Being in a car accident can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. Even a minor fender bender can leave you feeling shaken up, and more serious crashes involving injuries or property damage can be truly traumatic. When another driver’s negligence on the roads of Wichita, Kansas leads to a collision, you may need an experienced car accident attorney to help you seek maximum compensation for your losses and hold the at-fault driver fully accountable.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain how a knowledgeable car accident lawyer Wichita KS can assist you after an auto accident. Whether your crash involved another vehicle, a commercial truck, a motorcycle or a pedestrian, having a dedicated legal team in your corner can make all the difference in getting the outcome you deserve.
What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?
An experienced car accident attorney takes care of the complex legal and insurance matters associated with your crash so you can focus on healing and getting your life back on track. Some of the key ways a lawyer can help after a Wichita auto accident include:
Conducting a Thorough Investigation
One of the first things a skilled car accident lawyer will do is conduct a comprehensive investigation of your crash to determine precisely how it occurred and who was at fault. This can involve visiting the accident scene, taking measurements and photos, interviewing eyewitnesses, reviewing police reports, hiring accident reconstruction experts, and gathering other relevant evidence. Having an objective attorney investigate helps establish liability.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
After a collision, you may need to communicate with one or more insurance carriers, including your own insurer and the at-fault driver’s. An accomplished car accident lawyer can handle these negotiations on your behalf to help ensure you are treated fairly and receive full and fair compensation. The attorney understands common insurance company tactics and knows how to maximize your settlement.
Filing Claims and Lawsuits
Your lawyer can file any necessary paperwork related to your car accident case, including submitting claims to insurance providers, filing a personal injury lawsuit if a satisfactory settlement isn’t offered, and notifying all appropriate parties. Having an attorney handle this legal paperwork properly can improve your chances of success.
Representing You in Court
If your car accident claim goes all the way to a trial, your lawyer can represent you in court, present persuasive arguments before the judge and jury, cross-examine witnesses, and make sure your rights are protected each step of the way. Allowing an attorney to handle the litigation allows you to avoid the complex legal process.
Why Hire a Car Accident Lawyer Wichita KS?
Some crash victims wonder if hiring a lawyer after their accident is really necessary. There are many benefits to seeking legal representation, including:
- Lawyers have experience handling car insurance claims and know how to maximize your compensation. They act as skilled negotiators on your behalf.
- Attorneys understand the Kansas statutes, laws and regulations related to auto accident cases. They can use their knowledge to strengthen your claim.
- Law firms have the resources to conduct in-depth investigations and build strong evidence cases. Their resources far surpass what any individual could do on their own.
- Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. You pay no fees upfront, and you owe nothing unless they succeed in getting compensation for your claim.
- Having an aggressive car accident lawyer sends insurers a message that you are serious about pursuing maximum compensation through litigation if necessary. This can lead to a more favorable settlement offer.
- Lawyers handle all the legal paperwork and court proceedings for you. This reduces stress so you can focus your time and energy on healing from your injuries and getting back on your feet.
If you’ve been injured in a Wichita car accident that wasn’t your fault, having a knowledgeable local personal injury attorney fighting for you can make all the difference.
10 Common Car Accident Injuries in Wichita KS
Being involved in a vehicle collision can potentially lead to a wide range of serious injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to disabling trauma with lifelong effects. Here are 10 of the most common car accident injuries and their symptoms:
Whiplash is perhaps the most frequent injury suffered in auto accidents. It occurs when the head is suddenly thrown back and forth, straining the muscles and ligaments in the neck. Symptoms include neck stiffness and pain, reduced mobility, headaches, dizziness, and shoulder pain.
2. Broken Bones
The impact forces involved in a collision, especially at high speeds, can easily lead to broken bones in the arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, toes, ribs and other body regions. Breaks can range from simple fractures to major compound or comminuted fractures.
3. Back Injuries
The spinal cord, vertebrae, discs and soft tissues of the back are vulnerable to serious injuries in crashes, including herniated discs, bulging discs, spinal stenosis, spinal cord trauma and paralysis. Back injuries often require extensive therapy and treatment to heal properly.
4. Head Injuries
Head trauma encompasses various injuries, including concussions, contusions, bleeding in the brain, and skull fractures. Even mild head injuries can cause cognitive problems. More severe brain injuries can be permanently disabling.
5. Internal Organ Damage
Internal organs like the liver, kidneys, spleen, stomach, intestines and more can be lacerated, punctured or ruptured in high-impact collisions when occupants are thrown about or crushed inward. Organ damage ranges from minor to catastrophic.
6. Knee, Leg and Ankle Injuries
Major injuries to the lower extremities are frequent in serious wrecks. Knees are especially vulnerable to fractures, dislocations, tears of cartilage and ligaments, and patellar damage. Ankles, feet and legs also suffer sprains, fractures and dislocations.
7. Facial Injuries
It’s common for airbags and steering wheels as well as shards of glass to inflict lacerations, bruises, broken facial bones and damaged teeth in a collision. Victims may also suffer from nerve damage and disfiguring scars.
8. Chest Injuries
Both blunt impact trauma and penetrating injuries pose major risks to the chest area. Victims can suffer fractured ribs, collapsed lungs, pulmonary contusions, torn blood vessels and a flail chest where segments of rib cage break off.
9. Shoulder Injuries
The shoulder joint often sustains injuries in crashes when occupants are jolted violently by seat belts. Common shoulder trauma includes dislocations, cartilage tears, rotator cuff and labrum tears, fractures, sprains and strains.
10. Burn Injuries
Burns frequently result when ruptured fuel lines, hot liquids and damaged electrical systems ignite fires after an accident. Victims may suffer first degree burns or more serious second and third-degree burns requiring skin grafts and lifelong care.
As this overview shows, car accidents can inflict severe, disabling and permanent injuries with profound financial, emotional and psychological impacts. An experienced Wichita car accident lawyer can help you pursue the maximum compensation you need to cover all your crash-related losses.
Who is at Fault in a Kansas Car Accident?
One of the most important determinations that must be made in any Wichita vehicle collision case is the assignment of fault. Accident fault establishes which driver or entity bears legal liability for causing the crash. Kansas follows traditional “comparative fault” rules for determining who was responsible:
- If an injured victim was 0% at fault for the collision, the at-fault driver is 100% liable.
- If the victim was partially at fault, their compensation is reduced by their percentage of fault.
- If the victim was mostly or completely at fault, they generally cannot recover damages (with some exceptions).
- Damages are allocated according to degrees of fault in multi-vehicle accidents.
- Drivers, vehicle owners, manufacturers and others can share liability.
While police reports contain accident fault conclusions, the official determination is made through an independent investigation and litigation. Skilled car accident lawyers know how to establish fault by driver negligence, defective auto parts, poor road design, and other causes to prove liability.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Wichita Car Accident?
In car accident lawsuits, there are two broad categories of recoverable damages under Kansas law:
1. Economic or “Special” Damages
These are quantifiable monetary losses directly caused by the accident, such as:
- Medical expenses from treating crash-related injuries
- Lost income and benefits if injuries prevented working
- Costs for household and caregiver assistance you required
- Repair or replacement costs for your damaged vehicle
- Costs for rental vehicles or alternative transportation
- Expenses related to physical/occupational therapy and rehabilitation
- Future medical costs expected from permanent injuries
2. Non-Economic or “General” Damages
More subjective, non-monetary losses can also be claimed, like:
- Pain and suffering experienced due to injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life if disabilities limit activities
- Emotional distress like fear, anxiety, depression, PTSD
- Loss of companionship and consortium if injuries interfere with family relationships
- Scarring and disfigurement that affects self-esteem and well-being
The precise value of an auto accident claim depends on the unique circumstances of each case. An accomplished Wichita car accident lawyer will seek full and fair compensation for all your losses.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Claim in Kansas?
Under the Kansas statutes of limitations for personal injury, you normally have two years from the date of an auto accident to file a lawsuit seeking damages. This deadline applies to both injury claims and property damage claims.
It’s critical to retain an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash to avoid running afoul of the two-year deadline. An attorney can advise you of important cut-off dates and make sure your rights are protected by quickly filing your case.
Be aware this window is extended to five years for hit-and-run crashes where the at-fault driver fled and cannot be immediately identified. There are other exceptions as well that can allow for a claim extension. A knowledgeable lawyer can explain how the statutes of limitations apply to the facts in your particular case.
Why Choose Patterson Legal Group for Your Wichita Car Accident Case?
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a vehicle collision caused by a careless driver anywhere in the Wichita metro region or throughout Kansas, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Patterson Legal Group are here to help. With offices conveniently located in Wichita at 9393 E Central Ave #210, Wichita, KS 67206, our lawyers offer compassionate legal guidance to auto accident injury victims and their families.
Some of the advantages of choosing our firm for your car accident claim include:
- We have an outstanding track record of success with settlements and verdicts in injury cases of all types.
- Our legal team has over 65 years of combined experience successfully handling local auto accident lawsuits.
- We conduct relentless investigations to build airtight cases proving liability and damages for clients.
- Unlike large impersonal firms, we provide personalized attorney attention and compassion for each client.
- We utilize the latest technologies and trial strategies to maximize claim results.
- We have deep knowledge of Kansas statutes and laws pertaining to car insurance and injury accidents.
- Our no-fee guarantee means no upfront costs and no fee unless you receive compensation.
Patterson Legal Group understands the suffering and losses car accident victims experience. We fight passionately to help you recover damages so you can move beyond your crash and back to living your life fully. Contact us for a free consultation today to discuss your legal options with an accomplished Wichita KS car accident attorney.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Lawyers in Wichita, KS
If you’ve been injured in an auto collision in Wichita or anywhere in Kansas, you likely have many questions about your legal rights and how to proceed with seeking damages. Here are answers to some of the most common FAQs we receive about working with a lawyer after a car accident:
How much will hiring a car accident lawyer cost me?
Most personal injury law firms work on a contingency fee structure, meaning you pay nothing upfront and owe no attorneys fees at all unless they successfully recover compensation for you. A standard agreement is for the law firm to receive 33% of any final settlement or court award.
When should I contact a lawyer after an accident?
You should speak to an attorney immediately after seeking any required medical treatment. The sooner you have legal guidance, the better your outcome is likely to be. A lawyer can prevent mistakes and preserve evidence that may be lost as time passes.
Can I file a claim without a lawyer?
While it’s technically possible to file an insurance claim or lawsuit yourself, your chances of success are much lower without an experienced attorney on your side. Having skilled legal counsel is your best bet for maximizing compensation.
How are auto accident claims calculated?
The value of a claim depends on many factors like the severity of injuries, length of treatment and recovery time, extent of vehicle and property damage, lost income and future medical expenses among other damages. An attorney will account for all your losses.
What if I was partly to blame for the accident?
Even if you were partially at fault, under Kansas comparative negligence rules you can still potentially recover compensation reduced by your percentage of fault. A lawyer can help prove the other driver was mostly responsible.
Let a Dedicated Wichita Car Accident Lawyer Fight For You
Don’t go it alone after suffering losses in a motor vehicle collision. With an experienced car accident attorney guiding your case, you can be confident your rights will be protected each step of the way. Patterson Legal Group is committed to providing exceptional legal representation to help you recover the maximum compensation after an auto accident in Wichita or anywhere in Kansas. Let our attorneys shoulder your legal burden so you can focus on healing and repairing your life after a crash.