Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer
This Page is Intended for:
- Victims of Injury Accidents
- Attorneys with Personal Injury cases
This Page Teaches:
- The Benefits of a Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer
- How Auto Accident Claims are Handled
- Answers to Frequently Asked Auto Accident Questions
Benefits of Using an Auto Accident Attorney
- They deal with the insurance companies so you don’t have to.
- They get you money to pay your medical bills.
- They can reduce the amount of your medical bills.
- They can stop bill collectors.
- They get Money for future medical care.
- They get Money for disability and pain.
- They Recover Money for lost wages
- They get you Money for your property damage.
- You’ll have legal advice for all the auto accident case issues that arise.
- They can resolve traffic tickets.
- They Know and Hire medical experts to help.
- They Charge No Fee Unless They Collect Money for you.
Kansas City roads have always been hazardous. Some drivers are negligent; others are inattentive. Winter weather and rain make our roads slick and lead to collisions.
Now, the modern age assists negligent drivers. People drive while texting and talk on their cellular phones. Some driving drive while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
Tired and overworked truck drivers cause many auto accidents, and where a semi-tractor trailer is involved; the damage is great. The injury auto accident attorneys at Hamilton & Associates have handled hundreds of lawsuits involving collisions right here in Cass and Kansas City, Missouri.
We’ll Work With the Insurance Company
Insurance companies would love for everyone to think that lawsuits from car crashes are attempts to “take someone’s home” or “take little Billy’s tuition money.” The reality is that people don’t pay auto accident claims; insurance companies do.
This means the victim has to deal with professionals at multi-billion dollar corporations whose job is to save money for the insurance company, by paying the victim less.
This is a key benefit to retaining an injury auto accident law firm. We know the insurance companies, their rules, regulations and the laws that govern them. We know what to do, and not to do. You will get more money from hiring our law firm to handle your insurance company claim than going through the hassle and stress of handling it yourself.
We Get the Evidence
The evidence showing you were not at fault and the other car was at fault will need to be gathered, even if the police report says it was the other driver’s fault. Remember, that is “hearsay” and generally not admissible in a court.
Witness statements need to be taken. Photographs of the scene of the collision, the vehicles involved and the injuries are necessary. We can do this for you, and we’ll charge no fee until you collect the money you deserve.
Look to our tutorial on injury photographs:
Look also to our tutorial on taking photographs of the crashed car post accident:
Remember, crucial evidence is lost in the hours and days following an automobile accident. Weather covers car tracks, witnesses forget details. Even insurance companies can interfere with the process of justice.
You Benefit From our Experience
The average auto accident victim has everything to gain and nothing to lose by hiring our injury law firm. It is inconvenient, a hassle, and stressful, dealing with all the issues car crashes cause. We do this for a living. Our experience will help you.
We have over forty-seven years of specific experience in automobile accidents. From simple rear-end collisions to complex accident injury and wrongful death cases involving car crashes, motorcycle and truck accidents, our law firm routinely handles all aspects of personal injury car accident litigation.
Local Experience too
Our local experience here in Cass County and Johnson County will also benefit you. Warrensburg and Cass County are in the same “judicial circuit” so all of the circuit judges are the same people regardless of whether the case is in Harrisonville or Warrensburg. We know the people involved, the evidence the judges require. We have the pulse of the jury during trial. We are well versed in the constantly changing local Cass County laws and regulations relating to traffic ticket laws and automobiles.
We Navigate the Legal Issues, for you
Even the most straight forward auto accident case presents unique legal issues. Many attorneys stumble through these problems. Others “wing it,” hoping for the best, and then blaming others when you, the client, get a ruling against you. Other attorneys settle an auto accident case for less than its full value, without addressing the car crash case’s issues. These are all ways around dealing with complex case issues.
We, at Hamilton and Associates pride ourselves in addressing early case legal issues. This decreases case complexity. Solving the legal issues adds to case value by reducing risk. It is more work, early. It is a wise investment of time other law firms avoid taking in your case.
Look to the links in these photographs for examples of case legal issues that may need to be addressed.
Frequently Asked Kansas City Auto Accident Case Questions:
- Why do I need a Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer? The insurance company already offered to pay my medical bills.
- My friend says he knows a great lawyer that handled a Belton traffic ticket for him. He says that Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer did a great job. Should that attorney represent me in my auto accident case?
- Bill collectors are harassing me for unpaid medical bills. What should I do?
- Can I afford a lawyer?
- Do I have to put up my own money to get started?
- What is my injury case worth?
- What do I have to do? What will my commitments be?
- Will my car wreck claim settle with just a demand letter, or will we have to file a lawsuit, or even go to trial? How much of a choice do I have?
- Will you speak with me before settling my personal injury case? How much control do I have? How long will it take before trial?
- How much time do I have to make my auto accident claim?
Answers to Kansas City Auto Accident Case Questions
1. Why do I need a Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer? The insurance company offered to pay my medical bills.
- A victim almost always recovers more money with a personal injury attorney than alone (even after the attorney’s fee and expenses are deducted).
- There are injury costs that need to be compensated other than what you owe the hospital (future medical case, disability compensation, lost wages, etc.). A personal injury lawyer can recover these for you.
- Legal issues go hand-in-hand with car wrecks. You’ll need legal assistance with these issues.
Insurance companies do not offer money early on to victims out of the kindness of their heart. They do it to save money. Insurance companies are savvy and know a personal injury auto accident attorney will look deep into the evidence in the case. Your injury attorney will demand all of the compensation the victim is entitled to, not just some of it.
Getting full compensation is not about greed. It is about deciding who will pay for costs that are certain to occur. In most injury car crashes, the injured victim will need medical treatment throughout their life. Someone will have to pay for this medical treatment.
If the injured auto accident victim is wealthy, or has good insurance, the victim can pay themselves. If the injury victim does not have full insurance and isn’t wealthy, the government will have to step in (through Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) and pay the bill.
Thus, the question is: Who should pay for future medical care?
(1) the insurance company for the negligent driver
(2) the victim, or
(3) the American taxpayer?
This is one reason why hiring an auto accident attorney to get full compensation is beneficial.
Injury auto accidents in Cass County, Missouri always cause legal problems. Traffic tickets are a first concern. These will either be given by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office or the local city police, putting the defendant in a place like Belton Municipal Court, Raymore Municipal Court, Harrisonville, or the like.
Accident Traffic Tickets
When you are the victim (the person that did Not get the ticket) it is important to retain an accident attorney. They can contact the city prosecutor and see that the person that caused the car accident officially pleads guilty in court. That way the insurance attorneys cannot later claim it was your fault. This happens a surprisingly large number of times.
If you received a traffic ticket from your Cass County auto accident, you will need an attorney. Auto accident tickets can get your driver’s license suspended. The tickets that won’t suspend your driver’s license will take points off of it.
Moreover, receiving a conviction on even a minor traffic ticket will often raise your insurance rates (costing you money). Merely paying a traffic ticket will be counted as a conviction. That will stay on your driver’s license record for the rest of your life. It will stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life. It will not be taken off after several years (as the rumor goes). Finally, there is the issue of jail time, a thing to be avoided where possible.
Accident Medical Bill Liens
Another legal issue caused by an injury auto accident is the medical lien. A medical lien is a legal “encumbrance” on you and your property. This means you will have trouble settling your injury claim without first settling with the lien holder. Liens can also affect your credit; your ability to get a loan at a reasonable price. Liens can also affect your ability to sell property. It is common for a hospital that has treated an injured victim of an auto accident to place a lien on that victim’s legal claim. This will need to be resolved by an attorney. The auto accident injury attorneys at Hamilton & Associates can do this for you for no extra charge.
In the end, the choice of whether to hire a personal injury attorney to help you with your auto accident claim is a personal choice. One thing you can do without any obligation is meet with one of our attorneys. We will give you our professional opinion of what all needs to be done with your injury case, what your opinions, benefits and risks are. Then, at least you can make an informed decision. Call our law firm. Get some good advice on your Cass County, MO automobile accident.
2. My friend says he knows a great Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer that handled a traffic ticket for him. He says the lawyer did a great job. Should I hire that lawyer for my auto accident?
Should you hire a criminal defense traffic ticket attorney to handle your injury car accident case? You can, but I’m not sure you should. That is somewhat like hiring a foot doctor to handle a back injury. Each went to medical school and provides physician services, but in a very different area.
Experience Against Insurance Companies
Think of the opposition, the insurance company and its many lawyers. The less money that goes to compensate you for your losses, the more money that insurance company keeps, and the better its lawyers look to their employer. The insurance companies and their lawyers are specialists, with large budgets and great experience in handling auto accident claims. They know all the details; their skills are sharp.
Focused Auto Accident Skill
You also should have a personal injury auto accident attorney who has specialized skill in this field à injury auto accidents. That puts you at least a level-playing-field; not at a disadvantage. Hiring the right injury law firm may even give you an advantage over the insurance company!
Large Project Versus Quick and Easy Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer
Traffic ticket law is a high volume business. Each traffic ticket gives the lawyer a profit of only a few hundred dollars, so that lawyer must handle many cases to keep in business. The less time the lawyer spends on a particular traffic ticket, the more money he makes.
Injury accident litigation is different. It is a low volume business where each case has the potential to bring a great deal of money to the client, and thus the law firm which gets a percentage of that money. Consequently, the more time, care, and investment the auto accident attorney puts into the case, the greater the amount of money going to the client and the law firm becomes.
You will want the Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer you choose to spend a large amount of time, care, and investment in your case to benefit you.
Dealing with Unique Auto Accident Issues
Traffic ticket attorneys may have other problems with an injury auto accident case. Each car wreck case is unique (unlike traffic tickets, which are all very similar). It takes years of experience in this specific field before the personal injury attorney sees and battles through enough issues before he masters them. The laws of evidence are different in this field. The medical experience makes a very large difference in the result of the case. Hire a specialist for your car crash case.
3. Bill collectors are harassing me because of all the unpaid medical bills. What should I do?
Do not ignore bill collectors. They will not just “go away.” The sooner unpaid medical bills are dealt with; the better. Unpaid bills can harm your credit score, causing your other expenses to become even more expensive.
Harassment from bill collectors is more than just an inconvenience and nuisance. Eventually, a lawsuit will be brought against you. The collectors will want your personal assets as payment for your bills.
Worse, once the lawsuit and judgment become official, it will difficult to impossible to negotiate for a lower payment.
The personal injury accident lawyers at Hamilton & Associates solve the problems bill collectors present. We first take legal action to stop the bill collectors from harassing you.
We will prevent judgments from being found against you. As our auto accident case develops. We will negotiate with these bill collectors to reduce to amount claimed by them from you; you will pay less. We lower bills by as much as 50%!!!
We charge no fee for our services until we collect money for you. Dealing with bill collectors is part of our job as your injury attorneys. You pay nothing extra for these benefits.
Last we will take care of any liens the bill collectors put against you. This will protect your personal assets from seizure. Our personal injury auto accident law firm can greatly benefit a car crash victim in this regard.
4. How can I afford an experienced Kansas City car accident lawyer?
You can afford an auto accident lawyer. Our injury law firm charges nothing to review your case. You will pay nothing for us analyze your case. There is no charge to meet with us, or call us. It is free.
You will pay nothing unless we collect money for you. Then, you will pay a percentage of what we get for you as the fee. This means you will always get more money out of your relationship with us than we will charge in fees. Your relationship with our law firm will be profitable.
Automobile accident lawyers handle personal injury cases on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that the lawyer will not charge you for his time, unless you receive a recovery of money. In virtually all cases, you will not have to front any money whatsoever. Personal injury lawyers take big financial risks trying to get you reimbursement for your losses. You get the benefit.
5. Will I have to put up money to get started?
No. You will not have to pay any money for us to start your auto accident case. You will not have to pay any money in the middle. Instead, at the end, we will take a percentage of the money we make for you as our fee. Only then will we deduct our expenses.
If we don’t make you money; you pay no money.
Our law firm handles personal injury car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means we have an agreement. It’s a simple one. We will pay for the costs of your auto accident claim and lawsuit up front. You don’t pay.
If we are not successful, we are out those costs. Still, you will not be charged. If we are successful in getting you a money recovery, then we will give you most of the money. We will get a smaller portion of the money. This will be based on the percentage of our agreement. Costs will also be deducted.
How much money will you have to pay at the end? That depends on our agreement. One third of the recovery is normal in easy cases, cases where a lawsuit is not filed and the matter is straightforward. One third is not typical.
Forty percent is normal. These are cases where the settlement process is more complex. It is also normal for more complex cases where more preparation time and expense is needed and in matters where a lawsuit must be filed.
Remember, you don’t front the lawsuit’s cost expense. You have delegated that risk to our injury auto accident law firm. In cases that are more complex and difficult, we take forty percent. In highly complex cases that are also expensive, you take fifty percent and we take fifty percent (we do all the work. You get half the take; we get half the take). Fifty percent would be very unusual for a personal injury car accident claim. These amounts are generally only seen in medical malpractice or product design defect cases. You should expect a forty percent (40%) contingency fee. In summary, you may nothing upfront for your injury auto accident case.
6. What is my personal injury car wreck case worth?
Case value depends. Every case is different. There are ways to give an estimate of the value of a particular car accident case in advance. This is difficult analysis to make. It takes someone with a great deal of experience with personal injury cases involving auto accidents.
It also takes someone with experience in the particular geographic area; here, namely Kansas City, Cass County, and Johnson County, Missouri. We can give you an estimate.
The location where your car accident injury occurred will affect the value of your personal injury claim. Cass County, Missouri at Harrisonville is a more conservative place than Kansas City, Missouri. Johnson County, Missouri at Warrensburg is even more conservative that Cass County. The best venue in the Kansas City metropolitan area for a car accident or personal injury lawsuit is either Jackson County, Missouri at Kansas City or Independence. The worst venue (Other than Johnson County, KS) would have to be Platte County, followed by Clay. It is an unfortunate but very real fact that different juries in different cities will take the exact same auto accident lawsuit and give it a different value, just because of the location of the car wreck. Your injury lawyer should be award of these differences and how to deal with them.
Medical Bills Amount
The extent of the injuries and medical bills is the first step in the analysis. What is the amount of the medical bills you have occurred? Regardless of other factors, a large amount of medical bills from a car wreck injury may (but not necessarily will) lead to a large value. A small amount will mean a smaller accident case value.
Unusual Items of Damages
Each auto accident is unique in that it concerns a novel arrangement of fault, injury, and evidence issues. The common difference between an ordinary auto accident law firm and the best auto accident law firm is the ability of its lawyers to gain full compensation for their client, the victim. This means that attorney must have a strategy that incorporates the damages the victim suffers into each aspect of the case, from beginning to end. It also means the top accident injury lawyer must learn and implement the case strategy with specific attention to the car crashes unique harm.
Litigation Costs Directly Affect Case Value
The issue of litigation costs is a hidden secret among personal injury law firms. Most law firms lack the money to invest in experts, expensive exhibits, and studies. However, it is those costs and increase your case value much more than the money invested in them. Money creates money, on other words.
Litigation costs must be, by law, paid for by the client and not by the lawyer, through a process known as Champerty. Law firms who handle many clients, or are less than perfectly professional, too often do not case about litigation costs, because it has no effect on law firm profits. However, it should be an important issue for the client. Make sure, when you are selecting a personal injury law firm to ask how they invest in cases, and also how the law firm minimizes client costs.
One interesting way an injury victim can both increase their case value, and also reduce their out of pocket litigation expenses is to request their own medical records, early in the case. Look to this tutorial; you’ll find it eye opening:
Insurance is a factor. If the insurer has negotiated a large amount of medical bills to a smaller amount, the smaller amount is the one to look for to analyze case value.
The next step in the analysis is the likeability of the witnesses. Yes, this is highly important. A jury will not give a large amount of money to a victim they do not like. Insurance companies know this. Insurance defense lawyers know this. Therefore, the defense will settle a case with this in mind. (some inexperienced adjusters and attorneys do not take this into account, at their own detriment)
One must also consider the permanence of your injury. Have you already completely recovered from your injuries or are you still suffering from disability, and pain? Will you need medical treatment in the future? What have your physicians said? This can have a large effect on the value of your personal injury auto accident claim.
Attorney Skill, Experience, and Reputation
One key aspect in determining the money value of a your car accident injury case is which attorney you choose. All attorneys that handle personal injury cases will represent they are the best auto accident attorney for you.
Naturally, not everyone can be best. You’ll have to determine which Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer is best for you and live with the choice.
There are some aspects of the personal injury law firm that you can look to help.
First, does the firm specialize in auto accident and injury cases or do they take “whatever comes in the door?” There is nothing wrong with the latter, but specialized experience will give your case a Distict value.
Second, do not choose a law firm that heavily advertises. These law firms have to handle cases quickly and minimize their costs to the case’s detriment, in our opinion. Choose a personal injury law firm that will give your car wreck case time, attention and importance.
Third, choose a law firm from the area where the car wreck occurred. They will be “dialed in” to the local specifics.
Fourth, look for success with cases. The best personal injury attorneys will succeed more frequently than less capable lawyers. In short, go with skill, experience, locality and success to maximize your case’s value.
Give us a call at 816-540-2161. We’ll talk your case over; give you our opinions, no pressure, no commitment. Let us do the work. We’ll let you know.
- What will my commitments be? What all will I have to do in this process?
You will have to answer “interrogatories.” These are formal legal questions given by the person who caused the auto accident to the injury victim of the car wreck. These are questions like “who witnessed the accident?” and “what parts of your body were injured?” Our law firm will help you with these.
Next, you’ll have to give your “deposition.” This is where you come into our law firm. The attorney for the insurance company will be there. He will ask you questions about the accident and your injuries.
A court reporter will be there to take down all your answers. Your personal injury attorney will be there, literally by your side to help you in any way. The “deposition” is your chance to tell your story.
Next, you’ll want to give us the names of the people you know who can best tell a jury about your accident injury and how it has affected your life and ability to function.
That is pretty much all will be expected of you once you hire your personal injury law firm. Remember, you are delegating the work to us. Our job is to do the work, do it right, and help you in any way we can.
8. Will my auto accident claim settle with just a demand letter, or will we have to file a lawsuit, or even go to trial? How much of a say do I have in this?
Probably your injury case may settle prior to a lawsuit being filed. Many cases do. However, you should commit from the beginning of your auto accident claim to taking your case all the way through trial.
Ironically, this is part of the “trick” to settling personal injury cases early. Insurance companies and insurance lawyers can tell from experience which cases are being prepared for trial and which are not. They know which Kansas City personal injury attorneys take cases to trial and those who don’t (most will not). Accordingly, it is important to settling a case early to prepare for the long-haul.
A case where the attorney lacks a strong trial reputation in the personal injury auto accident field will not settle early (not for a reasonable amount anyway). It will be obvious that the evidence has not been gathered and the injury case is not ready. Thus, the defendant has no incentive to settle early.
There is often the chance to settle a case early; however, the claimant must give up money (as to the value of their case) to settle early. Remember, just because the other side should give you the full value of your case does not mean that they will.
Imagine someone buying a car at an auto dealership. Will they pay full sticker price? The dealer likely thinks they should. That will not convince the buyer to pay unless the buyer has no other choice.
So, too, insurance companies do not just give money to claimants, even though the injured car wreck victim thinks they should. The auto accident attorney has to facilitate the process.
Typically, settlements occur just before the lawsuit is filed, at a mediation scheduled by the court mid-way through the process, just before trial, or during trial. This can take as long as several years. The injured auto accident victim has little say in the process, unfortunately. The timing of a settlement depends on many factors beyond their control. That is why it is vital to begin the process with the end in mind, going to trial. Then, chances are that good things will happen.
9. Will you speak with me before settling my personal injury auto accident case? How much control do I have in the process?
Yes. Our auto accident attorneys will discuss your case in detail with you before ever settling your car accident claim. We will let you know personally about every offer to settle your car crash case.
You will have control over this process. Specifically, it will be your choice how much to demand in settlement. You will choose whether or not to settle or continue your auto accident lawsuit. We are there to facilitate the process, do the work and help.
10. How long will it take before we go to trial?
That depends. In Kansas City, Missouri, assuming your auto accident injury lawsuit does go to trial, it will take about two years between the filing of the lawsuit and trial.
This long time period is a consequence of a very busy personal injury court system in Kansas City, and Cass County, Missouri. Each court from Warrensburg to Independence to Harrisonville, MO will differ in the amount of time it takes to bring a case to trial.
It is possible your court’s schedule will open up. It is just as likely your court’s schedule will get busier. The time to bring your auto accident case from the filing of suit to trial will depend on when the case is set and what court we are talking about.
11. How much time do I have to make my personal injury claim?
You have five (5) years to make an auto accident personal injury claim under Missouri law. (R.S.Mo. 516.120) This is called a statute of limitations. Shorter time periods exist for other types of cases. For example, a party has three years to file a wrongful death claim. (R.S.Mo. 537.100)
While five years is a long time period, the fact of the matter is that the sooner the victim contacts and retains a good personal injury car accident attorney; the better off the victim will be.
Evidence is perishable. Memories fade over time; the scene of the auto accident will change. Even injury evidence can change. Thus, it is never too soon to contact an attorney about an auto accident.