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When you’re in an accident and you are facing challenges you never expected, we are here to help. You deserve to have someone fighting on your side who can help you get the results you deserve. All of your injuries and damages deserve to be compensated for. Our Kansas injury lawyers are here to help you every step of the way.
We will work with you to build a strong case right away. We have the experience and resources to handle all legal aspects of your case. Your main focus should be on your health and well-being. Let us focus on building a strong case and using all of our resources to ensure you get the best results possible.
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Every year, a surprising number of people are hurt in accidents that fall under the legal practice area of personal injury. It’s incredibly frustrating to know that most of these accidents wouldn’t happen if those responsible had taken a few precautions and were simply more mindful.
If you are reading this page, you may have been seriously injured in an accident. You may have had major surgery or need to undergo continuing medical treatments of some kind. You may be out of work for the foreseeable future because of your injuries, causing you financial hardship.
If these things are true, you are probably overwhelmed and searching for someone who can help you with an injury claim. Our Kansas personal injury lawyers are here for you. Call us today and find out how we can help during your free consultation.
If you’re thinking, “That sounds great, but I bet it costs a fortune,” we want you to know we provide a free consultation with no strings attached. We urge you to take advantage of our advice and get your questions answered today.
This page will provide an overview of some of the basics pertaining to personal injury claims. We will start off by covering the most common missteps people make in Kansas personal injury cases. After that, we’ll illustrate other things you need to know to have a strong case by telling the story of one of our former clients. Be sure you read it to the end to get the most benefit.
If you are seriously injured in an accident because someone else was negligent or careless, the last person you want ruining your chance for compensation is yourself. There are several things you should be aware of that can devalue your claim.
Whether you’re in a car accident, a slip and fall, are bitten by a dog, or have been injured under any other category of personal injury, make sure you go to the doctor immediately after you are injured.
It’s more common than you probably think for people to get hurt and minimize their injuries. They either don’t realize the extent of their injuries at the time of the accident, or don’t want to make a big scene over it. Many people instinctively cover up their vulnerability by not going to a medical facility to get checked.
This can cause huge problems for several reasons. First, you may be injured and not realize it because of all the stress hormones in your system.
It’s normal to experience a spike in adrenaline and cortisol in traumatic situations. The common side effect of these hormones is an elevated pain threshold. Let the doctor tell you you’re okay; don’t make assumptions.
The second reason skipping the medical evaluation is a bad idea is the insurance company will be more than happy to tell you that you aren’t injured. They’ll tell anyone else who will listen, too. Fair or not, your failure to get examined will almost certainly be used by the insurance provider to try and get your case tossed out.
Get medical attention as soon after your accident as possible.
Most of us are familiar with the notes we receive when we leave the doctor’s office. Many of us never actually read them. They get left on the floor of the car to be trampled, go into a file with receipts, get tossed in the junk mail pile, or maybe even make it into the garbage.
The trouble is these notes often contain important follow-up instructions.
Follow-up notes have never been so important. Read them carefully. If the medical professional who gave them to you made any request that you take further action to help in your recovery, you need to do that. At the very least, it will probably show the date of your next appointment.
It’s important to remember that in your post-accident life, you will want to save every piece of paper regarding medical care for your accident injuries. This applies to doctors’ notes, as well as medical bills. Each piece can be considered evidence, and proof of your injuries. It’s also proof of the need for any continuing care, such as occupational therapy, and it helps bolster your injury timeline.
If you fail to finish your prescribed course of treatment, whether it involves medications or some type of ongoing therapy, the insurance company will likely use it against you. Don’t put yourself into the frustrating position of helping the insurance company not pay you.
If you haven’t received a call yet from an insurance adjuster looking for a recorded statement, don’t worry. They are not likely to leave you hanging. Unless, of course, we’re talking about hanging you out to dry.
You can expect a call not long after you are injured. The adjusters will do their very best to get you talking about your accident and how you’re doing. They may sound genuinely concerned, but they are invariably working up to asking you for a recorded statement.
It can be hard to believe, but it’s important to remember that these people are at work. The success of their job depends on their ability to record information about your accident that can be used to devalue your claim. Don’t make this mistake.
Insurance companies can sound very authoritative. The fact is, you are under no obligation to speak with them. And the longer you stay on the phone, the more likely it is that they’ll get you to say something that can hurt your case.
Chances are, you won’t even see it coming. You may truly feel as though you are helping your case along. What you are probably doing, however, is seriously damaging your case by giving the insurance company information they can use to divert blame and devalue your claim.
When the insurance provider calls, your best bet is to let them know politely you do not wish to speak with them and hang up. This is one of many conversations you can and should consider delegating to your Kansas personal injury lawyer.
Deciding who will represent your injury claim is probably the single most important decision you will make regarding your case.
Assuming all lawyers are the same could cost you thousands at the settlement table. Going to court without a skilled trial lawyer could cost you your entire case.
There are many different areas of law, and most lawyers have specializations. You help your case the most when you hire a seasoned trial attorney who has won personal injury cases both in and out of court.
The insurance companies know which lawyers are skilled trial lawyers. Realizing who they are up against may drive the insurance provider to the negotiating table so they can avoid taking their chances with your lawyer in court.
Our Kansas personal injury lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies, whether in or out of court. We want to fight for your right to compensation.
The following story is intended to give you a good sense of some of the main components involved in personal injury cases. The names and circumstances have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients. Make sure you read this to the end. When you’re done, please call us to get free legal advice about your specific case.
About eighteen months ago, Vincent Russo was a 24-year-old Wichita native with plans for the future.
After high school, Vincent had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. He decided to take a year “off,” working and eventually fell in with a crowd he knew deep down would only lead to trouble. He knew he needed a purpose.
The following spring, Vincent volunteered as an after-school tutor at the local community center. It wasn’t long before Vincent realized he had a gift for teaching. Not only did he enjoy it, his students paid attention and began to understand tough homework assignments.
Word got around, and Vincent began getting requests from parents to help their kids, too. Vincent ended up tutoring kids through the summer to prepare them for their college entrance exams.
By the fall, Vincent knew he was meant to become a teacher. He decided to get his college degree.
Five years later, Vincent was in his last semester of college. All that remained of his semester was to wrap up his student teaching assignment.
With only two weeks left before graduation, Vincent was looking forward to applying for his dream job teaching high school chemistry in the fall. He hoped he might even teach at the high school he had graduated from.
Vincent’s accomplishment was made all the more meaningful by the fact that he was graduating debt-free. Over the previous five years, Vincent embodied a work ethic bordering on super-human, juggling two jobs, his coursework, and now student teaching.
And it was all about to pay off.
On a sunny day in May, Vincent spent an extra hour helping an 11th grade chemistry student with a lab assignment after school. Now he was rushing to make his shift at a nearby steakhouse, where he’d worked for the last four years. It was going to be tight, but he was confident he could make it, because he’d brought his uniform with him, cleaned and ironed, in the trunk.
Knowing Thursdays are lab help days, and he was proud of himself for planning ahead. Not having to swing home to change would save him the time he now needed to not be late.
Vincent smiled as he pulled onto West 13th Street North to make his way across town.
Everything seemed to be going Vincent’s way as the light at North Broadway turned green before he reached the intersection. He didn’t even have to slow down.
As he sailed underneath the light, Vincent instinctively looked right and then left, even though he had the right of way. In the next instant, he was blinded by headlights as a white box truck slammed into the driver’s side of his old Chevy.
Vincent doesn’t remember the trip to the hospital that day. He does remember the confusion of waking up in the intensive care unit and not being able to remember his name or understand where he was. He remembers pain.
Vincent had undergone spinal fusion because his back was broken in the accident. He also had a broken foot and lots of bruising. He spent the next five days in the hospital. His big sister Theresa and their parents, Sal and Maria took turns at his bedside until Vincent was discharged.
On the day Vincent was discharged, his sister found our website and called us to schedule a free consultation for her little brother.
Before she got off the phone, Theresa let us know her brother wanted answers to three questions: How long would a personal injury case take, what might it be worth, and most importantly, how much money would he need up front to hire us.
We met Vincent at his parent’s house in Rockhurst two days later.
This was our first meeting with Vincent and his family, but as soon as we entered his parents’ home, we felt as though we’d known the family for years.
The house was filled with the aroma of baked bread and Italian food. Maria may not have been able to fix her son’s injuries, but she could cook. This was a close-knit family of good people that were very worried about their son and brother.
We found Vincent propped against a pile of pillows in the guest room next to the den.
As soon as we sat down, he said, “I don’t want to waste your time. I don’t have money for a fancy lawyer. How much would you charge to take my case?”
To Vincent’s relief, we assured him that our firm doesn’t charge anything upfront.
“Our firm would fund your case from start to finish, covering all costs,” we told him, adding, “We take cases on a contingency basis, so we only get paid if we successfully resolve your case.”
“That’s a big relief,” Vincent admitted.
Next, Vincent asked, “How much do you think my case is worth?”
We told Vincent that we couldn’t give him a clear answer to that question this early in his case. We would first need to conduct a thorough accident investigation, and then assess Vincent’s damages.
The investigation could begin as soon as we were retained to represent him and would involve gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. We would also begin all of the preparations for the case as if it were going to trial.
We told Vincent his homework assignment was to recover. We explained that in order to properly assess the economic and non-economic damages in his case, we would need him to reach maximum medical improvement.
“This means that right now your focus needs to be on healing and following through with all of your doctor’s orders for your post-surgery treatment plan,” our personal injury lawyer told Vincent.
Maximum medical improvement meant reaching a level of recovery that the doctor would consider “back to normal.” If that level of recovery was not possible, then maximum medical improvement would mean the highest recovery Vincent could achieve after his injury. It would be his new normal.
Once his recovery reached this point, we could be confident that there would be no additional surgeries. It would also tell us what future medical care could be expected.
“Once you reach maximum medical improvement, we will be able to tell you the value of your case.”
Vincent stared out the window for a long minute. We all knew a solid part of this picture involved if and how well Vincent would walk again.
A week after surgery, he still had no feeling in his legs. The doctors were hopeful, however, that feeling would return as inflammation subsided. We were determined to remain hopeful, too.
Finally, Vincent looked at us with determination and said he’d give his best effort to his recovery.
Vincent’s accident left him with serious injuries, and there were still many unknowns. The one thing he could predict, however, was that soon there would be more bills than money coming in.
After working for so long to live without debt, Vincent was clearly anxious to get his financial situation back on track.
“How long will my personal injury accident claim take?” he asked, again wearing a look of concern.
“It’s a fair question, Vincent. Unfortunately, we will need more information before we can give you a realistic answer.”
Our lawyer went on to explain, “We need two things to have an idea of how long your case will take. The first is a clear picture of all of your damages. The second is whether the insurance company is going to behave in a fair and reasonable manner.”
“Once we know your damages, we will send the insurance provider a demand letter. If they are reasonable, your case will progress rapidly. If not, we go to trial.”
We reminded Vincent that right now his job was to rest and recover. The sooner we could get an accurate idea of his damages, the faster the case would move.
“We bring cases before juries on a regular basis,” we assured Vincent, adding, “The insurance company knows our successful track record in court. It’s very possible that if it comes to putting a case in suit, the insurance provider will change their mind and work with us on a fair settlement. It would not be smart for them to want to roll the dice with us in front of a jury.”
“This is why you say on your website that having a trial lawyer is so important, isn’t it?” Vincent asked.
“Yes, it gives you a far greater capacity to win your case, whether you’re at the bargaining table or in the courtroom.”
Vincent nodded thoughtfully and said, “Consider yourselves hired. Let’s get started.”
A few moments later, Maria came in with biscotti and coffee to celebrate.
In the end, the insurance company decided to take their chances with a jury, and Vincent was awarded far more than any of us expected.
Today, we are happy to say Vincent is walking again and continues to make every physical therapy visit. He started teaching chemistry at his old high school this fall, and his doctors are confident that by summer break, Vincent will be saying goodbye to his cane.
Continuing with his debt-free mission, Vincent is currently saving to buy his first home, in cash.
We hope this story has answered some of the questions you have about personal injury claims. Every personal injury case is unique, and we want to help you through yours. Don’t go it alone. Call us today for free legal advice.