Archive for June, 2014

Collisions with Large Animals Are Often Deadly

Friday, June 20th, 2014

On Thursday, June 12, 2014, an unusual accident occurred in Northeast Kansas. The accident involved an automobile and a horse. That evening, Vicki Barbara Self was traveling on U.S. 75, north of Holton. There was a horse in the roadway, and Self’s vehicle collided with it. The impact of the vehicle threw the horse into the air, and it landed partially on the roof of the car and partially on the windshield. Vicki Barbara Self died as a result of the crash, and the horse was also killed.

The tragic accident described above is an example of what can happen when a car collides with a large animal such as a horse, cow, deer, or elk. It is estimated that approximately a million and a half car accidents are caused by animals each year. The aforementioned accident occurred at night, at a time when one would not expect for a horse to be out in the roadway. Many accidents involving vehicles and animals occur at night, because animals are harder to see at night than they are during the day.  Also, some animals are more active at night, which creates a higher probability that they will be in or near the road. Deer, in particular, are very active during hunting season.  In wooded areas or places where vegetation near the road is tall, animals can appear suddenly; leaving motorists with little time and space to avoid hitting them. Also, many animals travel in groups, so if you see one deer by the road, look carefully to see whether there are others in the area.

Sometimes, accidents involving a vehicle and a large animal are fatal, because the size and weight of the animal make for a very forceful impact. Animals which are thrown into the air can go through windshields or even crush the roof of a car, resulting in serious injuries or death for the occupants of the vehicle as well as the animal. If you are in a situation where you are about to hit an animal that has wandered into the road, do your best to avoid hitting it, as your life may be in danger if you do. If you cannot avoid the crash completely, try to hit the animal at an angle so that it will be pushed away from the car as opposed to being launched into the air and on top of the car.

If you collide with an animal and you survive the crash, your car may be badly damaged. Depending upon the type of car insurance that you have, the damage which was caused by the accident may be covered. Sometimes, claims for damage caused by accidents involving animals must be supported by a police report before the insurance company will pay them. It is a good idea to call the police after an accident involving an animal for that reason, but also, perhaps more importantly, because the animal will need to be moved from the road and it is dangerous to do that yourself, especially if it is still alive. If the accident involves a domestic animal like a cow or a horse which has an owner, the owner of the animal will be responsible for your damages, usually through their homeowner’s insurance policy.

If you or someone that you love has been injured or killed in an accident, an experienced Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you to recover both physically and financially from your accident. To learn more about how a Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer can help you to obtain the settlement that you deserve, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.

Kansas DUI Lawyer Answers: What is DUI Diversion?

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Kansas, you may have seen or heard the term “diversion”. Diversion is an option which may be available to you if this is your first Kansas DUI. First-time offenders are likely to be eligible for diversion if they have not been convicted of DUI in Kansas or any other state, they have not pleaded no contest to charges of DUI in Kansas or any other state, and the incident which gave rise to the current DUI charges was not an accident which caused death or injury.

The decision regarding whether a particular DUI defendant is eligible for diversion is ultimately up to the individual prosecutor. In addition to the general requirements for eligibility, which are listed above, the prosecutor may consider other factors such as whether you are likely to be able to successfully complete diversion, mitigating circumstances which may exist, suggestions made by law enforcement officers as to whether they feel that you are an appropriate candidate for diversion, the likely impact that your diversion will have on the community, and any other factors which they deem relevant.

If you choose to resolve your DUI case through diversion, you will enter into a diversion agreement with the prosecutor. The agreement will contain terms which you are to abide by, as well as a period of time for which you must abide by the terms. Some common terms which are found in many diversion agreements include fines, regular check-ins with a diversion coordinator, community service, counseling, and refraining from drug and alcohol use. If you are successful in abiding by the terms of the diversion agreement for the specified length of time, then the prosecutor will dismiss the charges against you.

One advantage of choosing diversion is that your driver’s license will not be suspended as a criminal penalty. However, DUI defense in Kansas has two components, the criminal case, which could be taken care of through diversion, and the civil component, the administrative proceeding. It is important that you request an administrative hearing within fourteen days of being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, or your license will be suspended.

A second benefit of choosing diversion is that you avoid going through the experience of going to trial. Another very important benefit which accompanies not going to trial to defend against DUI charges is that you avoid the risk of being convicted for DUI. If you successfully complete diversion and the charges are dismissed, you will not have a DUI conviction on your driving record.

Of course, even a successfully completed diversion is not without consequences. Your record will show that you were charged with the DUI, and, after your diversion is complete, it will show that you have completed diversion. It is also important that drivers who are thinking about choosing diversion understand that if they are charged with another DUI after successfully completing diversion, the diversion will be treated as a prior DUI conviction, exposing you to the penalties for a second-offense DUI.

Whether you are eligible for diversion or not, retaining a knowledgeable Kansas DUI Lawyer will give you your best chance at obtaining the best possible result in your Kansas DUI case. To learn more about how a Kansas DUI defense attorney can help you with your DUI case, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.

Kansas Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses How to Prepare Your Best Criminal Defense

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Your Kansas criminal matter will go through a few different phases from start to finish. After you are arrested and booked, there is the arraignment, numerous pretrial hearings, and a trial. At many of these stages, it is possible for you to seek a reduction or dismissal of the charges which have been brought against you. At all of these stages, there are various things that you can do to give yourself the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome.

It is possible for you to begin laying a foundation for a successful defense at the time of your arrest by saying as little as you possibly can, and by observing everything around you so that you can write down what happened later on. As soon as you are able to do so, contact a Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney.  Retaining a Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney is the number one thing that you can do to ensure the best possible outcome in your Kansas criminal matter.

While sharing as little information as you can with the police is a good way to build a successful defense, your Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney does need quite a bit of information from you. Your attorney uses the information that you give them to build a case on your behalf which contains all of the possible defenses that may be available to you based upon the facts of your case.

As a defendant, you are likely to have many questions about your Kansas criminal matter. Fortunately, your Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney has a great deal of experience in cases like yours, and they can help you with whatever questions you have, whenever they arise. Do not hesitate to contact your attorney whenever you have a question or a concern.

Being proactive about difficulties that you may be having in your personal life will reflect positively on you as a defendant. For example, some criminal defendants use drugs or alcohol. If you are one of those defendants, you may be asked by the court to participate in counseling or treatment. It is best not to wait until you are ordered to participate in treatment. You can choose a doctor, treatment facility or counseling provider that you feel comfortable with and it is likely that the court will permit you to continue with the provider of your choice for as long as counseling or treatment is required, if you are able to show that you are making progress.

As devastating as it is to be charged with a crime, know that it is possible that your case will have a positive outcome. Many times, people who are accused of crimes either did not commit the crime, or they made a mistake. You are still the same person that you were before the charges were brought, so keep on doing the positive things that you were doing prior to your arrest to the extent that you are able to do so. For example, you may be able to keep your job or stay in school. Any positive things that you do right now will help the court to see who you really are, and to consider your criminal charges in the broader context of your whole life.

If you have been charged with a crime, a Kansas Criminal Defense Lawyer will help you to pursue the best possible outcome in your case. To learn more about how a Kansas Criminal Defense attorney can help you with your Kansas criminal matter, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.