Kansas Car Accidents: Do You Have a Case?

Is there anything scarier, more frustrating, or more upsetting than a car accident? Whether you pass by one on the highway or find yourself involved in one yourself, there are very few things that can send you on such a roller coaster of emotions faster than a wreck.

The first question that comes to our mind after a car accident is the most obvious: What do I do? This is true whether we saw the crash happen or were actually involved in the crash itself. Later, the other questions start to trickle into our mind: What are the most common kinds of car accidents? What kind of car accident injuries do people tend to sustain the most often?

All of these questions are valid, and all deserve answers, so let’s address each of them.

The Most Common Kinds of Car Accidents in Kansas

Regardless if you’ve only been driving for a few months or you’ve been behind the wheel for decades now, the sheer number of car accidents a year — an average of about six million annually — means that you’ve probably witnessed at least one out there on the road.

According to the Kansas Department of Transportation’s (KDOT) most recent statistics, there were 64,682 accidents in the state of Kansas in 2019. Of those, 50,992 resulted in significant property damage, 13,313 resulted in serious injury, and 362 proved to be fatal.

KDOT‘s 2019 report goes on to detail the most common accidents that occurred over the course of the year:

  • 28,908 involved just one single car
  • 11,088 cars collided with deer
  • 10,493 drivers crashed into stationery objects
  • 5,759 were a result of speeding
  • 5,546 were caused by snow and ice on the road
  • 2,992 vehicles were overturned
  • 2,149 involved alcohol

Clearly, anything is possible out there on the road. You never know what might happen, but one thing is abundantly clear from these staggering numbers: With an average of 177 car accidents a day, you can never exercise too much caution. Some may feel that they can avoid accidents by not driving at night or not driving when the weather’s bad. This is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, but keep in mind that KDOT states 62% of accidents occurred during daylight hours and 83% during good weather conditions.

Before you get behind the wheel, it’s best to be aware that there’s always a risk of an accident. These statistics should not keep you from driving, but rather help you to understand that these things are common and that there are people and resources out there to assist you when you need it most.

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries

Now that you have a better idea of the most common kinds of car accidents in Kansas, it’s good to know the most common car accident injuries sustained in these accidents. Ranging from something as trivial as a minor scrape to something as severe as a brain injury, car accident injuries are practically just as common as car accidents themselves. Let’s take a look at some of the most common car accident injuries and why it’s so important to know the risk involved.

  • Bruises and contusions
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken bones

No matter if you’ve been in a minor fender bender or a serious pile-up, there’s always the possibility that one of these injuries can occur when you get behind the wheel. Like with the information about the most common kinds of car accidents in Kansas, this is not meant to be a deterrent, but rather a way to inform drivers like you that car accident injuries do happen and there are steps you can take to recover safely and healthily from them.

What to Do if You’ve Been in a Car Accident in Kansas

So, now that we understand the most common kinds of car accidents and the most common car accident injuries, let’s discuss what to do if you’ve been in a car accident in Kansas.

Step One: Check yourself and your passengers for injuries.

Before getting out of the car or assessing the damage to your vehicle, you absolutely must check yourself for any cuts, bruises, scrapes, or other injuries. Exiting the vehicle or exerting too much energy with an undetected injury will only make things worse, and you need to be extremely careful in this situation.

Step Two: Move your car off the road to safety, if possible.

If your car is able to be moved, you should move it out of the way of traffic and onto the shoulder. Better yet, if you’re near a parking lot or a less busy area, move yourself and your vehicle there. If you’re too injured to move or your car is too damaged to drive, stay put and turn your hazard lights on. If your car can’t be moved, exercise extreme caution as you move yourself and any passengers to safety.

Step Three: Call 911, then call your insurer.

No matter the severity of the accident, you should always call 911 to the scene of the accident so they can file a police report and an accident claim. Once this is done (and if it’s safe to do so), exchange information with the other driver and call your insurer to begin the claims process.

The Bottom Line: If You’ve Been Injured, Call Attorney Donovan Dodrill, Esq. at Plaza Injury Law
Consider this the fourth and final step: If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Kansas, call me, attorney Donovan Dodrill, Esq. at Plaza Injury Law, to find out if you have a case on your hands.

Contact my office for no cost, no-fee assistance. I don’t charge a dime unless you receive compensation. I believe in putting the client first, and I am committed to earning you a trial verdict or settlement so that I can maximize your recovery. If you’ve been injured, schedule a complimentary consultation today.

Common Questions to Ask About Car Accident Claims

The first thing to do after a car accident is nothing. Stay calm. Your blood will be filled with adrenaline. Adrenaline will stop you from feeling pain. This will cause you to be a poor evaluator of the extent of your own injury. It will also increase your emotional responses to everything. So, stop and take a few minutes to relax. Do not talk with the other driver. Clients who, filled with adrenaline, “talk” with the other driver can get into emotional confrontations that will hurt your ability to successfully pursue a claim later. Your behavior at the scene is relevant. Do not get out of your vehicle after the collision unless remaining in the vehicle places you at further risk of harm. Do not leave the scene. You should wait until there is a police officer at the scene before you talk with anyone. You should talk with the officer. Be respectful. Try to stay calm, be honest, and clear. That officer will be writing the Police Report later. If you’re not sure about a detail of the collision, it’s alright to say so.

You should allow the EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) to examine and treat you at the scene. Do not let yourself worry about the cost of care (that’s my job later). Do not voice concerns about the cost of care to anyone at the scene. Do not talk about suing someone or refer to an attorney at the scene of the collision, even if you’re angry. That will also hurt your claim later. You should allow the ambulance to take you to an ER. Be honest and consistent with everyone about what happened. Everything you say to the ambulance crew and ER staff will make it into the medical record. Call me the next day and I’ll take it from there.

You have not screwed up your claim. It is very common for injured parties to tell police officers and EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) at the scene of the collision that they are “just fine,” not hurt, and do not need care or ambulance transport. Right after a collision, your blood will be filled with adrenaline. Adrenaline will stop you from feeling pain. This will cause you to be a poor evaluator of the extent of your own injury. The vast majority of claims I successfully handle involve an injured party who doesn’t treat until the morning following the collision when they wake up and realize that they need medical care.

The power of adrenaline and your own desire to believe that you are “just fine” is so great that, years ago, I represented someone who, after a very serious collision, stepped out of his vehicle and told EMTs that he was “just fine” only to then lose consciousness and fall to the ground. Upon evaluation, it was found that he had a punctured lung and two compression fractures of the cervical spine (a broken neck).

No responsible attorney can tell you how much your claim is worth during the initial consultation. Any attorney who tells you something else is not an attorney you should work with. I am only able to fully discuss the value of a client’s claim after I have reviewed all medical records and bills as well as the facts of the claim. Some facts are only discovered after hiring a private investigator. In the past, claims that I initially believed had limited value, after evaluation, have had significant value. And, every attorney has had cases that looked like their facts would justify very high values only to learn, after evaluation, that those cases were not as valuable as everyone would have liked them to be. It is important for you to work with an experienced attorney who can properly evaluate your claim.

I believe in pre-litigation settlement negotiation. If a claim is properly evaluated and a timely demand is made against the party at fault, that claim can be resolved without litigation in only a few months. However, if a claim is put into suit and litigated to trial that process can take two years or more. Even if your claim eventually needs to be litigated, pre-litigation settlement is helpful both to educate all parties about value, and make settlement in advance of trial more likely. Pre-litigation settlement negotiation preserves the time value of money as well as your credit rating.

It is usually very difficult to treat, replace your vehicle, live the routine of daily life, and learn enough law to negotiate with an insurance adjuster. Remember that this is an adversarial process. Insurance adjusters are trained to pay as little as possible to injured parties to resolve their claims. The injured party is not prepared to go toe to toe with any insurance adjuster. There are several practical reasons for that. If this is your first claim, you will be negotiating with an insurance adjuster who has negotiated hundreds or thousands of claims. That disparity in experience means that, while you have no practical idea of the value of your claim, the insurance adjuster does, has no reason to be honest with you about that value, and is actively working against you. Another reason not to try to negotiate on your own is that there are years of legal precedent and statutes that you do not know.

It is a personal injury attorney’s job to know them. In my experience, insurance adjusters often do not know the law. Only an experienced personal injury attorney will know the law and be able to bring his or her knowledge to bear against the insurance company. This is one area where what you do not know will hurt you. It is also true that one of the only ways an injured party can actually screw up their own claim is by talking at length on a recorded line with the adverse insurance carrier. It can be hard for even an experienced attorney to undo that damage.

An Uber driver uses their own personal vehicle when picking up Uber fares and for personal use when they’re not on the job. They carry their own insurance on the vehicle for personal use. However, when they activate their Uber App notifying the Uber website that they are available to pick up a fare, Uber’s insurance covers the vehicle. Uber’s insurance also covers the vehicle when they are operating with an Uber fare passenger. Similarly, if an Uber driver has activated the Uber App between fares, Uber’s insurance extends to their personal conduct within or outside of the vehicle. For example, if an Uber driver gets drunk, activates the Uber App notifying Uber that they are accepting fares, and then the driver beats someone up on the street, Uber’s insurance extends to that behavior as surely as if they were operating their vehicle under the influence on the job. Visit the blog for more information about rideshare accidents.

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