Kansas is home to some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes and diverse wildlife populations in the Midwest. While also boasting one of the nation’s most renowned collegiate basketball teams, Kansas offers a little something for everyone. These features are what make Kansas special, but a lesser known fact is that the state laws regarding auto accidents here are among the most unique in the nation.
Car Accident Fault Laws in Kansas
Kansas is one of 12 states that implement a no-fault statute for auto insurance. The term “no-fault’ is used to explain an auto insurance program that allows individuals to recover compensation from their personal insurance company, regardless of fault. This means that many individuals who are involved in a car accident are entitled to file a claim with their insurance company through the state-mandated personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
PIP insurance covers the following types of damages up to the limits of PIP coverage:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- In-home services
- Funeral expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Survivor’s benefits
All Kansas drivers must have insurance policies with a minimum of $4,500 in PIP coverage. In regards to who is insured under the policy, PIP insurance covers:
- The policyholder
- In-household family members of the policyholder who sustain injuries as a passenger or while driving in the covered vehicle
- Any injured passenger unless the individual has his own PIP insurance, in which case he will need to file the claim through his own insurance policy
When Can Individuals Make a Claim for Pain and Suffering?
PIP insurance covers some basic expenses. Often times though a car or truck accident can cause a whole lot of pain and suffering for the accident victim and their family. In many cases, you have a right to be compensated for that pain and suffering. Under Kansas law, you are entitled to seek compensation for pain and suffering when any of the following conditions have been met:
- Over $2,000 in medical bills
- Permanent loss of body function
- Fracture of a weight-bearing bone
- Permanent disfigurement
- A compound, comminuted, compressed, or displaced fracture of any bone
- Permanent injury
If you are injured in an accident it is important that you consult with an attorney and your medical team early in the process to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
Kansas Caps Damage Awards
Although there is no limit to the amount you can recover for economic damages, the state sets a cap on recovery for non-economic damages. The Kansas Supreme Court has recently upheld this limit, and subsequently, the cap has been modified to increase over time. The cap for non-economic damages in Kansas is set forth in K.S.A 60-19a02:
- $300,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2014, and before July 1, 2018
- $325,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2022
- $350,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2022
There is much to consider when pursuing your rights following a car or truck accident in Kansas. Southwest Kansas car accident lawyer Joseph T. Welsh can help you navigate through the complex personal injury law landscape to ensure that you recover fair compensation for relevant damages. Contact Joe today at (620) 510-5030 for a free case evaluation.