Case Results - Kansas

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*These cases are just a sampling of the various tractor-trailer/motor vehicle cases that Morris Laing attorneys have pursued. They range from semi-truck collisions, highway defects, bridge defects and motorcycle accidents to reduced visibility, motor vehicle defects and driver negligence. Our team of personal injury attorneys work together to ensure our clients benefit from combined experience of our legal staff. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.


A family, including seven year old twins, was involved in a motor vehicle accident on the Kansas Turnpike. This accident arose out of the annual prairie burning of the Flint Hills. A rancher had started a fire and left it unattended, which resulted in dense smoke blowing across the highway. This reduction of visibility caused a chain reaction of accidents leading to the death of one of the twins and serious injury to the other. The case was settled right before trial, and in addition to a monetary settlement, subsequent action taken by the Kansas Turnpike Authority resulting in signs being placed on the highway warning of the dangers of range burning and reduced visibility.


At U.S. Highway 50 and Yoder Rd. in Reno County, Kansas, a known dangerous intersection, a semi was headed West on U.S. Highway 50. The semi ran a red light and collided with a passenger vehicle entering the intersection. Mr. Carmichael and Ms. Michaud represented the driver of the passenger vehicle and settled the claim for $1,000,000, the policy limits of the trucking company. They also assisted in asserting a claim for the driver’s wife to help avoid the effects of a substantial workers’ compensation lien in order to protect as much of the recovery as possible for the family of the injured driver. The driver sustained a life altering brain injury, ending his work career, which significantly affected his wife and six children for whom he provided primary financial support.


Construction improvements to U.S. Highway 400 in Greenwood County, Kansas created a defective condition at one of the intersections with the highway, where there had been several accidents in the past. Mr. Johnson represented the family of a young girl who was a passenger in a vehicle traveling south on an arterial road that intersected with U.S. 400. As a result of that accident, this young lady died. The Kansas Department of Transportation was named as a defendant in this case for a negligent design and defective warnings of the approaching intersection. The case was tried by a jury in Greenwood County and resulted in one of the largest verdicts ever rendered in that county.


Air bags have gained the national spotlight due to their life saving capabilities, but also due to the fact that they can cause serious injuries and sometimes death. Mr. Johnson represented a young woman who was a passenger in a motor vehicle that was involved in a minor collision that caused the passenger side air bag to deploy. Under the parameters set for the deployment of air bags, this air bag should not have deployed. In fact, the driver’s side air bag did not deploy. As a result of the impact with the air bag, the woman sustained serious facial injuries resulting in loss of most of the sight in one eye. After litigation, the case ultimately was resolved.


A tractor-trailer, while changing lanes, failed to notice a passenger vehicle next to him, forcing the car off the road and causing it to roll. Mr. Carmichael handled the claim for damages on behalf of the driver and against the trucking company for injuries sustained during the collision. The case was resolved for a substantial sum shortly after filing a lawsuit.


While proceeding through a green light in downtown Wichita in her passenger vehicle, a woman was hit by a driver who had run a red light. Ms. Michaud represented the driver, who had the right-of-way. The impact of the collision slammed the client’s vehicle into a light pole causing the airbags to deploy (and saving her life). The force of the airbags caused complete temporary blindness. The driver causing the collision did not have sufficient insurance to cover the client’s injuries or her time off work, and an underinsured motorist claim had to be filed. Settlement was reached with the insurance companies of the client and the driver causing the collision for policy limits.


Three teenagers were driving in a popular American-made car when another car ran a stop sign and hit the rear end of the vehicle, knocking the teenagers' vehicle into a telephone pole. The telephone poll ruptured the fuel tank, causing fire that resulted in burning two of the teenagers to death and severely injuring the third. The manufacturer of the car was named in a lawsuit resulting in extensive and complex discovery efforts. The final result of that litigation culminated in a significant settlement for the parties involved.


Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injury and death even if the driver takes appropriate safety precautions and wears the appropriate equipment. This collision occurred on 47th Street South in Wichita, KS. The driver of a motorcycle was killed following a collision with a small pickup. The pickup pulled out of a convenience store on to 47th Street South in front of the motorcycle. This caused the rider to be thrown over the top of the pickup truck before landing on the roadway. Despite wearing a helmet, the rider was killed as a result of trauma to the neck and upper body. The young man had a wife and three small children and the case was resolved for policy limits.


An intoxicated driver was fleeing police and was going the wrong way on U.S. Highway 54 at 1:00 a.m. with his headlights out at speeds in excess of 100 mph. Morris Laing represented a woman who was headed home from work on Highway 54 and was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck head-on by the vehicle fleeing the police. The client sustained serious injury and time off from work. We were able to recover for the client, despite the fact that the fleeing driver, who was killed in the collision, was uninsured.


A Wichita State University student was on his way to class one morning when a vehicle, traveling in the opposite direction, crossed the center line, striking the student head-on. After a lengthy surgery, the student passed away. Ms. Michaud represented the student, whose permanent residence and family were in a foreign country. The driver of the vehicle causing the collision was intoxicated and uninsured. A lawsuit was filed against the student’s auto insurance company for uninsured motorist coverage. A settlement for policy limits was reached after filing suit.


Kansas Highway 160 runs East and West through Clark County. The highway intersects with County Road 183 East of Ashland, Kansas. This intersection is known to be dangerous. Drivers traveling north bound on Highway 183 will encounter three sets of rumble strips, Stop Ahead signs, and a flashing light, along with a Stop sign. These warnings, however, failed to slow down a vehicle traveling North on 183. A collision resulted with a West bound vehicle. Two people died in this tragedy and Mr. Johnson represented the family of the driver of the West bound vehicle. After commissioning a complete accident reconstruction of the incident and engaging an economist to forecast future losses, a settlement was reached on behalf of the decedent’s family in the amount of $650,000.00. This was accomplished without the need to file a formal lawsuit.


Even in low speed collisions a moped is a dangerous vehicle for its driver. Mr. Carmichael handled a collision between a moped and a pickup that occurred at El Dorado State Park. The driver of the pickup crossed the center line into the path of the moped. The driver of the moped was thrown to the roadway sustaining serious head trauma. Despite a low speed collision, the medical bills exceeded $160,000. The case was resolved for policy limits shortly after filing suit.

*Due to the nature of the settlement agreements, or at the request of clients, certain identifying information and/or settlement amounts have not been disclosed.

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For a free consultation, please contact Jeff Carmichael, John Johnson or Cameron Michaud by calling (316) 262-2671

Morris Laing
300 N. Mead, Suite 200
Wichita, KS 67202-2745
Phone (316) 262-2671
Fax (316) 262-6226

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