Tag Archives: Kansas personal injury attorney

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.

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.

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 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 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.

Kansas Personal Injury Attorney offers Tips and Tricks for a Safe Halloween

October is a prime time to highlight the importance of roadway safety. From interstates to quiet neighborhoods, cooler temperatures and the upcoming holiday, Halloween, means more drivers and pedestrians on our state’s roadways. Especially the weekend of Halloween when special events are held and trick-or-treaters are walking along the road, it is important that parents and drivers be aware of potential dangers and use caution.

What Parents Need to Know

As parents prepare their little ghouls and goblins for a fun weekend of make-believe, it is important that they also prepare them for possible dangers. According to the National Safety Council, there are several important things parents should keep in mind, such as:

  • Always pair children under age 12 with a responsible adult
  • Prepare in advance a route for children to follow while trick-or-treating
  • Know who your children are going to be walking with, and where they live
  • Instruct children to only approach well-lit homes or apartments, and to never enter a stranger’s home
  • Instruct children to keep all candy sealed until they return home and the candy can be inspected
  • Review traffic safety guidelines for your neighborhood before venturing out
  • Use a pin to attach your contact information to the inside of your child’s costume in case he or she gets separated from you or the assigned group
  • Establish a set time for children to return home, or to a rendezvous point before trick-or-treating

What Motorists Need to Know

While Kansas motorists are already tasked with being mindful of pedestrians near the roadway, the days around Halloween are special cause for caution and awareness. Motorists should be especially careful to avoid distractions and impairment during this time. The National Safety Council recommends the following safety guidelines for motorists on Halloween:

  • Drive slowly around parked cars and be on the lookout for children moving between them.
  • Be mindful of medians and curbs, and keep watch for children walking near these locations.
  • Halloween is a common time for children (and adults) to be dressed in dark clothing. During the evening and nighttime hours, be especially mindful of this and watch for pedestrians.
  • Proceed cautiously when entering or exiting driveways, alleys, or dimly-lit intersections.

Anyone Can Fall Victim

While Halloween may be more dangerous for children as they are often less visible and may not be aware of the dangers of the roadway, the dangers posed to pedestrians are real no matter what age. It is important that anyone venturing out on Halloween exercise extreme caution and communicate effectively with those around them. Halloween adventurers of any age should have a plan in case an accident occurs, and should seek legal guidance as soon as an injury occurs.

If you or someone you love has been injured as a pedestrian, contact the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. right away. Accidents involving pedestrians are often catastrophic and in many cases the result of a negligent action. At Michael R. Lawless, P.A., our Kansas Personal Injury Attorney and his team of legal professionals work diligently to protect our clients in the aftermath of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. With more than 27 years of experience, our Lenexa, Kansas Personal Injury Attorney knows what it takes to explore every possible outcome and get results. Contact the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. by calling us toll-free at (800) 734-3771 to schedule a free consultation of your personal injury case. You can also send us a message via our website, and we will respond to you as quickly as possible.


Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Reports: Electrocution Death of Kansas Worker Highlights Importance of Bucket Truck Safety

A recent report regarding the death of a Kansas man after being electrocuted while working in a bucket truck highlights the importance that employers and employees understand proper safety guidelines. According to media reports, the 58-year-old man was working in a bucket truck when he came in contact with a live power line. The power line reportedly was charged with more than 7,000 volts of electricity. The man was taken to a nearby hospital where he died of his injuries. The local Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the accident.

It is common after accidents like this one for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to also investigate the cause of the accident, and whether the employer and employee were using proper safety guidelines. OSHA has strict guidelines for bucket truck safety designed to prevent similar accidents. Bucket trucks are dangerous for several reasons, with the most common accidents caused by a fall, tip-over, collision, electrocution, or improper use.

It is important that anyone working in a bucket truck be mindful of the possible dangers, and how best to avoid injury. Safety website www.buckettrucks.org recommends the following concerning avoiding common injuries:

  • Falls – Always keep both feet on the floor of the bucket. Never climb, stand, or lean over the edge. Never place any work item, such as a ladder, in the bucket in order to increase height. Before climbing into the bucket, be sure that there is no debris present. Always wear protection designed to prevent falls.
  • Tip-Over – Never pull the bucket toward another object, or push it away from an object while the bucket is raised. Do not place any item in the bucket that exceeds the standard weight capacity of 300 pounds. Always park the truck on level ground, and do not attempt to move the truck with the bucket raised. Do not raise the bucket in windy conditions.
  • Collision – Bucket trucks are large and have several blind spots. Be aware of blind spots and pay attention to nearby vehicles. Travel slowly when approaching gravel or uneven ground, hilly or curvy roadways, or sidewalks occupied by pedestrians. Be mindful of overhead obstructions and limitations.
  • Electrocution – Always maintain safe distance between the bucket, any tool being used, and power lines. Even protected, insulated platforms are not adequate to protect the individual from electrical current, either phase-to-ground or phase-to-phase contact.
  • Improper Use – It is important that the operator of the truck and the individual in the bucket are aware of proper safety guidelines. Never leave the truck unattended or allow untrained persons to operate the truck or bucket. Never leave the engine running while refueling. Never operate the truck or bucket if there is a mechanical defect.

Get Help if You Have Been Injured

If you have been injured in an accident while working in a bucket truck, you need the support of a competent attorney who is skilled in workers’ compensation and personal injury matters including bucket truck safety concerns. Contact Lenexa, Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless now to find out what your rights and options are under our state’s workers’ compensation and personal injury laws. At the law office of Michael R. Lawless, P.A., we bring to every case more than two decades of legal experience. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. You may call our office toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You also have the option of sending us a message online, which will be reviewed and responded to promptly.

Officials Warn Kansas City Residents to Be Wary of Illegal Fireworks

Earlier this month, a south Kansas City house exploded, knocking off its foundation and injuring six people, two of them critically.  Investigators quickly uncovered the reason for the explosion—the people inside were manufacturing illegal fireworks.  Legally sold fireworks can have no more than 50 milligrams of flash powder.  Illegal fireworks, however, are often created to be 20 times more powerful. As the recent Kansas City explosion illustrates, accidents involving these potent fireworks are not the typical fireworks burn; the results are often serious injuries and even death. Three years ago, in Independence, an illegal fireworks explosion killed a man and threw his body in the backyard of another house.

Around July 4th, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives begins to hear more and more reports of illegal fireworks being sold on the street.  These fireworks are popular for their explosive capacity.  Materials cost little and the sale price of these homemade fireworks can be quite high, as manufacturers ask whatever they want.

The individuals inside the Kansas City house that exploded had been selling illegal fireworks for over two years.  One resident of the home reported that he helped make about 1,500 explosives last July.  The residents further informed investigators that bowls of open explosives were left out in the basement.

ATF investigators find that often illegal fireworks manufacturers work in dirty facilities coated with explosive power.  They often find bulk powder and fuses.  Sometimes, manufacturers actually disassemble consumer fireworks and remanufacturer them to a higher power, often leading to accidents.

John Ham, an ATF spokesman, warned that it does not take much for these illegal fireworks to go off.  Furthermore, it is often difficult to identify an illegal explosive.  Most fireworks do not come with labels and look essentially the same.

In 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission received reports of six fireworks deaths occurring outside the workplace.  At least two involved homemade fireworks.

Kansas City officials advise residents to use caution in purchasing fireworks.  Only buy from reputable stores and avoid any roadside or potentially homemade purchases.  If you observe activity that indicates a neighbor may be making illegal fireworks, report it to the authorities in order to protect your own home from the dangerous possibility of an explosion.

If you are injured in a fireworks accident involving a potentially illegal firework, the manufacturer of this product may be liable for your injuries.  Those who negligently sell such a dangerous product could be held responsible for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.  They will also face criminal charges.  Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following a fireworks accident so that prompt investigations can ensue.

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

The Lenexa, Kansas Personal Injury Attorneys at the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. urge anyone who has been injured in a fireworks accident to contact our office.  Our personal injury attorneys have represented clients in a wide range of accidents for over 27 years.  We will carefully examine the circumstances surrounding your fireworks related injury and determine whether negligence or a product defect played a role in the accident.  We will then guide you towards a full recovery.  To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential fireworks 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.