Personal injury claim form on desk

Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims

Oleen Law Firm May 20, 2024

After an injury, amidst the chaos of medical treatments, emotional trauma, and potential financial strain, the legal aspects of your situation may not immediately take precedence. However, understanding the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is a critical step in securing your right to compensation.

Here at Oleen Law Firm, with our combined knowledge and dedication, we are here to help individuals understand this important legal principle, guiding personal injury victims through their path to justice. 

What Is the Statute of Limitations? 

The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. When it comes to personal injury cases, this timeline dictates how long you have from the date of your injury to take legal action against those responsible.

Failure to file a lawsuit within the timeline set by the statute of limitations typically results in the loss of one's right to sue forever. For personal injury victims, the statute of limitations is a countdown that begins the moment an injury occurs or is discovered.  

In Kansas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the injury.  

Exceptions to the Rule 

There are circumstances under which the statute of limitations may be extended, or "tolled," providing plaintiffs with additional time to file a lawsuit. Some common exceptions include: 

  • Minor age: If the injured party is a minor, the countdown may not start until they reach the age of majority. For example, if a 16-year-old is injured, their countdown wouldn’t start until they turn 18. However, they have only one year to file a personal injury claim after they turn 18.  

  • Discovery rule: In some cases, the statute of limitations begins not at the time of injury but at the moment the injury was, or should have been, discovered. 

  • Defendant’s absence: If the liable party leaves the state for a period, the statute of limitations may be paused until they return. 

Understanding these exceptions can significantly impact the outcome of your case, offering hope for those who might have otherwise missed critical deadlines. 

The Impact of Delay 

Waiting too long to take legal action can have severe consequences. Beyond the loss of the right to sue, delays can also hinder your ability to collect evidence, secure witness testimonies, and ultimately build a strong case.  

The sooner you initiate the legal process, the better your chances of achieving a favorable outcome. 

Tips for Navigating the Statute of Limitations 

To effectively navigate the statute of limitations and safeguard your rights, consider the following tips: 

  • Seek legal advice early: Consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury. An experienced lawyer can provide critical guidance on the statute of limitations in your state and help you avoid missing important deadlines. 

  • Document everything: Keep detailed records of all events related to your injury, including medical treatments, financial expenses, and any communication with insurance companies. This documentation can be vital in building your case. 

  • Be mindful of exceptions: Recognize if any exceptions to the statute of limitations could apply to your case. Factors like the injured party being a minor, the later discovery of the injury, or the defendant’s absence from the state can affect your deadline. 

  • Act promptly to preserve evidence: Initiating legal proceedings early not only complies with the statute of limitations but also helps in preserving evidence and securing witness testimonies, which are crucial for a strong legal claim. 

  • Monitor important dates: Keep a diary or calendar with all critical dates related to your case, including the date of the injury and any relevant deadlines for filing a claim. This will help ensure you take action within the legal time limits. 

By adhering to these strategies, you can better manage your case by following the statute of limitations, strengthening your position in pursuing a personal injury claim. 

How Oleen Law Firm Can Help 

When you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, take action. Whether you were hurt in a car accident, slip-and-fall accident, dog bite, or other serious situation, you deserve to fight for your rights and move towards healing.  

However, we at Oleen Law Firm understand that the process of filing a personal injury claim isn’t easy. We are committed to offering you the support, knowledge, and effort needed to guide you through this difficult time, and we aim to make it as simple and stress-free as possible.  

We bring over fifty years of experience serving the community of Manhattan, Kansas, and surrounding areas. We pride ourselves on our personalized approach to each case, exploring every avenue to secure the best possible outcome for our clients. 

Remember, the clock is ticking from the moment an injury occurs. Don't hesitate to reach out to us at Oleen Law Firm for a consultation to position your case for success. Together, we can put the law to work for you.