Car and truck accidents in Kansas can happen to anyone. In 2021, there were 5.4 million car accident injuries in the U.S. and 46,980 fatalities. No matter how good a driver you are, you could suffer pain and losses in a traffic accident.
Pain and suffering are just part of the equation. Car and truck accidents are also costly. The attorneys at Bretz Injury Law are dedicated to maximizing financial recovery in traffic collision cases because we understand that the costs of medical care, car repairs, property damage, income loss, and other concerns can be overwhelming.
If you’ve been injured and are wondering how you’ll pay the bills, contact us at Bretz Injury Law for a free consultation. Let’s talk about your options.
One thing we discuss with our clients is modified comparative fault. Understanding this concept can help you work to maximize your recovery and make a claim. Here, we’ve put together a guide so you can understand the basics of modified comparative fault in Kansas.
When you’re in a car or truck accident in Kansas, the cause of the accident is not always perfectly clear. Each party may have contributed somewhat to the crash, which becomes important if the collision results in a claim.
In Kansas, modified comparative fault is a legal principle used to assign fault when multiple parties are involved in a car or truck accident or another personal injury claim. Modified comparative fault in Kansas effectively assigns a percentage of fault to each party in the collision and adjusts compensation accordingly. If you’re injured but are found to be partly to blame for the accident, your compensation may be reduced in accordance with the percentage you’re found to be at fault.
In Kansas, determining fault is important if you want to make a claim. If you’ve been injured, you will want to maximize your recovery to replace your lost income and pay for car repairs, medical costs, and other expenses.
However, if you are partly to blame for the accident, you may have difficulty getting enough financial recovery to pay for all your injury-related expenses.
Let’s look at an example to see how a modified comparative fault in Kansas can be applied to a case. Suppose you’re in a car accident on Kellogg in Wichita. The person in front of you slammed on their brakes, and you rear-ended them. After an investigation, it was determined that the other driver was 70% responsible for braking suddenly without reasonable cause, and you were 30% responsible for not noticing the sudden stop in time.
Your injuries were valued at $100,000 for medical care, car repairs, and lost time at work. Under the modified comparative fault system in Kansas, you might secure $70,000 in compensation, however, your compensation would be reduced by 30%.
Liable parties have a financial incentive to use modified comparative fault in Kansas to reduce how much they need to pay. For example, if they can show you were 40% responsible for causing an accident, they may be able to pay you 40% less.
It’s also important to note that Kansas has a 50% bar rule. Under this rule, if you are found to be at least 50% at fault for an accident, you will not be eligible for any recovery. So, not surprisingly, the attorneys for the at-fault driver’s insurance company may work very hard to prove you were at least 50% responsible for causing your crash.
You have a legal right to financial recovery if another driver caused your injuries and those injuries are serious enough that you can seek compensation beyond PIP (personal injury protection) coverage on your own policy. In such a case, you have the right to pursue compensation for:
- Lost income because of time you’ve had to lose at work due to your injuries
- Your medical bills, including expected future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering caused by your injuries
- Property damage, including car repair and replacement bills
- Incidental costs, such as the costs of rental cars
You also have a right to present your case. You can work with a car and truck accident attorney in Kansas to present evidence that the at-fault driver caused your injuries.
Now that you understand modified comparative fault in Kansas, you can probably appreciate how car and truck accidents in Kansas can turn into finger-pointing. It’s not unusual for an at-fault driver to try to claim that you were more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
There’s a lot at stake, and an experienced attorney can make sure the attorneys for the other side don’t try to blame you for an accident you didn’t cause. An experienced attorney will:
- Investigate the cause of the accident.
- Negotiate with other parties involved in the collision.
- Accurately evaluate the likely total costs of your injuries and losses.
- Present evidence showing that the percentage of fault assigned to you should be lower.
- Seek the fairest compensation possible for you.
An experienced Kansas car and truck accident attorney will also take care of many of the details of your case for you, from negotiation to presenting your case before a trial if your case makes it before a judge. This allows you to focus on your medical treatment and rebuilding your life after your accident.
Every percentage point of comparative fault assigned to you is money out of your pocket. The difference between you being found 10% at fault in an accident and 30% at fault can be a difference of tens of thousands of dollars or even more in a serious collision. This can be the difference between you being able to pay your medical bills and struggling to get back on your feet after a car crash.
Remember that a serious car and truck accident in Kansas can result in spinal cord injuries, head trauma, or other serious injuries resulting in millions of dollars in medical care over a lifetime. You want to seek to maximize your recovery so you can get the compensation you need to pay for medical care. Without compensation, you may not be able to afford the care you need, and your home, savings, and other assets could be in danger if you need to pay for the costs of a serious injury yourself.
At Bretz Injury Law, we’re known for aggressively pursuing a recovery, and we’re willing to take your case to trial if that’s the best way to seek compensation for you. We build strategic approaches for your case, and we fight against every percentage point of blame assigned to you to make sure you have a chance to maximize your recovery.
We have already recovered over $300 million in settlements and verdicts and have won over 98% of the cases we’ve pursued. Consultations are always free. We work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay until we win.
With our offices in Hutchinson, Wichita, Salina, Hays, Dodge City, Garden City, Liberal, Kansas City, Olathe, and Topeka, we can work with car accident victims and families across Kansas. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in the state, don’t hesitate. Contact Bretz Injury Law for a free consultation.