An image showing a personal injury claim form with blank fields for details like name, date, and description of injury.Common Questions And Misconceptions

Navigating a personal injury claim in Kansas can be a daunting experience, especially for those unfamiliar with the process. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, slip and fall incident, or any other type of accident, understanding your rights and obligations is crucial from the outset.

Yet, over the course of my career, I’ve come across so many people who didn’t know where to begin or have any baseline reference point for things pertaining to injury law. This is unfortunate since so much is on the line with these types of cases, namely your physical and financial well-being. So, I’ve compiled some of the most common questions and misconceptions I’ve encountered over the span of my time in the legal world to give you that baseline understanding that you can springboard off of as you navigate your case.

“The Insurance Company Will Act In My Best Interest”

Some believe that the at-fault party’s insurance company will look out for their best interests. The reality is that insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts by any means necessary. Believe it or not, this may even mean failing to look out for the best interests of their own policyholders, not just yours!

“Filing A Claim Means Going To Court”

Many people have the idea in their mind that the process of filing a personal injury claim is interchangeable with initiating a lengthy court battle. The truth of the matter is that most cases are settled through negotiations without going to trial whatsoever.

“I Can Wait To File My Claim”

Some delay filing a claim, thinking they have plenty of time to do so. However, state law includes a statute of limitations. In essence, this is the strict deadline you need to file your claim before your legal rights expire. As such, waiting too long to initiate a claim can jeopardize your case, even meaning you forfeit the ability to pursue compensation at all.

“I Shouldn’t See A Doctor Right Away”

The truth is, delaying medical treatment can be detrimental to both your health and your claim, and insurance companies may even manipulate any delays to argue that your injuries are not severe.

“I Can Handle My Claim Myself”

Technically speaking, it’s possible to handle your claim without an attorney, but it’s wise to seek legal representation, especially for complex cases. I like to tell potential clients that they wouldn’t conduct surgery on themselves even though, technically speaking, they could. Although the law may be slightly less complicated than performing surgery, it is immensely complicated to the point where you can’t honestly justify handling it on your own.

“All Personal Injury Attorneys Charge The Same Fees”

Attorneys may have different fee structures, so it’s important to understand how your attorney charges for their services. Most lawyers handling personal injury cases typically charge on a contingency basis, although some may bill hourly or offer a flat rate.

Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim following an injury caused by someone else’s negligence in Kansas is typically two years from the date of the injury. For all intents and purposes, this means that you have a two-year window from the date of the incident in which to file your personal injury lawsuit.

There can be exceptions and variations to this, however. Whether or not this is so depends on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, if an injury is not immediately apparent or a minor is involved, there may be different rules that apply that extend the statute of limitations.

Beginning The Personal Injury Claim Process

Now that we’ve gotten some of the basic information you’ll need to know out of the way, let’s tackle the basics of navigating an actual personal injury claim. There are a lot of moving parts to these claims, so unless you acquaint yourself with the process either by reading something like this book or having a consultation with an attorney, you’ll likely quickly find you’re a fish out of water. Don’t worry, though — we’ve got you covered with this general breakdown of the process.

Seek Medical Attention

First and foremost, seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Your health and well-being should be the top priority. What’s more, getting prompt medical care kills two birds with one stone: it both starts your recovery process, and establishes a medical record of your injuries. This paper trail will be immensely important for your claim later on.

Document The Scene

If your physical condition allows for it and doing so wouldn’t put you in any harm, gather evidence at the scene of the incident. Take photos or videos, get contact information from witnesses, and make notes about the conditions that led to the incident.

Report The Incident

Report the incident to the relevant authorities or property owner, if applicable. For example, if you were in a car accident, you should report it to the police. If you were injured on someone else’s property, report it to the property owner or manager.

Preserve Evidence

Preserve any evidence related to the incident. This includes medical records, bills, and receipts, as well as any physical evidence (such as damaged property) that might be relevant to your claim.

Consult With An Attorney

As alluded to earlier, consulting with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible is an extremely wise direction to take. They can assess the strength of your case, explain your rights, and guide you through the entire process in a way you understand. Most personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations, too.

Notify Insurance Companies

If the incident involves insurance coverage, notify your insurance company of the incident promptly. When you do, it’s important to be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters and avoid admitting fault.

You may also need to notify the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you do, this word of caution applies all the more. They’ll likely try to get you to say things they can twist later to undermine your case. Speak as little and directly as possible.

Gather Documentation

Work with your attorney to gather all relevant documentation, including medical records, police reports, witness statements, and any other evidence that supports your claim.

Determine Damages

Calculate the damages you’ve suffered as a result of the injury. This may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Your attorney will be instrumental in helping you determine the appropriate amount to claim.

Negotiations And Settlement

Your attorney will typically engage in negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company to seek a fair settlement. They will advocate on your behalf and handle the legal aspects of the negotiation.

File A Lawsuit (If Necessary)

If negotiations do not lead to a satisfactory settlement, your attorney may advise you to file a personal injury lawsuit. This involves formally initiating legal action against the at-fault party.

Discovery And Litigation

If you file a lawsuit, you’ll engage in discovery, a process where you exchange information and evidence with the other side. The case may proceed to trial if a settlement cannot be reached.

Settlement Or Trial

Most personal injury cases are settled before they go to trial. If a fair settlement is reached, the case is resolved. If not, the case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.

For more information on Filing A Personal Injury Claim In Kansas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (913) 543-4500 today.

Rob Titus

Rob Titus is a relentless Kansas lawyer with over a decade of experience in personal injury claim litigation. Rob Titus writes with a clear and informative style, aiming to make sure that no one is left injured without the tools to claim full and fair compensation and so that every Kansas resident can become aware of their rights after an accident.

Connect with the Titus Law Firm to ahead of changes in Kansas personal injury law so that, should even misfortune strike, you know what to do and who to call when going up against reluctant insurance companies.

Call Us Now To Get Your Case Reviewed (913) 543-4500 

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