A hit and run accident isn’t just a traffic violation—it’s a criminal act. Leaving the scene of an accident without providing contact information or waiting for the police to arrive is against the law in Kansas. In addition, Kansas law provides you the right to seek compensation for your physical injuries, emotional pain and suffering, and other damages.
If you or a family member were injured in a hit and run, our personal injury attorneys in Overland Park, Kansas are ready to help. Our hit and run attorneys handle the personal injury claims that arise from hit and run accidents throughout the state. Call us today at 816-203-0143 for a free consultation.
Understanding Kansas Hit and Run Accidents
The legal process can be challenging but knowing your rights and taking the right immediate action will help to navigate the situation in your favor. Our attorneys are experienced in guiding you every step of the way in understanding the timeline and handling all the details of an injury claim.
Always seek our legal advice if you're unsure about any aspect of the process. Our attorneys will help you with knowing things like:
- It’s important to file your claim within the “statute of limitations” that applies to your state. The statute of limitations is the deadline you have to file your injury claim, which our attorney will be aware of.
- Knowing the legal definition of a hit and run is also beneficial in helping you make a sound claim.
In Kansas, the legal definition of a hit and run involves a driver causing an accident and then deliberately leaving the scene without providing their contact information or aiding anyone who might need help. Understanding this definition can give you a clearer picture of what actions are considered unlawful and can strengthen your claim.
The Legal Definition of a Hit and Run in Kansas
Understanding the legal definition of a hit and run in Kansas is necessary in seeking justice and compensation. Essentially, a hit and run accident is one where the driver responsible for the incident flees the scene without stopping to identify themselves, helping the injured, or reporting the accident to the police. It's illegal in all states, including Kansas, and can lead to criminal penalties.
There are two types of hit and run accidents according to Kansas law: a misdemeanor and felony. The determining factor between these two lies in the extent of the damage caused by the accident.
- Kansas Misdemeanor Hit and Run: If the accident only causes property damage, the hit and run is generally considered a misdemeanor. Regardless, the driver is still legally obligated to stop and share information. In Kansas, failure to do so could result in fines, probation, and even jail time.
- Kansas Felony Hit and Run: If the accident results in injury or death to another person, it's classified as a felony. Leaving the scene in such circumstances can lead to harsher penalties, including larger fines and longer jail sentences. It's important to understand the severity of a felony hit and run, as it demonstrates complete disregard for human life and safety. Immediately contacting authorities after such an incident can significantly mitigate the legal consequences.
A hit and run is not confined to accidents involving two vehicles. It can also involve pedestrians, cyclists, or even stationary property. The key aspect is that the responsible party fails to stop and follow the correct procedures after the accident.
Remember, each case is unique, and the legal process will vary depending on the specifics of your accident. Our Kansas hit and run attorney can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process.
Types of Hit and Run Accidents in Kansas
When you think of hit and run accidents, you might imagine a dramatic car chase scene from a movie. In reality, these accidents can take many forms and vary in severity. The most common types of hit and run accidents in Kansas are:
A vehicle collision is perhaps the most common form of hit and run accident. This involves one vehicle hitting another and then fleeing the scene without stopping to identify themselves or offer assistance. It's essential to document as much as possible immediately after the accident. Try to remember the make, model, and color of the car, and if possible, get the license plate number. This information will greatly assist law enforcement in tracking down the responsible party.
Pedestrian Hit and Run
Another common type of hit and run accident involves a driver hitting a pedestrian. This can happen in a range of locations, from crosswalks to parking lots. Regardless of the circumstances, the driver is legally obligated to stop. Fleeing the scene under such circumstances is considered a hit and run.
Similarly, drivers might hit a cyclist and then drive away from the scene. This type of hit and run accident can result in severe injuries due to the vulnerability of cyclists. Leaving the accident scene in such a situation is not only unethical but also illegal.
The At-Fault Party in Kansas Hit and Runs
Identifying the driver responsible for a hit and run accident can be a challenging task. With the right approach, it’s possible to uncover necessary information that can help in seeking justice. Here are some steps you should follow:
- Collect as much information as possible
First and foremost, make sure to gather as much information as possible from the scene of the accident. This could include the make, model, and color of the car, the license plate number, or any distinctive features that could help identify the vehicle. If there were any witnesses, ask them for their accounts and contact information.
- Report the incident to the police
It's key to report the accident to the police as soon as possible. Not only is this a legal requirement, but it also increases the chances of the hit and run driver being found. Provide the police with all the information gathered from the scene.
- Work with our experienced attorney
Consulting with and then hiring our experienced hit and run attorney can significantly increase your chances of finding the responsible party. Our attorney specializes and is skilled in hit and run cases and will guide you through the legal process, help obtain necessary evidence, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
- Use technological resources
Today, surveillance cameras are common. Businesses, traffic lights, and residential areas are often equipped with them. Our Kansas car accident attorney will request video footage that might have captured the incident. Social media platforms and online community groups can also be used to circulate information about the accident and the vehicle involved, potentially identifying the perpetrator.
Finding the at-fault driver responsible for a hit and run accident in Kansas requires a proactive approach. Make sure to collect as much information as possible, report the accident to the police, enlist the help of our experienced attorney, and utilize technological resources.
Compensation for Hit and Run Victims in Kansas
If you are a victim of a hit and run accident, you may be entitled to various types of compensation. If the other driver is located and have insurance, his insurance should pay for your damages. If the other driver cannot be located or is uninsured, you have the right to bring an uninsured motorist claim.
The amount of damages you can recover depends on the nature and severity of your injuries and the overall impact the accident has had on your life. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover compensation for damages for:
- Medical Expenses
Your first cause of concern is likely your medical expenses. As a victim, you’re entitled to compensation for all medical costs related to the accident. This could include fees for emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, medications, and any other medically necessary treatments or future treatments.
- Lost Wages
Often, a hit and run accident can cause you to miss work due to the injuries from the accident. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be unable to perform your job duties for an extended period. In this case, you can seek compensation for the wages you lost during your recovery period. You may also be entitled to compensation for any future earnings you may lose as a result of your injuries. This is known as loss of earning capacity. If the accident leaves you impaired in a way that you're unable to earn the same amount of money as you did before, you can claim for this loss.
- Pain and Suffering
In addition to the tangible costs, you may also receive compensation for your physical pain and emotional suffering following the accident. Determining the value of this type of compensation is often more complex and may require expert testimony. It’s important to keep a detailed record of your physical and mental health after the accident to help quantify these damages.
- Property Damage
Property damage is common in hit and run accidents. If you’re the victim of an accident, you may be left dealing with significant damage to your vehicle or other personal property. The costs of repairs or replacement can quickly add up, putting a significant financial burden on you. If your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident, you have the right to claim compensation for the repair or replacement costs.
- Punitive Damages
Punitive damages can significantly increase your total compensation, but these are not guaranteed and depend heavily on the specifics of your case. In some situations, if the at-fault driver responsible of the hit and run is found and their actions were particularly reckless or malicious, you may be awarded punitive damages. These are meant to punish the offender and deter similar behavior in the future.
How Long Do I Have to File a Hit and Run Injury Claim in Kansas?
Understanding the timeframe for filing a claim after a hit and run accident is imperative. In Kansas, the statute of limitation imposes a strict deadline on your right to seek compensation. The clock starts ticking from the date of the accident.
You typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. This deadline applies to any claims for injuries suffered in the accident, including physical injury, emotional distress, and lost wages. If you fail to file within this time frame, you may lose your right to seek compensation.
Note: The statute of limitations for property damage is slightly different. If your vehicle was damaged in the hit and run, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
It's important to remember that these deadlines apply to lawsuits, not insurance claims. Insurance companies often have much shorter deadlines - some as short as a few days after the accident. It's vital to report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
There are some exceptions that could extend or shorten the statute of limitations. For instance, if the victim is a minor or mentally incapacitated, the deadline may be extended. However, if the accident involved a government vehicle, you might have as little as six months to file a claim.
Understanding the legal timeframes is complicated, and missing a deadline can be costly. Therefore, it's wise to consult with our attorneys to ensure you're taking the right steps in a timely manner.
Our Kansas Hit & Run Accident Attorney Can Help.
You don’t have to face this kind of situation alone. Our hit and run accident attorneys are licensed in Kansas and Missouri, and they handle these types of cases throughout both states.
Call us today at 816-203-0143 to schedule a free consultation. For more information, you can also instantly download our free book Crash Course: 9 Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Injury Claim. We’re here to help, and on your side.
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