DO YOU HAVE THE INSURANCE COVERAGE YOU NEED IF YOU’VE BEEN HURT IN A WRECK?

Buyer Beware!

Many consumers don’t know that their car is underinsured.  Most folks believe that the state minimum coverage is enough.  But that minimum coverage leaves most people without the coverage they need.  Some situations to be aware of:

Personal Injury Protection/Med Pay

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Med Pay coverages will pay your medical bills no matter what the cause of a car wreck.  PIP applies to every Kansas insurance policy and will pay at least the first $4,500.00 of your medical bills.  Med Pay does the same thing in Missouri, but most people don’t know that it’s optional.  You only have Med Pay coverage is you ask for it.  You can purchase additional PIP and Med Pay protection at relatively low cost.  Often for only a few dollars a month, you can rest assured that more of your bills and deductibles will be paid quickly if you are in a car wreck.

Uninsured/Under-insured coverage

These coverages protect you and your family if you are hit by a driver who has little or no insurance. According to insurance company reports, nearly 15% of all drivers have no car insurance.  Even if they do, they are only required to have $25,000.00 in liability coverage.  If you are seriously injured in a wreck, $25,000.00 PROVIDES NO MEANINGFUL PROTECTION – your emergency room bill alone could be more than $10,000.00.

Your uninsured motorist coverage will pay for your medical bills, lost wages and other harms and losses if you are hit by a driver with no insurance.  Under-insured motorist coverage pays if you are hit by a driver that doesn’t have enough insurance.  The higher your limit, the more you can recover if you are seriously injured.  Like PIP and Med Pay, increasing these limits is very affordable.  If we had any advice for motorists, it would be to maximize your uninsured and under-insured coverages.

Uninsured motorist coverage is required in both Kansas and Missouri.  Under-insured motorist coverage is required in Kansas, but it is optional in Missouri.  We work with many, many Missouri residents who could greatly benefit from this coverage, but have never heard of it.

Rental Coverage

It is very common for folks to buy rental coverage that is very limited in scope.  Make sure to see if you can purchase coverage that will allow you to rent a vehicle comparable to the one that you drive.  Often the amount available will only pay a fraction of the cheapest rental, for a short period of time.

The Kansas City personal injury attorneys at Smith Coonrod Mohlman LLC, fight bullies.  We represent people who have been injured in car/truck/motorcycle wrecks against the corporate and insurance bullies that fight to deny these claims.  We are also happy to review your insurance policy with you at no charge to ensure you have the maximum protection available.  We have no affiliation with any insurance companies and simply make this offer as a public service.  Attorneys Mike Mohlman and Rachel Smith are not only advocates for their clients but are committed to contributing to our community.  In addition to fighting for our clients, the firm has started the Smith Coonrod Mohlman Kids Foundation to stop bullying and to promote the safety of the children in our community.

Hire someone with experience

It constantly surprises me how often folks hire their acquaintances to handle serious personal injury cases. It makes sense that you want a familiar face during a difficult time. However, I find over and over again that we inherit cases because the divorce lawyer who said they would help out does not have the time or inclination to actively and aggressively pursue a case that is both outside of their comfort zone and also does not pay like their hourly cases do. Take the time to talk to a couple of attorneys about your case. Generally personal injury attorneys in Independence to Olathe, will talk to you for free because they want your business. Walk away from anyone who won’t answer your questions, tell you about their experience or who tries to pressure you into signing a contract before you leave. You will be trusting the attorney you hire with your future and you deserve to feel comfortable about that decision.

Smith Coonrod Mohlman, LLC Signs Lease for New Office Space

Smith Coonrod Mohlman, LLC is moving to the Country Club Plaza on January 1, 2013. We have signed a lease for 5600 square feet of space on the 7th floor of the Plaza West Building at 4600 Madison, Kansas City, Missouri. We are all very excited about the new office which will provide us more space and better facilities as well as the latest in technology in order to better serve our personal injury and business clients in Kansas and Missouri. We will be providing more information as the move grows nearer. In the meantime, come see us at our current office at 7001 W 79th St., Overland Park, Kansas 66204.

Partner Rachel Smith selected as one of Missouri Weekly’s 2012 “Up and Coming Lawyers”

Smith Coonrod Mohlman is proud to announce that Rachel Smith was
selected as one of the Missouri Lawyers Weekly “Up and Coming
Lawyers”. These lawyers were selected because they go above and
beyond in the legal profession for 2012. Attorneys were selected
based on their contribution to the legal profession in their
community.
Rachel has been active in many philanthropic organizations
in Kansas City including spending eight years on the board of Big
Brothers Big Sisters, co-founding Smith Coonrod Mohlman Kids
Foundation, and supporting many, many others. She is a dedicated
personal injury attorney who handles a wide range of negligence cases,
including car, truck and motorcycle wrecks. She is devoted to her
clients, and to promoting community safety. She has obtained
significant recoveries for her clients, most recently a case involving
a child on an ATV, and a museum patron who had his fingers severed by
a defective and misused door.

Recent Case Settlement Regarding Safety and ATV’s

Kansas City personal injury attorney Rachel Smith has spent a significant amount of time this year working on a very important safety case involving a child who was injured in an ATV crash. The defendants in the case were at a party in Leavenworth, Kansas drinking alcohol when they placed a six-year-old boy on a homemade ATV. The defendants gave the boy no instructions on how to operate the machine, no instructions on safety, no instructions on how to accelerate or brake, and no safety equipment besides a batter’s helmet.

The six-year-old lost control of the ATV and drove it into a ravine. The ATV flipped over and landed on top of the boy, fracturing his femur. The boy was life flighted to a nearby hospital. He underwent two surgeries and was in a body case for the majority of two years. The personal injury attorneys with Smith Coonrod Mohlman were able to resolve this case for over $250,000.00.

Our Kansas City area injury lawyers know the importance of following safety guidelines when operating any sort of vehicle, including cars, trucks, ATVs or tri-carts. National ATV standards require that any child under sixteen be supervised by a trained adult. In addition every ATV user should be trained in the safe operation of an ATV, and ATV’s should never be used under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The injury attorneys with Smith Coonrod Mohlman represent injured individuals across Missouri and Kansas. If you or a loved one have questions about a personal injury case, call us at 913-495-9965. It is always free to discuss your case and we charge no fees unless we obtain a recovery on your behalf.

Partner Rachel Smith is a Woman Who Means Business

Smith Coonrod Mohlman, LLC is pleased to announce that founding partner Rachel Smith has been named to the Kansas City Business Journal’s list of Women Who Mean Business for 2012.  Each year the Business Journal selects 25 women from all types of businesses in the Kansas City metropolitan area.  These women are selected by a panel of judges as being outstanding for their business accomplishments, growth plans for their companies, contributions to the community and efforts to improve the climate for women in business.  Rachel and this year’s other honorees now join 300 other women selected over the past 12 years to join this elite group of business women.

Rachel and Brett Coonrod founded the firm in 2005 with the goal of assisting clients who have suffered personal injury accidents through the fault of others and in handling small business matters with an emphasis on litigation.  They were joined by Rachel’s former classmate Mike Mohlman in 2011 who brought experience in complex personal injury cases from Independence to Overland Park.  The firm now has six attorneys and practices on both sides of the state line.  If you have personal injury or business related legal issues in Kansas City, KS or surronding areas, come see Rachel.  She means business.

DOT Launches Largest-Ever Road Test of Connected Vehicle Crash Avoidance Technology

Nearly 3,000 Vehicles Will Send Wi-Fi-like Signals that Warn of Safety Hazards, Could Help Reduce Crashes During Year-Long Research Project

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Nearly 3,000 cars, trucks and buses equipped with “connected” Wi-Fi technology to enable vehicles and infrastructure to “talk” to each other in real time to help avoid crashes and improve traffic flow will begin traversing Ann Arbor’s streets today as part of a year-long safety pilot project by the U.S. Department of Transportation. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined elected officials and industry and community leaders on the University of Michigan campus to launch the second phase of the Safety Pilot, the largest road test to date of connected vehicle crash avoidance technology.

“Today is a big moment for automotive safety,” said Secretary LaHood. “This cutting-edge technology offers real promise for improving both the safety and efficiency of our roads. That is a winning combination for drivers across America.”

Conducted by University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), the road test, or model deployment, is a first-of-its-kind test of connected vehicle technology in the real world. The test cars, trucks and buses, most of which have been supplied by volunteer participants, are equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication devices that will gather extensive data about system operability and its effectiveness at reducing crashes.

According to DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), V2V safety technology could help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of four out of five unimpaired vehicle crashes. To accomplish this, the model deployment vehicles will send electronic data messages, receive messages from other equipped vehicles, and translate the data into a warning to the driver during specific hazardous traffic scenarios. Such hazards include an impending collision at a blind intersection, a vehicle changing lanes in another vehicle’s blind spot, or a rear collision with a vehicle stopped ahead, among others.

“Vehicle-to-vehicle communication has the potential to be the ultimate game-changer in roadway safety – but we need to understand how to apply the technology in an effective way in the real world,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “NHTSA will use the valuable data from the ‘model deployment’ as it decides if and when these connected vehicle safety technologies should be incorporated into the fleet.”

The model deployment is the second phase of DOT’s connected vehicle Safety Pilot, a major research initiative managed by NHTSA and the Research and Innovative Technologies Administration (RITA) Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office. Earlier this year, DOT released data from a series of “driver acceptance clinics” conducted during the first phase of the Safety Pilot. The study revealed that an overwhelming majority of drivers (9 out of 10) who have experienced V2V technology have a highly favorable opinion of its safety benefits and would like to have V2V safety features on their personal vehicle.

“Many significant advances in roadway safety resulted from the collaborations between government, industry, and academia,” said Gregory D. Winfree, RITA Deputy Administrator. “The deployment today is the culmination of years of cooperative research on forward-thinking technology designed to save lives and prevent injuries on America’s roads.”

The information collected from both phases of the Safety Pilot, and other key research projects, will be used by NHTSA to determine by 2013 whether to proceed with additional activities involving connected vehicle technology, including possible rulemaking.

For more information on DOT’s connected vehicle research, visit www.safercar.gov/ConnectedVehicles.