Kansas Personal Injury Accident Attorney Describes the Assumption of Risk Doctrine in Connection with Pokémon Go!

Unless you do not have any contact with children and have been living off of the grid for the past few months, you are likely familiar with the new Pokémon Go! app that has children and the young at heart excited about exercising. For those unfamiliar with the program, Pokémon Go! is an app downloadable to a smart phone that immerses user in a sort of digital fantasy world:

  1. The object is to find and locate digital monsters called Pokémon;
  2. These monsters are (according to the game’s premise) hiding in plain sight in our own world;
  3. Through the Pokémon Go! app, you are able to find and see these monsters (the app essentially takes the real world you see through your phone’s camera feature and overlays it with the information from the Pokémon fantasy world);
  4. Once you find them, you must capture them using digital, fantasy tools contained in the app.

The game has been a huge success so far, but has also been linked to some serious personal injury accidents in which pedestrians and motorists harmed themselves and/or others by paying more attention to the app than their surroundings. The Pokémon Go! app warns users about the dangers of trying to play the game while walking or driving and advises that players use the game at their own risk. Is this sufficient to alleviate the developers of Pokémon Go! from liability for the injuries of players and others injured on account of the game?

Assumption of Risk Doctrine Generally

A personal injury doctrine called the “assumption of risk” doctrine may provide some protections to the developers. This doctrine holds that a participant of an activity who is aware of the activity’s dangers and chooses to participate in the activity in spite of these dangers “assumes the risk” that he or she will be injured or killed. This doctrine is invoked frequently when amateur sportsmen and sportswomen undertake a new activity like rock climbing, whitewater rafting, or jet-skiing. In most states, an injury victim who “assumes the risk” from a defendant and who is thereafter injured in the activity is not able to sue the defendant-business or defendant-individual.

Kansas and the Assumption of Risk Doctrine

Some may claim that users and players “assume the risks” associated with the game by agreeing by the terms and conditions of the game (players must accept these terms and conditions when initiating the game, otherwise they will not be able to play the game). Suppose a lawsuit is initiated in Kansas against the developers of the Pokémon Go! game after an adult walks into traffic while playing the game. The adult alleges that the game developers were negligent in not putting additional warnings or safety features into the game, while the developers allege that the adult “assumed the risk” of injury by accepting the terms and conditions of the game.

If such a case were to be decided according to Kansas law, the defendants’ assertion of the assumption of risk doctrine would be ineffective. This is because the Kansas Supreme Court struck down the doctrine in 2014. Instead, the Kansas Supreme Court held that any “assumption of risk” plays into the court’s general comparative fault scheme. Any knowledge or assumption of risk by the injury victim will be considered along with all other factors in determining who is primarily at fault in causing the crash.

Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney.  Contact his office at (800) 734-3771.

 

Kansas Truck Accident Lawyer Explains the Relevance of Traffic Violations in a Truck Crash Lawsuit

In Ohio, a recent five-car vehicle crash was determined to have been caused by a dump truck driver who was unable to brake in time after traffic in front of him on a major interstate had stopped. Further investigation into the cause of the crash – and into the dump truck driver who allegedly caused it – revealed that the dump truck driver had received multiple traffic citations. This underscores the need for truck accident victims to request and review the driving record of the at-fault driver in a truck collision. In some truck accident cases, this single document can prove to be quite powerful.

Holding the Employer Responsible for Your Injuries

Where the truck driver is employed by a business and the truck driver’s driving record shows that the driver has previous driving-related convictions, the driver’s employer may be able to be held responsible for your injury accident. This is because most employers are responsible for exercising care and control over their employees while their employees are “on the job.” In the case of a driver with a spotty driving record, the employer’s obligation may require the employer to insist on a period of “clean driving” before hiring the driver, that the driver attend remedial driving courses – or that the employer not hire the driver at all. Employers who fail to take reasonable steps like this to fulfill this obligation may be held liable for the negligent or careless conduct of their drivers.

Just because a driver has multiple traffic violations on his or her driving record does not mean that the driver’s employer is liable for your injuries, however. Your attorney will need to establish by sufficiently-convincing proof that: (1) the driver’s careless behavior occurred while the driver was “on the job”; and (2) the steps that the employer took to supervise or control the driver’s behavior were inadequate, given what the employer knew or should have known about the driver’s history. For example, suppose you are struck by a dump truck driver while the driver is on his way to deliver a load to a jobsite. An employer who knew this driver had multiple driving violations but who insisted that the driver complete a remedial driving course and drive with a supervisor before he was permitted to drive solo may have fulfilled its obligation to exercise due care (which can, in turn, limit the compensation to which you are entitled from the employer).

How To Use a Driving Record at Trial

 Driving records of at-fault drivers are useful in settlement negotiations, but using them effectively at trial requires a knowledge of the Kansas rules of evidence. Simply asking the allegedly at-fault driver about his previous driving-related convictions is not usually an effective way to alert the judge or jury to this driver’s history (after all, without the ability to enter the driving record into evidence, the driver can simply lie about the information on his or her driving record with impunity). This is where the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced Kansas truck accident lawyer can prove invaluable – ensuring important documentary evidence is admitted and considered by the court.

Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas truck accident lawyer committed to holding those who cause injury to others accountable for their actions. Kansas Truck Accident Lawyer Michael R. Lawless takes the time to ensure no stone is left unturned when investigating truck injury accidents for his client. If the at-fault truck driver has a spotty driving record, Mr. Lawless will aggressively pursue both the driver and the driver’s employer for compensation, if appropriate. Contact his office today for assistance with your truck accident case by calling (800) 734-3771.

Kansas Car Crash Attorney Describes How to Use Admissions in Your Injury Lawsuit

It is no secret that after a Kansas car crash, “anything you cay (or write) can and will be used against you” if you seek compensation from another driver. This is why you should not tell the other driver, a witness, or a police officer that you are “sorry” for the accident or somehow insinuate that the accident was primarily your fault. Similarly, you should not post any description of the accident to your social media accounts or give any insurance company a written statement unless you have discussed doing so with your attorney. When you notice that the other driver who you believed caused your car crash violates this advice, does this mean your car accident lawsuit is guaranteed to succeed? Not necessarily.

The Best Statements are Those in Writing and Clearly Made by the At-Fault Driver

 When a “confession” or “admission of responsibility” is made following a car accident, its persuasive power will depend on how the admission is recorded and whether it is clear that the at-fault driver made that admission. The most powerful and persuasive admissions are those that are made by the at-fault driver in writing and that are clearly attributable to the at-fault driver. Some of the least persuasive admissions are those made orally to you alone, as the at-fault driver can deny that he or she ever made the statement. For example, an allegedly at-fault driver who posts a statement on his Facebook account shortly after returning home from an accident in which the driver admits he was not looking when he entered the intersection just before the crash will have a difficult time explaining in court why this statement should not be held against him. Conversely, if that same driver only said to you that he was “sorry” for the accident and no one else heard him but you, it will be challenging to get the driver to admit in court that he made this statement to you.

What if All I Have is an Oral Admission of Fault?

To be certain, an oral admission of fault by the other driver is better than no admission at all. But to maximize the impact of an oral admission of fault made by the other driver in your car crash, consider the following:

  • If you are speaking to the other driver the presence of the third party, ask the third party if he or she heard the other driver’s admission. If so, be certain to obtain this third party’s contact information so he or she can be called as a corroborating witness, if needed. You may also ask if that witness will provide a statement to law enforcement officers about what the other driver said to him or her;
  • Write down what the other driver said as soon as possible after the crash, along with all other details about the crash that you can remember. The sooner you make this written report and the more details you include, the more credible your written recollection may appear to a judge or jury. Be certain to write down the exact words the other driver used.

Provide this information to your Kansas car crash lawyer, Michael R. Lawless. Seasoned Kansas City Car Crash Attorney Michael Lawless’ experience and knowledge means he is well-equipped to make the best use of such statements in your trial. Call Michael R. Lawless today at (800) 734-3771.

Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Describes the Most Common Motorcycle Injuries

In addition to bicyclists, the summer months also bring out motorcyclists. Kansas’ highways (especially in the more rural area) are best experienced by motorcycle (not to mention, the wind is a great way to keep cool on hot summer days. But just as motorcycling can be fun and exhilarating, it can also be dangerous. Because of the construction of motorcycles and the manner in which they are ridden, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer certain injuries than the occupants of a passenger car. These injuries include:

  • Pelvic injuries: Of course, a motorcyclist rides a motorcycle by straddling the bike. A sudden stop or collision can cause the bike to slam against the rider’s pelvis and/or legs, causing broken bones or serious bruising. Aside from being painful, these injuries can result in significant mobility challenges. Not only this, if a motorcyclist’s reproductive organs are not sufficiently protected, pelvic injuries can result in serious damage to these body parts as well. These injuries can negatively impact the person’s ability to procreate or engage in physical relations with others.
  • “Road rash”: When a motorcyclist is thrown from his or her motorcycle and skids across the road or other hard surface, the motorcyclist can suffer severe abrasions to any exposed skin. Even skin that is covered by clothing can skill be affected if the clothing is not thick enough or made to protect against skid-related injuries. These severe abrasions are most commonly referred to as “road rash.” “Road rash” is much more serious than the “rug burn” children often suffer during play. Road rash can damage skin and muscle tissue and require extensive and multiple surgeries to repair.
  • Amputation/Loss of limb: When a body part or appendage becomes trapped or crushed between two hard surfaces, that body part may become amputated. For example, a motorcyclist may attempt to swerve to avoid a collision with a car only to have his or her leg trapped between the motorcycle and the car. Amputations are (obviously) serious injuries that can permanently impact the life of the victim. Expensive prosthetics can help the victim experience some measure of normalcy, but the victim many never be as active as he or she was before the amputation.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Motorcyclists are at a significant risk of suffering a brain or head injury in a motorcycle accident. This is why government agencies and rider advocacy groups strongly encourage riders to always wear a properly-fitted and approved helmet any time they ride. A traumatic brain injury – even a mild one – can require medical attention and treatment. More serious brain injuries can result in the victim requiring constant care and attention (which imposes a physical and financial burden on the victim and his or her family).

What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident

When you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, your first concern should be obtaining immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Because of the seriousness of many motorcycle injuries, obtaining prompt treatment is necessary in order to minimize the harm you might otherwise suffer. Once medical assistance has been summoned, you can then worry about taking photographs of the scene of the accident and your injuries as well as making obtaining the contact information for the other driver involved and any witnesses.

Because many injured motorcyclists do not have the time or resources to investigate their own accidents, it is important that you obtain legal representation as soon as possible. Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Michael R. Lawless can assist you in obtaining compensation after a motorcycle accident caused by another person. Call his office today at (800) 734-3771 to discuss your motorcycle injury case.

Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Head Injuries

You are in the stands watching your child play baseball. Your child is in the outfield when the batter hits a ball high in the air in the direction of your child. Your child and another outfielder run toward where they believe the ball will drop. Your child’s focus and the focus of the other player are concentrated on the ball – they do not even see each other. Your child and the other player converge and collide, hitting their heads against one another. Your child falls to the ground and lies motionless for a few, agonizing moments. Then, your child gets up – a little unsteady, but your child appears to be okay. Should you worry?

Or consider that your child is playing on the community playground. Your child climbs to the top of the slide and beckons you to watch as he or she slides down. You watch with joy – then terror – as your child slides quickly down the slide. As he or she reaches the end of the slide, your child falls backwards, hitting his or her head on the end of the slide. Your child screams in pain as blood begins to erupt from the wound. Is this a cause for concern?

Children and Traumatic Brain Injuries

 Just like adults, children can suffer traumatic brain injuries as the result of sports injuries, falls, and other forms of rough play. Unlike adults, however, children may not be able articulate that they have suffered a traumatic brain injury and need medical attention. Unfortunately, failing to obtain prompt treatment for a traumatic brain injury can cause additional harm to your child.

If your child suffers a blow to the head and exhibits any of the following signs or symptoms, you should err on the side of caution and obtain prompt medical treatment for your child:

  • Your child is rendered unconscious and/or exhibits any signs of memory loss;
  • Confusion;
  • Unexplained, extreme, or unreasonable emotions or swings in emotion;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Loss of interest in activities your child used to enjoy;
  • Trouble concentrating or difficulty speaking;
  • Persistent headache;
  • Lethargy or fatigue;
  • General complaints about your child’s “head hurting”

Even if your child is not exhibiting any of these signs or symptoms, if you are concerned about your child’s well-being you should take him or her to a doctor or emergency room quickly.

Compensation is Available for Some Traumatic Brain Injuries

 In some cases, your child’s traumatic brain injury is the result of an “accident” and no person can be held responsible. For example, the situation in which your child collides with another child, there is likely no legal recourse you can take against the other child’s family to recover compensation for your child’s head injury. However, if your child’s head is injured in a car accident, because of the deliberate act of another, or (in the case of the slide) because of a defective product, compensation may be available. The determining factor is whether another person engaged in negligent or reckless behavior and this behavior caused your child’s injury.

Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Michael R. Lawless is an experienced personal injury attorney helping Kansas residents and families recover compensation following injury accidents caused by another. He will carefully analyze the facts of your case so that you can understand your legal rights and how these rights can be asserted. He will help you decide on an appropriate course of action to take if your child suffers from a head injury. Contact his office today at (800) 734-3771 and discuss your child’s injury with Michael R. Lawless today.

How Do I Value My Pain and Suffering?

A personal injury accident often causes physical and emotional or mental injuries. Anyone who doubts that these mental or emotional injuries are real and traumatic need only consider the depression that can set in when a person realizes that he or she is no longer able to participate in his or her favorite pastime. Or the trauma and fear that a person experiences any time he or she sits in a car after having been seriously injured in a car accident. Compensation for these mental injuries are often pursued in personal injury cases (under the name, “pain and suffering” damages). Do you know how to go about proving not only the existence of these injuries but also their extent?

Proving Pain and Suffering Damages

In some cases, the existence of mental or emotional injuries is easy to prove. Records from therapists and counselors consulted after the accident often provide a clear picture of the extent and nature of the victim’s mental or emotional trauma. Where a counselor or therapist was not consulted, family, friends, neighbors, and/or coworkers (for instance) can all attest to their personal observations of the victim following the accident. This group of lay witnesses will also be necessary to talk about the victim’s life and demeanor prior to the accident. For example, a friend may testify that the victim used to be lively and active and would never miss her morning run. The friend may then testify that, since the accident, the victim rarely leaves her living room, is always downcast and sullen when with others, and only talks about how much she misses running.

Therefore, when proving the existence of pain and suffering damages, it is usually necessary to establish the attitude, activities, and demeanor of the victim before the accident as well as the changes that have taken place since the accident occurred. The greater the disparity between these two periods of the victim’s life, the easier it will be to establish pain and suffering.

Proving the Value of Pain and Suffering Damages

The value of pain and suffering damages is much more difficult to determine as it is so personal. How much is a constant ache that won’t go away worth? What amount of money adequately compensates someone who is now in constant fear of getting into an automobile? These are intensely personal questions that will differ from case to case. The “cost” of an ache or pain to a young and formerly-healthy victim who was active may be different from the “cost” of that same ache or pain to an elderly individual who had previous mobility problems.

Unless a statute limits the amount of “pain and suffering” damages that can be sought, victims are free to pursue pain and suffering damages in any amount they believe is supported by the evidence. The greater the difference between the victim’s life before the injury accident and the victim’s life since the accident, the greater the amount of pain and suffering damages the victim can recover (generally speaking, of course).

Why an Attorney’s Help is Crucial – Seasoned Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer Michael R. Lawless possesses the experience and knowledge necessary to help you properly value your “pain and suffering” damages. He will help you to understand what amount of pain and suffering damages is realistic in your case and will fight aggressively and zealously to help you obtain an amount that fairly compensates you. He can assist you in locating the evidence and individuals you need to help prove the existence and extent of your pain and suffering damages. Contact the office of Michael R. Lawless for assistance with your personal injury case by calling (800) 734-3771.

Staying Safe While Bicycling

The summer months bring not only sweltering heat to the Kansas plains but also bicyclists to Kansas roadways. Whether they participating in a marathon ride across the entire state or simply getting some exercise on the open roads, motorists will certainly begin to share the road with an increasing number of bicyclists in the coming months. Even rural roads and highways are not immune from this phenomenon. With the increased number of individuals riding bicycles on Kansas roads comes (of course) an increased risk of a bicycle crash.

Bicycle accidents can be catastrophic for the bicyclist when he or she is struck by a car, truck, or some other motor vehicle. Serious injuries – even death – have occurred as the result of an otherwise low-speed collision between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist. While nothing a bicyclist does can prevent all accidents from occurring, there are steps that bicyclists can take to reduce the chance of suffering a fatal or catastrophic injury in the event of a crash:

  1. Always wear your helmet! Wearing a properly-fitted and approved bicycle helmet can drastically reduce the chances of suffering a serious head injury in a bicycle accident. (A helmet does little good, however, if it is not properly-fitted or is not of an approved construction.) You should don your helmet before you take to the road and keep the helmet on any time you are on your bike, even if you are pulled off on the side of the road to take a brake.
  2. Wear highly-visible attire. You need to make yourself visible to motorists, especially if you are cycling on open rural roads where motorists are less likely to be paying attention. Make sure to wear bright, visible colors and to have reflectors on your bicycle. If you are riding at night, wear reflective clothing and use a headlamp and tail lamp on your bicycle. Some individuals even place flags on their bikes. Anything you can do to draw a motorist’s attention to you is beneficial.
  3. Obey the rules of the road. Reduce the likelihood of a bicycle collision by following the rules of the road. Do not cut in front of other motorists and proceed at a safe speed for the prevailing conditions. Before stopping or turning, provide a hand signal or other visible signal so that other motorists know your intentions. Ride defensively and be observant of the movement of traffic around you. Do not ride while distracted (i.e., with headphones or while texting), especially in congested areas. If you are riding alongside traffic, do not linger in a vehicle’s “blind spot.”
  4. Carry “crash essentials.” If you are involved in a bicycle crash and you are far from home, it would be very helpful for you to have a first aid kit and a charged cell phone at your disposal. You may also wish to include other “survival-type” gear as part of your “crash kit” in case you are stranded for a period of time. Also include a notebook and small camera (if your phone does not have a camera) so you can take pictures of your injuries and the accident scene if you are involved in a crash.

Finally, as soon as possible following your bicycle crash, contact Michael Lawless, a seasoned Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney for assistance. Mr. Lawless will take the information available about your accident and help you determine your legal rights. He is a zealous advocate who helps is clients pursue compensation for their injuries following bicycle accidents and other personal injury accidents caused by others. You can reach the office of Michael R. Lawless by calling (800) 734-3771.

Avoid These Seven Deadly Personal Injury Lawsuit Sins (Part I)

Okay, in reality, none of these actions or behaviors will actually cause you to physically expire. However, they can make life very difficult for you in the aftermath of a personal injury accident. It is common to assume that once you have been injured that your ability to recover damages (and the value of these damages) is set in stone. This is simply not true: In fact, your actions following your injury accident can have as great of an impact on your ability to recover damages and the value of those damages as can the facts that led to the accident. Avoid these seven “deadly sins” to give yourself the greatest opportunity to succeed in your lawsuit:

  1. Being Apologetic

Nothing sinks a personal injury lawsuit faster than admissions of fault or liability by the injured plaintiff. In every jurisdiction, admissions made by one party in a lawsuit are admissible without the need for the party themselves to testify. This means that if you say “I’m sorry,” “I wasn’t looking where I was going,” “I’m so clumsy,” or anything of this nature, expect that the other party in your lawsuit will bring this up in your lawsuit and argue that you share some, if not all, of the blame for causing the accident.

  1. Being Tough

While one might assume that only men would attempt to act tough, women too may try to minimize the severity of their injuries following a personal injury accident. Men and women alike may feel as if they do not have time to be sick or injured and/or cannot afford to miss time from work. As a result, they may delay seeking medical evaluation and treatment. Not only can this result in injuries becoming worse and more complicated to treat (and thereby increasing the patient’s costs and recovery time), but failing to seek medical treatment and following the doctor’s advice following an injury can be considered negligent behavior that reduces the amount of your recovery.

  1. Procrastinating

When it comes to your injury lawsuit, you only have a limited amount of time in which to investigate the cause(s) of your accident, identify the responsible party or parties, and file your complaint for damages. This time limit is contained in the state’s statute of limitations and begins running on the date of your accident. While several years may seem like a long time, the truth is that this time can run very quickly given all that you must do following an accident.

  1. Relying on Your Memory

By the time your personal injury lawsuit is resolved you will have told your version of events to various individuals several times. When your version of events is not consistent from one telling to the next, it negatively impacts your credibility and makes it more difficult for a judge or jury to believe you. This is why you should write down in detail the facts of your injury as soon as you can after the accident occurs. Keep this document in a safe place and refer to it anytime you need to recount how your accident happened, whether it be for a doctor, your attorney, an insurance adjustor, and/or for the judge or jury.

Retaining the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident is one of the best ways of ensuring you do not engage in activity that jeopardizes your recovery. Attorney Michael R. Lawless knows what it takes to provide you with the greatest opportunity for success in your case and will help guide you throughout the civil lawsuit process. Contact Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless by calling (800) 734-3771 and allow his knowledge and experience benefit you and your case.

Avoid These Seven Deadly Personal Injury Lawsuit Sins (Part II)

In a previous post we looked at four behaviors or attitudes that can severely and negatively impact your ability to recover full and fair compensation after a personal injury accident. Being apologetic, acting “tough” or as if you are not seriously injured, procrastinating, and relying on one’s memory can individually be the difference between obtaining the monetary damages you need to address your medical bills and other costs and obtaining nothing at all (or something in between). These behaviors and attitudes, however, are only four of the seven “deadly sins” of personal injury lawsuits. In addition to avoiding those four attitudes or behaviors, you should also refrain from:

  1. Being Aloof

Being aloof after your personal injury accident – that is, simply standing around waiting for the police to arrive or the tow truck driver to come and tow your car – can rob you of a valuable opportunity to gather evidence and identify witnesses that you may need later. If you are able to do so, take the time to speak with any individuals who have gathered near the accident site to see if they witnessed the accident. If they indicate that they did, take down their name and contact information (it is not necessary to ask them what they saw at this time – that can come later). If you have a camera or a smartphone capable of taking pictures, take photographs of the accident scene. This would include detailed pictures of the vehicles involved (if applicable), your injuries, the site of the accident, any road signs or traffic lights near the scene, skid marks or fluid puddles on the roadway, the condition of the floor or stairs – try to document everything you can so that the scene of the accident can be reconstructed later.

  1. Being Unorganized

It is not enough to simply show that another person caused you to suffer injuries – in your personal injury lawsuit, you must establish how much the other person injured you. This means you need to provide the judge or jury with a dollar figure that corresponds to the extent of your losses – and be able to back this number up with bills, invoices, and other objective evidence of your loss. Immediately after your personal injury you should purchase a folder or other storage device and keep everything pertaining to your personal injury accident inside the storage device. This would include bills and invoices, medical records, photographs, repair estimates, and other similar documents. (It may be helpful to make a copy of every document before storing it and giving the copy to your attorney or a trusted family member in case your copies are destroyed or go missing.)

  1. Being a Victim

In one sense, you are a victim if another person’s negligence or reckless behavior has caused you to suffer an injury. However, if you wish to protect your legal rights and interests, you cannot act as a victim and wait for someone to assist you. You must be proactive in asserting your rights. This includes ensuring you receive medical treatment and answers to your questions, informing your doctors of any medication side effects you are experiencing or if you are not obtaining any benefit from your treatments, seeking legal assistance and answers to your legal questions, and taking other actions necessary to advance your legal case.

Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless is available to assist personal injury victims in seeking full and fair compensation following a personal injury accident or car crash. Michael R. Lawless has helped numerous clients obtain compensation under a variety of circumstances. Contact his office today by calling (800) 734-3771.

Kansas Auto Accidents – What is the Independent Medical Examination (IME)?

Auto accidents can range from being very minor, annoying occurrences, to being major catastrophic events that result in substantial physical injuries or death. Auto accidents are a fact of life, as people are bound to hit one another while sharing the roads. Along with the stressful and painful process of dealing with insurance companies, you may also find yourself in a legal battle if another person was at fault for causing the accident that resulted in your suffering.

Filing an Auto Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit

When you seek compensation from a responsible party in an auto accident case, you will be dealing with the other driver’s insurance company more so than the other driver him or herself. As part of this process, you may be required to undergo what’s called an “Independent Medical Examination,” also commonly referred to as “IME.” This is an evaluation done by a physician chosen by the defendant driver’s automobile insurance carrier.

As such, the evaluation results regarding your injuries and whether or not they are related to the auto accident may not be as impartial as you hope. Physicians performing these examinations are paid for their services, so while there are certainly physicians that will provide an honest, impartial evaluation, there are other physicians who may not be as forthcoming in linking your injuries to the auto accident. Because the IME is a crucial part of your auto accident case, it is imperative that you allow a qualified Kansas auto accident attorney to help you through the IME process as far as how the process works, and what you should expect from the examination.

What Happens During the Independent Medical Examination?

A physician chosen by the defendant driver’s insurance carrier will complete a full physical evaluation of you in addition to reviewing your medical records that document you suffered injuries following the automobile accident. The physician will then formulate an opinion as to whether or not he or she believes your current injuries and related symptoms are a direct result of the automobile accident caused by the negligent driver. Because this physician is chosen by the defendant driver’s insurance carrier, do not be surprised if the opinion is not helpful for your case. For example, the physician may suggest that your current injuries were really caused by a preexisting condition or preexisting injury that occurred before the automobile accident in question.

The most important thing you or your loved one can do when undergoing an IME, is to be sure you bring someone with you to the examination, whether it is a spouse, a family member, or a close friend. Having a witness to confirm what occurred during the IME can be very helpful if there is a discrepancy between what you remember from the IME and what the physician remembers from the IME. While the IME is certainly not a fun process, it is required in most auto accident cases, and with the help of a skilled Kansas auto accident attorney, you will have peace of mind that you are doing everything you need to do to help your potential case.

Contact Kansas Auto Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a car, motorcycle, trucking, or any other automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation if your injuries were caused by another person’s negligent conduct. As part of dealing with the aftermath of an automobile accident, you may be faced with a medical evaluation that will be very important for your potential personal injury case. If you believe another person is responsible for the injuries you or your loved one has suffered, it is important that you consult with a qualified Kansas auto accident attorney right away. Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas auto accident and personal injury attorney with more than 27 years of experience helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential auto accident case, contact Michael R. Lawless, PA by calling our office locally at (913) 681-5566, or you may call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You may also contact us online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.