Uninsured Motorist Car Accident Attorneys in Wichita
All drivers in Kansas are required to carry an auto insurance policy, yet many people still choose not to. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 11 percent of Kansas motorists are uninsured. While these drivers go without insurance for many reasons, they have one thing in common. Not having coverage puts everyone around them at risk of crushing medical bills and other expenses in the event of an accident.
If you have been injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you may be worried about how you will cover your losses. At Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys, we can help you understand your legal options for recovering compensation. Find out if we can help you get the financial security you deserve after an accident that was someone else’s fault. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our Wichita uninsured motorist accident lawyers.
Kansas Car Insurance Laws and Regulations
Kansas car insurance laws and regulations require all auto insurance policies to meet the following standards for minimum coverage:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP), including specific amounts of coverage for medical bills, loss of income, in-home services, rehabilitation, and funeral, burial, or cremation expenses
- Uninsured motorist coverage, including $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
Kansas has a no-fault insurance system, meaning injured motorists would first file a claim with their own insurer after an accident regardless of who was at fault. This provides Kansas drivers with some protection in a collision with an uninsured motorist. If you have the required levels of insurance yourself, your own PIP and uninsured motorist insurance can cover your medical costs and lost wages up to their combined policy limits. However, this isn’t always enough to cover all of your losses.
What Should I Do After an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist?
Immediately following an accident, your priorities should be to seek medical attention and gather as much information from the scene of the crash as possible. You need the contact information and license number for the uninsured motorist, contact information for witnesses, pictures of the accident scene, and other relevant details.
After these initial steps, there are several other things you should do in the coming weeks and months:
- Keep your medical appointments– Following your doctor’s instructions and attending follow-up appointments can help you recover more quickly and completely. It also creates a record of your injuries and health progress, which will be essential evidence in your injury claim.
- Avoid sharing on social media– Insurance companies may check social media to gather evidence regarding your case. If you post anything that seems to contradict something you said in your claim, the insurance company may use it against you.
- Don’t accept the first settlement offer– Your insurer might offer you a low initial settlement for your uninsured motorist accident, hoping you will just take it. A skilled attorney can help you build a stronger case for your insurance claim, evaluate any settlements before you accept, and negotiate for higher compensation on your behalf.
- Contact an attorney– Working with an attorney is especially important after an accident with an uninsured motorist. Your insurance company’s main goal is to make a profit. It’s motivated to pay out as little as it can under the circumstances. An experienced attorney can push back against the company’s tactics and demand a fair amount for your injuries and other losses.
Who Can Be Liable in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?
Just the fact that a driver is uninsured does not make them liable for an accident. All drivers have the responsibility to drive carefully and follow traffic laws. If a driver failed in this responsibility, they would be liable for the injuries they caused, regardless of their insurance status.
There may also be other parties who are liable for the accident, even if they were not directly involved. For example, if there was a defect in one of the vehicles, the company that manufactured the unsafe part might be at least partially liable. A local or state government entity could also be to blame for an accident that occurred because of unsafe road conditions.
Potential Damages You Can Recover After an Uninsured Motorist Accident
Kansas is a no-fault insurance state, which means you would file a claim against your own legally required PIP insurance policy after any accident — regardless of whether you were at fault. But depending on the circumstances of the accident, you could also be entitled to file a lawsuit against the uninsured motorist. This could provide more extensive compensation for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Lower quality of life
- Permanent disability
- Long-term nursing home care or rehabilitation
- Property damage
If your uninsured motorist coverage is not enough to cover all of your expenses, your attorney can help you decide if filing a lawsuit against the uninsured driver for their negligence would be beneficial. In some cases, someone who doesn’t have auto insurance will not have the money to pay your damages out of pocket. However, this is an option that could be effective in some situations.
What If the Uninsured Driver Leaves the Accident Scene?
Many hit-and-run accidents involve uninsured drivers. Perhaps they flee because they are afraid of paying for the damage out of pocket or other legal trouble.
If a driver leaves the accident scene, your insurance company will handle it as an uninsured motorist claim, since there is no other insurance coverage involved. Unless the police can track down the other driver, they will not be involved in settlement negotiations. Instead, you would file a claim directly with your own insurance company. A knowledgeable hit-and-run accident attorney can help you determine all your options for compensation, though.
Get Help from a Wichita Car Accident Lawyer to Get the Compensation You Deserve
Were you injured in an uninsured motorist accident in Kansas? Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys wants to help you get the financial security you need during this difficult time. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Wichita car accident lawyer.