If you’ve been in a car crash and are thinking about whether you should bring a lawsuit, your first question is probably, how much money can I recover? That question can be tricky. In large part, it depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. What we can tell you, however, is the types of damages available and any limits on those damages. This month we’ll cover the laws surrounding this issue in Kansas. Stay tuned next month to learn about the laws in Missouri.
There are two types of damages the court looks at: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include:
- Past and future lost wages;
- Cost of repair or replacement of your vehicle;
- Past and future medical expenses; and
- Other out of pocket expenses.
There is currently no cap on the amount of economic damages that you can recover. You will, however, have to be able to prove the amount of those damages in court. Because of this, you’ll want to be sure to keep any receipts you receive.
The other type of damages is non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are harder to measure and are not necessarily things you would obtain receipts for or spend money out of your pocket. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Emotional distress; and
- Disability or disfigurement.
Unlike economic damages, Kansas law limits the amount of money you can recover for non-economic damages. The limit is determined by statute and depends in large part on when the car crash occurred. Currently, the state law caps this type of damages to
- $300,000 for crashes occurring between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2018;
- $325,000 for crashes occurring between July 1, 2018, and July 1, 2022; and
- $350,000 for crashes occurring after July 1, 2022.
Limits Based on Modified Comparative Fault
One other thing to be aware of that could affect your compensation is Kansas’s law relating to modified comparative fault. The court will look at the percentage each party was at fault and reduce their damages by that amount. For example, if you were 10% at fault in the car crash, the court will reduce your award by 10% or, in other words, only award you 90% of your damages. In addition, if the court decides a driver was more than 50% at fault, that driver cannot recover any damages.
Still not sure what you could recover if you bring a lawsuit? We’re here to walk you through the process, answer your questions and fight for the compensation you deserve.