Kansas City Auto Accidents
You should retain a Kansas City auto accident/personal injury attorney for every Kansas City or Johnson County auto accident. Make sure you obtain legal representation before you speak to any insurance companies or at fault parties:
If you have been injured in an auto accident in the Kansas City metro area, we highly recommend retaining a Kansas City and Johnson County personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and insure that you are compensated for all of the damages you have suffered. At The Law Offices of Jeremiah Johnson, LLC, we recognize the tremendous effect that an auto accident in Kansas City, Johnson County, or elsewhere can have on the lives of those involved as well as those around them. We understand the serious injuries (and accompanying medical bills) that often result, as well as the effects that these injuries can have on the friends and families of those involved, the effects a car crash can have on your career, and the disabilities that often result from a Kansas City area car accident. This is why we strive to offer the best legal representation for all of our personal injury & wrongful death clients.
The attorney and staff in our law office also understand how the automobile insurance business works and how they attempt to limit their liability as soon as they learn one of their insured has been in a car wreck. The insurance companies have hundreds of attorney and staff working for them whose job it is to limit the amount they must pay for each Kansas City/Johnson County auto accident claim. To do this, insurance companies often quickly contact those involved and/or injured in an attempt to settle the case before the true amount of damages is known. They will often try to get those involved, including the injured, to make statements before they can collect their thoughts and before all the facts and details are known. The attorneys in this law office recommend making NO statements regarding your auto accident until you've had a chance to talk to a personal injury attorney experienced in handling Kansas City auto accident cases. Call us at 913-764-5010 to speak to a Kansas City & Johnson County personal injury lawyer about your case. We can then arrange a no-cost meeting to speak about your case in depth.
How our law office handles Kansas City & Johnson County auto accident cases:
The staff and attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeremiah Johnson, LLC handle Kansas City and Johnson County auto accident cases differently than many area attorneys. First, we believe in a utilizing a client friendly approach. You have probably heard people say "I sure wish I could get my attorney to call me back." We do not "screen" client calls - if you call for an attorney you will be directed to our desk if we are here. If we are not available, we return most phone calls within a few hours, with almost every call being returned within 24 hours. We also strive to keep our clients in the loop, by providing status updates and sending them copies of important documents.
We have handled numerous car accident cases throughout the Kansas City metro area and elsewhere in Kansas and Missouri. Whether your auto accident took place on I-35, 435, 71, I-70, 69, K-10, K-7, I-29, or one of the side streets in Johnson County or Kansas City, this office is committed to providing high-quality, effective legal services with a focus on attentive client services. We strive to maximize the recovery for all of our clients injured and affected by auto wrecks in the Kansas City area.
If you have been involved in a Kansas City area auto accident, you want an auto accident attorney who will look out for your best interests and pursue your rightful compensation for medical bills, injuries, pain and suffering, and other damages. You want to know that your attorneys will move quickly to spare you needless anxiety and to achieve a financial payout as soon as possible. And you want to know that your lawyer will communicate with you throughout the legal process, so that you do not need to worry about how your case is progressing.
We take all Kansas City/Johnson County personal injury cases with the assumption that they will end up in trial. While this attitude may sound normal, it contrasts that of many personal injuries attorneys in the Kansas City/Johnson County area who never or almost never take their cases to trial. Insurance companies and defense attorneys are less likely to offer reasonable settlement figures if the attorney working the case is not willing or afraid to take the case to a jury. This is simple - you want an attorney who will properly prepare your Kansas City auto accident case for a jury trial from the beginning. Not only will this enhance your chances at trial, but it may also force higher settlement offers from the defendants in your case.
This does not mean that we take every case to trial - in fact, the statistics show that the vast number of Kansas City and Johnson County personal injury cases will end in settlement. What it does mean though, is that our attitude in preparing the case will help you get the maximum recovery through settlement or trial as the defendants and their attorneys will realize that we intend to take the case to a jury.
We work with accident reconstructionists, clients' own medical providers, investigators and other experts to build the strongest possible case. We have handled neck, back, leg, arm and head injury cases, and can fight insurance companies' attempts to deny, discourage and delay claims. We are firm in settlement negotiations and skilled in trial.
Legal Fees - we handle Kansas City area auto accident and personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis:
Most personal injury cases are taken on a contingency basis, meaning that we do collect an hourly fee, rather we take our fee as a percentage of the amount collected for our clients, after litigation expenses (such as expert fees or court reporter costs) are deducted. The advantage to clients is clear - you do not have to worry about paying an hourly fee for us to represent you and you may not have to come up with money for expenses which will total tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
For instance, if your total recovery was $100,000 after litigation expenses, and our percentage was 25%, then you would be entitled to $75,000 and our fee would be $25,000. While this office does not have a standard percentage, we typically structure our contingency fee agreements on a tiered basis with a relatively low percentage early in the litigation, with the fee percentage going up as litigation progresses. I personally feel that this is an advantageous arrangement for our clients because this office's fees will vary based on the time elapsed and work put into the case - in other words, our agreements call for a relatively low fee percentage until we have put a significant amount of time and effort into the case.
Attorney Jeremiah Johnson has obtained five- and six-figure settlements and jury awards for car crash clients in Jackson County, Johnson County, and Wyandotte County, and frequently achieves the full policy limit award for car accident victims. We have colleagues in the insurance industry, which gives us an insider's perspective on the insurance companies' tactics in limiting payouts.
Before you attempt to settle a claim on your own, call us for a free initial consultation. Insurance companies will belittle your case, and may tell you it is not worth much. Frequently, they will try to settle for medical payments only. We can help increase your final financial recovery.
Information on Missouri Statues of Limitations
The following overview is provided as an accessible reference guide for time limitations that may or may not apply to your case. The legal start date of a statute of limitations is dependent on a variety of factors (including but not always limited to: the date the alleged action occurred or the date the alleged action was discovered).
Call The Law Office of Jeremiah Johnson at (816) 581-4602 to speak to an attorney about the specifics of your case.
Statutes of Limitations
Statues of limitations begin to run when the damage is sustained and capable of ascertainment. This is generally defined as when the damage can be discovered or made known, not when the plaintiff actually discovers the injury or wrongful conduct. Essentially, this means that the date when a Missouri statue of limitations begins relies on when the client first realizes that some harm has been done to them and could have first maintained an action to a successful suit.
However, a plaintiff simply not knowing that they have a case, or that they can bring a lawsuit does not keep the statute of limitations from starting. Ultimately, whether the damages were sustained and capable of ascertainment at a given time is an objective standard legally to be determined by a judge. RSMo §516.100. Our office can help determine when your statute of limitations begins. Call our law office at (816) 581-4602 to speak to an attorney about the specifics of your case.
Below are the legal statute of limitations limits:
Negligence. Actions for personal injuries arising from another's negligence. Five years. RSMo § 516.120.
Intentional Torts. Actions for libel, slander, assault, battery, false imprisonment, criminal conversation, and malicious prosecution. Two years. RSMo § 516.140
Products Liability. Actions for personal injuries arising from a product. Five years. RSMo § 516.120.
Medical Malpractice. Actions against healthcare providers for medical malpractice. Two years.Generally calculated by the date of occurrence but in some cases is determined by the date of discovery. RSMo § 516.105.
Wrongful Death. Action for wrongful death, even if based on a claim of medical malpractice. Three years. RSMo § 537.100.
Contracts. Generally, all actions upon contracts, including oral contracts. Five years. However, actions arising out of any writing for payment or money or property (generally insurance contracts) may be subject to ten years statute of limitation. RSMo § 516.120, 516.110.
Property Damage. Actions for damages to personal property. Five years. RSMo § 516.120, 516.100
Contribution Among Joint Tort-Feasors. A joint tort-feasor may bring a contribution action at any time while the original action is pending, whether or not the statute of limitations has expired on the original claim. However, there are some limits on how long such an action has to be finalized.
Minors. Actions involving a minor as a plaintiff. Statute of limitations time period does not start running until the minor turns 21. RSMo § 516.170.
There are also Missouri time limits for procedures. Below are some of the civil procedure rules time limits:
Time to File an Answer. An answer must be filed by the defendant within thirty days after the service of the summons and petition, except where service is made by mail, in which the defendant must file it within thirty days after the acknowledgement of receipt of the summons and petition or the return registered or certified mail receipt is filed in the case, or within forty-five days after the first publication of notice if neither personal nor service by mail is had. Rule 55.25(a).
Time to File Discovery Responses. Different rules apply for different procedures, as outlined in the following: Interrogatories. The party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers and objections upon the interrogating party within thirty days after service of the interrogatories, except that a defendant may serve answers or objections within forty-five days after the service of the summons and a petition on that defendant. Rule 57.01(a). Request for Production of Documents. The party upon whom the request is served shall serve a written response within thirty days after service of the request, except that a defendant may serve a response within forty-five days after service of the summons and petition upon that defendant. Rule 58.01(a). Request for Admissions. The matter is deemed admitted unless, within thirty days after service of the request, or within such shorter or longer time as the court may allow, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission, a written answer or objection addressed to the matter. A defendant shall not be required to respond before the expiration of sixty days after service of the summons and petition upon such defendant or that defendants entry of appearance. Rule 59.01(a).
Voluntary Dismissal. Plaintiffs have the right to voluntary dismiss a case one time and the defendant can only prevent the court's granting of this dismissal without prejudice by a showing of undue advantage to the plaintiff of the undue loss of a valuable defensive right. After voluntary dismissal, the plaintiff has one year within which to refile a case.
Time Within Which to Appeal. A notice of appeal must be filed with the trial clerk no later than ten days after the judgment or the order appealed becomes final. Rule 81.04(a). A judgment becomes final thirty days after entry, if no timely post-trial motion is filed OR ninety days after the filing of a timely post-trial motion or at the time the post-trial motion is disposed of, whichever date is earlier. Rule 81.05(a).
Time in Which to Effectuate Service. Missouri no longer requires due diligence in serving a party. An action is commenced when filed, regardless of whether service is obtained. Rule 51.03.
537.080. Action for wrongful death--who may sue--limitation
1. Whenever the death of a person results from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death had not ensued, would have entitled such person to recover damages in respect thereof, the person or party who, or the corporation which, would have been liable if death had not ensued shall be liable in an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, which damages may be sued for:
(1) By the spouse or children or the surviving lineal descendants of any deceased children, natural or adopted, legitimate or illegitimate, or by the father or mother of the deceased, natural or adoptive;
(2) If there be no persons in class (1) entitled to bring the action, then by the brother or sister of the deceased, or their descendants, who can establish his or her right to those damages set out in section 537.090 because of the death;
(3) If there be no persons in class (1) or (2) entitled to bring the action, then by a plaintiff ad litem. Such plaintiff ad litem shall be appointed by the court having jurisdiction over the action for damages provided in this section upon application of some person entitled to share in the proceeds of such action. Such plaintiff ad litem shall be some suitable person competent to prosecute such action and whose appointment is requested on behalf of those persons entitled to share in the proceeds of such action. Such court may, in its discretion, require that such plaintiff ad litem give bond for the faithful performance of his duties.
2. Only one action may be brought under this section against any one defendant for the death of any one person.
537.090. Damages to be determined by jury--factors to be considered
In every action brought under section 537.080, the trier of the facts may give to the party or parties entitled thereto such damages as the trier of the facts may deem fair and just for the death and loss thus occasioned, having regard to the pecuniary losses suffered by reason of the death, funeral expenses, and the reasonable value of the services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, and support of which those on whose behalf suit may be brought have been deprived by reason of such death and without limiting such damages to those which would be sustained prior to attaining the age of majority by the deceased or by the person suffering any such loss.
In addition, the trier of the facts may award such damages as the deceased may have suffered between the time of injury and the time of death and for the recovery of which the deceased might have maintained an action had death not ensued. The mitigating or aggravating circumstances attending the death may be considered by the trier of the facts, but damages for grief and bereavement by reason of the death shall not be recoverable.
537.010. Action for damages to property to survive regardless of death of either party
Actions for wrongs done to property or interests therein may be brought against the wrongdoer by the person whose property or interest therein is injured. If the person whose property or interest therein is injured is dead, the action survives and may be brought against the wrongdoer by the person appointed as fiduciary for the estate of the deceased person. If the wrongdoer is dead, the action also survives and may be brought and maintained in the manner set forth in section 537.021. Such actions shall be brought and maintained in the same manner and with like effect in all respects as actions founded upon contracts.
537.020. Action for personal injury or death to survive regardless of death of either party
1. Causes of action for personal injuries, other than those resulting in death, whether such injuries be to the health or to the person of the injured party, shall not abate by reason of his death, nor by reason of the death of the person against whom such cause of action shall have accrued; but in case of the death of either or both such parties, such cause of action shall survive to the personal representative of such injured party, and against the person, receiver or corporation liable for such injuries and his legal representatives, and the liability and the measure of damages shall be the same as if such death or deaths had not occurred. Causes of action for death shall not abate by reason of the death of any party to any such cause of action, but shall survive to the personal representative of such party bringing such cause of action and against the person, receiver or corporation liable for such death and his or its legal representatives.
2. The right of action for death or the right of action for personal injury that does not result in the death shall be sufficient to authorize and to require the appointment of a personal representative by the probate division of the circuit court upon the written application therefor by one or more of the beneficiaries of the deceased. The existence of the right of action for death or personal injury that does not result in death shall be sufficient to authorize and to require the appointment of a personal representative for the person liable for such death or injury by the court having probate jurisdiction upon his death upon the written application of any person interested in such right of action for death or injury.
537.030. Section 537.010 not to extend to what action
Sections 537.010 and 537.020 shall not extend to actions for slander, libel, assault and battery or false imprisonment.