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In 2021, a financial company published an online report about the best and worst states for healthcare in the U.S. For the said year, Kansas ranked 20th as the best state for medical care. In 2022, Kansas landed even higher in the ranking, placing 17th.

This ranking may make it seem like one is less likely to be a victim of medical malpractice in Sunflower State. However, from 2012 to 2023, Kansas had a total of over 1,600 medical malpractice payment reports, accumulating up to $340.24 million in payouts.

Victims of medical mistakes have to go through the process of proving the validity of their claims while dealing with their injuries. It is important for them to educate themselves on the standard medical malpractice laws in Kansas.

This article provides information on what constitutes medical malpractice, the types of compensation recoverable, and how much it costs to pursue a case. It also includes unique laws and the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Kansas.

What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice in Kansas?

You might be confused about which term you need to use when filing your case — medical malpractice or medical negligence. These two concepts might sound synonymous, but in fact, they are quite different. Medical negligence is an act that can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Thus, if your healthcare provider’s negligent act leads to injuries, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against them and recover compensation for the damage.

However, not all acts of negligence are considered a viable reason for a medical malpractice claim. For an act to become malpractice, you need to prove that the healthcare provider has breached their duty in providing the accepted standard of care to the patient, leading to the latter’s injuries.

Who Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice in Kansas?

Any healthcare provider in Kansas whose negligent actions caused your injury can be sued for medical malpractice. These people can be doctors, nurses, mental healthcare professionals, or physical therapists. Other medical providers can be:

  • Dentists.

  • Pharmacists.

  • Optometrists.

  • Physician assistants.

  • Podiatrists. 


Although these healthcare providers can be sued for medical malpractice, it does not mean that all of them are legally liable for causing an injury to a patient. There are certain situations where the defendant, the party accused of medical malpractice, cannot be held responsible for the victim’s injuries.

The following section lists some exempt situations.

Vicarious Liability

One exemption for medical malpractice liability arises when a patient has sustained injuries from another healthcare provider before being examined by the current one.

In this situation, the current healthcare provider will not be held liable for the negligence of the previous one. This exemption is most commonly known as vicarious liability. This also provides liability exemptions to healthcare facilities for the same reason.

Government Claims

Per the Kansas Tort Claims Act, healthcare providers in the state who work for facilities owned by the government can still be sued for medical malpractice. This is possible as long as the plaintiff — the individual or party filing the lawsuit — informs the appropriate government agency before filing the case. 

Plaintiffs have 120 days to give a notice to the government. Moreover, for these types of cases where the government is involved, there is a $500,000 damage cap for each claim. The damage cap is the limit that the plaintiff can recover for the claim.

Emergency Medical Care/Good Samaritan Act

If a healthcare provider in Kansas offered emergency medical assistance to a patient, they would not be liable for the resulting injuries or any other forms of harm during the treatment. 

However, the healthcare providers will be held liable if it is established that the patient’s injuries were the result of willful misconduct, also known as gross negligence.

Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Requirements

All healthcare providers in Kansas are required by the law to carry medical malpractice liability insurance. Only state-admitted carriers are allowed to underwrite these types of policies for healthcare providers, as stated by the Kansas Department of Insurance.

Physicians unable to secure liability insurance in the traditional market can get one from the state’s Health Care Provider Insurance Availability Plan.

Moreover, medical providers in Kansas are required to join the Health Care Stabilization Fund. This fund will provide them with additional coverage on top of the ones they currently have on their existing policies.

Only healthcare providers who qualify can gain access to this fund. A few of these qualifiers include:

  • Individuals licensed to practice any branch of healing arts.

  • Individuals holding a temporary permit to practice any branch of healing arts.

  • Kansas-licensed medical care facilities.

  • Health maintenance organizations authorized by the commissioner.

Kansas allows up to 20 categories to be eligible for inclusion in this fund.

In addition, the coverage option for this fund comes in three amounts: 

$100,000 per claim

Total of $300,000 per year

$300,000 per claim

Total of $900,000 per year

$800,000 per claim

Total of $2,400,000 per year

What Is the Statute of Limitations in Kansas for Medical Malpractice Cases?

You have two years to file a Kansas medical malpractice lawsuit against your healthcare provider from the date you discovered the injury. This also applies if the victim passes away due to the injuries.

However, if the victim is a minor, imprisoned, or has an incapacity, the time limit will be paused. The deadline now becomes one year after the victim turns legal age, is released from prison, or has their disability addressed.

There is also a statute of repose for medical malpractice lawsuits in Kansas, which states that a plaintiff cannot file a case after four years of discovering the injury.

It’s important to file your case within the designated deadline since failure to do so might lead to you being barred from filing a claim, no matter how valid it is. 

What Do You Need to Prove in a Kansas Medical Malpractice Case?

To prove the validity of a medical malpractice case in Kansas, you need to establish the four factors of causation. 

  • Doctor-Patient Relationship

The first factor you should prove is that there was a doctor-patient relationship at the time the act of negligence happened. This will establish the duty of care by the healthcare provider, thus supporting your claim that your injury was caused by the provider’s errors while under their treatment.

  • Breach of Standard Duty of Care

The second factor is that there should be proof that the standard of care was breached by the healthcare provider. The breach could arise in various ways, such as delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, failure to communicate or prepare for surgery, or mixing up the patient’s medication.

These actions are likely negligent and are a valid reason for a medical malpractice claim. To further prove that your healthcare provider breached their duty, you can hire an expert medical witness to validate your claim.

Before you can hire an expert medical witness for your case, they need to meet certain qualifications set by the state. One of these qualifications is that they need to have spent at least half of their work time practicing the same field as the defendant within the last two years.

This is to make sure that your witness has the medical knowledge and expertise to confirm that there was a breach of duty and that your medical malpractice case is valid.

  • Causation

After proving the existence of the first two causes, you must then establish that the injuries that you suffered were indeed a direct result of the healthcare provider’s negligence. 

  • Losses Occurred

The last aspect you need to establish is proof of the damage you suffered due to medical negligence. The damage can include losses such as lost wages, medical bills, emotional distress, or pain and suffering. You can prove these losses through receipts or medical records. 

After you’ve established all the factors mentioned above, you are ready to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Kansas.

Medical Malpractice Screening Panel

Kansas also has a medical malpractice screening panel, which provides a way to resolve the case without having to resort to costly or time-consuming litigation. 

This screening procedure is initiated when either party to the lawsuit requests the court to assemble such a panel. The judge may also decide that having the screening procedure is best for the case. 

If the defendant rejects the screening panel procedure, the plaintiff can proceed with filing their case in the district court.

Apology Law

Kansas is one of the few states in the U.S. that has not implemented an apology law. Although it has HB 2376, better known as the Apology and Disclosure of Unanticipated Medical Outcomes and Medical Errors Act, this regulation is nowhere near an apology law.

HB 2376 only prevents plaintiffs from using an apology or any act of kindness from a medical provider to be used as evidence when filing a medical malpractice claim.

This law also mandates healthcare facilities and medical providers to implement policies regarding disclosing information to patients about any errors or unexpected events that happened during the treatment.

How Much Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice in Kansas?

Most legal actions tend to result in the plaintiff receiving monetary compensation for the damage they suffered. This section will explore the various types of potential indemnity a plaintiff can seek in a Kansas medical malpractice case.

Types of Damages

There are various types of damages, which is the legal term for victim compensation, that can be recovered in a medical malpractice lawsuit in Kansas: economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages include the quantifiable aspects of your injury, such as lost wages, medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and other losses that have a specific value in dollars.

Non-economic damages, often referred to as general damages, are those intended to compensate the victim for their emotional distress, physical pain, and loss of consortium.

Damage Caps in Kansas

For medical malpractice cases in Kansas, there is a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages per plaintiff. It is also important to note that the jury awarding compensation should not be made aware of this damage cap so they can make the decision fairly.

If the jury award exceeds the designated limit for monetary damages, the judge will reduce the amount to $250,000 per the state’s damage cap. This limit applies to both personal injury and wrongful death cases involving medical malpractice.

Remember that this damage cap only applies to medical malpractice cases before July 1, 2022. Any claim after that date will have a $350,000 damage cap.

Negligence System

Kansas abides by the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. This law means that if the plaintiff was also partly liable for their injuries, the compensation they’re supposed to receive will be affected.

For instance, the patient did not follow their doctor’s medical advice and was assigned 20% of their injuries. If the patient is awarded $1 million in damages, they can only receive $800,000 because 20%, or $200,000, will be deducted from the award. 

Take note that this doctrine will not allow plaintiffs to file a lawsuit if their fault in the incident was equal to or more than that of the healthcare provider. 

Methods of Obtaining Compensation

There are various ways to fight for your medical malpractice lawsuit in Kansas and receive the compensation you deserve. This section will discuss the different paths plaintiffs can take, whether to hire a lawyer or seek alternative dispute resolution.

Consult a Lawyer

Once you decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you will need to hire a lawyer who can represent you and your case. Your lawyer’s assistance will include helping you file the lawsuit against the medical provider.

The lawyer will then engage in the discovery process with the other party to exchange relevant information regarding your case. At this point, settlement negotiations may be initiated to determine if the other party wants to settle your case before it reaches trial.

If you are not satisfied with the other party’s offer, you may tell your lawyer to reject the offer. After this, your attorney will prepare for trial by gathering evidence and preparing legal arguments.

If you win the trial, the jury will award you the compensation they deem fair. If not, it will be up to you to accept it or appeal for your case if you think there have been legal errors during and after the trial.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

If you, however, do not want to take your case to court to avoid the lengthy process, you can choose to settle it through mediation. There are mediation lawyers in Kansas who can help you resolve the issues in your case.

There are several advantages to using mediation to settle your claim. It’s a faster route, the process is less costly, and the parties involved in the case can be the ones to make the final decision. Both parties will also be able to directly communicate with each other and even agree to keep matters confidential.

How Much Does It Cost to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Case in Kansas?

Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in court in Kansas can be costly, as the process can include court filing and attorney fees, along with hiring an expert medical witness. The filing cost can also be affected by the fees you need to pay for gathering documents, such as your medical records. 

Most of the time, medical malpractice attorneys in Kansas work on a contingency basis, meaning you will not pay them before your case is settled. Contingency fees in Kansas are typically calculated at 33% of the compensation award that the plaintiff receives.

It is worth noting that there are no statutory caps on attorney fees in Kansas for medical malpractice claims. However, there is a requirement for judicial approval, along with non-numeric guidelines to assess the reasonableness of such fees.

Legal Resources for Medical Malpractice Victims in  Kansas

Kansas Hospital Association

The Kansas Hospital Association is a nonprofit organization focused on providing services to its member hospitals. Its goal is to improve the hospital care of each facility in Kansas to prevent mishaps from happening, such as medical malpractice suits. KHA is dedicated to working actively to enhance the quality of hospital care in the state. Through its initiatives on continuing education for healthcare employees and advocating for legislative and regulatory reforms, KHA aims to improve the overall standard of care for Kansans in the medical field.

Kansas Pro Bono

Kansas Pro Bono is established and maintained by Kansas Legal Services, a nonprofit dedicated to helping low-income families in the state. The community was created to improve people's access to legal services in Kansas. Its website allows individuals to connect with legal professionals who can represent them on various issues, such as medical malpractice. Its services include free phone consultations and low-cost legal assistance.

Kansas State Board of Healing Arts

The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts is a governing body in the state committed to overseeing healthcare professionals. It is also responsible for licensing these providers, which ensures the accountability of these individuals. The Board details the legal processes for lodging complaints against healthcare professionals, which can help victims of medical malpractice accidents determine the next step in their case.

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