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Kansas City Car Accident Attorney - Summons & Negotiations
DO I HAVE TO GO TO COURT? You've been in a car accident, in Kansas City, and your are wondering if you will have to go to court to receive compensation. Police will need statements. Insurance companies will want recorded statements, both your insurance company and the at-fault party's insurance. Medical professionals will do ongoing assessments of your injury. You may be missing work, and have to worry about how to keep the bill collectors at bay. You might be an emotional wreck to add to all of this. And now court? The idea of having to go to court, for most, is a concerning one. Many have never set foot in courtroom, much less sued someone. Not knowing what to do, when to do it or how to get it done can become overwhelming, and for some paralyzing. Allow us to offer you some information that may put you at ease.
First, most car accident cases do not reach the litigation stage. That means your claim, most of the time, will be settled before you have to go to trial. Second, it is possible that you will be offered (and accept) compensation for your injury just a couple of weeks after your accident and injury. Finally, an experience attorney will essentially become the manager of all that you are facing, and provide you with ongoing legal guidance, so that you are not in this battle alone.
Having information empowers you. Below are the answers to some questions you may have. If you can't find the answers to the questions you have, feel free to use your free consultation by calling 913.602.7288. Attorney T. Morton is happy to help you.
COURT SUMMONS It is likely that you will not have to go to trial to receive compensation for your car accident injury, in Kansas City. However, if you receive a summons to appear in court you will have to do a number of things (ex. reply to the complaint), in a timely fashion, as ordered by the summons. Don't ignore a court summons. It is not just a request. It is a demand from the court.
You may be wondering why you received a summons when you were not to blame for the car accident. The at-fault party (or their insurance company) may have filed suit against you. This method is used as a proactive way of shifting blame to you. This technique is a game changer, whereby you are forced to prove that you were not the negligent party, and not the cause of your own injury.
How does a summons get to me? In Kansas City, when injured in a car accident, a claim for injury (over $4,000) is considered a civil lawsuit. The procedures for proper service of the summons must abide by the Kansas Rules of Civil Procedure, as follows:
Methods of service of process within this state are described in this section. Methods of out-of-state service of process are described in K.S.A. 60-308....
Who Serves Process. The sheriff of the county in which the action is filed shall serve any process by any method authorized by this section... unless a party, either personally or through an attorney, elects to undertake the responsibility for service and so notifies the clerk.
Service by Return Receipt Delivery.(1) shall include service by certified mail, priority mail, commercial courier service, overnight delivery service, or other reliable personal delivery service to the party addressed...
Personal and Residence Service.
The party may file a written request with the clerk for personal or residence service. Personal service shall be made by delivering a copy of the process … to the person to be served. Residence service shall be made by leaving a copy of the process … at the dwelling house or usual place of abode of the person to be served with some person of suitable age and discretion residing therein. If service cannot be made upon an individual... by personal or residence service, service may be made by leaving a copy of the process … at the defendant’s dwelling house or usual place of abode and mailing a notice that such copy has been left at such house or place of abode to the individual by first-class mail.
When process is to be served under this subsection, the clerk … shall deliver the process to the sheriff of the county where the process is to be served or, if requested, to a person appointed to server process.
Service, levy and execution of process … including but not limited to, writs of execution, orders of attachment, replevin orders, orders for delivery, writs of restitution and writs of assistance, shall be made by a sheriff … by an attorney admitted to practice before the supreme court of Kansas or some person appointed as a process server by a judge or clerk of the district court, except that subpoena may also be served by any other person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age. Process servers shall be appointed freely and may be authorized either to serve process in a single case or in cases generally during a fixed period of time. A process server or an authorized attorney may make the service anywhere in or out of the state and shall be allowed the fees prescribed in KSA 28-110... All persons authorized under this subsection to be serve, levy and execute process shall be considered an “officer” as used in KSA 60-706 and 60-240-1 and amendments thereto.
In all cases when the person to be served … refuses to receive copies thereof, the officer of the duly authorized process server to deliver copies thereof, and the refusal, shall be sufficient service of process.
NEGOTIATIONS PRIOR TO COURT The process of compensation negotiation often begins prior to formal filing of an injury complaint. In some instances, filing a complaint is the only way for the at-fault party's insurance to take the matter seriously. As noted above, it is also possible that the at-fault party's insurance will file suit before you do. Filing a complaint with the court does not necessarily mean that you will ultimately end up in court. Typically, negotiations begin and settle prior to trial.
Although the large majority of cases are settled outside of court, there are some instances where court is a necessary step. Some examples include:
Where the at-fault party's insurance company refuses to negotiate;
When the at-fault party's offer for settlement is less than fair;
Where there is a dispute about who was at fault, and that is impacting the percentage the insurance company is willing to pay, etc...
You will need an experience Kansas City car accident attorney to help you navigate the legal system. Attorney T. Morton suggests that you take action today and call 913.602.7288.
What information do I need to start my Kansas City car accident claim? Gathering information necessary to prove your claim, on the day of the car accident, was probably the last thing on your mind. In a Kansas City car accident, an attorney will request specific information about the accident. Do not provide the items, listed below, to anyone before speaking to an attorney. Some of the what you may be asked for/about, at the negotiation stage (and beyond, includes:
Details surrounding what caused the accident and your account of the incident
Witness statements and contact information for each
The date, time, weather, exact location, etc...(some of these items may be on the police report)
The police reports describing the accident and providing the other party's account of the incident
The medical reports describing your initial injury, current care and possible future care
Determination of disability (if applicable) and the permanacy rating
Videos, pictures, diagrams, x-rays, etc...of your injury
Any other related statements given (ex. depositions)
Psychological or physiological exam reports
Current expenses and/or damages (to include medical, property repair, loss of income, etc...)
These are just a few of the items that may be necessary to support your claim, and begin the process. Don't worry if you don't have everything. Attorney T. Morton, and her team, will work with you to get each. Remember that if you cannot meet us at our office, we can have our initial consultation, free of charge, where it best suits you.
CAR ACCIDENT COURT How long do I have to file my Kansas City car accident injury case? In Kansas, the statute of limitations (the time limit you have to file), for car accidents, is two years. Typically, this time limit starts from the date of your accident. However, if there were injuries that could not be discovered on that date, the two year time limit may start from the "discovery date" (i.e. when you discovered the injury) instead.
What is my car accident case worth in Kansas City? In Kansas, car accident damage awards are limited as follows:
Economic damage, reimbursement for medical costs, lost wages and future earnings do not have any limits.
There is a $250,000 limit for pain and suffering compensation.
Punitive damages are limited to the defendant's yearly income or $5,000,000 (five million dollars) and require a separate legal hearing.
If you, or your loved one, suffered from a car accident injury, you may be entitled to compensation for:
Pain and suffering
Loss of consortium (in the case of a spouse), and more.
You need an attorney to make sure your rights are protected and you're made whole after a car accident injury. Take action today and call Attorney T. Morton for your free consultation at 913.602.7288 or complete this FORM.
Where do I file my Kansas City, car accident, personal injury, lawsuit? In Kansas, a personal injury over $4,000, caused by a car accident is considered a civil claim. Civil claims are filed in the county's district court. Which county district court your case needs to be filed is determined by either the county where you reside or the county where the accident occurred. You will want to talk to your attorney about deciding which jurisdiction is best for your case.
How do I file my car accident claim in Kansas? Beginning your lawsuit starts with filing a complaint. This is followed by having the complaint and the summons to appear served on the at-fault party (defendant). The defendant is then given 10 days to file a response to your complaint. During this time they may choose to file countersuit or incorporate counterclaims.
If your claim is for less that $4,000 it can be handled in the small claims court.
How long will your case take to be resolved? Typically car accident, personal injury, cases do not require you to go to court. Resolving a personal injury case can be as short as several days, or as long as several years. There are many factors that go into determining how long a personal injury claim can take to resolve, and Attorney T.Morton can adequately explain these factors to you. Contact us for your free consultation at 913.602.7288 or complete this FORM.
TAKE ACTION TODAY The selection of T.Morton, and her personal injury team, is an important one and should not be taken lightly. We are dedicated to you and your case. We offer a competitive fee structure for winning your case. T. Morton, Kansas personal injury lawyer, will help you through the process and assists you in getting the compensation you deserve. Contact us for your free consultation 913.602.7288 or complete this FORM.
Copyright, T.Morton 2017. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.