In the immediate aftermath of being injured in a car accident, your first thoughts must always be for the safety of yourself and your loved ones. Soon after the medical emergency, however, you will be faced with the question of how to pay the mounting bills and how to support yourself and your family after sustaining debilitating injuries.
You should waste no time in contacting experienced Kansas car accident lawyers to discuss your case. You will have to deal with your insurance company and that of the other driver at some point, but it is best to negotiate through car accident lawyers whose legal skills will be respected so you can maximize your chances of a fair settlement.
Understanding Kansas' No-Fault Insurance Law
Kansas is one of 13 states that have a "no fault insurance law," which means that each driver's insurance company must pay for its own client's claims, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
To make this system work, all Kansas drivers are required to buy insurance with PIP (Personal Injury Protection), which is supposed to cover the costs associated with a car accident injury. Medical expenses, lost wages, rehab, and other costs stemming directly from the injury are covered, but many times not sufficiently.
It is common for only 85% of lost wages (and capped at $900 a month for 12 months) to be paid and for only $4,500 in medical expenses to be covered. Furthermore, no coverage at all is offered for pain and suffering or emotional trauma.
Exemptions From the No-Fault Insurance Rule
When catastrophic injuries occur in car accidents the PIP coverage on your insurance policy will only be a drop in the bucket of the expenses you will be facing.
In this case, you must seek an "exemption" from the no-fault rule in order to pursue a claim against the at-fault party and/or his insurer. This is permitted because, while Kansas is a no-fault state, it is a "modified" rather than a "pure" no-fault state. This means you can seek recovery of your actual expenses and pain and suffering when certain standards are met.
Here are the standards, only one of which must be satisfied to gain an exemption:
- Medical expenses top $2,000
- You were scarred or permanently disfigured
- A "weight bearing" bone was fractured
- Any bone had a compound or severe fracture
- You lost a body part in the crash
- Your injuries are likely to be permanent
- A body function was permanently lost
- A wrongful death occurred
When Should I File My Claim?
The sooner you contact professional Kansas car accident lawyers and file your claim, the better, but you must file within 2 years of the "date of injury" according to Kansas' statute of limitations or forever lose your right to compensation. If your injury was first discovered at a later date, however, you will have 2 years from the "date of discovery" instead.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident through the negligence of another driver, don't settle for less than your rightful reimbursement amount. Contact Brad Pistotnik 24/7 at 1-800-241-BRAD, at 316-684-4400, at 316-706-5020 (Brad's personal cell phone number), or by filling out the online contact form, for a free legal consultation.
Brad Pistotnik Law is headquartered in Wichita, KA, but also serves Dodge City, Liberal, Garden City, Kansas City, Topeka, Hutchinson, Hays, Salina, Emporia, Newton, Arkansas City, Abilene, El Dorado, McPherson, Manhattan, Winfield, Hugoton, Goodland, Pittsburg, Wellington, Pratt, Kingman, Coffeyville, Great Bend, and other locations throughout the state.