- May 2, 2023
- Personal Injury
If you’ve been injured on the job, hurt in a car wreck, harmed by medical malpractice, or even just twisted an ankle by slipping and falling at your local Target, you may have the legal grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. That said, though, personal injury lawsuits often get a bad rap, and if you have been hurt in an accident, you may wonder if suing is the right choice. Understand that you do have the right to seek compensatory damages for any losses you may have suffered due to someone else’s negligence, and a lawsuit is the proper legal vehicle through which to do so, allowing you and your family to feel financially whole following an accident.
Likewise, people or entities (like a healthcare facility or consumer products manufacturer) are legally obligated to compensate others they harmed through their negligent actions. To that end, if you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident you did not cause, a Kansas personal injury attorney, like those at Palmer Law Group, can help you file a suit for compensation. You must act fast, though, as there is a deadline to sue for personal injuries sustained in Kansas.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kansas?
Per Kansas Statutes section 60-513, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. That timeframe is called the statute of limitations, and it’s legally binding. Personal injury suits are filed in a Kansas county civil court, and if the county judge notes that your lawsuit was filed following the expiration of the statute of limitations (and there are no exceptional circumstances, which we will address below), they will very likely dismiss it.
A few exceptions exist to the two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Kansas, so if you believe you fit one of these situations, our legal team can help. Contact us today at (785) 233-1836 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Kansas personal injury attorneys.
Kansas Laws Regarding Personal Injury Deadlines
The Kansas Revisor of Statutes covers all laws pertaining to personal injury suits, including the statute of limitations. Once the statute of limitations expires for your case, you forfeit your legal right to seek damages unless the delayed discovery rule applies in your case. Delayed discovery is a legal doctrine that permits the suspension of the statute of limitations for a personal injury case. It applies to cases in which the plaintiff (the victim) could not have exercised their right to file a suit within the designated statute of repose because they did not discover (or could reasonably discover) their injury within that time. Delayed discovery typically applies to cases of medical misdiagnosis or in cases regarding product liability or toxic exposure, both of which we will discuss below,
Kansas Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice or Misdiagnosis
Some cases of medical malpractice are immediately detectable, such as a surgical instrument being left inside someone after an operation or any other preventable surgical error. Other medical malpractice cases occur as the result of a misdiagnosis, in which a patient is not accurately diagnosed and therefore receives improper treatment, misses a window of opportunity to benefit from early intervention, or must undergo additional, unnecessary surgery to correct a problem that was not originally there.
People who suffer from medical misdiagnoses may not realize that they were harmed by the negligent actions of another until much later, and although the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Kansas only lasts for two years, your personal injury lawyer may be able to make an argument to apply the delayed discovery rule, as you could have had no way of knowing that the doctor didn’t order appropriate tests or misread lab reports in your case at that moment.
Kansas Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
Tragically, some people do not survive the harm done to them by another party. A loved one may have suffered fatal injuries in a car collision or have been lethally harmed by a malfunctioning consumer product. If your loved one would have been eligible to file a personal injury claim had they not passed on from their injuries, then you and your family may be eligible to file a wrongful death suit against the party responsible for your loved one’s fatal accident. Kansas’s wrongful death statute of limitations lasts two years from the victim’s death, not two years from the accident that caused their injuries.
Product Liability Claims and the Kansas Statute of Limitations
Product liability covers malfunctioning or inherently flawed consumer goods, such as:
- A car with a poorly designed braking system that malfunctions
- A child’s toy with small pieces that pose choking hazards
- Toxic chemicals in a personal care item, like talc body powder
- Foods or beverages contaminated by bacteria or viruses, like E.coli.
In some cases, the harm caused by a defective product is readily apparent — faulty brakes that were not installed properly in a car were the root cause of an accident, for example — but in others, the harm from a defective product may not be discovered for years after the fact. For instance, consider exposure to asbestos that leads to mesothelioma, or the injuries and toxic exposure related to Dow Corning silicone breast implants.
Minor Plaintiffs and the Kansas Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
A final exception to the two-year statute of limitations for a personal injury suit in Kansas is in cases where the plaintiff is a minor. A minor cannot agree to a settlement on their own behalf, so they are permitted an extended statute of limitations, up to one year after they turn eighteen, to file a suit for harm caused to them as a child.
If You Have Been Injured in an Accident, do not Wait to Seek Legal Help
If you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident caused by another party’s reckless actions, negligence, or safety oversight, you can file a suit for damages, but you must act fast.
Contact the Palmer Law Group today at (785) 233-1836 for a free case review with a skilled Kansas personal injury lawyer. We can tell you if you have a case and whether the delayed discovery rule applies. We are here for you in your time of need, providing legal advice based on our decades of collective experience.