Kansas Personal Injury Law
Statutes of Limitations: The amount of time you have to sue whoever caused your injury or damage.
- Personal Injury – 2 years
- Damage to Personal Property – 2 years
- Medical Malpractice – 2 years from the date the injury was discovered. But, no more than 4 years after the act that caused the injury
- Legal Malpractice – 2 years from when the damage occurred
- Other Professional Malpractice – 2 years
Where to Sue:
- Personal injury claims under $4,000 - Kansas Small Claims Court
- Personal injury claims over $4,000 - Kansas District Court
How to Sue:
Small Claims Court:
- Forms: Petition and Official Summons. The Petition can be obtained from the Kansas Small Claims Court where the defendant resides, does business, or where the injury or property damage occurred. After you have filled out the Petition, the clerk of the Small Claims Court will issue an Official Summons.
- How to notify the defendant (service): A sheriff should deliver the Petition and Summons to the defendant, or mail the Petition and Summons to the defendant by a reliable delivery service, certified or priority mail.
- Proving the defendant was notified: The process server should promptly file a "Return of Service of Process" with the clerk of the Small Claims Court within 10 days of service. Alternatively, if process was served by mail, the certified mail return receipt with the defendant's signature is sufficient for proof of service of process.
- Attorneys: It is not permissible to have representation in Kansas Small Claims Court.
- Appealing a small claim: Either party may appeal the decision of a Kansas Small Claims Court to the Kansas District Court within 10 days of the judgment.
Kansas District Court: Because filing personal injury lawsuits can be very complicated, hiring legal representation is imperative. Filing your claim incorrectly could result in your claim not making it to court.
- Forms: Civil Cover Sheet (JS-44); Summons in a Civil Action (Form AO-440); Civil Complaint
- How to File: File the Civil Cover Sheet, Summons, and Civil Complaint with the clerk of the Kansas District Court in the appropriate county.
- How to Notify the Defendant: A sheriff should deliver the Civil Cover Sheet, Summons, and Civil Complaint to the defendant, and promptly make return of service within 10 days of delivery of the service of process to the Kansas District Court clerk.
What to Do if You Are Being Sued:
- Time to respond to a Summons in Kansas: 21 days.
- First, get in touch with a lawyer. Second, notify your insurance company that the plaintiff has been injured at your home or business. You insurance company may provide you with legal representation to defend against the claim.
What to Do if a Judgment Was Entered Against You: If you do not reply to a Kansas Civil Complaint and Summons within 21 days of receiving service of process, you will be in default in Kansas District Court. This means that the Kansas District Court can enter a default judgment against you and force you to pay the plaintiff's requested sum. If a default judgment has been entered against you, hiring an attorney to help you navigate the process of setting aside the judgment is important.
- Time to Set Aside a Judgment in Kansas:
- A Kansas District Court can set aside a default judgment for a clerical error at any time
- A Kansas District Court can set aside a default judgment for surprise, inadvertence, mistake, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence, or fraud, within one year after entry of the judgment
Ways to Collect Your Judgment:
- Success in your personal injury suit means that you must collect your judgment from the defendant. Sometimes defendants are reluctant to pay, and consulting a Kansas collection attorney enables you to collect your judgment more quickly. The attorney can help you file a Writ of Garnishment or Writ of Attachment, or place a lien on the defendant's real property.