Category Archives: Personal Injury

Comparative Negligence in Kansas Slip and Fall Cases

Under premises liability law, Kansas property owners have a duty of care to maintain their property in reasonably safe condition, free from dangerous defects which can include slick floors, cracks or holes in sidewalks, poorly lit stairs, standing water or icy spots, loose floor mats, and much more. This duty of care generally extends to sidewalks, parking lots, and walkways owned by or adjacent to the property. When an individual slips and falls on the property of another, the victim can pursue an action against the owner or possessor of the property. For liability to exist, the plaintiff must establish that the property owner or possessor acted negligently.

Negligence can be established in one of three ways:

  1. The owner or possessor of the property or an employee must have created or caused the dangerous condition. For instance, in a store slip and fall, an employee who spilled a substance on the ground and did not remedy the slippery condition can be deemed negligent;
  2. The owner of the premises or an employee knew of the dangerous condition but did nothing to remedy it. Continuing the above example, in a store slip and fall, an employee notices a spill on the floor but fails to remedy it. The property owner can be held liable for this negligence; or
  3. The owner of the property or an employee should have known of the dangerous condition. For instance, in a store slip and fall, a spill has been present on the floor for several hours and a customer complained of it, but the store failed to remedy the spill. The property owner might be deemed negligent, as their knowledge of the dangerous condition is presumed.

Kansas has adopted the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. Under this doctrine, an individual who is partially at fault or responsible for the slip and fall accident will not be barred from recovery, so long as their degree of fault is less than the property owner’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 slip and fall victim’s recovery will be reduced by the degree of his or her negligence.

The law of modified comparative negligence can be illustrated through the following hypothetical:

  • Melissa drove to the supermarket at 8:30 a.m., an hour after it had opened, to grab some items before heading to work
  • It had lightly snowed the night before
  • An employee had partially cleared the parking lot early that morning, but patches of ice remained
  • Melissa was walking in her high heel shoes up to the store and fell on ice in the parking lot
  • Melissa was awarded $100,000 to compensate for her injuries, but her recovery was reduced by 10% because she was deemed partly at fault for wearing unsuitable footwear given the icy weather.

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 due to a property owner’s negligence, including store owners, homeowners, hotels, hospitals, and the like, can be held liable for your damages sustained as a result of the fall. 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 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.

 

Overland Park, Kansas Dog Leash Laws – What You Should Know

Many Overland Park residents share their lives with man’s best friend. Having a dog around is like having an additional family member, and dogs are certainly an important part of many peoples’ lives. However, dog ownership requires that owners be responsible when traveling with their dogs in public. Most cities have leash laws that govern when and in what manner a dog owner is required to have his or her dog on a leash.

The city of Overland Park requires that all dogs be on a leash that is no longer than ten feet long when the dogs are not confined to a cage, residence, or backyard. Dog owners who violate Overland Park’s leash law may be subject to fine of at least $100. This is quite a hefty fine for a dog leash violation, however, Overland Park wants to deter dog owners from allowing their dogs to run loose and become a threat to other people and animals.

The City of Overland Park does not have any off-leash parks, however, Johnson County does provide off-leash parks, with one located in Overland Park. Off-leash parks provide dog owners with the opportunity to allow their dogs to run freely, but they still must do so responsibly. Any dog bite, whether or not a dog is on or off leash, can result in serious injuries that leave innocent victims potentially scarred for life. Dog owners must ensure that they comply with Overland Park leash laws, and ensure their dogs are not a risk to others. For example, if a dog owner is aware that his or her dog is potentially dangerous, or prone to biting or growling, that dog owner must take extra measures to ensure the public is protected from the potentially dangerous dog.

If you are bitten by another person’s dog while the dog was off-leash, not only would the dog owner be liable to the city for violating the leash law, but the dog owner would also be liable to you for the harm you have suffered as a result of the dog bite. There are always small exceptions to every rule, therefore, it is important that you speak with an experienced Kansas personal injury attorney who can evaluate your particular case in great detail. Further, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney shortly after the dog bite has occurred, because your memory is much fresher, and witnesses may be more available. 

Contact Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite in Kansas, you may be entitled to compensation. All dog owners have a duty to ensure their dogs do not harm innocent victims. In Kansas, dog owners are strictly liable when their dogs bite or attack other individuals or animals. A dog bite can leave you or your loved one with a mountain of medical expenses, potentially lost wages for being out of work, and the emotional harm that goes along with suffering permanent scars or disfigurement. It is important that you consult with a Kansas personal injury attorney who has extensive experience handling dog bite cases. Kansas personal injury attorney Michael R. Lawless has over 27 years of experience helping his injured clients receive the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential dog bite case, contact Michael R. Lawless, PA today by calling us 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 contact you as soon as possible.

Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Discusses RV Travel Safety

Recreational vehicles, commonly abbreviated as RVs, offer a wonderful means of gathering family and hitting the road.  Traveling in RVs, families can reach anywhere in Kansas and beyond, exploring the countryside and many local attractions.  Kansas offers numerous destinations for RV travelers to visit and RV parks scattered throughout the state make this an easy and convenient form of transportation.

Mechanical defects, improper maintenance, and driver error are just a few things that can cause serious accidents and lead to devastating consequences.  The following is a look at the most common causes of RV accidents and some travel tips to help ensure you and your family stay safe while hitting the open road in your recreational vehicle.

      • Operator error:  RVs are massive vehicles that are far longer, heavier, and taller than the cars most drivers are used to operating.  Driving an RV safely will take practice, skill, and caution.  Drivers of RVs often fail to adhere to basic traffic rules, such as passing in a safe manner, stopping at all stop signs and lights.  When the drivers of these large vehicles violate safety rules, the consequences can be severe.  RVs do not allow for quick braking or turning, so drivers must exercise vigilance and not place themselves in the position of having to make sudden maneuvers.
      • Road hazards: Some roads can present difficulties for RVs due to uneven surfaces or sharp turns.  Poor road conditions can lead to a loss of control of the RV and accidents.  The drivers of RVs should pay close attention to road conditions ahead and keep their speed at or below posted minimums so as to prevent loss of control accidents.
      • Impaired driving:  Drinking and driving a large vehicle like an RV is not just illegal, it is extremely dangerous.  Driving an RV requires more focus and attention than navigating the average automobile.  Never drink and drive; instead, park your RV in a safe location and plan to stay if you intend to consume alcohol.
      • Maintenance Issues and Vehicle Defects:  Many things can go wrong with an RV which can cause serious problems, including:
      • Faulty brakes—due to their immense size, RVs require a sophisticated braking system that is kept in top working order.  Brake recalls are commonplace, so always check to see if your vehicle is included in the recall list before setting off on a road trip.
      • Worn tires—RVs can be rough on tires.  Tires that lack sufficient tread or are defective can cause road blowouts.  Properly maintain and replace all tires, and check for recalls on tires regularly.

Contact Michael R. Lawless Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

Traveling in a recreational vehicle can be the perfect way to see more of Kansas or venture out of state all in the comfort of your vehicle, surrounded by your family.  RV travel is traditionally a safe way to travel, but accidents still can and do occur.  By adhering to the safety tips offered above, you can help ensure your travels are pleasant and accident free.  In the event you are involved in an accident, whether it is an RV accident or any other, Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless of the Lenexa, Kansas law firm Michael R. Lawless, P.A. is here to assist you.  Michael Lawless offers excellence of legal services to all accident victims.  He will assist you in obtaining a full recovery for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more following a serious accident.  To schedule your free consultation, call our office at (913) 681-5566 or toll-free at (800) 734-3771.  You can also use the contact us section of our website.

 

Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Animal and Dog Bites

Dog and animal attacks will nearly always inflict some mark on the victim.  Injuries are not limited to the actual physical mark or bite wound; dog attack victims often experience emotional and psychological effects.  Regardless of the size, age, or build of the victim any animal attack is traumatic and can lead to long term phobias or anxiety along with potentially serious physical damages.

Each year, over 1,000 individuals across the country will seek emergency care treatment for dog attack wounds.  While dog attacks are the most common, other pets kept by families across Kansas can also inflict injury.  Kansas residents sometimes own large birds, horses, cats, snakes, and sometimes even exotic and possibly illegal animals like monkeys or wildcats.  Children, particularly infants, are injured in dog attacks at the highest rates.  Each year, hundreds of postal workers and mail carriers are attacked by dogs.

Dog bite injuries will depend upon the individual attack.  They are often serious.  Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Deep cuts and scratches
  • Puncture wounds
  • Contusions
  • Fractures
  • Loss of limbs
  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Head and facial injuries
  • Emotional and psychological scars
  • Transmission of diseases such as rabies or tetanus
  • Death

There is a common misconception that most dog bites happen to strangers.  In fact, the majority of dog bites involve friends or family members who are familiar with the dog.  Dogs that bite often have no history of aggression or attacks.  The most common victims of dog attacks are the very young.  Infants and young children can unknowingly provoke dogs with their small size, quick movements, and sometimes harsh petting manner.  Young victims will often experience catastrophic physical, emotional, and mental injuries as a result of the dog or animal attacks.

Kansas’ Dog Bite Laws

In recent years, many states have adopted a policy of strict liability, meaning that dog owners will be responsible for the injuries inflicted by their pets even if they did not act with negligence and did not have a prior reason to believe the dog was dangerous.  Kansas, however, is in the minority of states that has not adopted a general strict liability law.

Kansas uses a “one-bite rule” in which the dog bite victim mist prove the dog owner was negligent or had reason to know the dog was dangerous.  Generally, once a dog bites someone once, the dog owner is considered on notice of the dog’s dangerous propensity.  If it then bites another individual, the owner will be held liable.

Contact Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation

Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless of the Lenexa, Kansas law firm Michael R. Lawless, P.A. has years of successful practice representing the victims of animal and dog attacks across the state of Kansas.  For over 27 years, Michael Lawless has fought for the full recovery of dog bite and other animal attack victims.  Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless, P.A. has the knowledge, skill, and resources you need to obtain the results you desire.  From our initial investigation of the case to that final day of settlement or trial, Michael Lawless will skillfully handle your case so that you can get back to what matters most—your recovery.  To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential personal injury 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 Personal Injury Attorney Offers Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is a time for pumpkins, costumes, candy, and fun.  This classic holiday, however, also presents several hazards for adults, children, and even homeowners.  Most people do not dwell on the safety issues surrounding Halloween, but being award of the dangers that lurk could help ensure you and your family stay safe.  On Halloween, twice as many child pedestrians are killed than on any other night of the year.  Further, this holiday poses a threat of liability issues for homeowners.  These are just a few known risks.  The following is a look at some safety tips that can keep you safe and liability free this Halloween.

Halloween Safety Tips for Parents

  • Supervise children at all times, even older children.
  • Choose a costume for your child that has bright colors and is made of a fire resistant material.
  • Sew or otherwise attach emergency identification information on your child’s customer or around your child’s wrist.  Include your name, child’s name, address, and phone number so that your child could be returned in the event he or she became lost.
  • If your child’s costume is dark, place reflective tape on the costume or trick or treat bags.
  • Make sure any face paint you use is non-toxic as face paints have been known to contain lead.
  • Do not allow young children to wear masks as they could obstruct breathing or vision.
  • Inspect all candy before your child consumes it.
  • Throw away any candy that may not be sealed.
  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Trick or treat only in familiar areas that are well lit.
  • Carry flashlights and keep to the sidewalks with your children whenever possible.
  • Watch out for animals.  Even dogs you know can become disoriented by costumes and chaos.
  • Use crosswalks whenever possible.
  • Do not allow your children to enter stranger’s homes.

Halloween Safety Tips for Homeowners

  • Ensure all pets are kept away from trick or treaters.  Even friendly pets can become a liability when around crowds of people wearing costumes.
  • Repair any obvious holes or raised areas in your sidewalk or driveway that could become hazards to trick or treaters in the dark.
  • Clear walkway or porch steps of tripping obstacles, such as hoses, debris, or electrical cords.
  • Use flameless candles or flashlights in your outdoor pumpkins to prevent fire.
  • Do not make or give out homemade treats unless you know the children you plan to give them to well, as many children have allergies.

Contact Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation

Halloween is around the corner.  While this holiday of fun, candy, and costumes can be a joyous occasion for your family, it also brings an increased risk of injury, especially to children pedestrians.  Following our safety tips can help ensure you and your family stays safe this Halloween.  If you or a loved one is injured in an accident due to another’s negligence, Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless of the Lenexa, Kansas law firm Michael R. Lawless, P.A. can help.  For over 27 years, Michael Lawless has assisted victims of all manner of accidents across Kansas.  Michael Lawless is the experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated attorney you need to obtain the compensation you deserve.  To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential personal injury 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 Personal Injury Lawyer Reports: Missouri Man Killed On-the-job After FedEx Truck Pins him against House

Throughout Kansas, Missouri, and all across the United States, the issue of workplace accidents is a serious concern. Most states, and the federal government, have guidelines in place designed to protect employees from on-the-job dangers, injuries, and death. Unfortunately, accidents still happen far too often, and can result in traumatic injuries, death, and devastated families. One recent on-the-job death in Missouri highlights how catastrophic workplace accidents can be.

According to media reports, a 52-year-old man employed by Federal Express (FedEx) died on-the-job after being pinned by the truck he was assigned to operate. Police state that the man somehow became pinned between the truck and a house causing traumatic injuries. The man was transported to a local hospital but unfortunately, did not survive his injuries.

Authorities are investigating the cause of this tragic accident, including whether the truck may have experienced a defect in the braking or other mechanical systems. There are many reasons an accident like this may occur but nothing has been positively identified in this case. FedEx provided a written statement expressing the company’s condolences to the family of the victim. Reports indicate that FedEx is cooperating with authorities to investigate this incident.

 How Often do On-the-job Deaths Occur

On-the-job accidents resulting in death are more common than most people realize. Statistics provided from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that in 2011, 77 individuals died on-the-job in Kansas, and another 132 died in Missouri. More recent data released for 2013 indicated that, nationwide, more than 4,400 people suffered fatal work injuries. Most of the fatal injuries were among workers in transportation, agriculture, industrial, and manufacturing. Another large contributor to workplace fatalities was slip-and-fall injuries, which claimed nearly 700 lives in 2013. Workplace violence also accounts for a large number of injuries and deaths annually.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that transportation related incidents account for 40-percent of on-the-job deaths. With transportation related injuries and deaths so prevalent, it is important that any individual operating a vehicle be certain that they are aware of proper safety guidelines, and report any mechanical defects that may affect safety. It is also important for employers to maintain safe working environments and perform regular maintenance on any machinery and vehicles being operated by employees.

Get Help After an On-the-job Injury

If you or a loved one has been injured in an on-the-job accident, you likely have many questions about your future, your finances, and your legal rights. Personal injury and workers’ compensation are complex areas of the law, so anyone suffering from an on-the-job accident should seek legal guidance immediately.

At the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A., our Kansas Personal injury Lawyer understands how difficult it can be to face the aftermath of an on-the-job injury. Similarly, if you lost a loved one in an on-the-job accident, the stress of your situation is no doubt exacerbated by your grief and loss. Our Personal Injury Attorneys have been representing injured clients and their loved ones all across Kansas and Missouri for more than 27 years.  We are dedicated to helping you make sense of your difficult, complex situation and securing you the best outcome possible for your future security. Contact Michael R. Lawless, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation. From there, we will explore your rights and get you the help you need. Contact our office toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You may also send us a message online, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Explains How Elder Abuse Takes Many Forms

When most people hear the word “abuse,” they immediately think of physical abuse. Unfortunately, there are many ways that individuals may be abused. Elderly individuals are particularly vulnerable to abuse in many forms. Abuse can be physical, verbal, psychological, sexual, or financial. To make matters worse, abuse of the elderly is prevalent in their own home, the home of a loved one, as well as in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The elderly population is more vulnerable to abuse for several reasons. Primarily, their advanced age makes their bodies weaker and more fragile. Additionally, changes in vision and hearing can increase vulnerability. Vulnerabilities are exacerbated when the individual suffers from mental incapacity or physical disability that requires them to rely on others for health and safety.

How to Identify Elder Abuse

Across the United States, more than 500,000 cases of elder abuse are reported every year, with estimates that millions of other cases are never reported. It is important for those close to an elderly loved one to understand what elder abuse is, and how to identify and recognize the signs that abuse has occurred, or is continuing to occur. Loved ones should be on the lookout for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Physical Abuse – Common forms of physical abuse include shoving, hitting, slapping, improper administration of medication, or use of confinement or restraints. Signs of physical abuse may include bruising, scrapes, red marks, torn skin, broken bones, and other injuries.
  • Verbal/Psychological Abuse – Abuse that is verbal or psychological in nature can take an extreme toll on the emotions of an elderly person. Common forms of verbal or psychological abuse include yelling, threatening, intimidation, humiliation, and casting blame. Nonverbal forms of psychological abuse include isolating, ignoring, or menacing the elderly person. Signs of verbal or psychological abuse include depression, changes in mood or behavior, and failure to thrive.
  • Sexual Abuse – Sexual abuse of the elderly is complex. Not only does sexual abuse occur when the individual is inappropriately touched without giving consent, but also if they are forced to perform sexual acts, look at sexually explicit material, or are forced to undress. Sexual abuse may be more difficult to identify, so if you suspect that sexual abuse has occurred, it may be necessary to seek the professional guidance of a counselor or social worker.
  • Financial Exploitation – Financial exploitation is one of the most critical issues facing the elderly population in the U.S. Financial exploitation occurs when a caregiver or scam artist steals funds or uses funds without authorization for their own betterment. Financial exploiters may target bank accounts, checks, credit cards, cash, or the elderly person’s identity. Any suspicious financial activity or proposed financial action should be carefully researched and documented with authorities.
  • Neglect – Neglect is a common form of elder abuse, and one that often goes unreported. Neglect occurs both intentionally and unintentionally, and often stems from ignorance or inability to provide proper care to the elderly person. Neglect may include failing to provide proper physical and hygienic care, nutrition, medication administration, exercise, and overall quality of life.

Get Help if You Suspect Elder Abuse

If you suspect that your elderly loved one has been victimized by elder abuse, you are most likely angry, concerned, and ready to fight back. Do not take on the challenge of elder abuse on your own. Contact the Kansas Personal Injury Attorney at the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. to get help right away. We have worked with personal injury victims and their loved ones all over Kansas and Missouri for more than 27 years. To schedule a free consultation of your elder abuse case contact us today at (913) 681-5566, or toll-free at (800) 734-3771.

Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Reports: Bus Accident Highlights Dangers for Traveling Kansas Sports Teams

Schools all across Kansas routinely host sporting events, and travel to other destinations to participate in sporting events. On these occasions, students often travel by bus, which can be stressful for anxious parents eagerly awaiting their return. In most cases, students are safely transported to and from their destination; however, in some cases, parents’ worst nightmares become reality when the bus their children are traveling in is involved in an automobile accident.

A recent out-of-state media account of just such an accident highlights the importance of roadway safety for buses. According to the article, a group of college softball players were traveling on Interstate 35 when a tractor-trailer drove through the median and struck the bus they occupied. Authorities stated that the road curved to the right, but the tractor-trailer continued straight, entered oncoming traffic lanes, and collided with the bus without braking.

National Transportation Safety Board officials commented that the tractor-trailer continued to travel for as much as 300-feet after striking the bus, crossed additional travel lanes, and drove into a group of trees. Investigators are working to determine if a mechanical problem contributed to the crash, though preliminary investigations indicated no problems with the truck’s braking system. Ongoing investigations are attempting to determine if the truck driver was impaired, indisposed, distracted, or suffered from a medical condition.

The bus involved in this tragic accident was occupied by 15 softball players and was driven by their coach. Four of the occupants were killed in the collision. All four victims were under the age of 21. Two occupants were seriously injured and remained hospitalized for days following the accident, and several others sustained minor injuries. Reports do not indicate if the truck driver sustained injuries in the accident, only that the investigation continues and he has not been criminally charged at this time. Officials stated that the truck driver claimed to have been distracted by something in the cab of the truck, but declined to provide further information.

Tragic Example of the Importance of Road Safety

This story occurred out-of-state, but it is relevant to all Kansas motorists. Buses and tractor-trailers are large, heavy vehicles and the result of an accident involving these vehicles is often devastating and catastrophic. Kansas motorists should be cautious and aware of large vehicles near them on the roadway and be diligent in following proper safety guidelines, including avoiding distraction. Distracted driving is a far too common cause of injurious or fatal automobile accidents in Kansas, and all across the United States. The majority of these accidents are needless and could have been avoided if proper care was paid to the dangers distracted driving poses to all those on the roadway.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver, contact a Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer right away. With more than 27 years of experience helping injured victims throughout Kansas and Missouri, the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. can help you. Let our team of skilled attorneys carefully examine every aspect of your case and explore all possible outcomes to be sure that you get the best results possible. Do not wait to get the help you need, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. Call the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. today by calling our office at (913) 681-5566 locally, or by calling us toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You also have the option of contacting us online, and can be confident that your message will be responded to as quickly as possible.

Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Pedestrian Safety

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 4,400 pedestrian fatalities in 2011. In 2012, there were more than 4,700 fatalities, indicating a six-percent increase over 2011. This data is equivalent to one pedestrian suffering fatal injuries every two-hours.

Who is a Pedestrian?

In essence, everyone is a pedestrian. For safety guidelines, however, the NHTSA has classified several categories as pedestrians, including anyone who is:

  • On foot
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Hiking
  • Sitting or lying down

Most pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas where roadway sidewalks are popular travel lanes for pedestrians. Crosswalks in urban areas are another common site where pedestrian accidents occur. Many pedestrians and motorists fail to follow rules and regulations regarding crosswalk safety and use.

How to Be a Safe Pedestrian

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) operates a “Walk this Way!” campaign designed to bring awareness to pedestrian safety concerns. Part of the campaign is bringing awareness to the individuals who are most likely to suffer from a pedestrian accident. Such awareness includes the fact that almost one-quarter of traffic-related fatalities to children younger than 14 are pedestrian-related. Additionally, the chances of being seriously injured or killed in a pedestrian accident increases with age, making the elderly population a high-risk classification.

In order to reduce the number of pedestrian-related traffic injuries and fatalities, the CDC has offered the following safety tips:

    • Only cross the street at designated crosswalks, and only cross with the walk signal, never against a red light
    • Be mindful that some intersections allow drivers the ability to turn onto cross streets after yielding to pedestrian traffic. Exercise great caution when crossing the road at such intersections
    • If you plan to be near the roadway at night, wear reflective clothing and take a flashlight with you to increase visibility
    • If you cannot walk within an established sidewalk, walk on the road against the flow of traffic for ultimate visibility, and move to the shoulder when cars pass by
    • Practice safe pedestrian skills with children, especially those who may have to cross a street on school grounds or near buses

Unfortunately, even the most cautious pedestrian can fall victim to a serious accident. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another person, the trauma and stress of the situation can be even more difficult to bear. Fortunately, Kansas has laws in place designed to protect the rights and best interests of individuals who are injured due to the negligence of others. What’s more, injured victims do not have to face the aftermath of an accident alone.

 Get Help after a Pedestrian Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian, you likely have questions about how to proceed, if you can file a claim, and what your rights are. Do not hesitate to get the help you need after an injurious accident. Count on the experience of Lenexa, Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless at the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. With more than 27 years of experience, Michael R. Lawless knows how to examine every aspect of your accident claim to determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim. Contact the law office of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. today to set up a free consultation and start getting the answers you need. Call our office toll-free at (800) 734-3771.  You can also contact us online and we will promptly respond to your message.