The Legal Help You’ve Been Looking For After A Car Accident
No one plans to be involved in a car accident, but unfortunately, they happen every day. If you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, contact a personal injury attorney who can assess your case, help you get the compensation you deserve and guide you through the car accident claims process. In Kansas City, Missouri, and the surrounding areas in Kansas and Missouri, the firm to contact is The McCallister Law Firm, P.C.
It is easy to file an insurance claim, but the real complication is getting the money you deserve. From calculating damages to negotiating a fair settlement with an insurance adjuster to going to trial when 100% justice cannot be obtained through settlement, our lead attorney, Brian McCallister, will be able to handle each of these steps while you focus on recovering and getting your life back on track after your accident.
Common Causes Of Car Accidents In The Kansas City Area
Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States. In the Kansas City metro area, car accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, most of which can be attributed to driver negligence. When a negligent driver fails to take the necessary precautions while behind the wheel, they put other drivers, passengers and pedestrians at risk. Specific examples of negligence are described below.
Drunk driving is one of the most dangerous things a person can do on the road. Not only does alcohol impair the driver’s ability to drive, but it also significantly increases their chances of causing an accident.
Speed limits are set for a reason – to keep drivers and others safe on the road. When drivers choose to ignore the posted speed limits, they put everyone around them in danger. This type of reckless driving can lead to serious injuries and even wrongful death.
Failure To Yield
Drivers must yield the right of way to other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists in certain situations. When drivers fail to do so, they put themselves and others at risk of being involved in accidents. Driving defensively can help protect you and your passengers from accidents, but at the end of the day, you are at the mercy of those with whom you share the road. When you pass through an intersection, checking to ensure that approaching vehicles are slowing or fully stopped can help mitigate risk but will never guarantee that you won’t be in a crash.
The term “aggressive driving” encompasses a wide range of behaviors that can lead to automobile accidents, including speeding, tailgating, swerving in and out of lanes, passing on the inside, flashing high beams and more.
This is a serious problem on our roads today. When drivers allow their emotions to get the better of them, it can result in dangerous and even deadly consequences. If you are involved in an auto accident caused by road rage, call 911 immediately and remain in your vehicle until the police arrive to avoid a confrontation.
Distraction is one of the leading causes of car accidents nationwide. With the increase in the use of cellphones and other electronic devices, more and more distracted drivers are taking their eyes off the road, which can lead to disaster. Other sources of distraction include talking to passengers, looking at something outside of the car, eating or drinking, adjusting the radio and more.
Poor Road Conditions
Potholes, debris in the roadway and inadequate lighting are just a few examples of poor road conditions that can lead to accidents. When roads are not maintained properly, it increases the chances of accidents occurring. Filing an injury claim against a local, state or federal agency is complex and has unique rules you must follow to recover fair compensation.
If a car has a mechanical defect, it can increase the risk of an accident happening. Common mechanical defects that can lead to accidents include problems with the brakes, tires or steering. To prove that a defect caused your accident, your attorney will need to review the situation and determine the most appropriate course of action, which may require the help of an expert witness.
Many mechanical defects stem from defective products or designs. Many product recalls are enacted after a number of injuries or incidents are reported about the same issue. Defects in automobiles are not common, but when an auto defect may be the cause of the accident, you need a trial attorney who knows it when they see it and can easily access experts to evaluate the automobile from bumper to bumper. This takes swift action. Do not let the insurance company take control of your car if you think a defect – such as a faulty seat back in a rear-end collision, an airbag that didn’t deploy or a fire after a collision – caused the crash or contributed to your injuries.
Inclement weather can make driving more difficult and increase the chances of an accident happening. Although you can’t file a claim against the weather, you may be able to file a claim against another driver who caused your accident because they failed to adapt to poor weather conditions.
Common Types Of Car Accidents
There are many types of auto accidents, but some are more common than others. If you have been involved in any type of auto accident, including those not listed below, you may be entitled to compensation.
These are one of the most common types of car accidents. They often occur when one driver is following another too closely and doesn’t have time to stop when the lead driver brakes. Rear-end accidents can lead to serious injuries even at low speeds, and an experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek the compensation you rightfully deserve through the insurance claims process and through the courts.
Also known as T-bone accidents, side-impact collisions can be very dangerous because they often directly impact the driver or passenger door. These types of accidents often occur at intersections when one driver runs a red light or stop sign and collides with the side of another vehicle. Modern safety technology, such as side-impact airbags and impact-absorbing vehicle frames, have reduced the severity of this type of auto accident, but there are still many risks associated with side-impact collisions that can lead to catastrophic injuries.
These are some of the most serious types of car accidents because they involve a direct impact to the front of one vehicle by another. These accidents can occur when one driver is distracted and drifts into oncoming traffic.
Such accidents often occur when a driver loses control of their vehicle, causing it to roll over. The cause of the driver losing control may be when another driver pulls in front of the driver, causing that driver to suddenly swerve to avoid collision. When this happens, the driver may overreact or overcorrect, causing their vehicle to “trip” and “flip” and then roll over. These types of accidents can be very dangerous because the vehicle’s roof can collapse, trapping or injuring the occupants. These are the most dangerous types of car crashes and are disproportionately fatal compared with other types.
Typical Injuries Resulting From Car Accidents
Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which may not be immediately apparent. It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident to get a full evaluation and ensure that you are not suffering from any hidden injuries. Common injuries that can result from car accidents include:
- Head injuries: Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most common car accident injuries. Even a minor head injury can have serious long-term effects, so it’s important to seek medical care immediately if you hit your head in an accident.
- Neck and back injuries: Whiplash is a common neck injury that can occur during car accidents, and it can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Back injuries, including herniated disks, can also occur during car accidents and may require surgery to correct. Spinal cord injuries of any severity can lead to a life of medical treatment, drastic impacts to quality of life and more.
- Broken bones: Another common injury that can occur in car accidents, broken bones may require surgery and a lengthy recovery period.
- Internal bleeding: This type of injury is serious and can be life threatening if it’s not treated immediately. If you are experiencing any discomfort at the accident scene, then make sure to inform the EMTs at the scene so that you get the appropriate care.
- Emotional distress: Car accidents can also cause emotional distress, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you are suffering from emotional distress after an accident, it’s important to seek counseling or therapy to help you cope. Trying to work with an insurance company while dealing with serious emotional distress is taxing. By hiring a personal injury attorney, you can focus on your recovery instead of fighting with the insurance company.
Even if your injury is something other than those mentioned above or you don’t think you were injured at all, it’s important to seek medical attention after an accident. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. A doctor can perform a full evaluation and order tests to ensure that you are not suffering from any hidden injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Injury Claims
These are just a few of the many questions that accident victims commonly ask during our free case evaluations. Keep in mind that no two motor vehicle accidents are alike. The answers provided below are only meant to give you a general sense of how we work through each question as we handle car accident cases.
How do I know if I have a car accident case?
If you have been injured in a car accident that another driver caused, you likely have a right to seek the maximum compensation for the damages you have suffered. To determine whether you have a claim, you should speak with an experienced car accident attorney.
Do I need an attorney to file an accident claim?
There is no law requiring you to work with a lawyer to file an insurance claim, but the reality is that you will be in a much stronger position with legal professional fighting on your behalf. Personal injury law is highly complicated, and insurers take advantage of this fact to engage in intimidation tactics that can scare claimants into accepting settlements for far less than they deserve. The compensation a lawyer might be able to get for you, even considering the lawyer’s fee, is most often substantially more than you can obtain on your own.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a car accident injury claim?
In Missouri, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is five years from the date of the accident. This might seem like plenty of time to take action, but you’ll want to act much sooner to ensure that evidence is preserved and witness memories are fresh.
How much does it cost to hire a car accident lawyer?
At our firm, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that if we don’t win, you don’t pay a thing.
How do I prove that another driver was at fault for my car accident?
There are a few different ways to establish that another driver was at fault for your car accident. One way is to show that the other driver violated a traffic law, such as speeding or running a red light. Another way is to show that the other driver was driving in a negligent manner, such as by texting while driving.
Should I accept the settlement offer from the insurance company?
No matter how pleasant the insurance adjuster seems, they are working on behalf of the insurer and are focused almost solely on settling your claim for as little as possible. The adjuster is concerned about saving the insurance company money and maximizing profits.
Before agreeing to anything, be sure to review your offer with a lawyer. A personal injury attorney works directly for you and only for you, which is why you can trust their judgment on what a fair settlement should be.
What types of damages can I recover in a car accident claim?
There are two types of damages in these cases: economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages can be quantified in terms of money, such as medical bills and losses to income. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering as well as emotional distress.
What if I was partially at fault for my car accident?
If you were partially at fault, you might still be able to recover damages from the other driver. Missouri is a comparative negligence state, which means that each person is responsible for the damages proportional to their degree of fault. For example, if you were 20% at fault for an accident, then you could recover 80% of the damages from the other driver.
Comparative negligence is an important legal principle that protects victims from being left with no legal recourse. However, insurers will use this law as another tool with which they can reduce the amount they ultimately pay to settle a claim, so your attorney will fight to ensure that you do not accept any more fault than is appropriate.
How can an experienced car accident lawyer help me with my car accident claim?
First, they can help you gather evidence to support your claim. Second, they can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. And third, they can file a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary.
Having someone who can act as an intermediary between you and the insurer can also give you the emotional space necessary to focus on your recovery without the added stress. Insurers understand that claimants are likely overwhelmed by their injuries and other disruptions to their lives, and they know that victims often have little understanding of injury law. They will use this knowledge to manipulate them into accepting a settlement far less than they deserve.
How much am I entitled to for my car accident?
The amount of damages you are entitled to will depend on the specific facts of your case. In general, you may be able to recover economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, and noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering as well as emotional distress.
You may also be able to recover punitive damages in some cases, but these damages are not sought through a claim, and your attorney will not be able to request them. A judge or jury awards them at the conclusion of a trial to punish the at-fault party for particularly reprehensible behavior that led to your injuries.
Contact Us Today For A Free Initial Consultation
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our firm has been providing skilled legal representation to injury victims and their families since 1996. We have experience handling a wide range of car accident cases, and we know what it takes to get our clients the compensation they deserve.