Interstate & Highway Accidents in Missouri & Kansas
Interstate and highway accidents are common in Kansas City and throughout Missouri and Kansas. Unfortunately, these types of traffic accidents can be deadly. Higher speed limits and the increased presence of commercial trucks increase the chance of catastrophic injuries. There can be a greater chance of multi-vehicle accidents on highways and interstates.
You might not be able to prevent an interstate or highway accident in Missouri or Kansas. However, there are steps that you can take to protect your best interests and your legal right to fair compensation if you are injured in an interstate or highway accident.
If you need legal assistance after an injury accident due to a highway crash, call our law firm at 816-203-0143. We offer free, no obligation consultations and handle injury claims throughout Missouri and Kansas.
Three Things to Know About Highway Crashes in Missouri & Kansas
Here are three important factors of highway and interstate accidents in Missouri and Kansas that you should be aware of:
1. Highways and Interstates Are Governed by Missouri & Kansas Law
States own and operate highways and interstates within their state. States are responsible for enforcing traffic laws on the interstates and highways within their borders. The traffic laws for states are similar, but there are some differences. When you drive between Missouri and Kansas on an interstate or highway, you have a duty to understand and obey the laws applicable for that stretch of road.
Because the state owns and operates interstates and highways, the state highway patrol has jurisdiction over accidents that occur on highways and interstates. If you are involved in an interstate accident, a state patrol officer responds and investigates the crash.
2. Interstate & Highway Accidents May Involve Commercial Trucks
One of the dangers of driving on interstates and highways is the presence of commercial trucks. Our country relies heavily on the trucking industry to transport goods efficiently and cost-effectively. Unfortunately, sharing the road with large trucks can be dangerous. Accidents involving commercial trucks tend to result in catastrophic injuries and deaths for the passengers in other vehicles.
Commercial truck accidents tend to be more complicated than accidents involving passenger vehicles only. Large trucking companies and their insurance providers aggressively investigate accidents to limit liability for injuries and damages. Going up against these companies can be overwhelming. They have endless resources to fight claims.
Furthermore, truck accident cases may involve multiple parties. The truck driver, trucking company, and other parties may share liability for the truck accident. Sorting out liability and gathering evidence could be challenging, especially for a victim recovering from traumatic injuries.
An accident victim would need to be familiar with the federal regulations and laws governing commercial vehicles. They would also need to be aware of the requirements for inspections, record-keeping, and maintenance to conduct a thorough accident investigation.
Hiring an experienced Kansas City truck accident lawyer as soon as possible evens the playing field. A truck accident lawyer has the resources, skills, and knowledge required to fight trucking companies and their insurance providers.
3. Highway & Interstate Accidents Often Result in More Serious Injuries
Interstate and highway accidents tend to involve traumatic injuries. Higher speeds play a part in the increase in life-threatening injuries from interstate accidents. Crash rates also increase with an increase in speed.
Injuries that are common in highway and interstate accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Severe burns and disfigurement
- Back and neck injuries, including ruptured discs, whiplash, and broken vertebrae
- Multiple broken bones and fractures
- Chest injuries and organ damage
Life-threatening conditions can lead to a wrongful death claim related to highway accidents. Many victims who survive interstate crashes in Missouri and Kansas sustain permanent impairments and disabilities that severely decrease their quality of life and cause severe financial hardships.
What Should You do After a Car Accident on a Missouri or Kansas Highway or Interstate?
Knowing what to do after a Missouri or Kansas highway accident is essential. The following steps help protect your health and your legal rights after an interstate crash.
Call 911 to Report the Crash
The quickest way to obtain help is to call 911. The operator can dispatch emergency medical services and police officers from the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the crash scene.
Gather Evidence at the Accident Scene
Your injuries and condition may not permit you to gather evidence from the crash scene. However, if you can do so safely, evidence to gather and preserve include:
- Names and contact information for all witnesses (they could leave before police officers arrive or may not talk to the police officers)
- Photographs of the accident scene, including the location of vehicles and damage to vehicles
- Video of the accident scene, including all surrounding areas
Again, your injuries and safety concerns may prevent you from gathering information. If possible, focus on witness information because you might need eyewitness testimony to establish fault.
Seek Prompt Medical Treatment for Injuries
Many interstate accident victims are transported to the emergency room by ambulance. If you do not go directly to the emergency room, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after the crash. Documenting your injuries is crucial for winning a personal injury claim. Without medical records, you cannot prove that the motor vehicle accident caused your injuries.
Request a Copy of the Accident Report
You have the right to receive a copy of the accident report. The information contained in the report can be very helpful as you file an insurance claim.
You can obtain copies of crash reports generated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol online. However, these reports are only maintained for one year and are not official crash reports. To request an official crash report, complete a Traffic Crash Report Form and submit it to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The Kansas State Highway Patrol provides official crash reports online, in person, or through a written request to the Records Section. There are instructions for using the online system for crash reports on the Kansas Highway Patrol’s website.
If you hire a Kansas City accident attorney, your attorney handles obtaining a copy of your crash report for you.
Contact Our Accident Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri
You can get help with your accident case by contacting a Kansas City accident attorney. An attorney handles all aspects of your claim, including the accident investigation, identifying liable parties, filing insurance claims, gathering evidence, documenting damages, and negotiating settlements. You need someone who has your best interest working for you to protect your legal right to receive fair and just compensation for all damages caused by an interstate accident.
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus represents clients throughout Missouri and Kansas who have been injured in interstate and highway accidents. Contact our office to schedule your free consultation by calling 816-203-0143 or completing our online contact form.