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Who Pays for a Kansas Car Accident?

Offered by Warner Law Offices

Understand who’s liable if you’ve been injured in a car crash

Thousands of car accidents in Kansas each year result in serious injuries and fatalities. In an instant, you or a loved one can sustain a life-altering injury due to a car crash caused by a reckless or negligent driver. When this happens, accident-related expenses can add up fast. This is why it’s important to understand how the compensation system works in Kansas for drivers, passengers, pedestrians or anyone else hurt in a bad car accident caused by another driver.

Is Kansas a no-fault car insurance state?

Yes. Kansas has a no-fault car insurance system. This means that injury victims can be financially compensated regardless of who caused the collision. It also means that injury victims initially need to file a “first-party” claim for financial compensation with their own insurance company. Kansas car insurance policies are required to include personal injury protection (PIP), which provides money for medical bills and certain other out-of-pocket losses on a no-fault basis.

However, PIP insurance only covers certain accident-related expenses, and only up to a policy limit. People with more severe injuries may need to “step outside” the no-fault system.

What does no-fault insurance in Kansas not cover?

No-fault PIP insurance does not cover non-economic damages related to motor vehicle accidents. Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, mental anguish, physical impairment and physical disfigurement.

In addition, you can also seek financial compensation for medical expenses that exceed your no-fault PIP insurance coverage. However, you must prove that your injury is a “serious injury” as defined by Kansas’ insurance system, an issue that can often generate a lot of debate, especially from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

You can also seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company to repair or replace your car if you can prove that the other driver was at fault and caused your crash. This is especially important if your vehicle is a total loss and you need to buy a new car.

There is no limit in Kansas to how much money you can seek for non-economic damages. However, determining such damages can often be a contentious issue, especially if your accident claim adds up to a significant amount of money.

What are the car insurance requirements in Kansas?

All drivers are required to have a certain amount of certain types of car insurance in Kansas. According to the Kansas Insurance Department, the minimum amount of insurance drivers are required to have in Kansas includes:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage liability
  • $25,000 per person in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • $50,000 per accident in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

Drivers can also choose to have additional insurance coverage, including additional liability coverage (money to pay for accidents you cause), collision coverage (for vehicle damage in a crash) and comprehensive coverage (for damage to your vehicle due to weather, vandalism, and other non-collision events).

Who is responsible for paying for my accident?

Again, your insurance company pays first, but only up to your no-fault policy limit. In many cases, it’s the at-fault party that’s responsible for compensating injury victims in motor vehicle accidents. This is especially true if the total value of your accident claim exceeds your insurance coverage.

In Kansas, this often means that the at-fault driver’s insurance company is ultimately responsible for compensating you and anyone else injured in an accident caused by the insurance company’s policyholder.

This might sound straightforward. But determining who was at fault can often spark a lot of debate. Remember, the insurance company has a financial incentive to minimize the amount of money they pay.

How much is my claim worth?

There’s no set dollar amount when it comes to accident claims. Legally, you should be financially compensated for all your injury-related expenses. What you might not realize is just how many expenses can and should be covered by your accident claim. It’s not just short-term expenses, such as emergency medical care, vehicle repair or replacement costs and replacement income if you cannot work for a few weeks while you’re recovering from your car accident injury. There are also long-term expenses, such as lost future income if you cannot return to work, physical therapy, and other future anticipated medical expenses due to a serious injury or permanent disability, plus non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

The key is to remember that you only get one shot at compensation. Once your case settles, that’s it; you can’t go back for more. You need an attorney on your side to determine the full value of your claim and advocate for maximum compensation.

How can a lawyer help me after my car accident?

The stakes are high when it comes to many injury claims. You could be eligible to receive thousands of dollars or significantly more for your claim. It’s also important to take immediate legal action before evidence related to your crash is lost or destroyed.

Strict time limits also apply to seeking financial compensation for a car accident in Kansas. Under Kansas Statutes section 60-513, you have two years to file a lawsuit or take other legal action against the at-fault party responsible for your crash. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. Keep in mind, though, that the applicable deadline may vary depending on the circumstances. Only an attorney can advise you as to which time limits apply to your case.

Learn more about the legal options available after your car crash. Most car accident attorneys offer a free consultation, so there is no downside to getting answers about your legal rights and options. Schedule an appointment with an experienced Kansas car accident lawyer in your area today.

Warner Law Offices is a personal injury law firm in Wichita, Kansas.

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Warner Law Offices

When you’re up against an insurance company, you need experience on your side. The personal injury lawyers at Warner Law Offices have over 50 years of combined experience protecti...