Common Misconceptions About Kansas Car Accident Claims
According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, nearly 16,000 people were injured in car accidents in 2020, and more than 40,000 people experienced some kind of property damage in a traffic accident. With numbers this high, it’s essential everyone understands what to do in the event of a car crash. Notably, you should be able to answer the following questions:
Who will pay for damages after a car accident?
Is it necessary to report the accident?
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Who is to blame in a car accident?
To discuss these topics in depth with a qualified car accident attorney, contact Grover Law Firm, LLC. With offices in Overland Park, Kansas, the team can assist clients throughout the Kansas City area, including Shawnee and Olathe, Kansas; and Liberty and Independence, Missouri.
5 Common Misconceptions About Kansas Car Accident Claims
It’s Always the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance That Pays for Damages/Injuries.
This isn’t always true, and the answer will not only depend on the circumstances of the accident, but also what state the accident took place in. Kansas is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that after a car crash, each driver must first file a claim with their own insurance company regardless of who’s found to be at fault. After this goes through, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will likely kick in to cover your damages. If your PIP insurance doesn’t cover all your expenses, you may then be able to file a claim with the other driver or file a personal injury claim against them. Missouri, on the other hand, is an at-fault insurance state, which means that you’ll first file a claim with the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident instead of your own.
Since Kansas Is a No-Fault Insurance State, I Can’t Seek Compensation From the At-Fault Driver.
While it’s true that you must first file a claim with your own insurance provider, this does not bar you from eventually seeking damages from the at-fault driver. PIP insurance will only cover up to a certain level of expenses and only covers certain types of expenses. For example, a standard PIP policy covers $4,500 in medical expenses per person, so any damages that go over this amount can theoretically be pursued through the other driver’s policy. Additionally, PIP doesn’t cover any damages related to property damage, so these may also be pursued by filing a claim with the other driver. However, it’s highly recommended that you only do this with the help of a personal injury attorney who can ensure you have a strong case.
If the Accident Was Minor, It’s Not Necessary to File a Police Report.
It’s almost always a good idea to contact the police after an accident, even if you think it was a minor crash. By law, police should always be contacted if anyone was injured in the accident or if there’s more than $500 in property damages. It can be extremely hard to predict the final damages right after a wreck, so you should always err on the side of caution and contact the police. By doing this, you’ll receive an official police report that can later be used by your legal team as evidence when pursuing a settlement.
I Was Partially At-Fault for the Accident, So I Can’t File a Personal Injury Claim.
Kansas follows a comparative negligence model for awarding damages, which means that liability can be shared between two parties in an accident. However, you can only seek damages from the other driver if you hold less than 50% of the responsibility for the crash occurring. Even if you hold 51% of the blame, you’ll be barred from seeking any compensation. Missouri follows this same model, but slightly differently. It employs a pure comparative fault structure. This means you can pursue damages from the other driver regardless of your share of blame. So even if you were 90% responsible, you could still technically sue for the remaining 10%.
I Don’t Need to Hire an Attorney to File a Personal Injury Claim
The vast majority of accident victims find they have an easier time and receive a more favorable settlement when they work with an attorney, though you’re not legally required to do so. An experienced attorney can walk you through the process of filing a claim to ensure you completely understand your options, negotiate on your behalf with insurance adjusters or the other driver's attorney, collect and analyze evidence that can be used to support your case, and help ease the burden of recovering from such a traumatizing event.
Car Accident Attorney in Overland Park, Kansas
The hours and days following a car accident can feel overwhelming and confusing, but securing the financial compensation you deserve is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. If you’re in the Overland Park, Kansas, area, reach out to the Grover Law Firm, LLC today to schedule a consultation.