Common Misconceptions About Car Accident Claims
March 28, 2023
Dealing with accidents can be a complicated experience. That is why understanding how car accident claims work is a significant first step in getting fair compensation. Seeking compensation is crucial, considering statistics show that in 2021, Kansas had 57,598 crashes.
At the Oleen Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys are committed to providing the best possible legal advice and believe in helping our clients get the compensation they deserve. We proudly represent people in Manhattan and Junction City, Kansas.
Kansas Is a No-Fault State
Kansas is a no-fault state for car insurance purposes. This means that when a driver is involved in a car accident in Kansas, their own insurance company will typically pay for their medical expenses and other related costs, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
In Kansas, drivers must carry a minimum amount of car insurance, including personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage pays for medical expenses and other costs related to injuries sustained in a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. It can also cover lost wages and other expenses.
Common Misconceptions About Car Accident Claims in Kansas
Here is a look at the most common misconceptions about car accident claims.
It’s Always the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance that Pays for Damages/Injuries
The at-fault driver’s insurance does not always pay for damages and injuries in all situations. The insurance coverage and liability rules can vary depending on the accident’s circumstances.
Since Kansas is a no-fault state, the at-fault driver’s insurance does not generally cover property damage and personal injuries. Accident victims may need to file a lawsuit to recover damages from the at-fault party.
Since Kansas Is a No-Fault Insurance State, I Can’t Seek Compensation from the At-Fault Driver
In Kansas, a no-fault state, the ability to seek compensation from the at-fault driver after a car accident is limited. Generally speaking, the no-fault system in Kansas means that each driver’s insurance company will pay for their medical expenses and related costs, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This situation is because Kansas requires all drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage as part of their car insurance policy.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. In Kansas, accident victims may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver in certain circumstances, such as:
Medical expenses exceed the limits of own PIP coverage.
Injuries meet certain “threshold” requirements, such as permanent disfigurement, injury, or significant scarring.
The accident involved a serious injury or death.
If the Accident Is Minor, It’s Not Necessary to File a Police Report
Even if an accident is minor, it is generally a good idea to file a police report. This recommendation exists because a police report can provide important documentation of the accident and help to establish who was at fault, which can be useful when needing to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action. Additional information in a police report includes weather conditions, location, and time.
In Kansas, it is required by law to file a police report if the accident results in injury or death or if there is significant property damage.
I Was Partially At-Fault for the Accident, so I Can’t File a Personal Injury Claim
Kansas follows a comparative negligence system. Under comparative negligence, the ability to recover compensation may be reduced based on the driver’s degree of fault for the accident. For example, if a driver is found to be 30% at fault for an accident, their compensation may be reduced by 30%.
In Kansas, the law uses a modified comparative fault rule, which means that drivers can only recover compensation if they are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident. If a driver is found to be 50% or more at fault, they may be barred from recovering any compensation.
I Don’t Need to Hire an Attorney to File a Personal Injury Claim
If an accident victim chooses to pursue a personal injury claim without an attorney, they may be at a disadvantage, as insurance companies and defendants often have experienced attorneys working on their behalf. In addition, without the guidance of an attorney, victims may not know the full extent of their legal rights and the potential compensation available to them. Additionally, an attorney can help victims understand their legal rights and options and advise them on the best course of action based on the case's specific facts.
Reliable Guidance after a Car Accident in Kansas
At the Oleen Law Firm, we provide reliable guidance from experienced personal injury attorneys. We focus on helping people get fair compensation for their injuries.
Don’t face a personal injury claim on your own. Call today to get the best legal team on your side. We proudly serve clients in Manhattan and Junction City, Kansas.