Every day, thousands of drivers navigate Missouri and Kansas roads. Most of these commutes go as planned, but when an accident occurs, lives can be changed in a matter of seconds.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 42,795 lives were lost from motor vehicle accidents in 2022. This tragic number shows that accidents are very common on our roadways.
Why Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, hiring a car accident attorney in Kansas City is one of the most important decisions you can make. Qualified attorneys will be able to:
1. Determine Who is Responsible for the Accident
There are many factors that can contribute to a car accident. Even in cases that seem straightforward, insurance companies can attempt to shift the blame to avoid getting the injured party the justice they deserve. A lawyer can prove liability through the following steps.
A car accident attorney will gather and preserve all the necessary evidence to prove who is at fault. This evidence often includes:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Medical records
- Vehicle inspections
- Surveillance footage
- Property damage estimates
- Weather and road condition reports
Working With Experts
If you were involved in a complex car accident, an attorney will work with a team of experts to determine who is at fault. Experts in these cases can include:
- Accident reconstructionists (experts who use knowledge of physics, engineering, and vehicle dynamics to recreate an accident scene)
- Medical experts (to determine the likely cause of injuries)
- Human factors experts (to evaluate whether driver error, distraction, or other human factors played a role in the accident)
- Mechanical engineers (to examine the vehicles and determine whether mechanical failures or defects contributed to the accident)
- Roadway design and safety experts (to assess if road layout, signage, lighting, or maintenance played a role)
2. Calculate Damages
A car accident attorney in Kansas City will calculate damages to obtain fair compensation for your case. This can be an incredibly complex task, especially when there are long-term damages that could affect you for the rest of your life.
An attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to receive fair value for the current and future harm that you will experience. It’s essential to have an experienced car accident attorney who can determine the cost of your ongoing and long-term expenses.
There are two types of damages you can recover after a car accident: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the tangible, quantifiable expenses that result from the accident. These damages are typically straightforward to calculate and cover your out-of-pocket expenses, including:
- Medical expenses (surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, medical equipment, rehabilitation, and future medical needs)
- Property damage (the cost to repair or replace damaged vehicles and any personal property lost in the accident)
- Lost wages (if the accident caused you to miss work or rendered you unable to work in the future)
- Other expenses (such as modification of the home to accommodate a disability incurred from the accident)
Non-economic damages are the intangible, more subjective losses that result from an accident. Although these losses are just as significant, they are more difficult to assign a precise dollar value to.
Insurance companies are notorious for valuing these damages as less than they are worth, but a qualified car accident attorney in Kansas City can help you obtain a fair value for these damages. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident and/or injuries
- Psychological trauma (including anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other mental health conditions triggered by the accident)
- Loss of enjoyment of life (when an injury limits your ability to engage in the activities you once enjoyed)
- Loss of consortium (which compensates the spouse or family members for the loss of companionship, support, and care)
3. Handle the Details
After an accident, the last thing you need to worry about is dealing with insurance companies and filing paperwork. A car accident attorney will take care of the logistics, so you can focus on healing and recovering. This includes:
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies will do everything they can to pay less than a claim is worth. For the average person, it is nearly impossible to know how complex damages (such as future medical complications and emotional trauma) should be valued. Only experienced personal injury attorneys can accurately assess this value.
Insurance companies know this, so unless you are represented by a qualified attorney, they will not take your claim seriously. A car accident attorney in Kansas City will ensure the insurance company assigns fair value to your claim.
Legal Documentation and Filing
Car accident cases require extensive paperwork and legal filings. The statute of limitations requires you to have everything submitted by a certain date or your claim cannot be pursued. Your attorney will ensure that all legal deadlines are met and will handle all of the associated paperwork.
Providing Peace of Mind
Above all, an attorney will advocate on your behalf to protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. The peace of mind that an expert is on your case is truly an invaluable part of the process.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, following these steps is crucial to ensuring your health, safety, and legal rights.
1. Report the Accident
Call 911 for medical assistance and to report the accident. Even if you don’t feel injured, it is important to seek prompt medical attention, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Police documentation and medical records will be essential if future insurance claims are necessary.
2. Move to Safety
If it is safe to do so, move your vehicle to the side of the road to prevent further accidents. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
If your vehicle is not operable or cannot be moved safely, leave the vehicle and get yourself to safety. Check your surroundings and use caution when exiting the vehicle. Move a safe distance from the road and the accident scene to avoid further hazards.
3. Exchange Information
Gather names, contact information, license plate numbers, and insurance information from the other parties involved. This information will allow you and your legal team to contact the insurance companies promptly.
If there are witnesses in the area, also exchange information with them—their statement may be needed to support your claim in the future.
4. Document the Scene
If possible, take photos or videos of the accident scene. This evidence can be used for insurance claims and legal proceedings if necessary. Take multiple pictures of the vehicle damage, road, traffic signs, and visible injuries.
5. Notify Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. This will protect your rights under your policy and allow the insurance company to start its own investigation.
6. Contact an Attorney
One of the most important steps you can take is to contact a car accident attorney in Kansas City. A qualified lawyer will help you navigate the legal process and obtain fair compensation for your claim.
If you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company, do not accept settlements without legal advice. Insurance companies will often offer initial settlement amounts that do not fully cover your damages.
Related: Car Accident Lawyer in Leawood
Contact Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader for a Car Accident Attorney in Kansas City
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident, it’s important to know your rights. Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader is the trusted name for personal injury attorneys in Kansas City. We deliver answers, accountability, and justice for victims of car accidents.
When we represent a client or a family for a car accident lawsuit in Kansas City, we devote the time, resources, and experience for the best possible result. Our attorneys are dedicated to investigating cases the right way—by answering every question and methodically working through each case.
Navigating the aftermath of an accident can be challenging. An attorney can give you the support, tools, and resources you need to help you recover. To get in contact with an attorney today, use our virtual case tool or contact our office at (913) 266-2300 to speak with one of our team members.
The above is not intended to be legal advice. Each individual case is different and must be analyzed on its own set of facts and circumstances. If you believe you may have a case, it is critically important that you timely contact a lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.