Archive for February, 2014

What to do When Your Kansas No-Fault Insurance is Not Enough

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Have you ever thought about what might happen if you are injured or killed while you are riding in a vehicle as a passenger? Many of us think of being injured or suffering vehicle damage from an automobile accident as something that happens when we are driving our own vehicles. However, we are not always the one in the driver’s seat. Usually, being a passenger creates no more risk to you than driving your own car, if the person who is driving the vehicle in which you are riding is an experienced driver who follows the rules of the road.

Unfortunately, drivers do not always follow the rules of the road and as such, may cause harm to other drivers.  Because of the variety of positions in which a passenger in a vehicle can be seated, they may suffer injuries that are different than those sustained by the driver of a vehicle. Also, any person in a vehicle can be ejected from the vehicle in an accident if they are not wearing their seat belt. The type and severity of injuries inflicted upon people who are involved in a car accident also depends upon where the vehicle came into contact with whatever it collided with, whether it was another vehicle, a tree, or something else.

On the morning of February 15, 2014, a Kansas man was killed when the driver of the car in which he was riding went the wrong way on an exit ramp and crashed into a tractor trailer which had just gotten off of the highway. The driver of the car was injured, and the driver of the tractor trailer was not harmed. The accident occurred at the intersection of Interstate 70 and U.S. 40.

Since Kansas is a state that requires drivers to purchase no-fault automobile insurance, the medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages of individuals who are injured in an accident will be covered by the driver’s insurance policy. In exchange for this coverage, the injured parties are excluded from pursuing a lawsuit against the driver for pain, suffering, or damages unless the type or amount of damages that they have incurred exceeds a specific threshold which is established by law.

The threshold which separates cases in which injured parties may sue from cases in which they may not may be either verbal, describing a type of loss, or monetary, describing an amount of loss, depending upon the state. Kansas uses a system in which both a death or serious injury must occur and the damages must exceed the policyholder’s coverage before a suit may be filed. In the accident described above, it is possible that the family of the passenger who was killed might file a lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle for their losses, if those losses exceed the coverage of the driver’s insurance policy.

No-fault insurance is supposed to make the settlement of insurance claims after an accident quicker and easier for everyone. However, there are some situations in which an accident victim or their family may need to file a lawsuit in order to recover fully for their losses. If you have been seriously injured in an automobile accident and your damages exceed the limits of the driver’s insurance policy, it is important that you seek assistance from a skilled Kansas personal injury attorney. To learn more about how a Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you to obtain the settlement that you deserve, please call the Wichita office of Cummings & Cummings, L.L.C. today at (316) 264-1548.

Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Sex Offender Registration

Monday, February 10th, 2014

If you have been accused of a crime of a sexual nature, you may be concerned about the potential consequences of having to register as a sex offender if you are convicted. This is only natural, because the details of a person’s intimate life are often something which most people prefer to keep private. Also, even though not all sex offenders are alike, being registered as a sex offender carries with it a sort of stigma that you do not want to experience. If you are convicted and you are ordered to register as a sex offender, here are a few of the things that you can expect:

Initially, you will have approximately three business days following your conviction to register. Also, you must obtain a new driver’s license or state identification card. Your new license or identification card will indicate that you are a registered offender.

Registering as a sex offender is not a one-time event. If you must register, you will have to report four times a year, with the months in which you must report being determined by the month in which your birthday falls. Also, changes in your residence, employment, or education, whether they are changes in location or changes in status, require you to register those changes within three days of their occurrence. If you do not have a residence, you are considered a transient individual, and you must report every thirty days.

If you are concerned about how long the registration and reporting requirements will last, your requirement will depend upon your age and the type of offense of which you have been convicted.  Adults may be required to register for fifteen years, twenty five years, or for life, depending upon the offense. If a registered adult is convicted of a second or subsequent offense that requires registration, they will then have to register for the rest of their life.

Different rules apply for juveniles, and the requirements depend upon the age of the offender and the offense which was committed. If someone who is under fourteen years of age has committed a sexually violent crime, they must register until the latest of three possible dates – their eighteenth birthday, five years from the date of their conviction, or five years from their release from confinement. For juveniles over the age of fourteen, the same requirements apply, unless the offense that they are convicted of is an off-grid felony or level one felony. Juveniles who are over the age of fourteen who have been convicted of a sexually violent off-grid or level one felony must require for life.

Fortunately, registering as a sex offender in Kansas in and of itself does not cause you to be restricted in regards to where you live, attend school, or work, or who you associate with. If it is appropriate that restrictions involving any of those things be imposed upon you, they would be imposed as conditions of your probation.

If you have been accused of a crime for which you would have to register as a sex offender if you are convicted, it is important that you pursue your criminal defense with the aid of an experienced and dedicated Kansas criminal defense attorney on your side. A Kansas Sex Crime Defense Attorney can be your best defense against conviction, and your best ally for minimizing the impact of any conviction on your life. To learn more about how a Kansas criminal defense attorney can help you to obtain the settlement that you deserve, please call the Wichita office of Cummings & Cummings, L.L.C. today at (316) 264-1548.

Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses DUI Penalties

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

While some people learn after their first DUI incident that drinking and driving is not worth the safety risks and penalties, the habit of drinking and driving can be a tough one to break. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for subsequent DUI offenses to occur once a person has already been convicted of driving while impaired in Kansas. Even though each subsequent DUI carries heavier penalties than the ones before it, some drivers continue to reoffend until they are incarcerated, and even offend again after they are released.

On January 25, 2014, a Kansas man was arrested and charged with his fifth DUI, in addition to charges for failing to have his ignition interlock device in his vehicle. The twenty six year old man was asleep in his truck, which was parked with the engine running, when the deputy arrived. The ignition interlock device which was supposed to be in the truck as a result of his prior DUI convictions was not in the vehicle at the time of his arrest.

In Kansas, a person’s first DUI conviction is a class B, nonperson misdemeanor. The penalties may include jail time of forty eight hours to six months, or, if the judge deems it appropriate, one hundred hours of community service. Fines for a first-time DUI are between $750.00 and $1000.00, and offenders must undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation. Also, the offender must follow any recommendations which result from their drug and alcohol evaluation.

As you might imagine, the stakes are higher for repeat offenders. A second DUI conviction is a class A, nonperson misdemeanor. The sentence is between ninety days and one year, and the offender must serve at least five consecutive days before being granted probation, parole, suspension of sentence, or any other form of release.  A combination of work release and imprisonment may be granted in some cases. The fine for a second-time DUI can be from $1250.00 to $1750.00.

A third DUI offense will be handled in one of two ways. If the offender’s second offense occurred more than ten years ago, with the ten year period excluding any periods of incarceration, then the third offense DUI will be considered a class A, nonperson misdemeanor, and it will carry the same ninety day to one year sentence as a second offense DUI. However, instead of five consecutive days, the offender must serve ninety days of imprisonment or participate in a combination of work release and imprisonment before being granted probation, parole, or any other form of release. The fine for a third DUI in Kansas under these circumstances is between $1750.00 and $2500.00. If the offender’s third DUI offense occurs within ten years of their second DUI offense, the offense is considered a nonperson felony, and the penalties and fines are the same as for a third offense misdemeanor DUI.

Fourth offense DUIs and any subsequent DUIs, like the fifth offense described above, are felonies. The sentence is between ninety days and one year, with a requirement that ninety days of consecutive time or participation in an approved combination of work release and imprisonment be served before the offender is granted parole, probation, or other release. The fine is $2500.00.

With any Kansas DUI offense, the penalty may carry an additional month of imprisonment if the offense occurred while there were any children under the age of fourteen in the vehicle.

If you want to ensure the best possible outcome for your DUI case, it is essential that you seek the assistance of a skilled Kansas DUI Defense Attorney. To learn more about how a Kansas DUI Defense Attorney can help you with your case, please call the Wichita office of Cummings & Cummings, L.L.C. today at (316) 264-1548.