Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Kansas City, Missouri
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, you know firsthand how devastating these crashes can be. Often, they leave accident victims with more serious injuries than a passenger vehicle crash and can sometimes even lead to death. Unsurprisingly, victims and their families can also be left with mounting expenses due to medical bills or lost income if they’re unable to work.
In cases like this, you need to work with a motorcycle accident attorney to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. For trusted legal help in both Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas, or Overland Park, call us at the Denning Law Firm, LLC, to schedule a consultation.
Steps to Take if You Were in a Motorcycle Accident
Before you consider filing a motorcycle accident claim, you’ll need to take a few basic steps first.
Seek Medical Help: By far, the most important step to take immediately following an accident like this is to see a doctor. This should be done even if you think your injuries are minor.
Document and Obtain Documents of Everything: The basis of any personal injury claim will be documentation and the sooner you start collecting this the better. This includes photos or videos of the crash scene, including photos of injuries or property damage, a copy of the police report, contact information for any witnesses who saw the crash happen, and all medical records, such as bills, diagnoses, and treatment recommendations.
Contact Insurance: Depending on which state the accident happened in, you may have to file an insurance claim with your own provider first or with the other driver’s insurance. Either way, starting an insurance claim is the first step of this process.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney: After you’ve done this, you should find a reputable personal injury attorney who can guide you through your next steps and help you negotiate with the insurance adjuster. And, if you’re in the Kansas City area, it’s also a good idea to work with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in both Kansas and Missouri.
Missouri Motorcycle Laws
One of the best ways to prevent motorcycle accidents in the first place is to ensure you know all the applicable laws and have the required motorcycle equipment to keep you as safe as possible. In Missouri, the following laws apply to motorcycle riders:
Lane Splitting: Lane splitting (riding in between two lanes of traffic) is not explicitly prohibited in the state, although you may want to avoid this practice to increase safety.
Helmet laws: Missouri requires any driver under the age of 26 to wear a helmet when operating or riding on a motorcycle.
Passengers: A motorcycle passenger is allowed as long as they have a dedicated seat.
Equipment: All motorcycles are required to have one tail light, one headlight, and two rearview mirrors.
Kansas Motorcycle Laws
Lane Splitting: Lane splitting is illegal in Kansas; however, riders are allowed to ride two abreast in a single lane.
Helmet laws: Only riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while riding on a motorcycle. That said, all riders can help protect themselves by choosing to wear a helmet even though it’s not required by law.
Passengers: Passengers are allowed as long as they have a designated seat with footrests.
Equipment: Even though helmets are not required, all riders are required to wear eye protection. Additionally, they must have a headlight, taillight, brake light, horn, and turn signals.
Determining Fault in Kansas and Missouri
One key difference between Kansas and Missouri is that Kansas is a “no-fault” state for insurance claims, while Missouri is an “at-fault” state. Essentially, this means that if you’re in an accident in Kansas, you first need to file a claim through your own insurance provider before you can file with the at-fault party. In Missouri, you’ll be able to file a claim with the other driver immediately.
Either way, when you have a claim against another driver, you’ll have to prove negligence which requires providing enough evidence to clearly show who was responsible for causing the accident and who will pay damages. Both states also follow a comparative negligence law, which means that fault can be shared between the two parties, but this too will look slightly different based on the state you’re in. In Missouri, you can seek damages no matter how much or little fault you hold; in Kansas, you can only pursue damages if you hold less than 50% of the fault.
Filing a Claim for a Loved One
When you need to file a motorcycle wrongful death claim, you’ll have to work with your attorney to prove the negligence of the opposing party. In most cases, an immediate family member such as a spouse, child, parent, or sibling can all file a claim on their loved one’s behalf.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Serving
Kansas City, Missouri
If you’re in the Kansas City, Missouri, or Kansas area and would like to speak with an experienced attorney about a motorcycle accident you were involved in, reach out to us at the Denning Law Firm, LLC today. We have the knowledge, resources, and compassion to walk you toward a brighter future.