Clients ask me several questions about the car accident claims process in Kansas, but three come up in almost every meeting. I’m going to go over each of these questions in turn here. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you cannot ask these questions again or any other questions you might have during a consultation.

When Should I File My Car Accident Claim?

The answer to this question is a two parter.
You should contact you insurance company as soon as you possibly can. Now, if you are severely injured and laid up in a hospital bed, talking to your insurance company can wait, but in other cases, you should be on the phone with your insurance company as soon as you are safe and feel able to speak in a coherent fashion.
The second part of this answer involves the statute of limitations on civil claims in Kansas. If you choose to file a civil claim to pursue damages for an injury or property damages, you have two years after the accident to do so. Of course, when dealing with insurance companies’ many delay tactics, it’s best not to wait until day 729 to file a lawsuit. You want to give your attorney as much time as possible.

Should I Talk to the Insurance Adjuster?

This question has a very short answer: No. No, you should not talk to an insurance adjuster. The adjuster or investigators job is to mitigate your claim – too reduce the amount the insurance company owes you. Adjusters use a variety of methods to do this, but the primary method they use is to just let you talk. You can remove one of their most powerful weapons by simply refusing to participate in any drawn out conversations. It’s best just to refer the adjuster to the police report or your attorney.

What Factors Affect My Claim?

Many factors can affect your claim. Let’s look at a few.
Medical Bills
This one is simple. This is the cost of getting well. How much did you spend at the hospital, your doctor’s office, at the pharmacy, and at the physical therapist? If you keep excellent records – and you should – it won’t be difficult to total your medical costs.
Property Damage or Loss
This one is also relatively simple. If you sustain significant property loss due to a car accident, you deserve compensation, and using estimates or bills for repair of replacement, your attorney can determine how much to ask for.
Lost Wages
Many times when you suffer a traumatic injury in a car accident, you cannot work. If you are a high earner, many times the amount covered by your insurance does not come close to replacing your lost wages. Your attorney will be able to help you determine the amount to which you are entitled.
Long-term Disability
If you suffer an injury that will take years to heal or that, you may never heal, that is a long-term disability, and they court view long-term disabilities differently. Make sure to discuss your options with your attorney.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering – or noneconomic damages – are difficult to quantify, but there are methods used to arrive at a set number. Make sure to discuss your noneconomic damages with your attorney and the steps you should take to document them.
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