Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

What does no fault mean in Kansas after a car wreck?

What does no fault mean in Kansas after a car wreck?

What does no fault mean in Kansas after a car wreck?

Both the police and insurance adjusters may tell you it is a no-fault accident. We get calls from car wreck clients all the time asking what this means. It is a misnomer and many adjusters do not really understand what it really means. Kansas is one of approximately 12 states in the U.S. where a driver or a passenger in a car wreck gets injured and can receive Personal Injury Protection Benefits or PIP which will provide $4,500.00 per person for medical bills so you can go to a hospital and seek immediate treatment for injuries. If the driver or passengers are unable to work, they can get up to $900.00 a month for one year for wage loss when their injury causes them not to be able to work.

These no-fault benefits are statutory, meaning that they arise by legislative laws. No matter who is at fault, the people injured get these benefits. If an injured person in the car has their own car insurance, they must use their own car insurance If an injured person does not own title to a car the no-fault benefits come from the vehicle you are riding in.

What are the benefits of no fault insurance?

Benefits of no-fault insurance include wage loss reimbursement, payment for incurred medical bills, payment for rehabilitation treatment after an injury, payment for essential services to replace lost work like a maid to clean a house, funeral expenses where wrongful death occurred and survivor’s benefits. These benefits are meant to help everyone involved in an accident be able to seek immediate medical treatment.

Is no fault insurance coverage the same as full coverage? No. No-fault benefits are different from full coverage. Full coverage is a type of insurance that allows you to get your vehicle repaired by your own insurance company if it is involved in a crash or if someone intentionally damages your vehicle from vandalism so that you do not have to sue the other person’s car insurance. No fault coverage provides medical and wage loss benefits for injured persons who have been in a car wreck and need immediate medical care.

How many states are no-fault states?

12 states have no-fault laws. Puerto Rico has no-fault laws as well. Kansas, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, North Dakota, Utah, Massachusetts and Michigan all have some form of no-fault laws which are also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.

Does no-fault insurance work well? It depends on whether or not you own title to a car and the car is uninsured. If you are riding in someone else’s car and own your own car and this other person is in a wreck you must use your own car insurance for no-fault benefits. When your vehicle is uninsured, you are not able to get PIP benefits from the car that you were riding in that was involved in a crash. However, if you are in a car that has a wreck and are injured and do not own a car, the car insurance on the car you were riding in will provide no-fault or PIP benefits so the no-fault laws work very well for everyone except a person who owns a car and fails to keep insurance coverage on it.

Can you be sued in a no-fault state?

The answer is yes, you can be sued if you are at fault for the accident and the other driver or passengers meet the state’s threshold to bring a lawsuit for damages. Most no-fault states allow a lawsuit against the at fault driver where you can still sue for your damages. Many of the states with no-fault set up a monetary threshold that you must meet in order to bring your law suit. The threshold varies from state to state and can be confusing. The threshold usually relates to the dollar amount of medical bills incurred, but some states allow the threshold to be met for fractures to a weight bearing bone, comminuted fractures or where you have a permanent disabiliity. Kansas is one such state that allows for these other thresshold criteria to meet the threshold.

What do you do after a car accident in Kansas?

You can get legal assistance from Brad Pistotnik Law ® and the Bull Attorneys ® after your car wreck and should follow the guide below.

What are the top 7 things to do after a car accident?

Call 911 to notify the police and request an ambulance for injuries. Make sure that you evaluate yourself and all passengers for very specific areas of your body that may be injured and inform EMS and the hospital about each separate injury.

If able, exchange insurance information. Get insurance information from all drivers and a photo of their insurance card and drivers license as well as their license tag.

Do not give statements to anyone except the police. Do not make admissions of fault to the other drivers and be quiet and only discuss insurance information and injuries.

Give truthful statements to the police. When talking to the police it is important you give them a correct, accurate and a truthful picture of how the accident happened. Shorter is always better.

When injured, go to a large trauma level 1 hospital and not to minor emergency clinics. Many injured people go to a small urgent care center instead of a hospital where they get little to no medical evaluation. All insurance companies score your injury by whether you go to a true hospital the same day as the accident and look at the different diagnoses that the emergency room doctors make. If you wait to go to the hospital you hurt your case badly and may end up having to go to a trial because the insurance company will fight the case harder when you do not go to a major hospital on the day of the accident.

Photograph the accident scene, vehicles and all injuries. One photograph says a thousand words. Photograph the vehicles, photograph the point of impact where the cars hit together. Look for skid marks and photograph them to show how long they are. Weather and rain will make this evidence disappear rapidly. Make sure you photograph all cuts, bruises and marks since they will likewise disappear in a few days and they prove what you went through in the accident.

Call Brad Pistotnik Law for a free consultation at 800-WIN-BULL or 316-684-4400. You should call a lawyer before you call any insurance company and you should NEVER call or talk to the other person’s car insurance adjuster. Many of these adjusters are highly trained to ask leading questions and try to establish that you are at fault so they do not have to pay anything. Even talking to your own insurance company can be a mistake. If you have a policy with high uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company has a similar motive to minimize payments and make you at fault. You should only speak to an insurance adjuster with advice of experience car accident lawyers.