your credibility and makes it more difficult for a judge or jury to believe you. This is why you should write down in detail the facts of your injury as soon as you can after the accident occurs. Keep this document in a safe place and refer to it anytime you need to recount how your accident happened, whether it be for a doctor, your attorney, an insurance adjustor, and/or for the judge or jury.

Retaining the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident is one of the best ways of ensuring you do not engage in activity that jeopardizes your recovery. Attorney Michael R. Lawless knows what it takes to provide you with the greatest opportunity for success in your case and will help guide you throughout the civil lawsuit process. Contact Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless by calling (800) 734-3771 and allow his knowledge and experience benefit you and your case.

Avoid These Seven Deadly Personal Injury Lawsuit Sins (Part II)

In a previous post we looked at four behaviors or attitudes that can severely and negatively impact your ability to recover full and fair compensation after a personal injury accident. Being apologetic, acting “tough” or as if you are not seriously injured, procrastinating, and relying on one’s memory can individually be the difference between obtaining the monetary damages you need to address your medical bills and other costs and obtaining nothing at all (or something in between). These behaviors and attitudes, however, are only four of the seven “deadly sins” of personal injury lawsuits. In addition to avoiding those four attitudes or behaviors, you should also refrain from:

  1. Being Aloof

Being aloof after your personal injury accident – that is, simply standing around waiting for the police to arrive or the tow truck driver to come and tow your car – can rob you of a valuable opportunity to gather evidence and identify witnesses that you may need later. If you are able to do so, take the time to speak with any individuals who have gathered near the accident site to see if they witnessed the accident. If they indicate that they did, take down their name and contact information (it is not necessary to ask them what they saw at this time – that can come later). If you have a camera or a smartphone capable of taking pictures, take photographs of the accident scene. This would include detailed pictures of the vehicles involved (if applicable), your injuries, the site of the accident, any road signs or traffic lights near the scene, skid marks or fluid puddles on the roadway, the condition of the floor or stairs – try to document everything you can so that the scene of the accident can be reconstructed later.

  1. Being Unorganized

It is not enough to simply show that another person caused you to suffer injuries – in your personal injury lawsuit, you must establish how much the other person injured you. This means you need to provide the judge or jury with a dollar figure that corresponds to the extent of your losses – and be able to back this number up with bills, invoices, and other objective evidence of your loss. Immediately after your personal injury you should purchase a folder or other storage device and keep everything pertaining to your personal injury accident inside the storage device. This would include bills and invoices, medical records, photographs, repair estimates, and other similar documents. (It may be helpful to make a copy of every document before storing it and giving the copy to your attorney or a trusted family member in case your copies are destroyed or go missing.)

  1. Being a Victim

In one sense, you are a victim if another person’s negligence or reckless behavior has caused you to suffer an injury. However, if you wish to protect your legal rights and interests, you cannot act as a victim and wait for someone to assist you. You must be proactive in asserting your rights. This includes ensuring you receive medical treatment and answers to your questions, informing your doctors of any medication side effects you are experiencing or if you are not obtaining any benefit from your treatments, seeking legal assistance and answers to your legal questions, and taking other actions necessary to advance your legal case.

Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless is available to assist personal injury victims in seeking full and fair compensation following a personal injury accident or car crash. Michael R. Lawless has helped numerous clients obtain compensation under a variety of circumstances. Contact his office today by calling (800) 734-3771.