Tag Archives: Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer

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.

Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer Reports: Kansas Toddler Injured by Lawnmower at Daycare

A Wichita, Kansas toddler was seriously injured in a lawnmower accident that occurred at a home daycare.  The 18 month old girl was apparently outside when her leg was run over by a push mower at approximately 9 a.m. on August 21.  At the time of the incident, there was one adult and five children in the backyard, including two one-year-olds and three three-your olds.

he toddler was rushed by EMS to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis.  She was later transferred to a Kansas City hospital.  Her leg injury is reported as severe, but her current condition is unknown.  Police said she may face amputation of the leg below the knee, though doctors at the Kansas City hospital are working to save her leg.

The daycare, known as Toytown Daycare, was issued an emergency order of suspension.  Its owner/operator has been charged and arrested for aggravated child endangerment.

One day later, in Hutchinson, Kansas, a man in Reno County died after a tractor lawnmower accident.  The man had finished mowing his field and headed across the street.  The mower rolled over in the ditch.  The man was trapped underneath the back mower attached to the trailer.  He perished as a result of the crush injury.  Investigators are still trying to determine why the deceased individual took that route through the ditch instead of his normal route to the garage.

These two tragic lawnmower accidents come two months after a Lenexa, Kansas accident in which a young boy was run over by a riding mower.  In that accident, the boy’s father accidentally backed over his son, seriously injuring the four year old boy.

This series of lawnmower accidents occurring in Kansas highlights the dangers posed by lawnmowers, particularly to children.  Lawnmower accidents occur more often than most would think.  About 3,700 children under the age of 14 are transported to the emergency room following lawnmower accidents each year.  Another 17,000 children are treated by doctors for injuries stemming from lawnmower accidents.

Riding lawnmowers are considered the most hazardous due to their size and, in turn, their potential to inflict serious and sometimes deadly injuries. Young children playing outside while someone is mowing are most at risk.  While newer models of riding mowers are designed so that they cannot be accidently thrown into reverse, older models still hold the potential for accidental reversing.

If your child has been injured in a lawnmower accident that may have involved operator negligence or a defective lawnmower, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  The manufacturers of defective lawnmowers can be held accountable for the injuries your child sustained, as can lawnmower operators who failed to act with reasonable care.

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

If you or a loved one has been injured in a lawnmower accident, the Lenexa, Kansas Personal Injury Attorney at the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. can help.  Our personal injury attorneys have fought for the rights of victims injured due to negligence for over 27 years.  We carefully examine the facts surrounding any accident, looking for indications of negligence and evidence in support of your potential case.  Armed with this knowledge, we will then guide you towards a full recovery.  To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential lawnmower 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.

 

Heavy Machinery Major Cause of Serious Construction Accidents in Kansas City

Anyone who has ever worked in the construction trades knows that a construction site is a dangerous work environment that can result in catastrophic injuries and even wrongful death. There are approximately 150,000 construction site accident injuries each year with one in ten construction workers suffering a workplace-related injury.  Construction has long been the most dangerous workplace setting for workers with over 1,200 construction workers suffering fatal accidents in a typical year.  While there are a multitude of dangerous hazards at a typical construction site, dangers posed by heavy machinery are one of the most serious hazards.  Construction workers must deal with dangerous heavy machinery on a daily basis including power tools, bulldozers, cranes, forklifts, and dump trucks.

Because of the danger posed by heavy machinery on a construction site, construction workers must pay extra attention around such equipment.  It is important to make sure that heavy machinery is functioning correctly and kept well maintained.  Industrial work-related injuries rank third amongst the most common types of workplace injuries.  Eighty percent of such accidents result from the use or operation of heavy machinery and equipment.  Not only are construction accidents involving heavy machinery common, but they also tend to result in very severe injuries or even wrongful death because of the size, weight and power of such machinery.

A construction worker who uses heavy equipment can take certain basic precautions to avoid being involved in a serious construction accident including the following:

  • Immediately cease using heavy equipment that is not functioning properly
  • Put management on notice of any heavy equipment that is malfunctioning
  • Always wear safety equipment including a hard hat, goggles, work boots, reflective vests
  • Always avoid walking on areas that have elevated machinery carrying a weighty load without strong and solid support
  • Keep the construction site clear of unauthorized personnel who are unfamiliar with construction workplace hazards

The sheer size of the equipment itself makes a construction workplace more dangerous.  Other factors that often play a role in construction accidents involving heavy equipment and machinery include inadequate company training, co-worker negligence, defectively designed or manufactured machinery, or poorly maintained equipment.  Statistics show that some construction, landscaping, and farm equipment also is more commonly involved in causing injuries resulting from heavy machinery accidents.  Specifically, machinery manufactured by John Deere, Case, Chase Bobcat, Caterpillar, and Volvo has caused catastrophic injuries and fatalities in recent years.

Our Kansas City area personal injury law firm represents workers from a broad spectrum of industries and occupations, including the construction, agriculture (farming) and manufacturing industries whom have been injured by heavy machinery on the job site.  We are prepared to represent you and seek compensation for serious injuries such as third-degree burns, amputations, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and other serious injuries caused by any heavy machinery including cranes, backhoe loaders, dump trucks, excavators, forklifts, front end loaders, pavers and tractors.

If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries or wrongful death caused by a heavy machinery accident, an experienced heavy machinery attorney can help you and your family obtain the legal compensation that you deserve.

Michael R. Lawless, P.A., Attorney at Law provides a free consultation, including evenings and weekends by appointment, at our Lenexa, Kansas or Grandview, Missouri offices. Our office in Lenexa is off of I-35 from 87th or 95th in Old Town at 93rd and Pflumm. Our Grandview office is conveniently located at the main street exit off of 71 Highway, next to Captain D’s. Call Kansas City personal injury lawyer Michael Lawless today at 1-800-734-3771, 913-681-5566 or 816-966-0099.

Why Social Networks Can Spell Doom for Your Kansas City Personal Injury Case

The Internet and more specifically the influence of social networks have changed our society so that most of us now live in a fishbowl of our own making.  Whether one’s social network of choice is Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkIn.  Many people live their lives in very public view through regular and detailed posts on social media sites.  While social media sites are immensely popular, they can be a huge liability if you are a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit resulting from another person’s negligent or intentional conduct.  Insurance investigators, insurance defense attorneys, police and others now routinely search social media sites to develop evidence in personal injury lawsuits.  If you have pictures and content on social media sites, you may want to consider removing these pages during any pending personal injury lawsuit or at the very least be extremely careful regarding your activity on your social media pages.

Insurance company investigators in personal injury lawsuits routinely search social network websites for information on plaintiffs.  Investigators may look for evidence that contradicts your version of the facts on how an injury occurred or undermines your claim regarding the seriousness of your damages.  Damaging information on a social network site can constitute an admission and be used by an insurance company’s attorneys to undermine your claim.  Some courts have actually required an accident victim to turn over their social network log-in information and content to attorneys for the other party’s insurance company.

There are a number of ways that information on social media sites may be used by the other party’s insurance company to compromise your personal injury claim including the following:

  • Compromising Damage Claim: Investigators are often hired to take pictures of plaintiffs with serious injuries engaged in activities that are designed to suggest the victim’s injury claim is fraudulent.  With the explosion of social media sites, plaintiffs now often do this spying work for insurance companies.  If you have suffered serious back or neck injuries, the insurance company will look for pictures of you engaged in recreational or other physical activities to cast doubt on your claims of serious injury.
  • Impugning Your Character: Evidence is not generally admitted solely to establish a person’s character.  However, there are many exceptions to this general rule.  An insurance company may look for pictures or comments on social media sites that will make you seem unsympathetic or like a “bad person” to a jury.
  • Contradicting Liability Claim: Statements you make regarding your accident may be used to compromise or contradict your version of the accident.
  • Challenging Causation with Pre-Existing Conditions: A very innocent comment may be taken out of context or misconstrued.  You may make a rather innocuous comment on a social media site that “your back is killing you” which suddenly becomes the basis for claiming your injuries were the result of a prior incident or accident.
  • Discovery of Witnesses: Content on your friends’ social media pages may make it obvious they have damaging information that could harm your case.  The insurance company might attempt to friend that person to obtain damaging information or even subpoena that person to testify.

These are only a few obvious examples of the way that content and photos on social networking sites can have an adverse impact on your personal injury lawsuit.  There are a number of steps that you can take to prevent social media sites from compromising your personal injury claim.  The simplest solution is to remove all social media sites if you have a pending personal injury lawsuit.  Alternatively, you should be very careful what you post on your social media sites.  You should not post anything that has any connection to your accident or personal injury claim and avoid posting anything that the other party’s insurance company might use to undermine your claim or make you look bad.  You should also use maximum privacy settings and check to see what comes up when someone searches for you on the site with your privacy settings in place.  You should also refuse friend requests from anyone you do not recognize.

Free Consultation With a Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer

Michael R. Lawless, P.A., Attorney at Law provides a free consultation, including evenings and weekends by appointment, at our Lenexa, Kansas or Grandview, Missouri offices. Our office in Lenexa is off of I-35 from 87th or 95th in Old Town at 93rd and Pflumm. Our Grandview office is conveniently located at the main street exit off of 71 Highway, next to Captain D’s. Call Kansas City personal injury lawyer Michael Lawless today at 1-800-734-3771, 913-681-5566 or 816-966-0099.