When you are injured in an accident, you have a lot of things to worry about.
Your livelihood may be in jeopardy, frighteningly expensive medical bills will pile up quickly, and your mailbox will suddenly be filled with advertisements from personal injury lawyers. Choosing a Kansas City personal injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected is critically important, but many people don’t know how to go about that task. What are the most critical questions to ask a personal injury lawyer to ensure that you are getting the service you deserve and need? Many injured people begin with the question, “do I have a case?” That’s a fair question, but your research needs to go deeper than that—and, you need to find an attorney before you speak with the insurance company or responsible party.
The Popham Law Firm is one of Kansas City’s most highly rated groups of personal injury attorneys. Since 1918, we’ve been dedicated to protecting people and ensuring that they receive the compensation they are entitled to under the law. Our years of experience give us a unique perspective on what it takes to be a successful personal injury lawyer. No matter who you choose to handle your case, here are some questions that you must ask to ensure that your lawyer is ready to fight for you.
1. What sort of experience does your firm have with my type of personal injury case?
You will want to know right off the bat whether or not the attorney that you’re speaking with has experience dealing with your particular type of personal injury claim. Ask for specifics: How many of these cases have they handled? How many of those cases were settled versus taken to trial? Make sure you get a general idea of what sort of results the attorney has obtained for his or her clients.
You can do your homework about an attorney’s reputation online, as well. If you want to know about the quality of an attorney, ask his or her competition—other lawyers. The Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Ratings are an excellent place to start. If the attorney or practice is highly rated there, the chances are good that you are talking to a well-respected personal injury lawyer.
2. How long does it usually take to resolve a case like mine?
While there are no guarantees, your prospective personal injury attorney should have some idea about how long your case will take. If the lawyer you are speaking with can analyze the complexity of your case and give you a good description as to what sort of time frame to expect, then you are probably dealing with someone with experience in your particular kind of personal injury case.
3. How often will you communicate with me about my case and with whom will I primarily be working?
At The Popham Law Firm, we have discovered that communication is the key to success. Your lawyer should be available to speak with you regarding your case, and he or she should be able to commit to a schedule of when you should hear from them. Do they use email, or do they call on the telephone? Find out whether you will be working directly with the lawyer in charge of your personal injury case or if you’ll mostly be communicating with a paralegal or investigator. You should be able to reach your lawyer; an attorney being unwilling to commit to communication is a huge red flag warning to you.
4. How many cases are you currently handling? Do you have time to handle my case?
An ethical personal injury lawyer will only take those cases to which they can devote maximum time and energy. An overloaded attorney may miss important issues, make mistakes, or be more likely to settle your case for less money than it is worth.
5. If I am not satisfied with the insurance company’s offer, will you file a lawsuit on my behalf and take my case to trial?
Obviously, all lawyers are not created equal. Some Kansas City Personal injury attorneys tend to try to settle as many cases outside of the courtroom as possible, and not all lawyers are experienced in trial settings. You have a Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial; make sure that your lawyer is comfortable pursuing that option if circumstances warrant.
6. Do you have references from your past clients?
The Kansas City personal injury lawyer that you are interviewing should work to get your business, and that includes offering testimonials from other clients with which the attorney has worked. The opinions of others count, especially if they were experiencing personal injury issues similar to your own.
7. How does the lawyer get paid?
Many personal injury lawyers work on what is called a “contingency” basis. In this context, “contingency” that the lawyer gets a percentage of whatever award you receive. But, that is only part of the story, so you need to do some more digging. Finding out how the lawyer plans to handle litigation expenses, and whether you will need to pay for those as they are incurred, can go a long way toward ensuring that the financial picture is clear before you begin. If your question is dismissed with, “don’t worry, we never lose a case,” that is a huge warning to you.
The Popham Law Firm Difference
Representing Kansas City residents since 1918, The Popham Law Firm employs the area’s most respected and highly rated personal injury, workers’ compensation, and employee rights attorneys. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients and ensuring that they get the just compensation that they deserve. For questions regarding your injury case and how The Popham Law Firm can help you, contact us via our website or call us at (844) 243-2288.
Summer is finally here and the Missouri climate has escaped the rains of April and May, bringing in the hot weather, sunny skies, and all of the opportunities that summer brings. As a result, Kansas City’s public swimming pools are preparing for another full and fun-filled summer, whether at the Swope Park Pool, the Parkwood Swimming Pool, and several others.
However, as much fun as our city’s swimming pools bring to all ages, there are, of course, concerns that need to be raised. From public pools to private pools at home, negligence around the swimming pool can cause very serious injuries, or even death, and if this is the case, whether you or a loved one was injured or killed, then you need to call the personal injury attorneys at Kansas City’s Popham Law.
Call our law firm or contact us online for a free consultation, and our attorneys will immediately get on the case. Call today at (844) 243-2288.
Overview of Swimming Pools and Missouri Personal Injury Laws
According to the World Health Organization, drowning remains as one of the leading causes of unintentional death, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, in the United States, an average of 3,536 people drown annually. This equals out to about 9 or 10 individuals who drown every day. For each death, there are also up to four non-fatal incidents whereas the victim requires hospitalization, and in most cases, the drowning of a child occurs when he or she is being supervised at a swimming pool.
When considering swimming pool accidents and injuries from a legal perspective, such as filing a lawsuit against the at-fault individual (or individuals, businesses, etc) to cover injury-related damages, it’s important to consider liability.
Generally, there are several issues associated with swimming pools that could indicate liability, such as:
- Faulty or defective equipment, such as damaged pool ladders, broken security fences, defective pool lights, and so on.
- Missing equipment, such as warning or hazard signs, throwing ropes, buoys, ladders, etc.
- Negligent pool maintenance, such as negligent water conditions that lead to disease or illness, improper chemical use, broken concrete or other sharp objects associated with the pool infrastructure, etc.
- Negligent pool staffing, such as poorly trained or understaffed lifeguards or a lack of lifeguards without proper signage.
When swimming pool owners, whether public or private, fail to maintain a safe environment, and that failure results in serious injury or death, then the swimming pool owner may be held negligent for his/her actions, or lack thereof.
Safety Tips for Homeowners with Pools
Public pools in Kansas City have a degree of responsibility when keeping their guests as safe as possible. From the lifeguards’ training to the condition and maintenance of the pool, public swimming pools must meet state and federal regulations. Failure to meet these regulations or respond to an emergency (like a reasonable individual or entity would do) could result in a serious lawsuit.
As a homeowner and a private swimming pool owner, however, you can dramatically reduce the risk of swimming pool accidents by considering the following factors. These factors, which were developed by the CDC, can influence a person’s chance of drowning, and they include:
- Having barriers, such as four-sided fencing around a swimming pool, can reduce the risk of drowning by about 80 percent, compared to pools secured with only three-sided fencing.
- Ensuring comprehensive supervision can reduce drowning, and children are more likely to drown or get injured when they are swimming without supervision; however, swimming-related death or injury can occur when there is supervision (77 percent of home drowning accidents occurred when the child had been missing for no more than 5 minutes, only to be found in the pool).
- Learning how to swim and swimming instruction, which includes pool safety tips, can create both children and adults who are less likely to drown or get injured.
Some addition safety measures can include:
- Ensuring that the fence is secure with no openings larger than four inches; consider including a self-latching and self-closing gate equipped with an alarm for when the pool is not in use.
- Prohibiting or limiting the use of alcohol around the pool
- Limiting the number of guests swimming at one time
- Putting up warning signs and blocking off dangerous areas
Contact Popham Law Today for KC’s Top Legal Representation
At Popham Law, we wish everyone in Kansas City the safest and most fun-filled summer yet, but if you or a loved one experienced a severe injury or death due to the fault and/or negligence of a private or public swimming pool owner, then don’t hesitate to call the personal injury attorneys at Popham Law today. We offer comprehensive, compassionate, and aggressive representation and litigation to fight for a full and fair compensation. For a free consultation with our downtown Kansas City personal injury law firm, call us today at (844) 243-2288.
At Popham Law in Kansas City, our car accident attorneys want to make sure you have the best experience possible when going through this difficult time. And with so much at stake in your case, we understand that your choice of an attorney may be the most important you’ll make. You want to make sure your attorney gives your case the attention it deserves, putting your interests at the front of the litigation strategy and ensuring a settlement that suits all of your needs.
To schedule a free consultation with our car accident attorneys, contact Popham Law online or call (816) 221-2288 today. Although we’re located right in Kansas City, we serve both Missouri and Kansas.
The Basics of a Car Accident Case in Missouri
Following a severe car accident that involved serious injury or death, you may need an experienced car accident attorney who can help you fight for the right settlement to cover any financial damages related to the injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional damages, and more.
In order to better understand what happens (legally) after your car accident, it can be helpful to become acquainted with the following:
- Proving fault – The fault in your case, or the percentage of fault regarding who caused the accident, is a strong indicator determining how much your settlement may be worth.
- Also, the more you contribute to the accident, the less the insurance company will pay for your injuries. This is known as Missouri’s comparative fault system.
- Insurance companies profit by paying less – Always remember that if the car accident claim process seems way too easy, then the insurance company may not be giving you the full benefit that you’re entitled to.
- Your claim can be valuable – Personal injury law in Missouri is designed to make sure that victims are given full and fair compensation for injuries sustained due to the negligence or fault of another person. The insurance company may set a low claim value, but remember that the law entitles you to compensation to cover financial damages, both for now and the future.
What You Can Expect From a Popham Car Accident Attorney
The simple fact is that insurance companies and adjusters may approach a quick settlement for basic medical expenses with the hopes that you and your car accident attorney won’t negotiate for more, whether at the negotiating table or in a Missouri court. One of the main goals of your car accident attorney is to ensure that this doesn’t happen; at Popham Law, we use the full extent of Missouri personal injury laws to fight for a compensation that covers all injury-related expenses, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Emotional damages (if they exist)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life expenses
- Loss of consortium
When wrongful death is involved, the compensation can extend to include funeral expenses, emotional distress, loss of financial contribution, and more.
What Your Attorney Owes You
By working with a car accident injury attorney here in Kansas City, you can also expect certain duties from your attorney. These duties can include:
- Duty to avoid a conflict of interest – At Popham Law, we will only represent you and not other drivers involved in the accident.
- Duty of confidentiality – Anything you discuss with your attorney must be kept secret.
- Duty of competent representation – Your attorney should have the expertise to comprehensively represent your case and confront any challenges along the way.
- Duty to diligently represent you – Your attorney should put your interests first while vigorously representing your point of view.
What to Expect During the Settlement Negotiations and Litigation
Soon after the accident, but within 5 years according to Missouri’s statute of limitations, you’ll need to file your personal injury lawsuit. Before that, however, you and your attorney can document the details of the accident, collect information from witnesses, gather medical records or evidence, and then actually file the personal injury claim with your attorney.
The vast majority of personal injury claims in Kansas City result in a settlement prior to filing suit. Minimum insurance laws and other factors ensure some compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident. Because minimum insurance laws might not cover all of your damages, Popham Law’s car accident and injury attorneys put your needs and interests at the forefront of our strategy, which includes zealously litigating for a settlement suitable for you.
After thoroughly investigating the details of the case, recovering medical records, crunching some numbers and working with you to develop a just and fair settlement, and waiting for your injuries to recover (always a good idea in these cases), it’s possible to discuss the case with an insurance claims adjuster. Once the insurance company has the liability and the medical damage information, the company may be willing to resolve the case and negotiate a settlement.
If settlement negotiations fail, or for other purposes, you can file a petition for personal injury damages that:
- Establishes the jurisdiction of the court
- Establishes venue in that court
- Sets out basic facts of the accident
- States of the allegations of negligence against the Defendant
- States the damages approximately caused by that negligence
Call Popham Law for KC’s Top Car Accident Lawyers
Injured in an accident here in Kansas City or throughout Missouri and Kansas? If so, the personal injury attorneys at Popham Law have your back. With years of successful cases and experience in personal injury lawsuits, we’ll vigorously fight for a full and fair compensation to cover all injury-related expenses, both for now and the future.
For a free, no-obligation consultation with our Kansas City law firm, call Popham Law today at (844) 243-2288.
As a tenant in Kansas City or anywhere else in Missouri, you know that you have certain rights. Whether or not your landlord is liable for your slip and fall accident, however, depends on many factors, including where and why you fell. Nevertheless, landlords in Missouri are generally responsible for keeping their rental properties in a safe and well-maintained condition.
If you were injured in a slip and fall at your KC rental property, whether a home or an apartment, don’t hesitate and call the KC personal injury attorneys at Popham Law. By getting a Popham Law injury lawyer on your side, you can acquire years of legal experience and know-how, helping you give your case the representation and diligence that it requires. Get compensation for your injuries today by call our Kansas City personal injury law firm at (844) 243-2288.
Basic Facts About Slips and Falls and Premises Liability
Every year, countless Missouri residents slip and injure themselves due to dangerous or hazardous conditions at rented properties, and if the cause of the slip was due to the property owner’s negligence, especially when it comes to the property’s safety and upkeep, then Missouri law allows the injured individual to file a lawsuit to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
This liability, which is detailed under Missouri law, is based on who is in actual possession or control of the property. For instance, if a landlord has leased a piece of property to a tenant but the landlord does not maintain control of the property, then that landlord might not be liable for injuries incurred by a visitor. At the same time, landlords owe their tenants a particular duty of care, such as:
- Using a standard of care to identify and repair dangers on the premises
- Warning tenants, guests, and visitors of known dangers
In general, a dangerous condition can include virtually limitless hazards, but most of the time, these dangers include slippery floors, poorly maintained stairways, and cracked sidewalks, all of which are common causes of slip and fall injuries.
The Duty of Your Kansas City Landlord
In the section mentioned above, landlords must use a “standard of care” when identifying and repairing dangers and warning guests of any dangers. As a legal term, “standard of care” generally means an attentiveness and caution a reasonable person must exercise under the circumstances. When a landlord doesn’t take reasonable care to maintain the property, then he/she might be negligent, and you can’t have liability without negligence in a tenant slip and fall lawsuit.
Specifically, in order to win a slip and fall case, you must prove that your landlord was negligent. In other words, if you slipped, fell, and were injured, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your landlord had anything to do with it. To be liable for your injuries, the landlord must have caused (or failed to prevent) the conditions that led to your injury. In general, there are some ways to establish that the landlord knew of the dangerous condition, including:
- The landlord created the condition
- The landlord knew of the condition but negligently failed to correct it
- The condition existed for such a length of time that a reasonable landlord should have discovered it and corrected it prior to the accident
Lastly, as a major point in filing a slip and fall lawsuit, you will need to prove that the injury was foreseeable and preventable, yet the landlord didn’t take the proper measures to fix the problem.
Examples of Landlord Negligence
Many injuries are simply accidents, and it’s important to fully realize this before trying to hold your landlord responsible for your injuries. However, by looking at a few real-life examples, you can get a better idea of what might constitute a slip and fall injury. Some examples of landlord negligence may include:
- The landlord failed to remove snow and ice from the sidewalks of a multi-family property after a reasonable amount of time
- The landlord failed to fix a leaking roof or gutter that allows a puddle to form when it rains
- The landlord failed to fix a sinking sidewalk section, causing a dangerously uneven footpath
- The landlord failed to fix a defective and dangerous handrail
As you can see, there are certain patterns to these types of lawsuits: there was a dangerous condition that the landlord should have known about and the landlord failed to remove the danger in a reasonable amount of time.
Injured in an Accident? Call Popham Law in KC Today!
At Popham Law, our personal injury attorneys have represented many individuals who were injured in a slip and fall at their rented apartment or home. By calling our KC attorneys, we’ll carefully listen to your case, investigate the circumstances that led to the injury, and help build evidence with the goal of proving liability and getting you the compensation you deserve.
For a free, no-obligation consultation with our law firm, call Popham Law today at (844) 243-2288.
You work hard at your job, but if you are missing overtime because your employer misclassified you as an independent contractor or an exempt employee, then you may have a legal case to request fair and reasonable compensation for missed overtime pay. With the help of the Kansas City employee rights attorneys at Popham Law, we can help you file a misclassification of employees lawsuit and secure compensation.
Nevertheless, if you are missing overtime pay, then you might not want to rush to the first lawyer you can find claiming gross misclassification. Remember, the labor landscape is changing and it will continue to change, and today’s average employees are often responsible for health insurance, pension, and job security, among others. Additionally, right here in Missouri, there has been a large increase in part-time workers, workers classified as exempt from overtime pay, and workers misclassified as independent contractors.
If you believe that you have been misclassified as either an independent contractor or an exempt employee, make sure to speak with the leading employment law attorneys in KC by calling Popham Law today at (844) 243-2288.
Types of Worker Misclassification in Missouri
Missouri law states that employees may work a maximum of 40 hours per week; after this 40 hours, employers must pay the employee no less than one-and-a-half times (or 150% of) the employee’s regular hourly pay (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.505). However, some employers try to skirt around this requirement by misclassifying employees as exempt or salaried, which includes a misclassification as an independent contractor.
According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), many legal actions regarding overtime in Kansas City are based on this misclassification, where the employee should properly be classified as an employee entitled to overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of the 40 hour work week.
Who is Exempt for Overtime Pay?
There are few exceptions to the overtime requirement in Missouri. Even if you are considered a salaried employee, such as a manager, you may still be entitled to overtime compensation. Some of the exceptions for the overtime requirements in Kansas City, according to the FSLA, include, but are not limited to:
- Employees in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity, including academic administrative personnel or teachers in primary and secondary schools
- Outside salespeople
- Employees working for an establishment which is an amusement or recreational establishment, organized camp, or religious or non-profit educational conference center
- Employees working in the fishing industry
- Employees working in the agriculture industry
- Employees working for a publication with a circulation of less than four thousand
- Some switchboard operators
- Seamen on non-American vessels
- Some criminal investigators who are paid availability pay
- Some computer system analysts, programers, software engineers, or other similarly skilled workers
- Employees working as a border patrol agent
Of course, there are several nuances to these exemptions, and if you are an exempted employee, it’s essential to closely look at the FSLA law and determine whether or not you really do meet the requirements for exemption. Remember, job titles alone are not determinative of whether an employee is exempt, and it’s a common misconception to believe that you’re exempt from overtime just because you earn a salary.
Compensation for Unpaid Overtime
When you get up in the morning, go to the office, work overtime, and return home at night, all of the time spent at work for the benefit of the employer and its business is likely considered compensable work time. Therefore, if you’re working overtime, and you’re employer purposely deprives you of overtime pay, then that employer may be in violation of the FSLA statutes as well as Missouri law.
So, how do you know if you are really exempt or nonexempt from overtime? By calling the Popham Law’s employment law attorneys in Kansas City, we’ll diligently go over your job duties and other job-related factors to determine whether or not you deserve overtime. If so, you and other employees (if part of a collective action) can file a suit arguing for recovery of overtime wages as well as an equal amount in liquid damages.
Additionally, in instances where an employee has been deprived of legally mandated overtime pay, Missouri and federal law allows that employee to recover damages dating for a period of up to two years prior to the date that the lawsuit was filed. If the employer willfully deprived you of overtime pay, then you may be eligible for backpay from up to three years.
Call the Employee Rights Attorneys at KC’s Popham Law
You deserve full compensation for the work you’ve done, but if you believe that your employer is depriving you of overtime pay or has misclassified you as an exempt employee, such as an independent contractor, then you can recover the lost overtime pay by contacting the employment law attorneys at KC’s Popham Law. With years of experience helping individuals just like yourself, we have the in-court experience and legal know-how to give your case the diligence and vigor that it deserves.
For a free consultation with the KC employment attorneys at Popham Law, contact our law office today at (844) 243-2288.
Truckers in Missouri are required by law to maintain extensive safety measures, but whenever major rule changes are happening in a major industry, it can take a while for those changes to become a reality. Unfortunately, pressuring the trucking industry to make major safety changes can be difficult, but in 2017, there will finally be a few changes that could make the roads safer for the average driver.
At Popham Law in Kansas City, we are the area’s leading auto accident lawyers, and if you were in an accident caused by another driver, make sure to call our personal injury law firm for the attorneys who’ll vigorously seek justice for you. For a free consultation, call our Kansas City law practice today at (816) 221-2288.
Changes for Truckers Coming in 2017
There are many reasons that commercial trucks get into accidents, and although some cases are the result of equipment failure or malfunction, the majority of accidents are caused by driver error.
Also, since these vehicles often pass through multiple states, they are regulated by both local and national laws. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), for example, requires certain minimum qualifications to be a commercial truck driver and limits how many hours a trucker may drive in a given period of time.
However, sometimes under pressure from employers to meet deadlines and sometimes due to other reasons, some truckers break these regulations, such as driving for longer than legally acceptable (or too long in general) or pass mandatory weigh stations.
To make the roads safer, some of the regulation changes include:
- Training. First time and current CDL drivers may need to complete a course of instruction that meets the new Final Rule qualification standards.
- Hours of Service. If a study showing that the 34-hour restart rule (two stretches of rest between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. during the 34 hour rest) does reduce driver fatigue. If true, this rule may be re-enacted.
- Electronic Logging Devices. These devices (ELDs) will be required for all drivers on December 16, 2017. While manually logged hours have been the standard since 1938, the ELD requirement will make logged hours much harder to falsify, and hopefully it will cut down on overworked drivers.
Common Trucking Violations That Result in Auto Wrecks, and Injuries
Most truck drivers must abide by the following rules:
- Take 30-minute breaks every eight hours of being on-duty
- After driving 70 hours in a week, the driver must rest for 34 consecutive hours
- Not driver longer than 11 hours in a day
- A weight limit that’s equal or less than the Federal limits
- Stop at weigh stations in Missouri if the truck has a registered weight of 18,001 pounds or more
With these regulations in mind, and considering the conditions some truckers are put in, the most common ways that trucking violations can cause auto wrecks include, but are not limited to:
- Over-loading the truck past cargo limit restrictions and not properly securing cargo using approved securing devices.
- Not having a proper license. Most truck drivers in Missouri need a Class A license, which states that the driver can operate a truck weighing more than 13 tons, including a towed trailer weighing more than 5 tons.
- Breaking hours-of-service rules, such as driving more than legally allowed.
What You Should Do If You’ve Been in a Trucking Accident in Missouri
If you were in a trucking accident in Missouri, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for yourself and others, and make sure the police file an accident report. Additionally, it’s essential to contact an experienced auto accident lawyer who can look into your case and see if any trucking violations were committed.
Often, the trucking company may quickly seek to absolve itself of any wrongdoing with the goal of avoiding to pay for your accident and injuries.
Call the Kansas City Truck Accident Lawyers at Popham Law
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an accident with a truck, call our Kansas City auto accident lawyers ASAP. We will compassionately and vigorously represent your interest, collect the necessary evidence, and build a legal case to fight for the maximum available compensation for the financial damages you incurred.
For a free, no-obligation consultation with our Kansas City law firm, call us today at (816) 221-2288.
When injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s essential to speak with a Kansas City car accident attorney to ensure that you have comprehensive legal representation and counsel, as well as an accurate picture of what a reasonable and fair settlement will look like. However, following an accident, there are some actions that can completely ruin or damage a case.
By calling our Kansas City auto accident attorneys following an accident where you (or a loved one) was seriously injured or killed, we at Popham Law will compassionately and thoroughly guide you through the legal process, fighting for maximum compensation to fully cover the financial damages incurred. For a free, no-obligation with our auto accident attorneys, call our downtown KC law firm today at (816) 221-2288.
Filing a KC Car Accident Claim
When another driver is negligent or committing a traffic violation, such as speeding, and crashes into your car, you may be entitled to compensation for financial damages stemming from the accident, such as medical expenses, loss of income from work, pain and suffering, and more.
Like many states, however, Missouri applies the fault system when it comes to car accidents and financial responsibility. As such, following an accident that involved injury or death, you can:
- File a claim with your own insurance company
- File a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company
- File a lawsuit against the other driver in court
It’s important to speak with an experienced attorney who can look at your case and determine whether or not you have a viable claim that’ll hold up in court.
8 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your KC Car Accident Case
In addition to helping you file a claim, your personal injury lawyer will also provide legal counsel so that you don’t hurt your chances of a successful claim. Some of the mistakes that claimants make include, but are not limited to:
1. Failing to call the police
Even minor accidents can cause injury, and no matter the case, it’s important to call the police and insist that they complete an accident report. This accident report is an important document when determining fault in the accident.
2. Not seeking medical assistance
Following a crash, you might feel as if you’re all right. However, some injuries don’t manifest right away (such as concussions or some brain injuries). By visiting a doctor after an accident, you may uncover a more serious injury that could require a lawsuit later on. Also, by visiting the doctor, you have a documented record that may support a claim.
3. Giving a recorded statement to anybody except your attorney
Insurance adjusters may be calling you after the accident, and they may seek a statement regarding how the accident happened. Even with your own insurance company, engaging the insurance adjuster without your attorney may cause problems, whether related to fault or anything else that could hurt your overall claim and/or potential settlement.
4. Accepting the settlement check right away
The insurance company may also want to close the case as quickly as possible, offering what might seem like a very attractive settlement. However, by accepting the first offer, you may be losing out on a much larger settlement. Additionally, when you accept the offer, you often cannot seek more money later on. If your injuries turn out to be much worse than you thought, then financial assistance to pay for the damages may be unavailable at this point.
5. Failing to disclose previous injuries and/or medical conditions
When the accident aggravated a previous injury or medical condition, you may still be entitled to compensation. As such, there is no reason to not disclose pre-existing injuries. Make sure to inform your doctor, your attorney, and your insurance company regarding pre-existing injuries that were aggravated.
6. Discontinuing medical treatment
Personal injury lawsuits can take time, as well as standard negotiations with the insurance company. As such, if you discontinue ongoing medical treatment, the insurance company may assume that you are better and may reduce the overall settlement amount. Always complete the full course of treatment.
Call the KC Car Accident Lawyers at Popham Law Today
Being injured in an accident is a terrifying, stressful experience, especially when serious injury or death occurred. However, you do have the law on your side when the accident was caused by the other individual. Make sure to seek justice for the injuries you didn’t have to incur and call the leading auto accident lawyers in Kansas City. For a free consultation, call Popham Law today at (816) 221-2288.
Kansas City Motorcycle Accident Attorney - Responsibilities When Riding a Motorcycle With a Passenger
As every mother knows, motorcycles aren’t the safest vehicles in the world, and there are many potential causes of motorcycle accidents in Missouri. Whether the other driver didn’t see the motorcycle, the motorcycle driver was acting negligently or wrongfully (e.g., speeding), or for any other reason, dangerous conditions can put the motorcycle driver and his/her passenger at severe risk for serious injury or death following an accident.
At Popham Law, we are some of the leading motorcycle attorneys in KC, and if you were the motorcycle driver or the passenger, and you were injured in an accident (or a loved one was killed), you need to call the personal injury lawyers at Popham Law ASAP. We offer vigorous, relentless legal representation to make sure that you receive justice.
To speak with our auto and motorcycle accident attorneys, call our KC law firm today at (816) 221-2288. Free consultations are available.
Legal Requirements for Passengers in Missouri
Missouri, like most states, requires that motorcycle passengers are only permitted on bikes designed to carry more than one person. Additionally, the motorcycle must have a permanent and regular seat and footrests, and squeezing a passenger onto a single seat is illegal and highly dangerous.
Additionally, motorcycle passengers in Missouri must also follow the same safety requirements as the driver; for instance, passengers must wear a helmet (across the border and in the State of Kansas, only passengers under 18 years old must wear helmets).
Safety Tips for Passengers That Can Reduce Motorcycle Accidents & Injuries
Even with the proper safety equipment, both motorcycle drivers and passengers need to prepare for potential dangers by getting used to driving (and riding) on a motorcycle. Remember, if the passenger doesn’t really understand how motorcycles work and feel, then the passenger may inadvertently cause an accident by leaning the wrong way or resisting a maneuver, for example.
Some other safety tips for passengers on a motorcycle can include:
- Drivers should consider the motorcycle passenger as an active rider, whereas the passenger helps follow safety and procedure operations.
- Drivers should know that the passenger will affect the handling characteristics of a motorcycle, especially during stopping, quick movements, and more.
- Emergency braking procedures will be impacted by the passenger’s weight and position on the bike.
- Drivers need to take extreme caution during corners due to the added weight.
- Drivers need to take more time when passing.
- The effects of wind and side winds will be stronger with a passenger.
Insurance Considerations for Motorcycle Passengers
In Missouri, motorcycle owners are required to carry liability insurance. Generally, when a motorcycle driver crashes with a passenger, then the driver’s liability insurance should cover the passenger. However, the driver’s liability depends on the policy he/she has, and because motorcycle crashes can involve severe injury and death, it’s typically advised to get the highest level of liability coverage.
In cases when the crash was objectively caused by another driver, then the other driver’s insurance should cover the property damage and personal injury. Nevertheless, in any case (whether the accident was caused by the motorcycle driver or another driver), if the motorcycle passenger’s injuries are very severe, and the insurance company isn’t covering the full extent of the damages, then the passenger may have to file a lawsuit to litigate for reasonable and fair compensation.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Kansas City? Here’s What to Do
After a crash, one of the most important things to do is call 911 and get medical help for yourself and anyone else injured. At some point, you may be required to give an accident report to the police. Even if you think the crash was your fault, it’s a good idea to refrain from such comments when giving the initial report (some other situation, that you may not have known about, could have been the reason for the crash).
Other things you should (or may need to) do include:
- Document nearly everything. Take notes, take photos, and get names and contact information of witnesses.
- Provide insurance information. You should also give your contact information and insurance information to anyone else involved in the accident.
- Contact your insurance company. It’s important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible; you may want to give them the contact information you collected from witnesses of the crash. Also, don’t admit fault and be careful with what you say to the insurance company. Admitting fault could reduce or eliminate an insurance settlement or payout.
- Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. With the help of an attorney, you can acquire leading legal representation and counsel to fight for an insurance settlement or damages award that accurately reflects all the losses you suffered in the wreck.
Call the KC Motorcycle at Popham Law Today
Due to the nature of a motorcycle accident in Missouri, if you were in a collision, you may be dealing with life-changing injuries that may require medical treatment, surgery, and/or long-term care, among others.
For this reason, it’s important to speak with the KC personal injury attorneys who care. We’ll fight for your full and fair compensation, and we’ll always put your interests at the forefront of our litigation strategies.
Don’t hesitate and call the KC motorcycle lawyers at Popham Law today by dialing (816) 221-2288. Free consultations are available.
Distracted driving can be just as deadly as drunken driving, but it is definitely more common. It has quickly become one of the most common causes of deadly accidents in Missouri. Whether the driver is looking at his/her phone, not holding the wheel to do something with his/her hands, and so forth, just a moment of distracted driving can lead to a crash and injury or death.
If you were the victim of a distracted driver, you are entitled to compensation for the medical bills, loss of income from work, and so on. The first step in getting peace and conclusion after this horrid experience is to call the KC car accident attorneys at Popham Law. We offer experience, compassion, and professionalism to help you hold the responsible individual(s) accountable.
For a free consultation, call our KC law firm today at (816) 221-2288.
Examples of Distracted Driving Accidents
There are three general types of distracted driving, including:
Some of the most common ways that drivers get distracted on Missouri roads include:
- Talking on (or simply using) the smartphone or cell phone and driving. As common as talking or texting on the phone is, this action is very dangerous as it takes the driver’s eyes (visual), hands (manual), and mind (cognitive) off the road.
- Eating and drinking. When drivers eat and drink while driving, they are taking their hands off the steering wheel, and if they spill the food or drink, they can become especially distracted.
- Getting ready and grooming. Many drivers finish their grooming in the car, such as on the way to work. Combing hair or putting on makeup leaves drivers with insufficient time to react to dangers on the road.
- Following directions with GPS. Although many GPS devices and apps have hands-free modes and audio directions; however, when drivers are focused on their GPS, whether changing directions or looking for something nearby, their hands, eyes, and minds are off the road.
In addition to these common distractions that end up with deadly results, some other common (and deadly) distractions include fiddling with the vehicle’s controls or another set of controls, talking to passengers in a distracting manner, reading, or even watching videos (it’s hard to believe, but watching videos while driving is a growing problem).
Unfortunately, distracted driving can result in horrendous accidents, severe injuries, and death, and everyone from the distracted driver and his/her passengers to the other driver can be severely injured or killed in such an accident. In 2012, an estimated 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver, which is almost the entire population of Kansas City. In the years since this statistic came out, the frequency of smartphone use while driving certainly hasn’t decreased.
Victims of distracted drivers, that aren’t killed, may be looking at extensive and long-lasting injuries, ranging from concussions and traumatic brain injuries to amputations, paralyzation, and more.
Distracted Driving and Missouri Law
Missouri law prohibits teenagers and drivers under 21 from texting and driving, and drivers caught texting while driving may be looking at a fine of $200 and 2 points added to the driver’s driving record. Additionally, distracted teen drivers who got in an accident may lose their insurance coverage. Even if the insurance company doesn’t cancel the policy, an accident caused by distracted driving can increase rates by 50 percent for three to seven years.
Compensation in a KC Car Accident Case
Whatever the cause of your accident may have been, the KC car accident attorneys at Popham Law will relentlessly help you pursue the maximum compensation available for any losses stemming from the wreck, including but not limited to:
- Medical bills, including surgery, prescriptions, and medical devices, among others
- Rehabilitation and any costs for lifestyle changes (such as wheelchairs, ramps, etc)
- Any calculated ongoing and future medical costs
- Lost wages from missing work while injured
- Loss of potential future earning capacity
- Funeral expenses if a death occurred
- Loss of consortium
- Grief counseling and therapy
- Pain and suffering
If the driver’s negligent or wrongful actions were particularly egregious, then you may be entitled to punitive damages as well.
Call the Popham Law Firm for Your KC Accident Lawyers
As in many other states, Missouri recognizes the legal doctrine of “comparative negligence.” This means that both parties can be liable for their percentage of fault. In a distracted driving case, however, a majority the legal fault is generally held by the distracted driver.
Nevertheless, although it may seem like an open-and-closed case (hint: it never is), it’s always essential to have the most experienced and talented personal injury attorneys on your side. With Popham Law, we’ll relentlessly help you seek justice while holding the responsible party accountable for his/her actions.
For a free consultation with the auto accident attorneys at Popham Law, call our KC personal injury law firm today at (816) 221-2288.
Age discrimination occurs when an employer (or co-worker, supervisor, or another individual at the workplace) discriminates against another person because of his/her age. The discrimination can involve harassment, contributing to a hostile work environment, or it can involve adverse impacts on the victim’s career and prospects, such as hiring/firing, promotion, unfair opportunities for younger workers, and so on.
Age discrimination in Missouri workplaces is a violation of federal and state laws, yet it still occurs with frightening frequency. In fact, in 2013, the EEOC received over 21,000 complaints about age discrimination.
For this reason, if you feel that you’re being discriminated against because of your age, call the KC employment law attorneys at Popham Law as soon as possible.
What is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is one of the most well-known, and used, federal laws in these cases. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in terms of hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, or conditions of employment. This act applies to any employee over 40 years old. In short, an example of a violation of the law would be denying an employee fringe benefits solely because of the employee’s age. It’s important to note that ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees.
At the state level, the Missouri Human Rights Acts protects individuals over 40 (and less than 70) from age discrimination. This act applies to employers with 6 or more employees.
Examples of Age Discrimination & Harassment in the Workplace
Discrimination and harassment can either be “in your face” or quite subtle. Either way, it’s important to understand the difference between isolated incidents, violations of law, and actions that wouldn’t be a violation of law. Because every situation is different, you can find confidence and legal expertise and insight by calling a Missouri employment discrimination attorney.
Nevertheless, here are some common examples of what age discrimination and harassment might look like:
- An individual is asked his/her age at the job interview, and he/she is unsuccessful because the employer said, “We need a more mature person for the role.”
- An older, 55-year individual applies for a job and the employer asks, “Why do you want this job at this late stage in your life.”
- An individual is an employee at a shop but is made redundant and replaced by a younger person. The manager reveals that he/she wants a new, “upbeat” feel to the shop in order to attract younger customers.
- An employee notices that younger employees are receiving training on new equipment. When the employee asks why he/she isn’t getting invited to the training, the employer tells the employee that he/she is getting too old to learn new tricks.
Exceptions to Age Discrimination Protections
It is essential to remember that employers have rights as well, and so there are a few exceptions to the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. These exceptions include:
- Hiring a person to provide domestic or personal services in a home, including the care, instruction, or supervision of children. For instance, a person of a certain gender and age may be needed to help with toileting, showering, and rehabilitation.
- The employer discriminates when it is reasonable to protect the physical, psychological, or emotional well-being of children in the employer’s care.
- Hiring a person of a particular age when age is a genuine occupational requirement, such as drama or artistic performances, photographic or modeling work, or when it’s needed for authenticity or credibility. (Bona fide occupational qualification – BFOQ).
- Employers that are members of an Indian (Native American) tribe are amongst the excepted employers.
It is important to note that, in Missouri, employers can fire individuals for a wide range of reasons. The business does not violate ADEA as long as it can prove that the individual was fired on other grounds (not age, or any of the protected classes under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964).
What to Do If You’re Being Discriminated Against
If you’re being discriminated or harassed at work, then it’s essential to speak up. One problem with age discrimination is that the victims are intimidated and/or fear retaliation; in other cases, it’s just difficult to prove that an employer was discriminating against you because of your age. Furthermore, the 2009 Supreme Court decision, Gross v. FBL. Financial Services, Inc., further restricted age discrimination claims as, because of this case, you (the plaintiff) needs to prove that age was the sole reason for discrimination.
However, there are a few things you can do:
- File a discrimination claim with the state administrative agency, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR)
- File a discrimination claim with the federal administrative agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Don’t delay in filing your claim, as you must file your claim with the MCHR 180 days of the date you believe you were discriminated against; you have 300 days after the discrimination to file with the EEOC.
Contact the Popham Law Firm for Your Discrimination Attorneys
Victims of age discrimination may be able to recover remedies in the lawsuit, including:
- Back pay
- Front pay
- Liquidated damages
- Payment of attorney fees, expert witness fees, and court costs
If you were discriminated against because of your age in a Missouri or Kansas City workplace, make sure to not hesitate and call the leading KC employment law attorneys at Popham Law. Consultations are always free, so call today at (816) 221-2288.