Car accidents happen all the time in Kansas City, but their frequency does not mean that they are not serious. A serious car accident is one that could involve severe injuries to the occupants of the vehicles involved in the crash. There could even be a wrongful death case if one of the car accident victims ends up succumbing to their injuries. The consequences of a car accident can be very serious, which is why they should not be taken lightly. Car accident lawyers take every accident seriously, which is why they should be one of the first people to be contacted after an accident.
At the Eslinger Law Firm, we are Kansas City car accident attorneys who will fight to make sure that all of our clients are compensated for their losses. We will help the victims of motor vehicle accidents with their personal injury claims and we will negotiate with the insurance company of the at-fault driver to ensure that our clients get a fair settlement. Our personal injury law firm helps people from all across Missouri and Kansas, so if you were in a Kansas City auto accident, then get in touch with us to learn how we can help you.
Kansas City Car Accident Types
There are many different kinds of car accidents that can occur in Kansas City, MO and they vary in the kinds of danger they present and the types of injuries that they can cause. The following are among the most common kinds of auto accidents in Missouri and Kansas:
Rear-End Collision – As the name states, this kind of motor vehicle accident occurs when a car runs into the back of the car ahead of it. While this kind of accident can cause injury and vehicular damage, it is one of the less dangerous kinds of auto accident.
T-Bone Collision – Also known as a side-impact collision, this kind of auto accident can be very dangerous. It happens when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another. That can be very harmful to the people in the seats where the collision happens because there is not a lot of protection from side impacts in that position.
Head-On Collision – These are among the most dangerous car accidents because at least one of the cars involved in the accident is usually traveling at a high rate of speed. As the name states, they occur when a car runs into the front of another. These accidents can cause serious injuries and can sometimes be fatal, but fortunately, they are relatively rare compared to the other kinds of car accidents.
Sideswipe Accidents – This is when cars that are driving beside each other make contact. It is usually relatively harmless compared to the other kinds of car accidents, but it can cause one or both of the vehicles to go out of control.
Why Car Accidents Happen in Kansas City
Human error and negligence are the main reasons why auto accidents occur across Kansas City, but there can be other reasons too. These include inclement weather conditions, poorly maintained roads, and vehicle defects. However, the following are some of the human causes of Kansas City car accidents:
Even though drunk driving is against the law, many people still engage in this practice, and many of them who do may end up in an auto accident. The reason is that being intoxicated impairs the driver’s perception and judgment and slows down their reaction time. So they might not be able to react quickly enough in an emergency situation and they might make the wrong decision when they end up in one.
There are three kinds of distracted driving: cognitive distraction, which is taking your mind off the task of driving; visual distraction, which means taking your eyes off the road; manual distraction, which is when you take your hands off the steering wheel. Texting while driving involves all three of these distractions, which is why it is so dangerous. However, there are other types of distractions, such as eating while driving, grooming oneself, fiddling with the dashboard, or talking to passengers. Any type of distracted driving is capable of causing a car accident, which is why it should always be avoided.
This encompasses a variety of different types of irresponsible driving behavior, such as speeding or ignoring traffic signs and signals. It is generally described as driving with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others and their personal property. Reckless drivers usually face serious consequences like heavy fines and imprisonment.
Aggressive driving is similar to reckless driving in that they both exhibit a disregard for the safety of others. However, aggressive driving involves behavior that could be considered to be hostile to other drivers. This can include cutting off other drivers, tailgating, frequent lane changes, running amber or red lights, brake checking, and other similarly aggressive behaviors. Not surprisingly, aggressive driving can frequently lead to road rage as well. That means that not only can the aggressive driver end up causing an auto accident, but they might also end up getting violent as well.
Driving While Fatigued
This is extremely dangerous because the tired driver could briefly lose consciousness and drift out of their lane into oncoming traffic. Even if the driver manages to stay conscious, they are unlikely to be alert and able to react to any emergency situations in time.
What To Do After a Car Accident in Kansas City
While the authorities should be left to handle most of the situation, there are a few things that you can do after a Kansas City auto accident to increase your chances of getting a fair settlement amount:
Call The Authorities – The first thing you need to do is to call the Kansas City, MO authorities, meaning the police and the paramedics. The paramedics will need to take care of anyone who has suffered any injuries and the police will need to cordon off the scene so that other motorists do not get caught up in the accident. The police will also need to write a report, which can come in useful later on when your personal injury attorney is making their case.
Take Pictures – You should take pictures of the auto accident scene including the damage done to each vehicle as well as things like skid marks. This can help to prove who was at fault for the accident, which your accident lawyer can use when they are negotiating with the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
Do Not Admit Fault – Even when you were not at fault for the car accident, it can be an automatic reflex to apologize, but you should try to avoid doing that. The reason is that the insurance company can use that statement against you to claim that you were completely or partially at fault for the accident. That can give them cause to reduce, or even reject, your settlement amount.
Get Medical Treatment – You should make sure to get medical treatment even if you do not think that you are injured. Some injuries may not manifest immediately and you will want to get them treated before they get worse. Not only is this best for your health, but it can also affect your settlement amount because the insurance company will try to claim that your injury did not happen in the car accident and offer you a settlement that is lower than what you deserve.
Contact a Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer – You will need to be compensated for any losses that you suffered as a result of the auto accident. That is why you will need the help of a personal injury lawyer who is experienced with car accident cases. They are vital because they will help you in ways that you cannot help yourself. So be sure to contact a car accident attorney as soon as you have completed all of the other steps if you want your car accident case to be successful.
How a Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
If you were injured in a car accident, then you will have various expenses that need to be taken care of, and if the accident was not your fault, then you should not have to pay for them. You may have medical expenses because of the injuries you suffered, as well as repair bills or replacement costs for your vehicle or other personal property that was damaged in the auto accident. You may be unable to work for some time as you recuperate from your injuries and so may also have to worry about lost wages, plus there is the pain and suffering you experienced as well.
Kansas City car accident lawyers will know how to handle an auto accident case in order to give their clients the best chance of a favorable outcome. Since an auto accident case is a subset of personal injury law, that means the at-fault party must have been negligent, but you will need to prove that they were and an auto accident lawyer can do just that. The reason is that auto accident attorneys can collect the evidence needed to prove the negligence of the driver responsible for the accident. They can talk to witnesses, access police reports, collect surveillance footage and show any photos you took of the accident scene to accident reconstruction experts.
Calculating Your Losses
Your Kansas City auto accident lawyer can also help you to calculate the amount of compensation that you will need. They will examine your medical bills, repair bills, and so on in order to calculate your economic losses from the accident. Your lawyer will also take into account the non-economic losses that you suffered, such as pain and suffering, or any psychological or emotional problems caused by the accident. Attorneys and insurance companies tend to calculate non-economic expenses by multiplying the economic expenses by a certain amount.
Negotiating With The Insurance Company
Once the evidence has been collected and the losses calculated, your auto accident lawyer will then send a demand letter to the insurance company of the driver responsible for the accident; the letter will include the amount of compensation that you need. Once the insurer receives the letter, they can choose to accept it and pay the settlement; they can also choose to renegotiate the settlement amount.
If they choose to pay the settlement or renegotiate a reasonable amount, then the case ends at this point. However, they can also choose to reject the settlement claim or they might renegotiate an amount that you and your attorney decide is too low. If either of those actions occur, then you will have to file a lawsuit against the responsible driver to get the compensation that you need.
Pursuing a Lawsuit
A lawsuit is typically a last resort in car accident cases and in personal injury cases in general. The reason is that lawsuits are expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable, which is why these kinds of cases tend to get resolved before a lawsuit becomes necessary. Nonetheless, the first step of a lawsuit is the discovery process where the attorneys for the plaintiff and the defendant exchange the evidence they have gathered so far so that they can provide the best possible defense for their clients.
Once that stage is complete, both parties are encouraged to enter mediation. This is when a neutral third party tries to get the attorneys to resolve the case before it goes to trial. If the two parties cannot come to a resolution, then the case will go to trial where it will be decided in a court of law. The fate of both parties will then be put in the hands of a judge and jurors. Fortunately, car accident cases rarely make it to this stage because most people will want to get the case over and done with rather than going through the long, drawn-out process of a trial.
Contact Us If You Were Injured in a Kansas City Auto Accident
We at the Eslinger Law Firm are dedicated to helping anyone in Kansas City Missouri who was in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver. We have extensive expertise in personal injury law that we will use to help our clients get the compensation that they deserve. We are a law firm that is ready, willing, and able to help those who were injured in the accident as well as the families of the people who suffered a wrongful death because of the injuries they sustained in the accident.
We will help our clients to negotiate with the insurance companies because they will always try to offer the lowest possible settlement. And if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit, then we will represent our clients throughout the entire process. So be sure to contact us at the Eslinger Law Firm as soon as possible if you were in an auto accident in Kansas City, Missouri.