If you are injured because of someone else’s negligence and want to assert a claim for damages, Kansas state law requires that you bring your claim within a certain period of time. This law is called the “statute of limitations.”
In Kansas, as in every other state, there are different limitation periods depending on the nature of the claim that you are raising. For example, here are some of the different limitation periods for different causes of action in Kansas:
- Breach of contract: 4 or 5 years Kan. Stat. §§ 60-511(1) & 84-2-725
- Fraud: 2 years Kan. Stat. § 60-513(a)(3)
- Medical malpractice: 2 years Kan. Stat. § 60-513(a)(7)
- Personal injury: 2 years Kan. Stat. § 60-513(a)(4)
- Product liability: 2 years Kan. Stat. § 60-513(a)(4)
- Property damage: 2 years Kan. Stat. § 60-513(a)(2)
- Wrongful death: 2 years Kan. Stat. § 60-513(a)(5)
However, every state may have a different statute of limitations period for any given cause of action.
What Is the Limitations Period for Bicycle Accidents?
Based on the causes of action and statutory periods indicated above, if you are injured in a bicycle accident, or if you are not injured but your bicycle is damaged, the normal statutory period by which you have to bring a claim is two years, pursuant to Kan. Stat. § 60-513(a)(4). This two year period usually begins to run from the date the accident occurs (this may be referred to as the date of “accrual” or the date on which the action “accrues”).
However, there may be exceptions to the normal statutory period. For example, it is possible that the two year period may not begin to run from the date the accident occurs but, rather, from the date you first know that you were injured. So, if an injury sustained from a bicycle accident that occurred on May 1, 2019, did not become known to you until a month after the accident, on June 1, 2019, then the action would be said to have accrued on June 1, 2019, and you would have until May 31, 2021, to assert your claim for damages.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Two-Year Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accidents?
In addition to the exception described above (when an action accrues from the time you become aware of your injuries), there may be an exception to the 2-year statute of limitations for bicycle accidents if the person who is injured on the bicycle is a minor (under 18 years of age). This exception is provided at Kan. Stat. § 60-515 (Persons under legal disability).
When a child under 18 years of age is injured in a bicycle accident, the child
shall be entitled to bring such action within one year after the [child]'s disability is removed, except that no such action shall be commenced by or on behalf of any person under the disability more than eight years after the time of the act giving rise to the cause of action.
This means that if a child is injured in a bicycle accident, the child would be able to bring a claim one year after they turned 18 years old, but never more than 8 years after the accident. So, for example, suppose you (an adult) are riding your bicycle with your two children, who are ages 15 and 9, and someone driving a car negligently strikes all three of you with their car, injuring each of you. Under the applicable statute of limitations in Kansas, as an adult, you would have 2 years to bring your claim for damages. However your two children, who are under 18 years old, would each fall under the exception. Therefore, your 15-year-old child would have until they are 19 years old to bring their claim (1 year after turning 18), but your 9-year-old would have until they are 17 years old (because they could not bring their claim more than 8 years after the accident). If your younger child waited until they were 19 years old to file their claim, their claim would be barred.
How Long Should You Wait to File a Bicycle Accident Claim?
If you were injured in a bicycle accident as an adult, you must bring your claim within 2 years of the accident. Naturally, there may be a benefit to bringing your claim sooner rather than later, because the incident may be fresher in your mind or in the mind of any witnesses to the accident. However, within the 2 year period allowed, you will want to wait until you are sure you have all available evidence of your damages. This may include:
- Damage to your property (bicycle, clothes)
- All medical bills
- Any lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Therefore, you would not want to file a claim before you knew the extent of your injuries and the costs incurred as a result of your injuries, but always within the appropriate statute of limitations.
If your child was injured in an accident before they turn 18 years of age, you can wait until their 19th birthday, provided they were at least 11 years old at the time of the accident. If your child was under 11 years old at the time of the accident, they would have, at the most, 8 years from the time of the accident to assert their claim.
Have You Been Injured in a Bicycle or Pedestrian Accident in Kansas City?
If you've been injured in a Kansas City pedestrian or bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.249.2101 to schedule your free consultation.