If you’ve suffered a physical injury, mental or emotional damage, or harm to your reputation, you might choose to file a personal injury claim. The financial compensation you receive can help you pay for medical treatments and rehabilitation, as well as cover any loss of income following the incident.

But while filing a claim is often the right decision, the thought of a complex legal process can feel overwhelming after a painful or traumatic experience. That’s why we’ve produced this clear, straightforward guide to filing a personal injury claim in Kansas to give you total peace of mind.

Once you’ve finished reading, you’re going to want to contact a trusted Kansas law firm. As local personal injury lawyers in Kansas with over 50 years’ experience, the expert team at Phalen Law is here to make your claims process as simple as possible. 

What’s the deadline for my claim?

Before we look at how to make a personal injury claim in Kansas, it’s useful to know how long you have to get started. Be sure to partner with a local Kansas law firm well before these deadlines.

General claims

Under the Kansas statutes of limitation, you generally have two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.

The discovery rule

If your injury doesn’t present until much later, the ‘discovery rule’ gives you an extension. In the case of medical malpractice, you’ll have up to 4 years from the date of the malpractice to file. And in other cases, you have up to 10 years.

Intentional tort and defamation

‘Intentional tort’ refers to wrongful acts that someone plans and carries out on purpose. That includes assault, malicious prosecution, and false imprisonment.

In cases of intentional tort or defamation (libel and slander), you have just one year to make your claim.

Legal disability

The Kansas statute of limitations doesn’t apply when an injured person is disabled. Here, legal disability typically refers to a person who’s under 18 years old or incapacitated (generally by a mental or emotional condition).

A legally disabled person must make their personal injury claim within the earlier of:

  • One year from the date the disability is removed, or
  • 8 years from the date of the incident that caused the injury

7 steps of a personal injury claim in Kansas

1) Consult a qualified attorney

Although it’s possible to represent yourself in a personal injury claim, we strongly advise against it. Without legal training and experience in personal injury law, it’s very difficult to build a convincing case. And even if you do, it’s likely you’ll only receive a fraction of the compensation you would have received had you chosen to hire a personal injury attorney.

Instead, consult your Kansas personal injury lawyers at Phalen Law and tell us about the incident. We’ll listen carefully to your experiences, the harm you’ve suffered, and how it’s affected your life to determine whether your case is viable. If it is, you can hire us to represent your interests.

The Phalen Law team has spent more than 5 decades winning personal injury claims for clients just like you throughout Kansas. We’ve even been involved in landmark cases and fought all the way to the Supreme Court. You can trust us to manage and investigate your claim on your behalf while you focus on recovery and relaxation.

2) Figure out who was responsible

To make a successful claim, we need to know who was responsible for the incident that caused your injuries. But this isn’t always the person or company against whom your claim will be made. In many cases, we actually claim against their insurer.

Your help is incredibly important at this stage. The more information you can give us about the incident, the easier it’ll be to file a strong claim against the right people.

3) Gather evidence

Once we know who’s responsible, we’ll need as many details as possible to build a successful case. Anything you can tell us about the incident will be helpful, such as:

  • When and where it happened
  • Who else witnessed the incident
  • The events leading up to the incident
  • Who you believe is responsible
  • What you and the responsible party did next

If you don’t remember every detail, that’s okay. Your personal injury attorney will investigate further to fill in any gaps.

If the police were called, we’ll speak to them and get a copy of the police report. And we’ll try to contact any witnesses and ask them for statements to support your claim. Video evidence such as from nearby CCTV cameras and dashcams, and any photos you took of the scene will also be extremely useful.

4) Assess your injuries

As well as evidence of the incident, we’ll need to gather evidence of the harm you’ve suffered. This could include:

  • Photos of visible injuries
  • An expert medical assessment
  • Consultations with specialists to determine how long it could take you to heal
  • An assessment of long-term impact

If you went to a hospital, we can use your medical records as evidence. You’ll need to complete a form to give up permission. All medical information we receive will be kept strictly confidential.

In some cases, more than one medical assessment may be necessary. For example, the party against whom we’re claiming may ask to have their own medical expert assess your injuries or suffering. And since your recovery progress may affect your claim before we reach a settlement, a second examination can help us ensure our evidence is accurate.

5) Determine the compensation amount

Once we have all the evidence we need, we can determine how much compensation you deserve according to Kansas personal injury law. This figure will account for existing and future costs related to:

  • Your injuries, pain, and suffering
  • Medical treatments and rehabilitation
  • Travel expenses to and from medical appointment related to the incident
  • Lost income
  • Necessary medical equipment such as wheelchairs or prosthetics
  • Ongoing care
  • Damage to personal items

For some of these, we may need additional evidence such as receipts, pay slips, and photos of damaged items.

6) Reach a settlement

At this stage, we’ll negotiate with the party you’re claiming against to reach a settlement agreement for your compensation. We handle all communication and negotiation on your behalf.

If we can’t reach an agreement, we’ll file a lawsuit against that party and take your claim to court.

In a court hearing, a judge will evaluate the evidence and decide how much compensation you deserve. You may need to attend court yourself to give evidence.

The opposing party can still offer an out-of-court settlement at this time. If they do, and you accept, your court date will be canceled.

We understand that going to court can be stressful and time consuming. So we make every effort to settle your case agreeably out of court. But if it’s absolutely necessary, you can have confidence that we’ll support you at every step and explain everything in plain, simple language.

7) Get your compensation

After you accept an offer or the court makes a decision, you’ll be awarded a personal injury compensation payment that reflects the level of harm you’ve sustained.

You could receive this payment in one of two ways:

  • As a single lump-sum payment, minus any interim payments you’ve already received
  • As a structured settlement plan that provides monthly payments over a fixed period

This money will support you during your recovery and compensate you for the suffering you’ve endured following the incident.

Get the compensation you deserve with Phalen Law

Our small team of expert trial lawyers has spent more than half a decade winning personal injury cases in Pittsburg, Kansas City, Iola, and throughout the rest of Kansas. We have a detailed knowledge of Kansas personal injury law, as well as the tactics insurers use to reduce your compensation payments. And now, we want to support you in getting fair compensation for your injuries and suffering.

Call us toll-free or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to start your personal injury claim today.