Archive for December, 2013

How Long Will my Kansas Personal Injury Case Take?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

A common question about personal injury lawsuits is how much time the injured party must wait before they can recover financially for the damages they have suffered. This is a very important question, because without a doubt, being injured is expensive. Not only do injured parties lose income when they miss work because of their injuries, medical bills add up quickly and arrive in the mail almost as soon as patients are released from the hospital.
There is no one-size-fits all answer to the question of how long any given personal injury case will take, because the facts of each situation are as unique as the clients themselves. There are some basic phases that each personal injury case goes through on its way to conclusion. If you have been injured, understanding how your case will proceed can be helpful, even if it does not provide a concrete answer about how long the case will last.
The first phase of any personal injury case is the period during which the victim recovers from his or her injuries. While it may be tempting to try and settle your case as you recover, it is in your best interest to wait until you have achieved maximum medical improvement, a state in which your condition cannot be improved any further. Until you have attained maximum medical improvement, the full extent of your injuries as well as the potential future effects of those injuries on your life is unknown. It is not possible to determine whether a proposed settlement will adequately compensate you for your injuries until you know the full extent of their impact.
Even though settling your personal injury case will have to wait until you are healed, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney as soon as you are physically able to do so. Your attorney can get started on collecting information from the doctors and other professionals who are treating your injuries. If your attorney is able to connect with your treatment providers in advance of your full recovery, it is likely to take less time for them to gather all of the information that they need from those treatment providers once you have recovered.
Once you have realized maximum medical improvement, your attorney will use the information from your treatment providers and other relevant sources to create a complete picture of your damages. Your attorney will submit that information to the insurance company or insurance companies which represent the person or people who are responsible for your injuries. It usually takes an insurance company about four to eight weeks to review that information and reply to your attorney with an initial offer.
When your attorney receives the initial offer from the insurance company, your case enters the “negotiations” phase. During negotiations, your attorney will talk to you about the initial offer. Depending upon whether you accept or reject that offer, your attorney will either notify the insurance company of your acceptance or prepare a counteroffer and send it to the insurance company for their review. Sometimes, an insurance company makes an initial offer that is reasonable. Much of the time, several exchanges of offers and counteroffers are required before an offer which is acceptable to the client is obtained.
In the event that negotiations do not lead to an acceptable settlement offer, your attorney will file suit and your case will proceed to the litigation phase. Once a case is in litigation, there is still a very good chance that it will settle before trial, because there is quite a bit of time between when a case is filed and when it is tried, and during that time, negotiations continue.
If you have been injured, a Kansas personal injury attorney can help you to obtain the financial recovery that you deserve. To learn more about your case, please call the Wichita office of Cummings & Cummings, LLC at (316) 264-1548. Our team of seasoned personal injury attorneys will take the time necessary to review you case, and advise you of all your legal options. We look forward to providing you with superior legal representation.

Kansas Single Car Accidents are Dangerous and Often Deadly

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

This past weekend, a fiery single-car crash in Santa Clarita, California claimed the life of actor Paul Walker and his racing team partner, Roger Rodas. Walker is perhaps best known for his work in the “Fast & Furious” movies.  The accident occurred following a typhoon relief charity benefit event for Walker’s non-profit organization, Reach Out Worldwide.

While not many of us drive exotic cars like the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT that Walker and Rodas were riding in at the time of their accident, their tragic, high-profile crash has sparked many discussions about single-car collisions. These discussions are important, because we are all at risk for being involved in this type of accident every time we drive or ride in a vehicle.

Single-car crashes are often deadly, with accidents involving only one vehicle accounting for a whopping sixty-five percent of all fatal car accidents in the United States.  Fortunately, many of these calamities can be avoided.  If drivers familiarize themselves with the factors that cause one-car collisions, they can reduce the danger to their own lives, as well as the lives of their passengers, by managing those risks that are within their control. Common preventable causes of single-car wrecks include speeding, distracted driving, driving while intoxicated, and drowsiness.

In addition to the risk factors which drivers are able to manage on their own, there are some things which cause single-car accidents that drivers may not be able to control or avoid. Things like the behavior of other drivers, problems with roadway design, and mechanical defects may create situations where the driver of a vehicle is not able to actively avoid a fatal crash.

The actual cause of the accident which killed Paul Walker and Roger Rodas has not yet been determined. This is very troubling for their families, friends, and fans, who desperately want to know what happened. After a fatal car crash, a definitive answer to the question of why the crash occurred can be a source of comfort for the victims’ family and friends. Absent a conclusive answer about the cause of a deadly collision, those who are mourning the loss of the victims’ lives are likely to work through a number of hypothetical scenarios in their minds, hoping to make some sense out of whatever information is available regarding the circumstances under which their loved ones perished.

When the cause of the accident which claimed the lives of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas is determined, the issue of liability will be discussed. Liability for a motor vehicle accident can be ascribed to anyone whose actions caused the accident either on their own or in conjunction with the actions of others.  For example, when occupants of a vehicle are injured or killed as a result of a mechanical defect, the manufacturer of the defective vehicle, the defective part, and sometimes even mechanics who serviced the vehicle are potentially liable to the accident victims or their next of kin for their injuries. If another driver was acting recklessly and their conduct required the driver of the vehicle that crashed to swerve or otherwise attempt to avoid hitting them, they may be liable for damages or losses caused by the accident.

After a damaging or fatal car accident, it is important that those who are responsible for injuries or lost lives are held responsible for their actions. If you have been hurt in a single-car accident, you may be able to recover for your injuries. Family members of people who were killed in one-car crashes may also be able to recover for the loss of their loved ones.  To learn more about your case, please call the Wichita office of Cummings & Cummings, LLC at (316) 264-1548.

Assessing Damages in Brain Injury Cases in Kansas

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Personal injury cases of any kind are difficult for not only the accident victim, but also for their family and friends. The upheaval that an injury can cause in the life of the victim and those around them can last for months, and even years, following the injury. In the case of victims whose injuries include an injury to the brain, the consequences can be even more devastating and can even persist for the rest of the victim’s life.

How, then, can a brain injury victim (or their next of kin who may be filing suit on their behalf if the injury is so severe that they cannot do so themselves) ensure that they receive compensation for all of the effects that the victim’s injuries are likely to have on his or her present and future life? The first and most important step that you, as the injured party or their next of kin, can take in the direction of securing adequate compensation for your pain, suffering, and present and continuing injury, is to hire a knowledgeable Kansas Brain Injury Lawyer. Your Kansas Brain Injury Lawyer knows a great deal about brain injuries, and the ways in which they affect accident victims and their friends and families. Your Kansas Brain Injury Lawyer also understands the ins and outs of brain injury cases, and can help you to present information which accurately portrays the extent to which a brain injury has impacted and will continue to impact your life.

Many different types of accidents can result in brain injuries. For example, car accidents and falls are at the top of the list of events that cause traumatic brain injuries. At their worst, traumatic brain injuries can cause death. If a brain injury victim survives, the range of disabilities and impairments that they have suffered may not be evident until well after the injury occurred. This can complicate legal matters, because there may be financial (from bills and expenses piling up) and personal (from the other party or their insurance company) pressures to settle personal injury and accident cases quickly.

Your Kansas Brain Injury Lawyer can help you to find a balance between obtaining the financial recovery that you need and making sure that you are compensated adequately for the full extent of your brain injury. If you have been injured in an accident, and you have sustained an open head injury or a jolt or blow to the head, it is important that you get your injuries evaluated immediately. Getting prompt medical evaluation can detect brain injuries that could otherwise remain unseen until serious symptoms appear, and ensures that the victim can begin receiving treatment as soon as possible. Even if no symptoms are detected initially, seeking prompt medical attention creates a medical record that can later prove useful if brain injury symptoms do develop.

When you enlist the help of a knowledgeable Kansas Brain Injury Lawyer, you get much more than high quality legal representation. You become connected with a team of professionals who know all about brain injuries and the profound impacts that they have on the lives of people like you. These professionals care about your well-being, and are here to help you every step of the way, with resources, information, and support.

The Kansas personal injury lawyers at Cummings & Cummings, LLC know that a brain injury can turn the victim’s life upside down. They also understand the profound impact that brain injuries can have on the families and friends of brain injury victims. Contact our seasoned personal injury attorneys today at (316) 264-1548 to learn more about how we can help you.

Frightening Facts About Pedestrian Accidents in Kansas

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Many Kansas parents are already busy helping their children get their Halloween costumes ready for parties, trick-or-treating, and other fun things later this month. While Halloween can be a fun holiday for families, there are some frightening statistics about pedestrian accidents on Halloween that are enough to make any parent’s skin crawl. Did you know that your child has a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year?

In the United States, approximately six children are killed in pedestrian accidents every year on Halloween. Most of these fatalities occur between the hours of 5 and 9 PM, when children are out trick-or-treating. Since younger children are more likely to be accompanied by an adult when they hit the streets, they are less likely than older children to be involved in fatal pedestrian accidents on Halloween.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep your little ghosts and goblins safe while having plenty of Halloween fun. Many communities have stepped up to the plate and encourage residents to participate in trick-or-treating during daylight hours. Some places have even imposed curfews. Parents can help their kids stay safe by accompanying them as they make the rounds. Older children may want to go out with a group of friends, but it is safer if an adult accompanies the group, so think up a fun costume and join in the fun.

Speaking of costumes, work visibility into your kids’ costumes for extra safety. Light colors, reflective fabrics, and glow sticks or glow jewelry are just some of the ways that you can make sure that their costumes are easily seen. Also, make sure that they can see well while they are wearing their costumes, and that their view is not obstructed by a mask, hood, or other part of the costume. When you go trick-or-treating, bring along a flashlight or two, and make sure that you follow the rules of the road and use crosswalks. Keep your kids and their friends safe by paying close attention to where everyone is walking, the kids may be very excited and not all that attentive to whether they are stepping off of the road and into the street. If you have your cell phone with you, don’t make calls or send texts while you are walking, as it could distract you from the task at hand.

Another way that anyone, whether or not they are a parent, can help to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents on Halloween, is to stay off of the road during “the witching hours” if that is at all possible. The streets will be clogged with pedestrians, and traffic will be moving much more slowly than usual. If you must drive, avoid residential areas as much as possible, as those areas are where most of the trick-or-treating takes place. Be aware that police are often out in full force, helping to keep the streets safe for kids. They will not hesitate to stop you for speeding, or for anything else that they feel presents a threat to pedestrians.

If you or someone that you love has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, you need the help of an experienced Kansas personal injury lawyer. Your Kansas personal injury lawyer can help you to obtain the best possible settlement as you recover from your loss or injury. Call the Wichita office of Cummings & Cummings, LLC today at (316) 264-1548.