Archive for November, 2010

Kansas Dog Bite Injuries and Your Legal Rights

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Over 4.7 million Americans suffer dog bite injuries each year with approximately 800,000 requiring some form of medical attention and treatment. The most common victims of these attacks are minor children for whom dog bites are the second leading cause of injury. The prevalence of dog bite injuries cannot be overstated with such injuries accounting for 33% of all homeowner’s liability insurance claims and more than one billion dollars in insurance claims per year.

Kansas does not currently have a statute or law known in other states as “dog bite law.”  This is why a dog bite victim should consult an experienced Kansas dog bite lawyer. The skilled and experience attorneys at Cummings & Cummings, LLC can guide you through the process of seeking fair compensation for your dog bite injuries.

Although Kansas does not have a dog bite law or statute, it is a duty on dog owners to keep a dog “under reasonable control and not running at large.” A dog owner may be held liable for any injuries caused by the dog to a person who is in a public place or lawfully on private property.

Choosing the an attorney when you or a loved one was attacked by a dog

A dog bite or attack is a terrifying experience that will likely result in very serious injuries, medical expenses, and mental anguish, especially in children. Dog bite cases are a complex legal process which requires legal representation that is skilled and experienced in personal injury litigation. Cummings & Cummings, LLC recommends the following immediate action should you or a loved one be mauled or attacked by a vicious dog:

  • Report the attack to animal control authorities
  • Secure evidence such as pictures and on scene evidence
  • Track down witnesses, obtain phone numbers, identification and statements
  • Establish ownership of the dog along with photographic evidence of the loose or “at large” dog
  • Identify any other responsible parties such as other owners or property owners
  • Make sure to request or get a copy of the incident report
  • Collect all related medical records and bills
  • Call the responsible party’s insurance companies to establish a claim

The experienced Kansas dog bite lawyers at Cummings & Cummings, LLC can navigate the requirements of the Kansas personal injury statutes as it applies to your claim. Some factors we may use to help establish and owner’s knowledge of a dog’s vicious tendencies may include the following:

• Type of Dog: Some types of dogs based on their size or breed have a much greater propensity for viciousness including the pit bull or Rottweiler.

• Role of Dog: Some dogs are specifically trained to be guards dogs and are kept for protection purposes.

• History of Dog: The dog may be shown to have a history of attacking or biting.

• Confinement or Muzzling: If an owner can be shown to have frequently confined or muzzled the dog, it suggests knowledge of vicious propensities.

• Owner Warning: Some owners will put up Beware of Dog signs or warn neighbors about their dog.

These are just a few of the ways that the experienced dog bite lawyers at Cummings & Cummings, LLC may establish that the dog owner knew of their dog’s dangerous propensities. If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog bite related incident, the experienced attorneys of Cummings & Cummings, LLC will help you or your loved ones seek just compensation.

Alcohol and Speeding in Rural Areas Cause Rise in Auto Accidents in Kansas

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Recent data indicates that speeding and alcohol have caused auto accidents to rise in rural areas to the point that rural areas outpace urban areas in terms of both auto accident frequency and seriousness.  When the statistics are examined more closely, it is apparent that the cause of the higher auto accident rates in rural areas is a result of both the impact of speed and alcohol on rural accident rates.

A study just released by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTA) based on 2007 data indicates that of 37,248 accidents that year 56% of accidents occurred in rural areas and 57% of fatality accidents occurred in rural areas.   These statistics confirm what the experienced Kansas auto accident lawyers of Cummings & Cummings, LLC have known for years that the negligence of other drivers including speeding or drinking alcohol lead to many of the auto accident fatalities throughout Kansas.

The frequency and seriousness of auto accidents in rural areas is even more alarming when one considers that despite rural areas only accounting for 27% of the population such areas accounted for 57% of all auto accidents in 2007.  The NHTA statistics also suggest that the disproportionately high rate of accidents in rural areas is on the rise.  During the period of 1998-2007, the rate of auto accident fatalities grew in rural areas by 9% while the rate fell in urban areas by 8%.

Speeding and alcohol appear to be the primary cause of the disparity between the rate of auto accidents in rural and urban areas.  Speeding was a significant factor in the high accident rates in rural areas constituting a major contributing factor in 33% of all accidents.  The NHTA study also reflected that accidents at night where speed can be particularly problematic where 11% more likely in rural areas.

The data released also shows that alcohol is a critical factor in the anomaly of higher accident rates in areas with less population density.  The NHTA report indicates that drunk driving accidents caused 12,998 fatalities in 2007.  Rural areas accounted for 57% of those fatalities.  That driving with a blood alcohol level above .08, which is legally impaired under Kansas law, was 12% higher in rural areas.  Rural area drivers were also much more likely to be repeat DUI offenders with a rate of 62% compared to 55% in urban areas.

The NHTA study reinforces the experience of the Kansas personal injury lawyers at Cummings & Cummings, LLC that negligent drivers who are speeding or using alcohol are a major cause of fatal auto accidents in rural areas.  If you are involved in a Kansas auto accident, the dedicated auto accident lawyers at Cummings & Cummings, LLC are prepared to help you seek compensation for your injuries. Call Cummings & Cummings, LLC to recover compensation that you deserve.