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Kansas Car Accident Compensation Laws

If you're in an accident in the state of Kansas, you'll want to learn about the laws in the state concerning car accident compensation.

Continue reading for more information about laws related to compensation following car accidents in Kansas.

Laws Related to Car Accident Compensation in Kansas

Below, you'll find a chart laying out Kansas' car accident compensation laws, followed by an in-depth look at some of the key elements.

 

Statute of Limitations

Two years (Kansas Statute of Limitations)

Limits on Damages

Caps are set in the following ways for causes of action accruing:

  • On or after July 1, 1988 and before July 1, 2014 - $250,000
  • On or after July 1, 2014 and before July 1, 2018 - $300,000
  • On or after July 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2022 - $325,000
  • On or after July 1, 2022 - $350,000
Other Limits

 

You'll find more information about how the state uses a comparative fault standard by reviewing the relevant statute.

"No Fault" and "Contributory Negligence" Rules in Kansas

Kansas is a rare jurisdiction in that it employs "no fault" car insurance and accident compensation laws. For car accidents in Kansas, drivers are required to file a claim with their own insurance first, using the state-required "personal injury protection (PIP)" coverage. Drivers are only allowed to go beyond their own insurance and seek compensation from the other driver if they have exhausted their own coverage and have suffered a serious injury. Under Kansas law, a "serious injury" is defined as:

  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Permanent injury
  • Permanent loss of a body function
  • Fracture of a weight-bearing bone
  • Compound, comminuted, compressed, or a displaced fracture of any bone

Should your case meet the requirements for serious injuries, you'll want to be aware of Kansas's "modified comparative fault" rules as well. At trial, a judge or jury calculates percentages of fault for each driver. They then reduce each driver's liability accordingly.

For example, if a driver suffers $10,000 in damages, but is found to be 10 percent at fault, their recovery will be limited to 90% of their damages. Under these circumstances, that amount would be $9,000. A driver who is 50% or more at fault cannot recover any damages.

Types of Damages

Car accident damages are typically labeled as economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include lost wages from missing work, repair or replacement of your vehicle, past and future medical expenses, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Non-economic damages cover things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and disability or disfigurement.

Examples of damages that result from car accidents include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical Expenses
  • Rental cars
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of affection or companionship

Limits on Damages

In addition to the "no fault" insurance rules that may prohibit you from bringing a claim in court, and the comparative fault rules that reduce your damage award, there are other limits that must be dealt with in Kansas.

The first, and often most strict limit, is the time limit for filing a legal case. This is known as the statute of limitations. In Kansas, you have two years for personal (bodily) injury claims, wrongful death, and property claims. If you miss this deadline, your case is likely doomed, so it's important to consult with an attorney early in the process to make sure you don't miss the cutoff.

The other major limit is the Kansas cap on non-economic damages, which was upheld narrowly by the Kansas Supreme Court in 2012. The cap has since been modified by statute to adjust upward over time, as was also covered in the table above:

  • $250,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 1988, and before July 1, 2014
  • $300,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2014, and before July 1, 2018
  • $325,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2022
  • $350,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2022

Get Compensated for Your Injuries: Contact a Kansas Injury Lawyer

As you can see, Kansas has some pretty significant obstacles to filing car accident lawsuits. The strict time limits, damage limits, and rules on no fault insurance and comparative fault can be devastating to your claim if they are not carefully navigated. Eliminate the guesswork by getting in touch with a Kansas motor vehicle accident attorney today.

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