Answers to Your Personal Injury, Workers Compensation, and Medical Malpractice Legal Questions
Your Questions Answered - Your Legal Options Explained
At KCAIA we know that it is essential for every injury victim to get good information about how to pursue their accident claim. Following an accident that causes serious injury to you or a loved one, there are often many unanswered questions.
Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get from new clients. You can browse by category using the dropdown menu. Alternatively, for a quicker, more customized search, try typing your question into the search bar above.
Don't see what you are looking for? If you don't find the answers you need, contact us today for answers to your specific questions. Remember, the consultation is FREE and there is no obligation.
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How does MedPay help me if I'm hurt in an accident in Missouri?
Missouri is an at-fault state when it comes to automobile accidents. This means the negligent driver is responsible for fully compensating for your injuries.
However, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't obtain the best automobile insurance coverage in order to protect yourself. There are many coverage options you can add to your policy. One you might find helpful is MedPay coverage to help pay your medical expenses after a serious car crash.
Why a Negligent Driver’s Liability Coverage May Not Be Enough
You may wonder why you need any additional insurance coverage of your own if the negligent driver is responsible for paying you. However, this coverage is often insufficient to fully reimburse you. In Missouri, all drivers are required to purchase a minimum amount of automobile liability insurance coverage in order to drive on Missouri roads. This minimum required amount is set by law and includes the following:
- $25,000 in bodily injury per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
If the negligent driver only had the minimum in liability coverage, you would only be entitled to a maximum of $25,000 to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Unless you suffered a very minor injury, this coverage most likely will not cover even the cost of your medical care.
In addition, you cannot count on the negligent driver being insured even though he is required to have this insurance by law. In 2015, 14 percent of motorists drove in Missouri when they were uninsured. This means that there is a good chance that you could be involved in an auto crash that was no fault of your own where the negligent driver had no insurance or other assets to pay you what you are owed. By having MedPay coverage, you ensure that your medical bills will be paid up to the coverage limit in your policy.
How MedPay Auto Insurance Coverage Helps If You're Injured
MedPay coverage pays for the medical bills you or your passengers may incur due to accident injury. This is an optional insurance coverage you add to your existing policy, and coverage amounts range between $1,000 to $10,000. The additional MedPay premium on your policy may be a few dollars each month up to approximately $30 per month. Your insurance agent can line item the expense for you.
Here are some key points regarding MedPay coverage:
- Fault. You and your passengers are entitled to this payment regardless of who was at fault for causing the accident—even you.
- Health insurance. If you have health insurance through your employment or otherwise, you may wonder why you need MedPay coverage. However, most health insurance companies require individuals to exhaust MedPay before paying medical bills for injuries caused in a car accident. In addition, most health insurance policies require reimbursement out of a victim’s settlement for any payments they initially covered. This means your overall settlement will be less.
- No reimbursement. Because you purchased the MedPay coverage, you're not required to reimburse the insurance company for medical bills that are paid as part of your settlement. This can increase the amount of your overall settlement and make it more likely that you'll be fully compensated.
- Collection. Many auto accident claims with a negligent driver’s insurance company can take months or longer to settle if the company fights to reduce or deny the claim. If you don't have other health insurance or MedPay to cover injury expenses, the medical provider could refer your account to a collection agency. This can result in you receiving threatening calls and letters, or being sued. A deferment to a collection agency also impacts your ability to obtain credit. .
Before submitting any bills to MedPay for payment, you want to discuss this with an experienced car accident attorney for advice on which bills should be submitted first. For example, he may believe he can reach favorable settlements with some of your medical care providers to reduce what you owe. This means he may want you to first pay off difficult accounts, such as an ambulance company, that often don't negotiate.
Whether you need to file a claim with a negligent driver’s insurance company or through your own automobile insurance policy, our experienced car accident attorneys are here to help. Get started now by contacting us online or calling us directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
- Unemployed Drivers May Be Negligent and Uninsured
- Types of Compensation You Could Receive in a Car Accident Case
- How Long Will It Take to Settle My Car Accident Case?
How do personal injury claims differ from workers’ compensation claims?
If you were involved in a workplace accident, it may be confusing to determine whether you need to file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim against your employer. In Kansas and Missouri, you most likely will need to file a workers’ compensation claim. You should know how this option differs from a personal injury claim, because it affects your rights to compensation.
Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury Claims: The Question of Liability
One of the key differences between personal injury and workers' compensation claims is the issue of fault. Personal injury cases involve many different types of injury claims, such as car accidents, slip and falls, and medical malpractice. In a personal injury case, you must prove the negligent party’s fault in causing your injuries in order to receive compensation.
Workers’ compensation operates differently. It's a no-fault system that provides you with benefits if you're injured in a workplace accident, regardless of who was at fault for causing it.
This means you could be entitled to benefits even if you were the negligent party.
Compensation in Personal Injury vs. Workers’ Comp Cases
Potential compensation in workers’ compensation is different than personal injury cases. Under workers’ compensation laws, you're entitled to benefits to pay your medical bills, a fixed portion of your wages, vocational rehabilitation and, if applicable, permanent disability benefits. You're not entitled to any pain and suffering damages.
In a personal injury case, you have the possibility of recovering to the full amount of your losses if you prove the other party’s negligence. This can make your claim worth more than in a workers’ compensation case. Types of compensation you may receive include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages and benefits of your job, such as commissions, bonuses, and sick and vacation time
- Lost earning capacity if you must make a career change or are permanently disabled
- Pain and suffering
Can You Sue an Employer in a Workers’ Compensation Case?
Your rights to sue when you suffer an injury at your job are more limited than in a personal injury accident. In exchange for the more guaranteed right of compensation that workers’ compensation provides, you give up the right to sue your employer and any co-workers whose negligence may have caused your injuries, except in limited circumstances. However, you do retain the right to file a lawsuit against third parties that were partially or completely at fault in causing your workplace accident.
In a personal injury case, you can—and should—pursue a claim for compensation against any potentially liable party. By doing so, you increase the likelihood you'll receive all you deserve for injury recovery.
Process of Filing a Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Claim
If you're hurt at work, you have to file a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. In a personal injury case, you would file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance carrier. This could be a driver’s automobile insurance, a homeowner’s insurance policy, or a business’ liability insurance coverage.
If there are disputes about your right to compensation, here's what happens:
- Workers’ compensation. Your claim would be filed with your state workers’ compensation agency, and an administrative judge decides your case. There are special laws and procedures governing workers’ compensation cases.
- Personal injury. When you cannot settle a personal injury case, you must file a lawsuit in civil court, where your case would be decided by a jury if it's not resolved during the litigation process.
Personal injury and workers’ compensation claims are similar in a few ways. In both, you may need to fight for the compensation you deserve. In addition, when filing either type of claim, you may need the assistance of an experienced attorney who handles the type of case you have to protect your interests and ensure a full chance at financial recovery.
Were you injured in a workplace accident? Our skilled workers’ compensation attorneys are here to explain your rights and to fight for your benefits. We also represent clients in personal injury claims, and can pursue litigation for you. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.
How long will it take to settle my Kansas City truck accident claim?
When you must file a claim for compensation following a truck accident, you probably have two burning questions: how much financial recovery are you entitled to, and how long before you get it? An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to estimate the value of your case and general settlement timeline with the insurance company based on his knowledge of negotiating and trying these cases. However, he can't give you a precise deadline for when your case will be over.
Factors That Slow the Settlement Process
Every truck accident claim is different, and the speed of settlement is based on the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If you feel yours is taking longer than you'd like, you don't want to make the mistake of accepting less than you're owed just for resolution.
You can prepare yourself by understanding some of the factors that can slow down the process. They include:
- Investigation. Truck wrecks require extensive investigation. Drivers and trucking companies are required to comply with many federal regulations regarding hiring, hours of service, vehicle maintenance, companion driving, logging devices, and other considerations. It may take your legal team longer to obtain the necessary documents and evidence to prove liability.
- Severity of your injuries. If you sustained serious injuries, the value of your claim will be greater. Before agreeing to settle, the insurance company will conduct a more extensive investigation and may debate longer to reduce or deny your claim if it finds legitimate issues.
- Your recovery. The length of time you need to heal can make the settlement process take longer. You don't want to settle your case until you've either fully recovered, progress in healing as far as your condition allows, or receive a final prognosis from your physician. Waiting until one of these stages of medical treatment is important so the settlement includes all of your future losses.
- Disputes. Even if a truck driver’s liability is clear cut to you, an insurance adjuster could raise arguments about the cause of the accident, or your injuries and their severity. When disputes arise, your attorney may need to obtain more evidence or hire an expert to support your claim before he can convince the insurance adjuster of the company’s responsibility to pay you.
- Litigation. If your attorney is unable to settle your claim for what you deserve, he'll need to file a lawsuit and litigate it. This is a lengthy process that can take months or longer to complete. However, it's likely that your attorney will be able to reach a settlement at some point during litigation before your trial date.
Can You Do Anything to Make Your Case Go Faster?
While there are many aspects of settling your truck accident claim you can't control, your actions still matter. Follow through and aid the process in these ways:
- See a doctor soon after your accident to protect your health as well as avoid disputes about whether your injuries were caused by the incident.
- Retain an experienced truck accident attorney immediately after your wreck so he can conduct a thorough investigation, obtain evidence that you need before it's lost, and begin the negotiation process.
- Follow your physician's advice regarding your medical care, and don't miss doctor, physical therapy, or other medical appointments. This will help you recover from your injuries more quickly and prevent disagreements with the insurance company about the severity of your injuries.
- Promptly provide your attorney with all requested information.
- Follow your attorney’s advice, because he's protecting your interests and trying to help you receive a proper settlement.
Our knowledgeable truck accident attorneys are here to help if you must file a claim for compensation following a truck wreck. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
What compensation could I be entitled to in my Kansas City truck accident case?
Being injured in a truck accident is an incredibly stressful, life-altering event. You suddenly face worries about your health and the ability to pay your bills while you are off work recovering—if you're not permanently disabled.
To obtain justice and receive the compensation you deserve, you may need to file a claim against the insurance companies for the negligent truck driver and the transportation carrier. It's important to understand the types of compensation available in cases like these so your settlement covers all damages.
Compensation You Could Receive After a Truck Accident
The value of a truck accident claim could be larger than a passenger vehicle accident case.
The massive size and weight of commercial vehicles increases the likelihood catastrophic injuries or death.
This is why it's essential that your legal team asks for all possible compensation to cover the following:
- Medical expenses. As a major portion of your claim, this line item should include the cost of doctor visits, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, medications, and psychological counseling. If you need a wheelchair, bathroom accessories, or other assistive devices to help manage your injury rehabilitation, these expenses may be recovered as well. In addition, you should request the cost for a home aid, travel expenses if you must seek treatment elsewhere, and other miscellaneous medical fees. It's important to include any additional expenses related to future care related to accident recovery.
- Wage losses. You're entitled to your past and future wage losses related to missed employment as a result of your accident injuries. Lost vacation and sick time, bonuses, commissions, and other perks of your job should be included in this portion of your claim. If you must make a job change or are permanently disabled due to your injuries, your future wage losses become more complicated to calculate. You may need the assistance of an economic expert to determine your lost future earning capacity damages.
- Pain and suffering. The pain and suffering endured due to your injuries can be a large portion of your claim, especially if you have a more long-term injury. However, it can be impossible to value this portion of your claim or to properly document it without the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney.
- Property damage. You're entitled to reimbursement for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle and the damaged property inside it. Associated expenses such as towing and car rental, and any other property damage costs incurred, might be included.
- Wrongful death. If a loved one died due to injuries suffered in a truck accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death action against the trucker and transportation company. You may be entitled to receive compensation for the loss of your loved one’s financial support, possible inheritance, advice, and companionship.
Evidence Needed to Prove Your Right to Compensation
Your legal counsel needs to prove the negligence of the large truck operator and fleet employer, as well as your right to the requested settlement amount. Evidence that can help your case includes:
- Medical bills and diagnosis/prognosis reports
- Paystubs and documentation of financial loss claims
- Income tax returns
- Car repair receipts
- Car rental bills
- Witness testimony
- Expert witness testimony
Do you need to file a claim for compensation for injuries you or a loved one suffered in a commercial truck accident? Our truck accident attorneys are ready to provide their expertise in these cases to establish your case and use valuable evidence to prove your damages. To get started, contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
I was in a serious car accident. How can I prove the crash triggered PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often associated with experiencing the horrors of war, but can also be caused by other traumatic events someone may experience, such as a terrifying car accident. It's a psychological condition that can significantly limit a person’s ability to work, interact with family members and friends, and perform basic day-to-day tasks that we take for granted.
If you suffer with PTSD caused by an auto wreck, you may be entitled to compensation for these injuries. However, proving you have this mental health condition may be more challenging than suffering obvious physical injuries.
PTSD is a psychological condition that can cause a person to have debilitating nightmares or traumatic memories, which can sometimes trigger severe anxiety or panic attacks. After a car accident, a person suffering with this condition may also be fearful of driving, riding in a vehicle, or traveling near the crash scene.
Other ways PTSD affect a person’s psychological health include:
- Insomnia and other sleep problems
- Physical reactions to memories of the crash, such as increased heart rate, nausea, and sweating
- Mood swings and anger
- A heightened alert for danger
- Withdrawal from activities, family, and friends
- Alcohol or drug addiction to cope with PTSD symptoms
How to Prove You're Suffering PTSD
Because PTSD is such a complicated psychological condition, you will most likely need a qualified medical expert to prove you have this disorder. If you're receiving treatment from a psychologist or another mental health professional, you may use this person as your expert witness. However, your attorney may decide to retain a neutral expert who specializes in PTSD as well.
A medical professional must have extensive qualifications regarding his or her knowledge of symptoms of and treatments for PTSD—ideally, someone who frequently helps people who suffer from the disorder. He or she should also be able to explain this condition in a way that you and the jurors understand, which isn't always the case with expert witnesses.
Your expert needs to be able to discuss the following:
- How an initial traumatic event—such as a motor vehicle accident—may result in PTSD
- How PTSD causes an accident victim to relive the event through flashbacks
- Symptoms of PTSD, such as insomnia, angry outbursts, depression, anxiety, and avoidance behaviors
- How PTSD can disrupt a person’s ability to function at work, maintain his or her relationships, and perform everyday tasks
- What symptoms of PTSD you exhibit, how this psychological condition negatively affects your life, and your prognosis
Role of Other Witnesses in Proving Your PTSD
While an expert witness is essential in proving your PTSD, your testimony and that of family, friends, and co-workers will be important, too. These witnesses can confirm your symptoms of PTSD and what they notice. They'll also be able to share first-hand knowledge of how this disorder has affected your ability to work, to perform household chores, and to enjoy other activities and relationships important to you.
Hiring an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Our knowledgeable car accident attorneys have qualified experts we can turn to for assistance in your case. We'll also work with you to obtain the other witnesses and evidence you need to convince the insurance company or jury of your injuries. To learn about your legal options and our expertise in handling accidents causing PTSD, contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 and schedule your free consultation.
How much is my truck accident claim worth?
If you're conflicted about filing a claim for compensation, it's important to know your options, and the varying levels of value.
Even an experienced truck accident attorney cannot give you a precise figure of a claim's worth. However, he can give you a good sense of what you can expect to receive based on his experience handling similar cases and the specific circumstances in your case.
Common Types of Compensation in Truck Accident Claims
Large truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries and damages. Passengers of automobiles, SUVs, and trucks simply don’t have the protection against a loaded tractor-trailer that may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Frequently, victims of these accidents are entitled the following compensation:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost and future wages and other benefits of your employment
- Future earning capacity if you must make a career change that results in a reduction in your wages or you become permanently disabled
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
While you may be able to determine an approximate amount of rightful compensation for property damage, medical bills, and lost wages, you'll need the assistance of an experienced attorney to determine the value of your pain and suffering and future earning capacity.
Factors That Affect the Value of a Truck Crash Claim
A number of factors affect the strength of your case against a negligent truck operator and his or her employer. The following include some variables that could strengthen or weaken your claim and its value:
- Disputes. When there are serious disputes about the cause of your wreck, your injuries, or some other issue in your case, they might weaken the overall value of your claim. In addition, you may need to fight harder and longer to obtain a fair settlement.
- Severity of your injuries. If you suffer more serious injuries that require surgery or other long-term treatments, your claim's value will be larger. In addition, the worth of these allotments might also influence an increase of the less-tangible portion of your claim—the pain and suffering you endured due to injuries and the resulting life limitations.
- Disability. If you suffered a permanent disability that affects your ability to work or perform day-to-day tasks, this increases the value of your claim due to your additional expenses and pain and suffering.
- Your partial fault. If you were partially responsible for the accident, your comparative negligence reduces the value your claim by the percentage of fault. For example, if you were found 20 percent at fault in causing the wreck, you'd only be entitled to 80 percent of damages from the trucker and fleet company.
- Participant credibility. Credibility analysis of all parties is common in truck accident cases. Throughout the process, if your accident recollection and the severity of your injuries stay consistent, this makes you a strong, believable witness at trial. If your attorney is able to point out discrepancies in the trucker’s statements or actions, this indicates he or she is less credible. The result could potentially increase the value of your claim.
- Witnesses. If other people who saw the accident can corroborate that the truck driver was the negligent party, this may make your claim worth more. This is especially true if the witnesses are neutral parties you don't know and who have no interest in the outcome of your case.
- Experienced truck accident attorney. Hiring an experienced truck accident attorney who has a track record of success in settling and trying these cases significantly increases the value of your claim. He understands the importance of thoroughly investigating your crash and will not be afraid to take your case to trial if necessary to obtain the settlement you deserve.
Do you need advice on the value of your claim for injury compensation caused in a truck accident? Our knowledgeable attorneys are here to help. Call our Kansas City office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company when filing a car accident claim?
If another driver caused your injuries in a car accident, a claims file will be opened by his or her insurance company once the incident is reported. An adjuster is assigned to investigate your potential claim, and will contact you as part of his investigation.
You may even receive a call from the adjuster while you're in the hospital. One common request from him or her is for you give a recorded statement. A recorded statement is a question and answer session conducted by the insurance adjuster with an accident victim either over the telephone or in person. The recorded conversation is later transcribed into a written document.
The adjuster may ask general questions about the victim's employment, educational level, and marital status as well as questions about the accident and the individual's resulting injuries.
Why You Should Decline to Give a Recorded Statement
While the insurance adjuster may try to convince you that giving a recorded statement will help speed up your claim, the reality is this is not usually true. In fact, many accident victims discover later that agreeing to give a recorded statement did exactly the opposite and slowed down or caused problems with their claims process.
Here are reasons you don't want to agree to give a recorded statement:
- Not required. It's important to remember that you're not required to give a recorded statement to settle your claim.
- Inconsistent statements. The insurance adjuster has a duty to his company to investigate your claim before agreeing to a settlement. And it's his job to raise any disputes during this process in order to reduce or deny your claim. One way he can do this is to compare the statements you make in a recorded statement to others you gave to police, a doctor, and witnesses. If your statements are inconsistent for any reason, he could use this information to try to deny your claim.
- Answers you didn’t mean. If there's a chance you're confused about the details of your accident due to your injuries, or simply misunderstood an adjuster's question, your responses may still be used against your claim.
- Use of answers in litigation. Any part of your recorded statement can be used against you at court hearings or at trial. This may impact your right to compensation.
Preparing for the claims process is one reason why it's important to secure the help of an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after the incident. This allows you to politely decline to participate in a recorded statement and direct all communications and negotiations with the insurance company to your attorney.
Have You Ruined Your Case by Giving a Recorded Statement?
Fortunately, it's unlikely that you ruined your case if you gave a recorded statement. Many victims of car accidents have and still settled their claim. However, it's possible that an adjuster used your responses to reduce the claim's value.
If you provided a statement, it's helpful to review it during the claims process, but it's unlikely that the adjuster will give you a copy voluntarily. This is another reason why having an experienced attorney on your side helps your case. He can obtain a copy and evaluate your statements and how they may affect your settlement.
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision, we urge you to quickly retain an experienced attorney to investigate your claim, communicate with the insurance company, and negotiate your settlement. To learn why we're the right attorneys for you, call our office today to schedule a free consultation.
How long do I have to file a car accident case?
When you must file a claim for compensation after a car accident, it's helpful to understand how the process works, how much your claim is worth, and important laws that govern your case.
A vital law to know and follow is the statute of limitations—or time period—for filing your lawsuit. If you fail to do so, it could have dire consequences on your right to compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver.
Each state has its own laws regarding the statute of limitations in car accident cases, and this is true of Missouri and Kansas. If you were injured in a wreck in either of these states caused by another motorist, here’s what you need to know for filing your lawsuit.
Missouri’s Statute of Limitations in Auto Wreck Cases
In Missouri, there's more than one rule on the time limit to sue a negligent driver. How long you have to file a claim depends on whether it's for injuries or a loved one’s death. These time limits apply:
- Personal injury or property damage. If you suffered injuries in a motor vehicle wreck, you must file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver within five years of the date of the accident. This deadline also applies to a claim for property damage, such as to your vehicle or possessions in it at the time of your wreck.
- Wrongful death. If a family member died in the car accident, you would have three years from the date of his death—not the date of the accident—to file a wrongful death action.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases in Kansas
You may be surprised at how different the statute of limitations laws are in Kansas than in Missouri. These rules apply:
- Personal injury and property damage. You have two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit against a negligent motorist for personal injuries or damage to your property.
- Wrongful death. You also have two years to file a wrongful death action if a loved one’s death was caused by a driver’s negligence. However, this time period starts on the date of his death—not the date of the wreck.
What Happens If the Statute of Limitations Expires?
In both Missouri and Kansas, if you don't file a lawsuit within the specified time period, you won't be able to pursue your claim in court, as the judge would most likely dismiss your case.
Technically, you could still file a claim with the negligent party's insurance company, it wouldn't have any incentive to settle with you, because the adjuster
would know the statute of limitations had expired.
Why Contacting an Attorney Sooner vs. Later Is Always Better
Even though you may have years before the statute of limitations expires to file your lawsuit against the negligent driver, it's crucial to contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately after your crash.
If you delay in doing so, this may weaken your case and hamper your lawyer’s ability to settle your claim for its full value. Here's how:
- Witnesses to the accident could disappear, and vital evidence might be lost.
- You could make an inadvertent mistake in your case, such as agreeing to give a recorded statement, signing a blanket medical authorization, or negotiating a settlement on your own.
- You may limit your attorney’s ability to investigate the accident and retain helpful expert witnesses to reenact the accident to show how the other driver caused it.
What happens if you don't retain an attorney right away? An experienced car accident attorney will have strategies for dealing with any problems this may have caused to your case.
To obtain assistance in filing a claim after a car accident, call our office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
Can I get compensation for PTSD after a car accident caused by someone's negligence?
If you or a family member was involved in a car crash caused by a negligent driver, you could suffer life-altering injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, back and spinal injuries, paralysis, or internal organ damage. However, you could also suffer an equally debilitating but more hidden injury—post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
You could be entitled to compensation for physical injuries, but you'll need the help of an experienced car accident attorney to hold the negligent driver and his insurance company accountable.
What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD is a mental health condition that sometimes happens when someone experiences a traumatic event—such as an auto collision, combat exposure, or sexual abuse—that causes emotions, such as fear, helplessness, or horror.
Both adults and children can suffer accident-related PTSD. A person is more likely to develop PTSD in these situations:
- He experienced an intense or long-lasting trauma
- He has a high-stress job that puts him in contact with people experiencing trauma, such as paramedics, fire fighters, or police officers
- He suffers with depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions
- He has a family history of mental health illness
- He has an alcohol or drug substance abuse problem
Symptoms of PTSD
The symptoms of PTSD can develop soon after a car accident or take weeks, months, or longer to emerge. They can be extreme and cause a person to be unable to work or cope with his day-to-day activities. Symptoms are generally one of four types: invasive memories, avoidance, negative changes in a person’s emotions and moods, and changes in physical and emotional reactions.
Some common symptoms include:
- Having reoccurring and distressing memories of the terrifying event
- Experiencing nightmares about the traumatic incident
- Avoiding talking about the event
- Avoiding places, activities, and people that pose reminders of the incident
- Having negative thoughts about self and others and hopelessness about the world
- Experiencing memory or concentration problems
- Feeling detached from family and friends and difficulty maintaining relationships
- Being easily frightened
- Always being on alert for danger
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Engaging in self-destructive behaviors, such as alcohol and drug abuse
- Exhibiting anger or aggressive behaviors
- Feeling shame and guilt
- Feeling suicidal
So for example, after the trauma of a serious accident, someone may present PTSD symptoms in various ways, such as:
- Feeling anxious whenever in a car
- Driving out-of-the-way to avoid the crash site, or react with road rage to the slightest issue
- Being triggered into a state of anxiety or fear by common traffic sounds
- Be incapable of driving for fear of another collision
Treatments You Could Need for PTSD
If you suffer with PTSD, you may need extensive treatments to help you cope with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, the challenges these symptoms cause in your life, and the underlying causes of the condition.
Treatments may not always stop you from experiencing PTSD, but can help you to function better and perform your daily tasks
—even if you're no longer able to work.
Treatments could include the following:
- Cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy is a type of talk therapy that can help you identify the ways thinking patterns keep you stuck in your current mental condition. If you suffer with PTSD, you'll most likely undergo this therapy in combination with exposure therapy.
- Exposure therapy. This type of therapy can help you face the terrifying memories of the car accident so you can cope with them better. It can be especially helpful if you experience nightmares or flashbacks of the crash. Some therapies include the use of a virtual reality program to allow you to safely re-enter the place where your accident occurred.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is often utilized with exposure therapy. It's a series of guided eye movements that can help you safely experience the traumatic event and change how you react to it.
- Stress management skills. A therapist can teach you stress management skills that allow you to better manage an episode of PTSD or another stressful situation.
- Medications. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may help you deal with depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders that are common for people who suffer with PTSD. You'll need to work with a doctor to find the correct medications and dosage that improve your symptoms. Although not approved by the FDA for treatment of PTSD, prazosin (Minipress) may be prescribed if you have both insomnia and nightmares.
Let Us Help You Obtain Compensation to Help Treat PTSD
Because PTSD isn't a physical injury, you may need more medical evidence and other documentation of your injury to convince the negligent driver’s insurance company that you suffer with this and should be compensated for it. At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we understand the devastating consequences this mental condition can have on your life. To learn how we can help you obtain fair compensation, call our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
If a commercial truck tire blowout causes an accident, who's at fault?
When tire tread becomes old or worn, there can be a sudden tire failure. This is a dangerous situation for any vehicle, but big rig accidents can be especially hazardous. This is why truck drivers and fleet companies are required to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations regarding truck maintenance, including commercial vehicle pre-trip and post-trip inspections, daily trip reports that include tire observation, and periodic inspections that evaluate tire condition.
If poor tires caused you or a family member to suffer injuries in an 18-wheeler or bus crash, the truck driver, his employer, and other parties may be found guilty of negligence and responsible for your injury compensation.
Causes of Tire Blowout Wrecks
A large truck tire blowout is much different than a flat tire on a passenger vehicle. Commercial tire manufacturers base load and inflation tables on tire axel positioning—steer, drive, or trailer—consideration of pounds for a loaded vs. unloaded vehicle; the difference in cargo load, e.g. light vs. heavy runs; and road conditions.
The general expert consensus is commercial truck tire pressure should be between 75 psi and 100 psi, depending on all these factors.
Any variance in air pressure might contribute to a blowout, as could:
- Improper or inadequate maintenance
- Defective tires
- Use of mismatched tires
- Overweight load
- Excessive use of brake pads
- Weather conditions
- Defective road conditions
Parties That Could Be Liable for Compensation
A case involving a truck tire blowout can be more complicated because of the multiple reasons the truck crash may have occurred. However, identifying the cause of the accident and the liable parties is critical to receive the compensation that you deserve.
Here are possible at-fault parties:
- Truck driver. During pre- and post-trip inspections of the truck, tires, and other components, a truck driver must also verify that any problems listed on the last post-trip inspection were corrected. When the tires are in need of replacement or repair, the trucker is prohibited from driving the truck whether he notices the problem before, during, or after his trip. If he was negligent in his inspection duties, he could face liability for compensating you.
- Trucking company. The fleet employer also has maintenance and inspection duties under FMCSA rules and is prohibited from allowing a truck on the road in need of repair where it could cause a truck breakdown or accident. In addition, the company can be held vicariously liable for the trucker’s negligence as his employer.
- Maintenance facility. Many transportation fleets utilize truck maintenance facilities to perform necessary inspections and repairs. They could be an additional party to file a claim with if a lack of maintenance or replacement of the tires caused your wreck.
- Shipper. If a shipping company or other business was responsible for loading the transport cargo, you would need to file a claim with its insurance company if improper loading caused the tire blowout.
- Tire manufacturer. If the truck tire was defective or subject to a recall, you may have a products liability claim against the tire manufacturer.
Why You Need the Assistance of an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
As with any commercial vehicle accident claim, you must prove your right to compensation when a truck tire blowout caused you to suffer injuries.
To do this, your case needs evidence such as inspection and maintenance records for the vehicle involved in your truck accident. You may also need to hire an expert to review the driver’s and trucking company’s records and inspect the truck’s tires in order to prove your case. You cannot hope to do this without the help of an experienced truck accident attorney who understands the importance of a thorough investigation and the federal regulations that transportation companies and vehicle operators must follow.
The skilled truck accident attorneys at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys have years of experience helping victims of these wrecks fight for rightful compensation. To learn how we can assist you, contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.