Recovering from an injury can be a difficult process, from the physical, mental, and emotional pains, to the often high cost of medical care. It can be hard to focus on your recovery and give yourself the time you need to heal if you’re worried about paying bills and collecting your paychecks.
So, if you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s actions, you may decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to make them responsible for paying the costs of your care. In a personal injury case, you can try to recover for your:
Every state has it’s own laws that apply to personal injury cases, so you’ll need to make sure you’re following the rules specific to Kansas.
A personal injury case arises when a person sustains physical, mental, or emotional bodily harm due to another person’s conduct. Courts will generally allow the injured party to try to recover monetary damages to help make the injured person whole, that is, try to get them to a similar situation they would have been in had the injury not occurred.
In most cases, the intent of the injurer or the manner in which they harm someone is irrelevant. Many times, all that matters is that their actions caused someone else’s injuries.
Intentional injuries usually present through assault or battery. If a person attacks or otherwise makes purposeful contact with you and causes you harm, you likely have the grounds for a personal injury case.
Accidental injuries can result in recovery, too. In negligence cases, a person causes harm when they fail to act reasonably or safely in a situation that requires obvious care. Driving a car while texting is an example of breaching an expected duty of care. A distracted driver that hits and injures someone likely didn’t intend to cause any harm, but they should have known that someone could get hurt because of their negligence behind the wheel.
Kansas is a “no-fault” state, which means insurance companies are typically required to pay out coverage to their policy holders involved in a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. Lawsuits are still possible, however, if your medical bills exceed $2,000, or if you suffer a particularly difficult or painful injury.
Medical malpractice is another common basis for negligence cases. When a doctor or other health care provider doesn’t exercise the care they’re expected to when treating a patient, they can be liable for any injuries that result.
When someone causes an injury, but they did not breach an expected duty of care, they may be responsible for damages under the rule of strict liability. Strict liability can require a person to pay damages to a person they hurt, even if they took the necessary care to reduce the risk of injuries. If a neighbor were to, say, light fireworks, and followed all the usual safety measures, but an accident caused you harm anyway, they could be liable for damages caused during “abnormally dangerous activity.”
Strict liability can also apply when you get hurt while visiting someone’s home, because there’s usually a certain responsibility to keep guests safe.
Injuries caused by defective products are a type of liability known as product liability. Manufacturers, retailers, designers, and nearly any part of the supply chain could be partly or entirely financially responsible for your injuries if you were hurt by a product you purchased or received.
It’s always important to pay attention to the statute of limitations, or the time limit you have to file, in any lawsuit you’re involved in. In Kansas, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury suit, or else you risk getting barred from any recovery.
If you’re moving forward with a negligence case, you should also note that Kansas follows a “modified comparative negligence” doctrine. That means if you’re partly responsible for your injuries, you may have your compensation reduced. If you’re found to be 20 percent responsible and you’re seeking $10,000 in damages, you’ll only be able to recover for the 80 percent that wasn’t your fault, in this example it would be $8,000.
If you’re found to be more than 50 percent responsible, however, you most likely won’t receive any amount at all.
In Kansas, there’s no cap on recovery amounts for both economic and noneconomic damages. That means there’s no limit to how much you can recover, if you can prove you deserve it, for both the actual costs, like your medical bills, and emotional costs, like pain and suffering.
With so many rules, exceptions, and categories to consider when filing a personal injury lawsuit, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. This can lead you to make mistakes in the procedures, which could cost you compensation down the line.
By working with an experienced local personal injury attorney, you may have a better chance of getting the outcomes you’re looking for. A personal injury attorney can help you build, file, and present your case, to hopefully get you get the money you deserve.
Injuries cost money, including time away from work, medical bills, and other complications. Before taking legal action or trying to negotiate a settlement on your own, you should talk to an attorney about your case. You can search LawInfo’s legal directory to find a local personal injury attorney about the merits of your case. This one step can level the playing field, help you protect your rights, and put you in the best position for recovering the compensation that you deserve.