Kansas Medical Malpractice: Laws, Claims and Damages
UPDATED: March 7, 2012
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KANSAS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Kansas medical malpractice law protects an injured patient when they have received negligent treatment at the hands of a Kansas health care provider. A health care provider acts medically negligent when they provide the patient with care that falls below the standard of care in the industry in which they work. The standard of care in the medical industry is determined by how the majority of similarly experienced health care providers would have behaved in the same situation. Medical negligence can lead to the health care provider being held liable by the injured party in a medical malpractice suit. Some common examples of medical negligence in Kansas are the following:
- Incorrect diagnosis or the failure to properly diagnose a condition (commonly found in cases of heart attack or cancer);
- Errors in prescribing medication and/or errors in filling the prescription for medication;
- Birth injuries;
- Inadequate treatment, lack of treatment, or unreasonable postponement of treatment of the patient.
If you believe that a Kansas health care provider has injured you, contact a Kansas medical malpractice attorney today for an expert assessment of your case.
Who Can Be Sued in a Kansas Medical Malpractice Case?
Any medically negligent health care provider can be sued for medical malpractice. Kansas defines a health care provider as any individual or organization that is authorized, certified, and/or licensed to provide health care services to patients. Some examples include surgeons, doctors, dentists, nurses, assisted living facilities, psychologists, hospitals, and medical groups.
If you are unsure whether the person who injured you falls within the definition of a health care provider, contact a Kansas medical malpractice attorney to assist you in making this determination.
Kansas Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
Generally, the statute of limitations for bringing a medical malpractice claim in Kansas is two years after the date that the injury was discovered. However, a claim can never be brought more than four years after the negligent act that caused the injury. This is different if the injured party is a minor. An injured party under the age of eighteen must bring their claim within one year of turning eighteen, or within eight years of the date of the negligent act, whichever is sooner.
Because a claim can be lost if the statute of limitations is missed, and the statute of limitations differs on a case-by-case basis, it is important that a patient injured in Kansas contact a medical malpractice attorney to ensure that all deadlines are met.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims in Kansas
Aside from economic damages to account for financial losses, Kansas allows a plaintiff to collect both punitive damages and noneconomic damages from a medically negligent defendant. Punitive damages are only allowed if the defendant has injured the plaintiff in a wanton, willful, fraudulent, or malicious way. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for such actions. Caps on punitive damages are set at $5,000,000, and the total amount is generally reached by assessing the defendant’s past income.
Noneconomic damages include damages that are hard to quantify monetarily, such as loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and disfigurement. These damages are limited to $250,000 per plaintiff. A Kansas medical malpractice lawyer can assess the facts of your case and give you an idea of your potential recovery in a medical malpractice suit.
Filing a Kansas Medical Malpractice Claim
If you believe that you have a viable medical malpractice claim, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney to assist you in filing a complaint. In Kansas, as in every state, medical malpractice cases are complex and entail hiring expert witnesses to support your claim of negligence as well as dealing with the defense team of insurance attorneys – lawyers who generally have extensive experience in defending medical malpractice claims against health care providers.
Kansas medical malpractice claims may also include several defendants, such as the health care provider, the management company or employer, and the manufacturer of any defective medical products. A Kansas medical malpractice attorney can help you navigate this intricate process, make sure all of the proper defendants are included in your claim, and help you avoid mistakes that may be detrimental to the outcome of your case.
Kansas Medical Malpractice Laws
- Insurance: Health Care Provider Insurance: Definitions: Chp. 40, Art. 34, § 3401(f).
- Civil Procedure: Limitations of Actions: Chp. 60, Art. 5, § 513, 515.
- Civil Procedure: Limitations on Damages for Pain and Suffering; Punitive and Exemplary Damages: Chp. 60, Art. 19a; Art. 37.