Johnson County Auto Accidents

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Johnson County auto accident or a collision elsewhere in Kansas, quick action and intervention by an experienced Johnson County personal injury attorney is necessary protect your rights and your interests.  The insurance companies and defendants involved in the car crash will have dozens if not hundreds of lawyers, adjustors, agents, claims representatives, and staff working to protect their interests from day one.  You and your loved ones deserve to have a Johnson County personal injury law firm on your side, working to protect your interests and insuring that you get every dollar you are owed for medical bills, medical injuries (including permanent injuries) lost wages, future medical expenses, future lost wages, pain, and suffering.

Johnson County auto accident and personal injury cases require representation by skilled and aggressive Johnson County personal injury attorneys who know how to handle and maximize the value of Johnson County car accidents involving serious injuries or fatalities.  The lawyers and staff in our Olathe law office have experience dealing with insurance companies and defense attorneys involved in Kansas and Missouri personal injury or wrongful death cases.  Our employees have backgrounds working with or in insurance agencies, the medical industry, and for insurance defense firms which gives us valuable insight into how those industries work.  We use this knowledge to our clients' advantage when preparing cases and negotiating settlements.

The lawyers and staff at our Johnson County law office also understand that a Johnson County auto accident’s effects can be devastating and may be felt for years or lifetimes.  Our personal injury lawyers  fully realize that a Johnson County auto accident affects not only those involved, but the loved ones around them as well.  We strive to communicate effectively with our clients and to show compassion to our personal injury and auto accident clients as we actively represent their legal interests and recover every dollar they deserve.  In a typical Johnson County auto accident injury case, our Johnson County law firm can recover personal injury damages for:

    1    Current medical injuries and expenses - This category includes expenses for surgeries, procedures, office visits, equipment, etc.  Our Johnson County law office can help you collect for all the medical expenses you have incurred, even if they were paid by a health insurer or your own auto policy's personal injury protection ("PIP") coverage.

    2    Future medical injuries and expenses - Our office's lawyers and staff will work closely with your treatment providers and medical experts to insure that you are properly compensated for any future surgeries, procedures, rehabilitation, physical therapy, etc.  These future damages can be reduced to a present value, which is usually done through the use of an economist.

    3    Current lost wages - These damages are for the work you missed as a result of Johnson County personal injury case.  These damages can include sick time or vacation time that you may have been forced to use during your absence.  We regularly collect for our clients' lost wages in Johnson County, Kansas personal injury cases.  

    4    Future lost wages - Damages for future lost wages are designed to include any missed work that you may experience in the future.  If you have been injured severely enough to preclude you from returning to your former line of work, then our personal injury attorneys may be able to make a claim for the full value of your wages for the remainder of your working life.  While no one knows for certain what sorts of jobs you may be able to do in the future, you deserve to be properly compensated for the time we can prove that you'll miss from work.  This includes lost wages for permanent or partial disabilities, and lost wages due to medical care or treatment.

    5    Pain, suffering, and disfigurement - One of the greatest injustices in Kansas law concerns KSA 60-19a01 and 60-19a02, which limit damages for pain and suffering to $250,000, no matter what injuries are involved.  This means, that under current Kansas law, one can collect no more than $250,000, regardless of what a jury is to award.  Even worse, the jury cannot be told of this cap which gives rise to the real danger that a jury could give a substantial award for pain and suffering which is then reduced to $250,000.  To work around this possibility, a wise Johnson County personal injury attorney will only ask the jury for $250,000 for pain and suffering and will instead direct their attention to the uncapped Wentling damages, explained below.

    6    Property damages - These damages are for any lost property, such a vehicles or the contents within them.

    7    Wentling damages - Wentling damages are damages for the lost care and companionship due to an injury or death.  The name Wentling comes from the Wentling v. Medical Anesthesia Services, P.A., 701 P. 2d 939 (Kan. 1985) case in which the Supreme Court of Kansas first ruled that such damages were not subject to Kansas' caps on personal injury pain and suffering and the Kansas wrongful death cap.  The personal injury attorneys in our law office focus on Wentling damages because they are not capped like pain and suffering damages are.  Thus, these damages are often the key to a high award at trial.

    8    Punitive damages - Punitive damages are damages designed to punish a wrongdoer and to deter those who are similarly situated.  Punitive damages may only be awarded in Kansas after a case has been filed and after your personal injury attorney has moved to Amend you Petition to include such damages.  The nature and enormity of the wrong together with mitigating circumstances should be considered in awarding punitive damages.  Henderson v. Hassur 225 Kan. 678, 694 (1979).  In Johnson County, Kansas District Court, a jury does not fix the amount of a punitive damage award, they simply determine that punitive damages should be recovered.  The Court (judge) will then calculate the amount of punitive damages.

Our Johnson County Law Office handles personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis:

Our Olathe law firm handles all Johnson County and Kansas City area auto accident and personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.  A contingency fee arrangement means that we do not charge personal injury clients an hourly fee or ask for any money up front.  Our contingency fee arrangement also means we pay almost all litigation expenses, which can easily be tens of thousands of dollars in a Johnson County area auto accident case and hundreds of thousands of dollars in Johnson County area wrongful death cases.  Our law office’s fee is simply a percentage of any monies collected after deducting expenses – if we are not successful in collecting, then you will owe nothing and we are out our time and expenses.  This arrangement is advantageous to our clients and provides us a very high incentive to maximize the payout for all of our Johnson County area personal injury clients.

This law office’s personal injury and auto accident contingency fee arrangement depends on each case’s unique circumstances.  In general our fees are based on a “stepped” arrangement where the fee begins at a low percentage and rises as the case progresses through the litigation process and advances towards trial.  We have collected monies for Johnson County and Kansas City personal injury clients at percentages ranging from 15% to 45%.

This law office recommends that you do not talk to an insurance company representative or representative of the at-fault party until you have retained an experienced Johnson County personal injury attorney:

Insurance companies writing policies in Johnson County and elsewhere are in business and write policies for Johnson County metro residents for one reason – to make money.  Insurance corporations are incapable of caring about who has been hurt, whose fault it was, or how people’s lives has been affected – they only care about profit.  Kansas City and Johnson County insurance companies have hundreds or thousands of people working for them whose main goal is to make their employer money.  They accomplish this goal by limiting the money paid out on claims and they often do not care how serious your injuries are or what impact the accident has had on you and your loved ones – their goal is to reduce the amount paid out as much as possible in order to please their employer.

If the negligent party who caused your injuries paid their premiums and had a valid insurance policy, it is time for the insurance company to step up and cover their obligations under the policy and pay for your injuries up to the limits of their policy.  Unfortunately, this is often not the case when dealing with Johnson County auto wrecks.

Johnson County area insurance companies and their representatives have been known to mislead claimants and even provide false information to Johnson County auto accident victims.  We take pride in sorting through misinformation and ignoring baseless claims by defendants and insurance companies in Johnson County personal injury cases.  Our approach allows us to maximize the payouts for our auto accident and personal injury clients.  For more information on this topic, please see our page on bad faith litigation.

In one recent case, we persuaded an insurance company to make a policy limits offer on a Kansas City homeowner’s insurance policy to compensate our client for the negligent and intentional actions of their insured.  This was an extraordinary result because insurance is not technically available for intentional acts – we used the bad faith “hammer” to convince the insurance company that their potential losses at trial were worse than paying the limits of their policy.

Why should you choose our law office and attorneys to represent you in your Johnson County auto accident or personal injury case?

At the Law Offices of Jeremiah Johnson, LLC, we recognize that there are literally hundreds of Johnson County and Kansas City law firms representing people for auto accident and personal injury claims.  We understand that the vast number of attorneys claiming to be personal injury gurus can make choosing the right auto accident/personal injury attorney a difficult process.

We cannot tell you that the lawyers in this office are the best in Johnson County and Kansas City – no personal injury attorney can make that claim.  We cannot make guarantees that we’ll be able to collect a large amount of money for you and your loved ones – no personal injury lawyer can guarantee results.  What we can offer you is a short list of the reasons we think we are different from other Johnson County personal injury law firms.  Choosing a lawyer is a bit like getting married – you are in it together for some time, for better or worse.  In the final analysis, you should choose a personal injury law firm to represent you in your based on your interactions with that law firm and its attorneys.

Learn what makes The Law Offices of Jeremiah Johnson, LLC different than other personal injury and wrongful death firms in Johnson County, Kansas?

There are a number of things that differentiate our personal injury representation from other Johnson County personal injury/wrongful death law firms.  The biggest difference is our client oriented focus to handling serious personal injury and wrongful death cases.  The attorney and staff in our law office understand the position our personal injury clients and their families are in.  We understand the uncertainty of not knowing whether your injuries will heal, whether the pain will subside, and who will pay for all of the effects of the accident.  We strive to keep this in mind when handling our clients' cases and in our contact with them.  The staff and attorneys in our personal injury law firm treat all of our client with respect, we promptly return calls and inquiries, and we always keep our clients' best interest in mind.

Another difference is that this law office is willing to take our Johnson County personal injury cases to trial, whether they are the result of auto accidents, work injuries, or other negligence:  The lawyers in our office have taken dozens of civil and criminal cases to trial in front of judges and juries, and should the circumstances warrant it, we will happily put your case in front of a jury as well. 

A personal injury law firm’s willingness to take cases to trial is extremely important, because some Johnson County area personal injury law firms are afraid or unwilling to take a case to trial, often resulting in serious negative effects for their auto accident clients’ cases and recoveries.  When a personal injury attorney is willing to put an auto collision case n front of a jury it often get their clients larger settlement offers.  A “trial attorney” attitude may also mean that the law firm has a case better prepared for trial as opposed to a firm that attempts to prepare at the last minute.

Johnson County and Kansas City defense attorneys representing negligent parties and insurance companies know which Johnson County and Kansas City area lawyers will take their personal injury and auto collision cases to trial.  They often base negotiations and settlement offers based on this knowledge, making larger settlement offers to those who are represented by the more aggressive personal injury law firms.  Such an approach is not much different than a poker game – if you know your opponent will fold every time the game gets serious, you are more likely to bluff and take their money.  Make sure you are not represented by a Johnson County attorney known to “fold,” when a Johnson County personal injury case gets tough.

When looking for a Johnson County or Kansas City personal injury lawyer, ask them if they will take your personal injury case to trial and how long it has been since they took a case to trial and were in front of a jury.  It may be one of the most important questions you ask!

Our law firm also differentiates itself from other Johnson County personal injury lawyers because we take multiple actions to maximize recoveries in Johnson County personal injury cases:  When discussing recoveries in auto accident and personal injury cases, it is important that the term “recovery” be defined.  A recovery is any money or tangible asset collected in the course of litigation.

The “usual” sources of recovery in a Johnson County personal injury or auto accident case include assets from the negligent or at fault party, insurance payouts from policies of the negligent or at fault party, insurance proceeds from our own client’s policies (most often from uninsured and underinsured insurance policy provisions), and other third party sources of income.  Our law office strives to find alternative sources of recovery in all of our personal injury and auto accident cases.

We also maximize net payouts to our Johnson County personal injury clients by negotiating with medical providers and other lien holders to reduce or eliminate outside claims on our clients recoveries.  In one recent case, we were able to reduce our client’s debt to a local medical provider by 85%which represented a 30% increase in his net settlement.

Finally, we maximize our clients’ recoveries by working to limit the tax consequences of their recoveries.  A $250,000 net settlement is only $250,000 if you don’t have to pay taxes on it.  It is really a $167,500 recovery if you have to pay taxes at 33% on it.  The tax consequences of a settlement vary by case, but we have a number of strategies we utilize to limit tax consequences on personal injury and auto accident settlements.

We communicate with our clients:  Nearly everyone has heard someone complain – “why is it so hard to get my attorney to call me back?”  Unfortunately this is a often a valid complaint with lawyers, something that has perplexed me from day 1 in this business.  At The Law Offices of Jeremiah Johnson, LLC, We strive to maintain good communication with our clients, keeping them in the loop regarding the important issues in their cases.  We return most calls within hours and nearly every call within 24 hours.

More importantly, to make it easier to get ahold of us, we give We’ personal cell phone numbers and email addresses to our personal injury clients.  After hours calls are not discouraged.

We regularly meet with our personal injury and auto accident clients, send our clients copies of important court documents, and of course we answer the phone when our clients call.

The attorney and staff at this law office recognize that the personal injury litigation process can be extremely confusing and frustrating for our clients.  This is why we do our best to see that our Johnson County auto accident clients are as informed and involved in their personal injury/auto accident case as they want to be.

Our personal injury clients regularly express their satisfaction with our responsiveness and availability throughout their cases.  We take great pride in hearing these comments.

Experience: We cannot claim to be the most experienced personal injury attorneys in the Johnson County area - there are simply older attorneys out there who are more experience.  What we can tell you that we have successfully pursued our personal injury clients’ interests for years and collected large amounts of money for them.  We can also tell you that we are still “hungry,” and that we never treat a personal injury client as “another file.”  The attorneys in this law office aggressively pursue our personal injury clients’ interests through pre-litigation, pre-trial, and in trial itself.

The attorneys in this offices have settled numerous auto accident and personal injury cases and recovered large amounts of money for our personal injury and auto accident clients.  These settlements have come before and after a lawsuit was filed.

In one recent case we were able to get a policy limits settlement in a Johnson County area auto accident case in an amount that was over 12 times what our client had been offered before we began representing her, when she was representing herself in negotiations.  Our results were accomplished by working hard on her case and demonstrating to the defendant’s attorneys that we were serious about taking the case to trial where they would not only be forced to pay out their policy limits, but also incur the costs of litigation.

How do Johnson County area personal injury and auto accident claims work?

The attorney and staff in this law office understand that the personal injury process in a Johnson County auto accident can be confusing, frustrating, and highly complex.  As a result, we strive to offer our personal injury clients unrivaled access to our personal injury lawyers and we always keep our clients informed.  The Johnson County personal injury litigation process in our office usually works as follows:

Step 1 – We have a meeting with a potential personal injury client:  The first step in securing this office’s representation for your Johnson County auto accident or personal injury case is meet with the prospective client in our office.  This is done when you call our office and set up a no-cost, no-obligation appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys.

At this meeting one of us will discuss the unique circumstances in your auto accident case.  We will also identify the expected legal issues and damages that we anticipate being applicable in your auto accident case.

We will also discuss our fee arrangement, the way a contingency fee works, and let you take home a fee agreement to review.  If you wish to have us represent you, then you only need to sign and deliver the fee agreement, no money is due upon signing, rather our fee is taken as a percentage of monies collected by our office for you.

Step 2 – We investigate all aspects of the personal injury/auto accident case: The investigation stage of a personal injury or auto accident case really never ends, but it will usually be the main focus of our representation for 3-9 months, again depending on the circumstances of your Johnson County auto collision case.  The work done by us during the investigation stage varies greatly depending on the circumstances surrounding your auto accident.

The investigation phase often involves locating and talking to witnesses to your auto accident, contacting the law enforcement agency or agencies that investigating the Johnson County area auto accident, gathering medical records and bills, talking to treatment providers, locating experts, referring our clients to specialists, and various other tasks.

The investigation stage is crucial to a Johnson County personal injury case because it is the building block for making your claim.  Proper investigation (called “discovery” in the legal world) gives us the ammunition to demand a proper settlement from the defendant(s) in a personal injury case.

Step 3 - Negotiation:  The third step involves negotiating with the defendant’s attorney or attorneys and/or insurance companies.  This step may also involve negotiations with medical providers or insurance companies who are owed monies and may have a lien on the case proceeds.

While we take every Johnson County personal injury case with the assumption that the case will go to trial, this step is critical in case development and often results in an agreeable settlement being offered.

The negotiation phase usually overlaps the investigation phase and is useful whether the case is settled or whether it will go to trial.  During this phase, we will learn the defendant’s trial strategy and expose weaknesses in their defense.

Negotiation can be done one of many ways.  Typically, it involves communication between the attorneys where we present the strengths of your case, expose the weaknesses in the defendant’s case, and ratchet up pressure to exact a fair settlement.

Negotiation can also involve mediation or arbitration.  Mediation is where the parties sit down with a neutral third party, usually a retired judge, and discuss the case.  The mediator will then separate the sides and candidly discuss the case with them in an attempt to negotiate a settlement.

This law office has had considerable success mediating Johnson County area auto accident cases.  Mediation usually represents a “no-lose” proposition for our clients as it allows a neutral third-party to tell the defendants what we’ve been saying all along.  If they want to see the light and listen, then an agreement may be reached.  If they do not, all that is lost is the fees for the mediator and time spent at the mediation and preparing for the mediation.

Step 4 – Preparation for trial:  It could be said that everything done after a fee agreement is signed is a preparation for trial.  At some point, however, the process of preparing a Johnson County auto accident case for trial begins to take up the majority of our staff members’ time.  This focused time is what we mean when defining this step.

This trial preparation step is usually the most complex and time-consuming step in the litigation process.  Preparing for a Johnson County area wrongful death or personal injury jury trial consumes hundreds or thousands of hours of attorney time and will almost always involve a number of issues.

Preparing for a Johnson County auto accident jury trial differs for each case, but will almost always stretch for many months and includes the attorneys exchanging their witness and exhibit lists, replying to court requests for information, preparing arguments and witnesses, and a untold number of other actions.

Step 5 – Trial: A personal injury or wrongful death jury trial will usually take 3-10 days and involves having witnesses such as experts, doctors, or eyewitnesses testify at the trial, cross examining the defendant’s witnesses, and making arguments in front of the jury.

Personal injury trials in Johnson County usually begin by making pre-trial arguments before the Court.  This step involves the attorneys attempting to define the issues and evidence that may be presented to the jury.  As such, it can often be the most important step in a case.

The next part of a Johnson County jury trial is a process called voir dire where the jurors are picked.  This is accomplished by bringing potential jurors up before the Court in groups and asking them questions to learn their views and potential biases.  The actual process varies from court to court and from judge to judge.  For instance, in Federal Court, the judges often do most of the jury questioning themselves.  In Jackson County Court and Johnson County District Court, the attorneys can usually have much more involvement in shaping the jury. This process is also extremely important because different jurors can look at the same evidence and reach different or opposite conclusions.  You want the jurors who will see things your way.

After the jury is picked, the attorneys will make opening statements.  These statements foreshadow what the lawyers plan on presenting at trial.  The opening statement is crucial in a Johnson County personal injury case as it can establish a theme and bring the jurors up to speed regarding the important issues in your case.

After opening statements, we present evidence first, in what is called the “plaintiff’s case-in-chief.”  This is done by presenting witnesses and asking them questions in what is called a “direct examination.”  The order of witnesses and the questions asked are crucial in properly developing a case, establishing the defendant(s)’ liability, and demonstrating your injuries/damages.   After each witness has been examined, the defense attorneys will have a chance to cross-examine them.

Once the Plaintiff’s case-in-chief has concluded, the defendants will get to put on their case-in-chief.  Their case will develop much as the plaintiff’s, with the defendants putting on witnesses.  We then get to cross examine the witnesses and expose the weaknesses in their testimony.

After the defendant’s case-in-chief has concluded, closing arguments are made.  These arguments tie everything together and give us our last chance to tell the jury about the case.  While a Johnson County personal injury case is seldom won or lost in closing arguments, they can have a tremendous effect on the damages awarded.

Step 6 – Finalizing a judgment or settlement:  If a settlement is reached or a jury returns a verdict for the plaintiff, the case can be finalized.  This process can be quick and simple or complex, depending on the case.

One important part of this step involves us negotiating with any creditor claiming that our client oWe them money.  This usually involves a “lien” where a medical treatment provider such as hospital is owed money for treatment.  The law allows them to file a “lien” on the proceeds of the case which means that their lien will be deducted from the settlement or judgment proceeds.

We negotiate with these providers with the same seriousness and effort that we negotiate with defendants.   While we cannot guarantee the reduction of a lien, we have had success reducing liens by 1/3, 1/2, or even 85%!  These reductions represent more money in our client’s pockets and we are happy to take these negotiations so seriously.

Kansas automobile accident and motorist law: The following overview is provided as an accessible reference guide for automobile accident and motorist law in Kansas. This is not meant to be a complete listing of all facets of the law or how it applies to your case.

Call our law office at (816) 581-4602 to speak to an attorney about the specifics of your case.

The Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act requires motor vehicle owners to carry a policy of liability insurance on their vehicles.

The Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act states: Every owner shall provide motor vehicle liability insurance coverage in accordance with the provisions of this act for every motor vehicle owned by such person, unless such motor vehicle: (1) Is included under an approved self-insurance plan as provided in subsection (f); (2) is used as a driver training motor vehicle, as defined in K.S.A. 72-5015, and amendments thereto, in an approved driver training course by a school district or an accredited nonpublic school under an agreement with a motor vehicle dealer, and such motor vehicle liability insurance coverage is provided by the school district or accredited nonpublic school; (3) is included under a qualified plan of self-insurance approved by an agency of the state in which such motor vehicle is registered and the form prescribed in subsection (b) of K.S.A. 40-3106, and amendments thereto, has been filed; or (4) is expressly exempted from the provisions of this act. K.S.A. 40-3104(a)

The Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act requires liability insurance to: insure the person named and any other person, as insured, using any such vehicle with the expressed or implied consent of such named insured, against loss from the liability imposed by law for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of any such vehicle within the United States of America or the Dominion of Canada, subject to the limits stated in such policy. K.S.A. 40-3107(b)

In addition The Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act states that a liability policy must: contain stated limits of liability, exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each vehicle for which coverage is granted, not less than $25,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, one person in any one accident and, subject to the limit for one person, to a limit of not less than $50,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, two or more persons in any one accident, and to a limit of not less than $10,000 because of harm to or destruction of property of others in any one accident. K.S.A. 40-3107(e)

The Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act also extends these mandatory minimum insurance requirements to vehicles owned by nonresidents. K.S.A. 40-3106(a-b)

The Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act is to ensure that when a vehicle owner and/or operator causes injury, death or personal property damage to another person there is a minimum amount of protection in the form of insurance funds available to compensate the injured person. However, because not all owners and operators comply with The Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act requirements of carrying the required minimum liability coverage the Kansas Legislature enacted the requirements for “uninsured motorist” coverage.

Selected statutes related to automobile accidents in Kansas:

Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act: K.S.A. 40-3101 through 40-3121

    •    The purpose of this act is to provide a means of compensating persons promptly for accidental bodily injury arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of motor vehicles in lieu of liability for damages to the extent provided herein. K.S.A. 40-3102

Personal Injury Protection Benefits: K.S.A. 40-3107 states in part that:

    •    Every policy of motor vehicle liability insurance issued by an insurer to an owner residing in Kansas shall…include personal injury protection benefits to the named insured, relatives residing in the same household, persons operating the insured motor vehicle, passengers in such motor vehicle and other persons struck by such motor vehicle and suffering bodily injury while not an occupant of a motor vehicle, not exceeding the limits prescribed for each of such benefits, for loss sustained by any such person as a result of injury. K.S.A. 40-3107(f)

Two Year Time Limit for Personal Injury Protection Benefits:

    •    Except for benefits payable under any workmen's compensation law, which shall be credited against the personal injury protection benefits provided by subsection (f) of K.S.A. 40-3107, personal injury protection benefits due from an insurer or self-insurer under this act shall be primary and shall be due and payable as loss accrues, upon receipt of reasonable proof of such loss and the amount of expenses and loss incurred which are covered by the policy issued in compliance with this act. An insurer or self-insurer may require written notice to be given as soon as practicable after an accident involving a motor vehicle with respect to which the insurer's policy of motor vehicle liability insurance affords the coverage required by this act. No claim for personal injury protection benefits may be made after two (2) years from the date of the injury. K.S.A. 40-3110(a)

Some definitions and time limitations from the Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act:

    •    "Personal injury protection benefits" means the disability benefits, funeral benefits, medical benefits, rehabilitation benefits, substitution benefits and survivors' benefits required to be provided in motor vehicle liability insurance policies pursuant to this act. K.S.A. 40-3103(q)

    •    "Disability benefits" means allowances for loss of monthly earnings due to an injured person's inability to engage in available and appropriate gainful activity, subject to the following conditions and limitations: (1) The injury sustained is the proximate cause of the injured person's inability to engage in available and appropriate gainful activity; (2) subject to the maximum benefits stated herein, allowances shall equal 100% of any such loss per individual, unless such allowances are deemed not includable in gross income for federal income tax purposes, in which event such allowances shall be limited to 85%; and (3) allowances shall be made up to a maximum of not less than $900 per month for not to exceed one year after the date the injured person becomes unable to engage in available and appropriate gainful activity. K.S.A. 40-3103(b)

    •    "Funeral benefits" means allowances for funeral, burial or cremation expenses in an amount not to exceed $2,000 per individual. K.S.A. 40-3103(d)

    •    "Medical benefits" means and includes allowances for all reasonable expenses, up to a limit of not less than $4,500, for necessary health care rendered by practitioners licensed by the state board of healing arts to practice any branch of the healing arts or licensed psychologists, surgical, x-ray and dental services, including prosthetic devices and necessary ambulance, hospital and nursing services; and such term also includes allowances for services recognized and permitted under the laws of this state for an injured person who relies upon spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in accordance with such person's religious beliefs. K.S.A. 40-3103(k)

    •    "Monthly earnings" means: (1) In the case of a regularly employed person or a person regularly self-employed, 1/12 of the annual earnings at the time of injury; or (2) in the case of a person not regularly employed or self-employed, or of an unemployed person, 1/12 of the anticipated annual earnings from the time such person would reasonably have been expected to be regularly employed. In calculating the anticipated annual earnings of an unemployed person who has previously been employed, the insurer shall average the annual compensation of such person for not to exceed five years preceding the year of injury or death, during which such person was employed. K.S.A. 40-3103(l)

    •    "Rehabilitation benefits" means allowances for all reasonable expenses, up to a limit of not less than $4,500, for necessary psychiatric or psychological services, occupational therapy and such occupational training and retraining as may be reasonably necessary to enable the injured person to obtain suitable employment. K.S.A. 40-3103(r)

    •    "Substitution benefits" means allowances for appropriate and reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining other ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those that, but for the injury, the injured person would have performed for the benefit of such person or such person's family, subject to a maximum of $25 per day for not longer than 365 days after the date such expenses are incurred. K.S.A. 40-3103(w)

    •    "Survivors' benefits" means total allowances to all survivors for: (1) Loss of an injured person's monthly earnings after such person's death, up to a maximum of not less than $900 per month; and (2) substitution benefits following the injured person's death. Expenses of the survivors which have been avoided by reason of the injured person's death shall be subtracted from the allowances to which survivors would otherwise be entitled, and survivors' benefits shall not be paid for more than one year after the injured person's death, less the number of months the injured person received disability benefits prior to such person's death. For purposes of this subsection, monthly earnings shall include, in the case of a person who was a social security recipient or a retirement or pension benefit recipient, or both, at the time of such injured person's death, 1/12 of the annual amount of the difference between the annual amount of the social security benefits or the retirement benefits, or both, that such injured person was receiving at the time of such injured person's death and the annual amount of the social security benefits or the retirement benefits, or both, that the survivor is receiving after the time of such injured person's death. K.S.A. 40-3103(y)

Conditions Precedent to Recovery of Pain and Suffering in Tort Action:

    •    In any action for tort brought against the owner, operator or occupant of a motor vehicle or against any person legally responsible for the acts or omissions of such owner, operator or occupant, a plaintiff may recover damages in tort for pain, suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience and other non-pecuniary loss because of injury only in the event the injury requires medical treatment of a kind described in this act as medical benefits, having a reasonable value of $2,000 or more, or the injury consists in whole or in part of permanent disfigurement, a fracture to a weight-bearing bone, a compound, comminuted, displaced or compressed fracture, loss of a body member, permanent injury within reasonable medical probability, permanent loss of a bodily function or death. Any person who is entitled to receive free medical and surgical benefits shall be deemed in compliance with the requirements of this section upon a showing that the medical treatment received has an equivalent value of at least $2,000. Any person receiving ordinary and necessary services, normally performed by a nurse, from a relative or a member of such person's household shall be entitled to include the reasonable value of such services in meeting the requirements of this section. For the purpose of this section, the charges actually made for medical treatment expenses shall not be conclusive as to their reasonable value. Evidence that the reasonable value thereof was an amount different from the amount actually charged shall be admissible in all actions to which this subsection applies. K.S.A. 40-3117

Contact us today to speak to a Johnson County, Kansas personal injury attorney/wrongful death lawyer and learn more about our auto accident representation:

To speak to a Johnson County personal injury attorney, call us today at (816)581-4602 or email us at  Most calls are returned on the same day with all inquiries being returned within 24 hours.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Law:

    •    Uninsured motorist coverage is a form of "first-party" coverage, coverage under which one's own automobile policy pays a benefit to the insured(s) under that policy. Such coverage is designed to pay to an injured insured person(s) amounts that the uninsured tortfeasor's liability insurance would have covered, had the uninsured tortfeasor had coverage. Mandating of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is to protect innocent persons damaged through the negligent conduct of motorists who fail to meet the requirements of the law and who cannot be made to respond in damages. The mandatory inclusion of uninsured and underinsured coverage applies to automobile insurance policies issued in Kansas.

The following excerpt from Kansas Law provides an overview of the uninsured and underinsured coverage obligations:

K.S.A.40-284.Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage; rejection; anti-stacking provision; exclusions or limitations of coverage; subrogation rights of underinsured motorist coverage insurer.

(a) No automobile liability insurance policy covering liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of any motor vehicle shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state with respect to any motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this state, unless the policy contains or has endorsed thereon, a provision with coverage limits equal to the limits of liability coverage for bodily injury or death in such automobile liability insurance policy sold to the named insured for payment of part or all sums which the insured or the insured's legal representative shall be legally entitled to recover as damages from the uninsured owner or operator of a motor vehicle because of bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death, resulting therefore, sustained by the insured, caused by accident and arising out of ownership, maintenance or use of such motor vehicle, or providing for such payment irrespective of legal liability of the insured or any other person or organization. No insurer shall be required to offer, provide or make available coverage conforming to this section in connection with any excess policy, umbrella policy or any other policy which does not provide primary motor vehicle insurance for liabilities arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation or use of a specifically insured motor vehicle.

(b)Any uninsured motorist coverage shall include an underinsured motorist provision which enables the insured or the insured's legal representative to recover from the insurer the amount of damages for bodily injury or death to which the insured is legally entitled from the owner or operator of another motor vehicle with coverage limits equal to the limits of liability provided by such uninsured motorist coverage to the extent such coverage exceeds the limits of the bodily injury coverage carried by the owner or operator of the other motor vehicle.

The uninsured motorist coverage must insure the insured for payment that the insured would be "legally entitled to recover as damages" from the uninsured owner or operator of a motor vehicle. As such, uninsured motorist coverage does not place absolute liability on the insurer for the insured person must prove that he or she is "legally entitled to recover" damages from the uninsured motorist, that the uninsured motorist is legally liable to him or her for damages. The insured motorist must establish fault on the part of the uninsured motorist.

Uninsured motorist coverage limits the amount the insured can recover, even if the insured's damages exceed that amount.