Archive for June, 2014

What Happens During a Kansas Personal Injury Case?

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Many people who are considering filing Kansas personal injury lawsuits wonder how long their case will take because they would like to know when they will recover for the damages that they have experienced. Many potential plaintiffs have a stack of medical bills which are beginning to pile up. Some prospective plaintiffs are missing work because of their injuries, so they are under even more financial strain. Unfortunately, there is no specific timeline which all personal injury cases follow from start to finish. There are many ways in which people can be injured, and each plaintiff will respond in his or her unique way to the treatment for their injuries. Each personal injury case does pass through a few basic phases as it proceeds. Injured plaintiffs may find it useful to know how their case is likely to proceed, even if they cannot predict exactly how long it will take.

After someone is injured, they must receive treatment for their injuries and then recover from those injuries. Sometimes, injured parties may be contacted by an insurance company during their treatment or recovery. While you may wish to settle your case quickly, it is essential that you wait until you know the full extent of your injuries and how long it will take you to recover from them. It is also important that you not settle until you know whether or not your injuries will have any effect on your life in the future, such as a permanent disability or limitation.

During your treatment and recovery, it is a good idea to speak with a Kansas Personal Injury Attorney when you are able to do so. Getting help from an attorney as soon as possible can help you to ensure that all of your rights are protected. Your attorney can help you understand and respond to settlement offers, and they will not let the insurance company try to convince you to settle before you are able to ascertain whether any given settlement offer will compensate you adequately. Also, the sooner your attorney can begin working on your case, the better, because personal injury cases involve a great deal of records and information which your attorney will have to obtain and analyze.

After your doctors are able to provide you with a complete picture of how long your injuries will take to heal, and what you can expect in the future, your attorney can propose a counteroffer to the insurance company if you had rejected their initial offer. Your attorney and the insurance company may go through several rounds of negotiations, and each time the insurance company proposes a settlement offer, your attorney will discuss it with you so that you may decide whether to accept or reject it.

At some point, negotiations may reach a standstill if the insurance company is unable or unwilling to propose a settlement offer which is acceptable to you. At this point, your attorney can begin to litigate your case. This does not necessarily mean that your case will end in a trial, though, because litigation takes time, and many cases do settle before the date of the trial arrives.

If you have been injured, it is important that you speak to a Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney right away. The knowledgeable and caring Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyers at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. help injured clients from throughout the region, including St. Joseph, Independence, Lees Summit, Columbia, Warrensburg, Overland Park, Olathe, Atchison, Lawrence, Topeka, and many other Kansas and Missouri communities. Please call us today, at (816) 472- 4673 to arrange for an initial consultation.

Who Can Pursue an Action for Wrongful Death in Kansas?

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

If you have lost a loved one because of the negligent actions of someone else, you are likely to experience many feelings immediately after your loss. Sadness, shock, confusion, anger, and many other feelings are often reported by friends and families of people who have died a wrongful death. Wrongful deaths can take many forms, all of which are devastating for the family and friends of the deceased, who never expected that the person that they love so much would be torn away from them so soon. Automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, workplace accidents, and many other tragedies can cause wrongful deaths. Sometimes, it may feel as though there is nothing that you can do in the wake of such a tragic event. However, there may be something that you can do following a wrongful death which can help your family to recover from your loss while making the negligent actor or actors take responsibility for their actions. You could file a wrongful death action, and it would accomplish both of those things.

There are a few different people who can file a wrongful death action in Kansas, namely, the heirs at law of the victim. The victim’s spouse, children, grandchildren, and perhaps some others can join together and pursue recovery from the party or parties who caused the death of their loved one. Families take many forms in modern society, and there may also be ways for these families to pursue wrongful death actions. A Kansas City Wrongful Death Attorney can help you to determine which members of your family are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, as well as who they can file a claim against. It is not uncommon for there to be multiple defendants in wrongful death actions, especially those where both an individual and one or more business entities are involved, such as a workplace accident or an accident involving a tractor trailer.

There are a few categories of damages that family members can claim as part of their wrongful death action. Reasonable funeral expenses is one common type of damages sought, as is mental anguish. Spouses can recover for the loss of love, affection, and other things related to their marital relationship. If the deceased was a parent of young children, their family may pursue damages related to the loss of their caregiving and guidance. Depending upon who the victim was and what roles they played in their family, the types of damages there may be other types of damages that they can pursue. All of these categories of damages address the impact of the loss on the victim’s family.

If someone that you love is killed in a tragic accident and negligence is to blame, it is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as you can in order to protect your rights. A Kansas Wrongful Death Attorney can help you to understand the process of pursuing a claim for damages, and what you might expect to happen along the way from start to finish. The experienced Kansas City Wrongful Death Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. help clients from throughout the region, including St. Joseph, Independence, Lees Summit, Columbia, Warrensburg, Overland Park, Olathe, Atchison, Lawrence, Topeka, and many other Kansas and Missouri communities. We offer caring and compassionate assistance to our wrongful death clients as they navigate a very difficult time in their lives. Please call us today, at (816) 472- 4673 to arrange for an initial consultation.

Tired Truck Drivers Pose a Big Risk to Motorists

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Many of us share the road with tractor trailers every day. There are many types of tractor trailers on the road. Some are brand new with shiny paint and advanced safety features. Others are in good condition, even though they are a few years old.  Other trucks are poorly maintained, with defects which make them unsafe to drive. All tractor trailers have one thing in common – they have human drivers. Truck drivers spend many hours of their life on the road, and many of them are professionals with years of experience and impeccable driving records. Unfortunately, some truckers drive when they are too tired to do so safely. Driver fatigue has historically been a leading cause of tractor trailer accidents, and it continues to be a problem despite the fairly recent passage of new hours of service regulations which affect the trucking industry.

When people get even an hour or two less than the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep per night on a regular basis, they become chronically overtired. When a person is overtired, their attention span is shortened, their reaction times are slower, and they do not process information quickly. The effects of being overtired are dangerous for any driver, but even more so for the drivers of enormous tractor trailers. Last year, federal regulations were passed which allow truckers to be behind the wheel for eleven hours out of each fourteen hour work day, with a limit of seventy hours of driving per work week. The new hours of service rules also require truck drivers to have a thirty four hour rest period in between the end of one work week and the beginning of the next. Since the period between work weeks is intended to ensure that drivers get enough rest, they must sleep between one and five in the morning during two of the nights that they are off.

Many people were pleased when the new hours of service regulations were passed, but the trucking industry has pushed back hard. The United States Senate has responded by passing an amendment which would remove the requirement for a thirty four hour restart period in between work weeks. Fortunately, the amendment has not passed the entire Senate yet, and will also have to be reconciled with appropriations legislation in the House.

Unfortunately, trucking accidents resulting from drowsy driving continue to be a problem despite the new regulations. One particular drowsy driving accident has gotten a lot of recent press because it involved comic Tracy Morgan. On June 7th, Morgan was seriously injured and James McNair (Jimmy Mack) was killed in a collision between a Wal Mart truck and their limo bus on the New Jersey Turnpike. The driver of the truck is reported to have not slept for twenty four hours prior to the crash. It is possible that accidents like this continue to occur because the new hours of service regulations have only been in effect for about a year so far, and because some companies essentially force drivers to spend too many hours on the road by assigning drivers to schedules which are not in compliance with the new rules.

If you have been injured or someone that you love has been killed in an accident involving an eighteen wheeler, it is important that you seek the aid of an attorney right away. The knowledgeable Kansas City Trucking Accident Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. help clients from throughout the region, including St. Joseph, Independence, Lees Summit, Columbia, Warrensburg, Overland Park, Olathe, Atchison, Lawrence, Topeka, and many other Kansas and Missouri communities. Please call us today, at (816) 472- 4673 to arrange for an initial consultation.