Archive for the ‘Personal Injury’ Category

Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Shares Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Last month, a tragic accident on icy roads claimed the life of a young man and injured two other people. The accident happened at night, when the driver of a car lost control on a patch of ice and slid across a highway, where the car was struck by a tractor trailer that was traveling in the opposite direction.

Winter weather is always a challenge for drivers, especially at night when visibility is already reduced and temperatures are even lower than they are during the day. It can be very difficult for drivers to discern what the road surface is like, because there are so many possibilities. Road conditions can range from a little snow to a lot of snow, a layer of snow on top of ice, slush, black ice, or just about any combination of cold, wet substances that you can think of. To make matters worse, road conditions are not likely to be uniform, so a driver may begin his or her trip in light snow, only to experience slushy roads or ice without any snow on top just a few miles down the road. While some drives can be rescheduled due to slippery roads, people still need to drive to work, or for other essential purposes.

Fortunately, there are a few things that drivers can do to keep themselves and others around them, safe this winter. For example, snow tires are a great way to ensure that your car performs its best when the weather is at its worst. All-season tires can be helpful too, particularly on vehicles with all-wheel drive. Whatever type of tires you have, it is absolutely essential that you check the treads regularly, because bald or balding tires offer little traction on roads that are even just a little bit wet, let alone snowy or icy.

Unfortunately, even the best set of snow tires won’t prevent all winter weather-related accidents. Drivers must remember that in the winter, they may need to allow themselves extra time to get to wherever they are going. If for some reason you forget to leave yourself enough time for your drive, remember that arriving at your destination safely is more important than getting there right on time, and drive slowly if you need to in order to stay safe. As you drive, be sure to monitor the road conditions carefully and make adjustments to your driving habits as needed. Change your speed gradually, as sudden increases or decreases can cause you to lose traction. Avoid using cruise control because it prevents you from maintaining a constant “feel” for the road surface.

If an accident on icy roads has left you with injuries or has claimed the life of someone you love, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss or damages. A Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you to pursue the financial recovery that you need as you work on healing from your accident. To learn more about what a Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can do for you, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.



Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Delivery Truck Accidents

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

This is the busiest time of year for shipping companies like UPS and FedEx. Many people do as much of their holiday shopping online as they do in stores, and some people buy all of their gifts online. Additionally, people who are not able to visit all of their friends and family for the holidays ship packages of holiday cheer all over the world. Package delivery workers are hard at work day and night, and in all kinds of weather, doing their best to get all of those packages to their destinations in time for Christmas.

In addition to the increased numbers of package delivery trucks on the roads during the holiday season, there are also other factors like an increase in overall vehicle traffic and snow banks alongside the roads which make it difficult to find places to park a delivery truck in order to drop off a package, which increase the risk of delivery truck accidents. When a package delivery truck is involved in an accident, there are unique risks to its drivers, as well as to the drivers of the other vehicle. Delivery trucks are large, and they are often very heavy, with many trucks carrying loads that are at or near the upper limit of their weight capacity. Because of their size and weight, delivery trucks often do much more damage than ordinary vehicles when they are involved in a crash. Unfortunately, some of the design features of delivery trucks which make it easy for their drivers to get in and out of their vehicles quickly create safety risks for the drivers, such as a danger that they will be ejected from their truck during a crash.

If you are involved in an accident with a delivery truck, an accident response team from the trucking company’s insurer may arrive at the accident scene. Package delivery companies send teams of adjusters to accident scenes so that they may assess the damage and speak with the other drivers who were involved in the accident for a couple of reasons. One reason is that the other drivers might provide information that the insurance company can use to support its case in the event that any claims arising from the accident proceed to litigation. Also, the insurance company may use information that is gathered at the accident scene to create initial settlement offers for the accident victims. Insurance companies send settlement offers to accident victims as soon after the accident as they can, in an effort to entice the injured parties to accept a settlement that may be substantially less than they deserve before they are fully aware of the extent of their injuries or damages. Since the adjusters do not have your best interests in mind, politely decline to speak with them until after you have consulted with an experienced Kansas Personal Injury Attorney.

If you have been injured in a delivery truck crash, be sure to get medical attention right away. Even if you do not feel like you are hurt, you should get checked out for the purpose of creating a record of your care with your health care provider. In addition to seeking prompt medical attention, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable Kansas Personal Injury Attorney right away. To learn more about how a Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you to obtain the settlement that you deserve, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.



Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Talks About Birth Injuries

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Personal injuries come in many forms, and have many different causes.  The process of childbirth happens many times each day, all over the world, as families welcome babies into their lives. Much of the time, births are fairly uneventful, with no long-term negative implications for either the mother or the child. Unfortunately, things can go wrong during childbirth, and either the mother or the baby or both can be temporarily or permanently injured.

Birth injuries may be visible right away, or they may not become apparent until weeks or months after a baby is born. From the moment of birth and onward, babies are growing, developing, and changing. If a baby was deprived of oxygen for a length of time during the birthing process, he or she may have sustained brain damage which could reveal itself to parents as the baby experiences delays in reaching developmental milestones, such as rolling over and crawling. If you notice any sort of delays, your pediatrician can assess your child and determine whether the delays are the likely result of a birth injury, or the result of being a healthy child who has a slightly different developmental timetable than other children his or her age.

In addition to developmental delays, seizures can alert parents to the possibility of a birth injury. Not all seizures in infants and young children are caused by birth injuries, but some are. As with developmental delays, your pediatrician can help you to understand the cause of your child’s seizures in addition to treating them. In order for your pediatrician to have all of the information that they need  to determine whether your child’s developmental delays or seizures are the result of a birth injury, provide the pediatrician with information about your birth.  This includes information such as whether there were any birth injury risk factors like forceps, vacuum extraction, a cesarean birth, or an unusual appearance of your child immediately after birth.

Birth injuries can be temporary or they can be permanent. One example of a birth injury that is sometimes temporary is the brachial plexus injury, an injury to the group of nerves which begins in the neck and extends throughout the upper body. Brachial plexus injuries often result when there is difficulty in getting the baby’s shoulder through the birth canal and excessive force is used to deliver the baby. Some brachial plexus injuries are permanent, while others may be completely or fully healed by surgical means such as nerve transfers, nerve grafts, and nerve repair. Cerebral palsy, a movement control disorder, is an example of a permanent birth injury. Injuries to the brain of a child in utero, before birth, or after birth can cause cerebral palsy, as can mistakes during labor and delivery, bacterial infections, head trauma, and oxygen deprivation.

Whether your child’s birth injury is temporary or permanent, they are likely to require specialized short term or long term medical care. It is important that the medical professionals whose negligent actions result in birth injuries are held responsible for their actions. Your Kansas Personal Injury Attorney will help you to build a strong case in your favor. To learn more about how a Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you to obtain the settlement that your injured child deserves, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.

Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Talks About Emotional Distress

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

When you are injured in an accident, the physical pain of your injuries is likely to be one of the first things that you notice. Once your injuries have been treated and you are in the process of recovering from them, you are likely to still feel some physical pain. Sometimes, though, the physical pain is not the only type of pain that an accident victim feels. Emotional pain and distress are commonly felt by accident victims, and while they are sometimes noticeable shortly after an accident, they may also take a while to develop. This can take accident victims by surprise, because it is only natural to expect that things will get easier as the physical pain of the injuries caused by the accident subsides.

Whether you are surprised by your emotional distress or not, you are certainly not alone. The experience of being involved in an accident is traumatic, to say the least. Traumatic experiences can have deep and long-lasting effects on people, including anxiety, migraine headaches, and difficulty sleeping. Accident victims who are experiencing emotional distress should not hesitate to seek treatment for it because therapy, medication, and other methods of addressing emotional distress can be very effective at reducing its impact on the lives of those who suffer from it.

Some accident victims may refrain from pursuing treatment for their emotional distress because they fear that it will be costly. Treatment of any kind does cost money, but accident victims can often recover compensation for their emotional damages in addition to recovering for their physical injuries. Recovery for emotional damages may not be possible in every automobile accident case, but in cases where the emotional distress that the victim is experiencing is so severe that it is disrupting the activities of their day to day life, it is likely.

Any automobile accident victim can benefit from working with an experienced Kansas Personal Injury Attorney, but those who suffer from emotional distress in addition to their physical injuries can benefit greatly from working with an attorney who is skilled at presenting evidence that speaks to the nature and severity of emotional distress. Attorneys who work with cases involving emotional damages know how to present evidence from doctors and others who are involved in the life of an accident victim in a way that portrays the extent to which the victim’s emotional distress has interfered with their day to day life.

If you have been injured physically and emotionally in a Kansas automobile accident, you deserve caring and compassionate representation. Your Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you with the legal details of your case, so that you can focus on healing your physical and emotional wounds. Your Kansas Personal Injury Attorney will do the stressful and tedious work of communicating with the insurance company, and they will help you to analyze any settlement offers that are proposed. To learn more about how a Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you to obtain the settlement that you deserve, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.



Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Bicycle Accidents

Friday, September 5th, 2014

This year has not been a good one for cyclists in Kansas. At least seven people have been killed so far in 2014 while riding their bicycles on Kansas roads. The causes of the fatal accidents have been varied – one cyclist was hit by a train, another died from a medical condition, and five were struck by vehicles. Of the cyclists who were hit by vehicles in accidents where details have been made available regarding crash details, one was hit by a drunk driver, one was involved in a head-on collision with a motorist who was passing illegally, and two were hit by vehicles that were approaching them from behind.

Accidents involving cyclists often involve serious injuries or death. While bicycle helmets do prevent injuries that a cyclist would sustain during a fall, they are often not enough to prevent injury or death in a collision involving a motor vehicle. Since cyclists and motorists share the roads, it is important that they take precautions to do so safely.

The most important thing that drivers can do to avoid collisions with cyclists is to be aware of their surroundings. Driving within the speed limit enables drivers to have time to see what is around them, and to avoid collisions. Avoiding cell phone use and other distractions shifts a driver’s focus from what is going on inside their vehicle to what is happening around it. If you come upon a cyclist who is riding on your side of the road and you wish to pass them, be sure to pass slowly and give them at least three feet of space as you go by.

When cyclists take steps to make themselves visible, they increase the likelihood that motorists will see them. Cyclists can increase their visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing during both daytime and evening hours. If you ride after dark, mount lights on the front and rear of your bike so that motorists can more easily see you. There are also rear view mirrors, which can be mounted on your handlebars or on your glasses. Using these mirrors can help you to see vehicles that are approaching you from behind. If you are riding with a group, it is important to ride single file, for your safety. Always wear a bicycle helmet, in order to reduce the risk of injury from a fall, and to increase your chance of survival in a collision.

If you were injured or someone that you live was killed as the result of an accident involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle, it is essential that you speak with an attorney right away so that your rights can be protected. A Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you with every step of the recovery process, so that you can focus on healing. Your attorney will deal with communicating with the insurance company, and they will help you to analyze any settlement offers that are proposed. To learn more about how a Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you to obtain the settlement that you deserve, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.

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.

Chain Reaction Accident in Lenexa Injures Eight People

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

On Sunday morning, March 23, 2014, light snow was falling in Lenexa, Kansas. As a result of the snow, roads were slick. The slippery driving conditions caused a twenty-two car pileup on a ramp near Highway 69 and Interstate 35. Fortunately, no one was killed in this chain reaction accident, but a total of eight people were injured. The first cars became involved in the accident around six thirty in the morning, and after the series of accidents had occurred, police closed the ramp for a few hours so that all of the vehicles could be cleared from the roadway.

While icy roads were to blame for the recent chain reaction accident in Lenexa, drivers should be aware that pile-ups can happen when roads are wet, and they sometimes even happen on dry pavement. Also, chain reaction accidents happen quickly. A one or two-vehicle accident can become a multiple vehicle pile-up within minutes, causing many injuries and a large amount of property damage within a very short period of time.

Fortunately, Kansas drivers can often avoid becoming entangled in chain reaction accidents by implementing safe driving strategies. The following safe driving tips can help drivers to effectively avoid chain reaction accidents under many different circumstances, including wet or icy road conditions and heavy traffic.

Awareness of weather and road conditions is essential to the prevention of chain reaction accidents. Of course, awareness alone will not prevent an accident. Drivers must also adjust their driving to the current road conditions, and they must continually monitor road conditions to make additional adjustments as conditions change. For example, rain, snow and fog reduce visibility. It is important that drivers slow down in wet weather so that they have time to react to accidents, animals, and other road hazards when they see them, because by the time that they see them, they are likely to already be very close to them. Snow, sleet, and rain reduce traction, so it is important that you drive slow enough to avoid hydroplaning and to be able to stop without sliding all over the place.

Another way to avoid chain reaction accidents is to make sure that you always leave plenty of room between your car and the vehicle in front of you. One way to make sure that there is adequate space is to remain at least one car length behind the vehicle in front of you for every ten miles per hour that you are traveling. When you leave enough space between your car and the vehicles around you, you will have time and space within which to respond to changing road and traffic conditions, and to react quickly if necessary.

Adding the aforementioned safe driving practices to your repertoire can help you to avoid many accidents, including chain reaction-style accidents. However, it is possible that you may still be involved in an automobile accident. If you are involved in a chain reaction accident, you may face a complicated set of facts which could make it difficult for liability for your damages to be apportioned among the drivers involved. This can be frustrating, because it can cause a delay the payment of your claim. We understand that you are counting on the payment of your claim to help you recover physically and financially from your accident, and we can help you to cut through the confusion and obtain the recovery that you deserve, as soon as possible.  To learn more about how a Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you to obtain the settlement that you deserve, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.

What’s the Chance That My Kansas Car Accident Case Will go to Court?

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you may wonder whether or not you should retain an attorney. You may be debating the issue in your mind, weighing what you believe to be the positive and negative consequences of a decision in either direction. You may even be leaning towards deciding not to hire an attorney because you do not want to have to go to court. If so, this article can help you understand why a desire to avoid the courtroom should not be a deciding factor in your choice of whether or not to retain a personal injury attorney.

Automobile accident victims need to know that hiring an attorney for a car accident case does not necessarily mean that you go to court. In fact, going to court is the exception, rather than the rule. About ninety five percent of car accident cases are resolved through settlement instead of through litigation. What’s more, you are largely in control over whether your automobile crash case will be settled or whether it will be litigated.

Attorneys who specialize in handling personal injury cases help their clients in a few ways. One important thing that they do is help accident victims understand what their claims are worth. Knowing the value of your personal injury claim will help you evaluate any settlement offers that the insurance company proposes to you. Your attorney can help you understand the settlement offers that you receive, but it is important that you know that you have full control over whether you accept a settlement offer. Also, your attorney can respond to unsuitable settlement offers and communicate with the insurance company in the hope that they will propose a better offer. Most of the time, the back and forth exchanges between an attorney and an insurance company results in the proposal of a settlement offer which appeals to the client. In accepting a settlement offer which meets their needs, a client also avoids the time and expense associated with litigation.

The skills of a seasoned personal injury attorney extend far beyond being able to secure good settlement offers for many of their clients. The best personal injury attorneys are also skilled litigators who can put on a compelling case for their clients in the event that the insurance company refuses to propose a fair settlement offer. Instead of accepting a settlement offer which is inadequate, their clients can choose to proceed to litigation with the knowledge that their case is in good hands. If you do end up filing a lawsuit in your personal injury case, there is even the chance that the insurance company may propose a good settlement offer at some point during the process of litigation. In fact, the potential for settlement exists throughout the litigation of a case, and plaintiffs may accept a settlement offer at any point before a final verdict has been reached.

Accident victims and their families will benefit from the aid of an experienced personal injury attorney whether their case goes to trial or not. A knowledgeable Kansas personal injury attorney is your ally at every stage of the automobile accident claims process. If you have been injured in a car crash, the knowledge and experience of an attorney can make the difference between accepting a settlement offer which will not fully compensate you for your injuries and obtaining a settlement or a verdict which will help you to recover both physically and financially from your accident. 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, LLC today at (316) 264-1548.

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.

What to do if Your Insurer Refuses to Play Fair

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

You may be experiencing a great deal of pain and suffering as a result of an automobile accident, premises liability accident, or other type of accident that left you injured. Your medical bills are beginning to pile up, and more are on the way because your injuries require rehabilitation and follow up care. To make matters worse, it seems as though your many telephone calls, emails, and letters to your insurance company are being ignored. You may even have been informed that your insurer has denied your claim for damages. If this is happening to you, you are likely to feel frustrated and angry, and you probably wonder whether there is anything else that you can do. Fortunately, this does not have to be the end of the road for your claim.

Insurance companies are required by law to act in good faith, and to carry out their business in a fair manner. When you purchase insurance, you enter into a contract with your insurance company. That contract requires both you and the insurance company to act in good faith, and to deal fairly with each other. Some examples of how an insurance company might act in bad faith include improperly investigating claims, failing to review claims within a reasonable time, consistently “losing” claim-related documentation, and denying claims for no justifiable reason.

The best way to fight back against a difficult insurer is to retain an experienced Kansas personal injury attorney as soon in the claims process as you can. Many times, an insurance company which has been dragging its feet in responding to an insured’s claim will return a prompt response once the insured retains an attorney and the insurance company receives a letter from that attorney. The same goes for settlement offers. Insurance companies are looking to increase their profits by settling each claim for as little as they possibly can. Offering a settlement which is smaller than the actual value of a claim is one way that they can save money, if the insured is unaware of the true value of their claim and accepts the low offer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you to determine what your claim is actually worth, so that you do not accept a settlement offer which is not adequate to compensate you for your injuries and damages.

If your claim has already been denied, it is important that you ask your insurance company for a written explanation of the reasons why your claim was denied. If you believe that your claim was unreasonably denied, consult with an attorney to discuss your options. It is important to note that in Kansas, since bad faith insurance claims do not have their own common law cause of action, any claim of this nature would be a breach of contract claim. Spencer v. Aetna Life & Casualty, 227 Kan. 914 (1980). The Kansas Insurance Commissioner does have the authority to redress violations of the Unfair Claims Settlement Processes Act, (KSA 40-2404-9), so it is important that you report your insurance company to the Commissioner if you believe that they have violated one or more of the provisions of the Act.

The best way to ensure that your personal injury claim is settled fairly and in an expedient manner is to seek assistance from a skilled Kansas personal injury attorney. Insurance companies do not always play fair, and having a skilled professional on your side serves to level the playing field. To learn more about how a Kansas personal injury attorney can help you to obtain the settlement that you deserve, please call Cummings & Cummings, L.C.C. today at (316) 264-1548.