Kansas Car Accident Information
Situated near the geographic center of the United States, the State of Kansas is part of the U.S.’s Corn Belt and is one of several states that comprise the “bread basket” region of the United States due to the large agricultural operations that take place within the region. The state’s two most populous cities include Kansas City in the northeast and Wichita in the south central part of the state. Other notable towns include Dodge City (of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday fame), Salina, and the capital city of Topeka. According to a 2013 census, Kansas is the 34th most populated state in America and boasts a population of 2.89 million people.
Kansas highways are known to be long and straight, especially in the western part of the state. Some roads are not even paved but are instead dirt highways that have been compacted down by machinery so that they are more stable. Car crashes occur in Kansas primarily because one driver or another chooses to speed, to drink and drive, or engage in other careless behavior. This can result in a collision with another car that causes serious injuries or even fatalities.
Car Accidents in Kansas
The Kansas Department of Transportation is the state agency that maintains statistics about the number and type of accidents in the State of Kansas. The agency has reported the statistics for the year 2014 in easy-to-understand terms:
- There were 341 fatal accidents and 385 deaths resulting from those accidents. That means a person was killed in Kansas once every 22.75 hours.
- There were 59,533 accidents in total, including 13,030 accidents that resulted in at least one injury. The total number of people injured in car accidents throughout the state were 17,925.
- The vast majority of collisions were one vehicle collisions or collisions between the driver’s vehicle and a stationary object. Alcohol played a role in just 2,400 accidents and about 109 fatalities.
- Speeding played a role in 5,933 accidents.
Many of the causes of Kansas accidents are well within the control of individual drivers traveling on Kansas’s roads. Careless or reckless behavior like texting while driving or speeding in excess of the posted speed limits increases the chances that an injury or fatal car crash will occur. Kansas residents and drivers who are simply passing through Kansas can decrease their chances of being injured or killed in a car accident by committing to driving in a reasonably safe and careful manner.
Kansas is a “No Fault” Insurance State
Like many other states, Kansas drivers must obtain and maintain an adequate (as determined by state law) “no fault” insurance policy. This policy provides a source of compensation if the policyholder becomes injured in a car accident. “No fault” insurance pays compensation up to the policy’s limits to the policyholder and not (under most circumstances) to a third-party. Unlike fault-based insurance, no fault benefits are paid regardless of who caused the accident or what role the injury victim’s behavior played in causing the accident.
In no-fault insurance states like Kansas, the right of an injured motorist or passenger to recover compensation through a lawsuit is usually limited to certain situations. If a lawsuit is permitted, the injury victim’s own negligence will only bar his or her recovery if the victim is determined to be 50 percent or more at fault in causing the accident. Otherwise, the victim may be able to recover compensation, but any compensation award will be reduced in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to the victim for the accident. So if the injury victim is 25 percent responsible for causing the crash, his or her compensation award would be reduced by 25 percent as well.
Kansas’ Statute of Limitations
Kansas also imposes a two-year statute of limitations in personal injury cases. This means that if the victim is able to file a car crash lawsuit and desires to do so, he or she must do so within two years of the date of the accident. If the victim fails to do so, the statute of limitations will cause his or her case to be dismissed without the merits of the case ever being heard. Injury victims must be careful to ensure they file their injury lawsuit within the two-year timeframe.
Call Stern Law, PLLC and Have Your Crash Case Evaluated
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash in Kansas or elsewhere, speak with an experienced car accident law firm about your rights and legal options. Stern Law, PLLC is a car injury victim’s law firm committed to helping injury victims obtain compensation for their injuries as efficiently as possible. We fight aggressively on behalf of our clients, knowing that monetary compensation is helpful to them in being able to get back on their feet after a car crash. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529.