PERSONAL INJURY FAQ
The first thing you need to do after an automobile accident is to call the police and get the authorities there to get the scene documented. If you get in an accident with somebody and they say it isn't a big deal, that there’s no damage and they do not want to call anybody, there’s usually a reason for this. That is all the more reason for you to call the police, and not doing so would be to your disadvantage. Always get it documented. Always get a report as to what happened.
Another good idea if you can, and most people can because they have cell phones, is to take pictures at the accident scene.
The other thing you need to keep in mind is that it's perfectly natural to give it a few days to see how you're feeling after an automobile accident. However, be cautious toughing it out or waiting too long before seeing a doctor. This delay could give the insurance company an out. If you wait weeks to go to a doctor after an automobile accident, the insurance company could say you aren’t hurt or that you got hurt at work or home. You owe it to yourself to get the medical care that you need.
When you get in an automobile accident, call the police, and get the medical treatment you need. If you have questions, talk to a lawyer who deals in automobile accidents. You can always call in the Accident Recovery Team at 316-267-TEAM. We look forward to helping you.
We would recommend that you don't talk to an insurance company until you talk with an attorney. The reason for this is that the insurance company will want to take a recorded statement from you, and they could use that recorded statement against you at a later date to reduce the value of your claim.
Within your auto policy, you have a provision called PIP, which stands for personal injury protection benefits. Within that PIP portion of your policy, there is some coverage for medical expenses, essential services, and also wage loss.
The minimum policy in Kansas provides to you $900 a month for wage loss. If your wages are less than $900 per month, your auto policy will pay you either eighty or eighty-five percent, depending upon what your policy dictates.
There are many times when people get in an auto accident and they can't work, regardless of what type of job they're doing. If you are not working and don’t have income coming in, it's important to ensure that your PIP policy covers your needs during this time.
There are multiple levels of wage loss within PIP. The minimum benefit provides $900 a month for wage loss. There are policies that provide higher wage loss benefits - $1,200, $1,500, or $1,700 -, so you will need to talk to your insurance agent about your options and choose the appropriate policy benefit level.
You will have to prove that you have wage loss to the other side, the person at fault. If it's within a day or on the day of the accident, your insurance company is probably not going to require much documentation besides the medical bills showing you were at the hospital. But when you make your wage loss claim to the person at fault, they will need verification of how long you were not able to work. This is done with two pieces of information - a doctor's note stating you are unable to work and a note from your employer verifying your employment and wages.
Sometimes there are special circumstances in your wage loss that need more documentation, like overtime or working special events. For this, you will need a statement or letter from your employer saying something like, "These are the special events or these are the overtime hours that he or she would have had if they were working. But because they were taken off work because of this loss, they couldn't work that."
Another special circumstance is self-employment. If you're self-employed, it can be difficult to prove your wage loss. You will need to provide the insurance company with invoices or past tax returns to prove your monthly wages. Sometimes self-employed individuals can run into a problem if they don't file taxes correctly. The insurance company is going to look at prior tax filings to determine what you've made in previous years. If you have a new business just starting this year and you haven't filed taxes, then you're going to need invoices or other documentation to prove how much you make.
This might seem like a simple question. It's not. Under Kansas law, after you've been in an auto accident, the priority list develops as to who's first in line to pay your medical bills. If you have auto insurance and you've been in an accident, your auto insurance is the first in line to pay your medical bills under something called PIP: personal injury protection coverage. It's important when you go to the doctor after an auto accident that you give that doctor or the hospital or the ER your auto insurance information. If the bills are sent to your health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid and your auto insurance company hasn't paid yet, your health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid is probably going to deny payment. This could cause a situation of creditors calling and asking about payment of the medical bills.
When you get in an auto wreck in Kansas, your auto insurance is first in line to pay under PIP. The process is fairly simple. You need to fill out an application for those PIP benefits. And when you fill out that application, you need to tell your auto carrier what doctors you've been to, and then tell those doctors who your auto carrier is so that the bills get routed appropriately.
Another common question is, "I'm off work. How am I going to get my normal wage when I'm off work?" The answer is PIP coverage also provides a lost-wage benefit. Typically, and it varies depending on what kind of auto insurance you buy, you're going to be entitled to up to about 85 percent of your wage or $900 a month on the typical Kansas policy. However, policies differ and your benefits are determined based upon the kind of policy bought.
PIP is fairly straightforward, but there is a process to follow. If you have questions about the process, if you want to know how to get it done, or want to be sure it's done right, feel free to call the Accident Recovery Team. Any of our lawyers would be happy to walk you through the process of making a PIP claim. Our phone number here is 316-267-TEAM. Call us with your questions.
Every auto policy issued in the state of Kansas is required to have something in it called uninsured motorist coverage. What that effectively means is that if you get hit by a person with no auto insurance, your insurance company needs to step into the place of the uninsured motorist and provide the very same benefits the uninsured motorist's insurance company would have provided if they had an insurance policy. So basically if you get hit by an uninsured motorist and you have insurance on your car, you're still protected through your own insurance company.
Many times when you call your insurance company and tell them your car was hit by someone who doesn't have insurance, they're not going to mention that you have uninsured motorist coverage. Many people don’t know they have this coverage, but you do if you have a Kansas policy. If you get hit by an uninsured motorist and you have questions about the benefits that you're entitled to under your policy, call the Accident Recovery Team. We'd be happy to walk you through the process and answer your questions about an uninsured motorist claim.
A product liability case is one where somebody is injured by a defect in a product that they've been using. That product can be something you might use at home, like a lawnmower or a piece of kitchen equipment, or it could be something that you use at work, like a large piece of machinery that's used in a manufacturing process or some tool that you use during the course of your employment.
A product liability case is a significant event. It's a significant event for the person who gets hurt because often the injuries that flow from a product liability case or defect of a product are significant. A product liability case makes a significant impact on the life of the person who gets hurt.
When you have a product liability claim it's often time-consuming because it’s necessary to hire many experts to prove the person who manufactured the product knew or should have known of the potential defect in the product. Often times that means hiring mechanical engineers, electrical engineers or design professionals. Accident Recovery Team has the capability to find the right people, hire the right experts and prove who is at fault in your case.
The other aspect of a product liability case is proving the damages to the person who got hurt.
That usually entails hiring medical professionals, doctors, and people to estimate the cost of the future medical care someone might need as a result of injury by a defective product.
The attorneys at the Accident Recovery Team know product liability law and want to handle your products liability claim. If you have questions about a product liability case, contact the Accident Recovery Team at 316-267-TEAM or at 267TEAM.com.