What is the Kansas statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit?
First things first, for those who haven’t brushed up on
their legalese in a while: A “statute of limitations” is a state law that places
a time limit (which is expressed in years) on your right to go to court and get
a lawsuit started. Most states have deadlines that differ depending on the kind
of case you want to file.
If the deadline set by the statute of limitations has
passed, but you try to file your medical
malpractice lawsuit anyway, the doctor or health care entity you’re trying
to sue will ask the court to dismiss the case, and the court will almost
certainly grant the motion.
Like a lot of states, Kansas has a specific statute of
limitations for medical malpractice cases filed in the state’s court system,
and it can be found at Kansas
Statutes section 60-513, which gives a prospective two years to file their lawsuit against a doctor or other health
The “clock” usually starts running on the date you were
harmed by the malpractice, but the law in Kansas contains specific language
about when an injury is “discovered” for purposes of the statute of
of action…shall be deemed to have accrued at the time of the occurrence of the
act giving rise to the cause of action, unless the fact of injury is not
reasonably ascertainable until some time after the initial act, then the period
of limitation shall not commence until the fact of injury becomes reasonably
ascertainable …, but in no event shall such an action be commenced more than
four years beyond the time of the act giving rise to the cause of action."
In other words, you need to file the lawsuit within two years of the date on which you were
actually harmed by -- or could reasonably be expected to know that you were
harmed by -- the defendant’s medical error. But the larger deadline says
that you can’t wait more than four years
after the commission of the malpractice. So, once those four years have passed, your
right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is lost in Kansas, even if you didn’t
(and couldn’t have) known you were harmed by the defendant’s wrongdoing during
by: David Goguen,