Kansas Auto Accident Laws and Resources
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Auto accidents are the last things people want to happen. But if you get in a car crash in Kansas, it’s important to know relevant laws and regulations in this state. When you have a better understanding of these critical matters, you’ll be better able to manage your auto accident case in Kansas.
After you have reviewed this information, you can talk to a personal injury attorney in Kansas for additional information. And you can find an attorney in your area with the attorney finder tool at Lawsuit Info Center.
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Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage Requirements In Kansas
To drive a vehicle in Kansas, you must have the following minimum auto insurance coverage:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 for the other driver’s vehicle damage and other loss of property
It also is recommended to have underinsured and uninsured driver protection of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Many people drive without insurance in this state, so if you are in an accident, you can get coverage for your injuries from your own policy.
Kansas Auto Accident Laws and Fault
Kansas is one of 13 states that has a no-fault standard in auto accident insurance claims. This means that if you’re in an accident, your auto insurance will pay for your injuries and damages, and the other driver’s insurance will pay for theirs.
However, sometimes a car accident injury can be severe, and the injured person’s insurance may not cover everything. In this situation, you might have to file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance.
In this state, every driver must have auto insurance that has Personal Injury Protection or PIP benefits. This type of insurance is intended to compensate you for injuries and damages in auto accidents, including medical bills, lost earnings, and property damage.
You will receive your PIP benefits no matter who is at fault for the accident. But the benefits for this coverage are limited. They may not be enough to cover your injuries, and they don’t cover pain and suffering and mental anguish.
The damages from a car accident can go far beyond what PIP covers. For example, many insurers pay only 85% of lost earnings up to only $900 per month for a year. For some, this might be enough, but if you earn $8,000 per month, it’s a fraction of what you usually earn.
Also, Kansas requires only $4500 in PIP benefits for medical bills. If you have an injury that requires a hospital stay and surgery, you could have a $25,000 bill or more.
More About PIP In Kansas
One of the less used PIP benefits is the substitution services or essential services clause. If your accident injury stops you from doing your work in the home and you must pay someone to do them, you can get $25 per day for up to one year.
However, you must have documentation from your healthcare provider that you need these services because of your injuries, and the doctor’s note must state how long you will need the help.
These limits are why you still may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in Kansas to recover your out-of-pocket costs if you’re in a serious accident.
Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit Outside Of No-Fault System In Kansas
To go outside the no-fault system in Kansas and file a lawsuit against the other party, your claim must meet the following standards:
- You went over your PIP benefits for your medical bills
- Your injuries are ‘serious’
- Serious injuries are defined as fracture of a weight-bearing bone; permanent injury; permanent disfigurement, or permanent loss of body function.
If you meet these standards, you have the right to sue the other party for your costs, and you also can pursue compensation for your pain and suffering.
If you think you need to file a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to have strong evidence in your favor, including the evidence above to work outside the no fault system. You can find a personal injury attorney with the attorney finder tool at Lawsuit Info Center today.
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Car Accident Settlements In Kansas
When you file an auto accident claim in Kansas, you will get compensation up to the limits of the applicable policy for medical costs, rehabilitation, and loss of earnings.
If the case goes to court, Kansas law allows you to obtain economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are tangible losses, including medical costs and lost wages, while noneconomic damages cover pain and suffering.
Keep in mind that you cannot receive more than $300,000 for noneconomic damages in Kansas personal injury lawsuits. Your personal injury attorney can advise you if he or she thinks that you may have pain and suffering that may go over this limit.
Filing Wrongful Death Claim In Auto Accident In Kansas
If you are related to a loved one who was killed in an auto accident caused by another party, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Kansas, the following parties are eligible to file this lawsuit:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving child or children
- Surviving parents or grandparents
- Surviving siblings
In this state, damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit are to be equally distributed among all hiers, whether or not they were part of the lawsuit.
Common damages awarded in wrongful death lawsuits in Kansas include:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Medical costs
- Lost earnings, including what the person would have earned if they had lived
- Value of household services that the deceased would have performed
- Mental anguish, suffering and bereavement of the survivors
- Loss of the deceased party’s care, support, guidance and companionship
Kansas Auto Accident Laws and Comparative Fault Standard
This state has a modified comparative fault standard in car accidents. This means that your liability in a car accident is weighed against that of the other driver.
You can recover damages from the other driver as long as they were more at fault than you were. If you were 50% at fault for the accident, you cannot recover damages.
It works like this: If you have $10,000 in injuries and property damages, and you were 20% at fault for the accident according to the insurance company, you will receive an $8,000 settlement.
This standard means that determining who was at fault and the degree of fault is critical to your case. It’s important to have your interests represented before the insurance companies involved, so make sure you have your case reviewed by a Kansas personal injury attorney.
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Reporting A Car Accident In Kansas
In Kansas, if a police officer does not come to the scene of the accident, you are required to report it to the police if the accident caused $1000 or more in damages; any person in the accident died, or a passenger or driver of any of the involved vehicles are not present at the scene.
Drivers need to file an accident report in these situations at the nearest police station or Kansas Highway Patrol office.
Also, note that you must stay at the scene of the accident and provide your information to the other driver. You should not leave the scene of the accident until the police arrive. However, if the police don’t show up, make certain that the other driver has your information, then report the accident at the nearest law enforcement office.
If a driver hits an empty car and causes damage, he or she must report the accident to the nearest police station as soon as possible.
If you don’t report the car accident in the above circumstances to the police, you could have your driver’s license suspended until the report is filed. If you don’t file the report for more than 30 days, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and sent to jail for up to 30 days.
Kansas Auto Accident Laws and Drunk Driving
In this state, it is against the law to drive or try to drive a vehicle when you have a blood alcohol level that is .08 or higher.
If you are convicted of a first drunk driving offense, you will receive 48 hours of jail time or 100 hours of community service. Also, you must pay for an alcohol and drug safety education program. There also is a $500 to $1000 fine as well as court costs, probation and mental evaluation fees.
Driving privileges are suspended for 30 days, then restricted for 330 more days.
If you are convicted of a second DUI offense, you will get 90 days to one year in jail and receive a fine of $1000 to $1500. You also will lose your driver’s license for one year.
Statute Of Limitations In Kansas
Laws in Kansas set a limit on when you can file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident. You have only two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for your injuries and property damage.
It’s best to file a claim well before the two year time limit has expired so your attorney has time to prepare your case. If you want to file a claim after the time limit has passed, there is nothing that you can do, so talk to an attorney as soon as you can.
Elements You Must Prove In A Kansas Personal Injury Lawsuit
To prevail in an auto accident personal injury lawsuit in Kansas, you need to prove these elements:
- Duty of care: You need to show that the defendant in the Kansas auto accident had a duty of care toward you. In an auto accident case, this means that it was the responsibility of the defendant to drive with care and avoid injuring other people on the road.
- Breach of duty of care: You need to prove that the other driver in the Kansas car accident did something or failed to do something that caused the accident. This means that the other driver did not uphold their duty of care.
- Causation between the breach of duty and your damages: You need to show that you were hurt in the accident and that the other driver caused your injuries because they breached the standard of care.
- Damages: You need to show that you had financial losses because of the injuries you had in the accident.
Get Legal Help with Kansas Auto Accident Laws
If you’re ever in a car accident, it can be upsetting, but things are easier if you are prepared. Now that you have more knowledge about auto accident and personal injury laws in Kansas, you’ll know what to do if this ever happens to you.
Lawsuit Info Center can assist you in finding a skilled personal injury attorney in your region. You may be due compensation for your physical and emotional injuries. Use our site to find a Kansas auto accident lawyer today.
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