Being involved in a car accident can be a harrowing experience, especially if it resulted in physical injuries and mental trauma. In the state of Kansas, you can file a claim with your insurance company without proving liability for the incident. However, such a system is not favorable for victims with serious injuries, which are costly and often take time to treat.
If you are the victim of an auto accident, you can take legal action against those that harmed you. Consult with a Kansas car accident lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to jumpstart discussions on your case. Call (800) 794-0444 for an initial consultation.
Kansas Is a No-Fault State
Kansas is one of the many states that implement the no-fault system for auto insurance claims. Under this personal injury protection or PIP, your car insurance policy will cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket losses. It does not matter who was at fault for the accident—your carrier will pay for it.
In a no-fault policy, you must fully coordinate with your insurance company. It is different from a fault-based system wherein you have to be wary when dealing with the other party’s insurance carrier to avoid a potential claim denial. Sometimes, your carrier will require you to undergo a medical examination with an accredited healthcare professional—failure to follow their protocols can cost you your claims.
Keep in mind that the no-fault or PIP claim only applies to your physical injuries. You have no right to claim pain and suffering (compensation for your physical and emotional distress according to the Legal Information Institute) or file a lawsuit against the negligent driver under a specific threshold. If you want to pursue vehicle damage claims, you can hold the at-fault driver liable for your financial losses without caps. At any point during the process, consult with a Kansas car accident lawyer for advice moving forward.
You Can Still File a Claim or Lawsuit Despite Living in a No-Fault State
The no-fault system aims to reduce the number of personal injury lawsuits and third-party insurance claims; however, it has its limitations. Because of the set state-mandated caps for covered benefits, some car accident victims fail to recover their losses. Fortunately, there is a way around it.
Kansas allows injured victims to pursue liability claims from at-fault drivers, given certain conditions. Under state law, you may do so when you exhaust your coverage and suffer serious injuries. In Kansas, an injury is severe if it led to a fracture of a weight-bearing bone, compound, compressed, or displaced fracture of any bone, permanent disfigurement, permanent damage, and permanent loss of a body function.
If your situation meets the above criteria, you can file a claim against the liable party. Besides recovering financial losses due to medical expenses and lost wages, you can collect non-economic damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and disability or disfigurement.
Possible Compensation Depends on the Case
Potential compensation you can collect from at-fault drivers include pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income. However, compensation awarded often varies for every case—there is no set amount since it will differ according to one’s circumstances.
Negligence is the most common underlying reason for car accidents. Kansas follows a comparative negligence rule for determining liability. It suggests that the accident happened because you may have partly contributed to it, and as such, you must bear a portion of the damages. For instance, you were 10 percent at fault for the accident. In this case, you can only recover up to 90 percent of the total damages. So, if you were aiming for $10,000 worth of compensation, you would only receive the reduced amount of $9,000.
Kansas also implements the modified type of comparative negligence, wherein recovery is only possible up to a specific point. The state follows a 50% bar rule—if at least half of the fault was yours, in which case, you would not recover a financial award. You can only receive compensation for your injuries when your percentage of fault stands at 49% or less.
Most motor vehicle accident victims are unaware of whether the incident was partly their fault. Without the available critical information, they are likely to accept settlement offers lower than what is fair. Consult with a Kansas car accident lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm when exploring your legal options. You can speak to one of our team members today when you call for a free case assessment.
How a Kansas Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Even if Kansas is a no-fault state and you can claim under your PIP coverage, you may still want help from a car accident lawyer. They will guide you throughout the process, especially when filing a liability claim for vehicle damage and compensation for injuries not covered by your insurance.
Should you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, they will primarily assist in establishing the other party’s liability and their percentage of fault. They will do so by collecting relevant evidence, researching, and investigating every piece of information. Moreover, they will ensure that they file the case within the state’s two-year deadline under the statute of limitations, should settlement negotiations fall through.
Get in Touch with Us for Legal Advice
Working with a Kansas car accident lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can benefit you. We offer legal advice and representation for various personal injury cases, including auto accidents. Know that they can help you get the compensation you deserve.
To get started, call (800) 794-0444 for a no-obligation initial consultation with a member of our team.