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In Kansas, state laws govern the filing process for cerebral palsy lawsuits related to medical malpractice. The process can seem lengthy and complicated, but if you understand a little more about the steps and the requirements, it becomes less daunting.
If you have a Kansas cerebral palsy lawyer by your side to help explain the process and guide your decisions, that’s even better. Take these essential steps to begin the cerebral palsy lawsuit filing process so that you can win justice for your child and recover the damages that will allow you to provide excellent care and treatment.
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Do I Need a Lawyer to Help with the Lawsuit Filing Process?
You do need a lawyer to help you get through this process. Without the right lawyer, you run a serious risk of making mistakes that disqualify your case. You also run the risk of not getting a perfect outcome, even if you manage to make it through all the steps correctly.
Before getting started with the process of filing a lawsuit over cerebral palsy, find a lawyer who specializes in these kinds of cases. You should work with someone, or a law firm, who has handled cases like yours before, who has worked with similar clients, and who has the experience and knowledge necessary to get you the best outcome.
Don’t settle for a general lawyer or someone who has never worked on this kind of lawsuit.
What Kind of Lawsuit Can I File for Cerebral Palsy in Kansas?
If you have a child born with or diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may be in a position to need to take legal action. You might need to do this to hold accountable those medical professionals who caused your child’s disability or to fight back against discrimination and denial of rights and services because of limitations.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
A medical malpractice lawsuit is an action you take against a doctor or other type of medical professional, even a hospital, if necessary. Medical malpractice occurs when that professional, or more than one, fails to provide a patient with the appropriate and adequate standard of care, resulting in significant harm.
In the case of a child with cerebral palsy, you may be able to prove that a careless mistake caused or contributed to permanent disabilities.
Kansas does not always allow private legal action, that is, the filing of a lawsuit, over discrimination. It depends on the situation, and your lawyer can help you make that distinction. The more likely way that you will take legal action is to file a complaint with the state agency that handles such claims or with a federal agency, again depending on the situation.
The Process of Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Kansas
Every state has its own set of laws governing medical malpractice lawsuits. These laws determine the steps you need to take to get through the process, the burden of proof, how much you can recover in damages, and other vital factors.
With a better understanding of the steps and the process, you can feel better going ahead with filing a lawsuit.
Know the Statute of Limitations
The first law you need to be aware of is Kansas’s statute of limitations. This determines when it’s too late to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Kansas law gives you two years, either from the time that the negligence occurred or from when you discovered it happened. In the latter case, you are still limited to four years from the actual incident. 
Your lawyer will want to discuss with you how much you hope to recover in damages before you begin the process of filing. It’s essential to manage expectations, mainly because Kansas limits damages for non-economic factors, such as loss of independence, to just $300,000. 
For economic damages, there is no limit, so provide your lawyer with all medical bills and receipts and anticipated costs for everything related to your child’s condition so that you can seek a fair amount.
File the Lawsuit
Your lawyer will take this crucial first step in the process by sending a detailed complaint to all defendants. It should outline the incident and why and how you believe medical negligence caused your child’s disabilities.
Attend a Settlement Conference
Kansas law requires that before you go to trial with your lawsuit that you attend a conference to try to settle out of court. It must happen 30 days before the trial begins. If successful, you will be awarded a settlement amount with no need to go to trial.
Request a Screening Panel
During the settlement conference, either side can request a screening panel. This is a panel with three appropriate medical professionals and one lawyer who review the evidence and come up with a determination as to whether or not negligence occurred. This does not replace the trial, but the finding and evidence given here can be used during the trial.
Go to Trial
If you do need to go to trial with your lawsuit, which is not typical as most cases are settled, your lawyer will argue on your behalf. Your lawyer will present evidence and expert testimony to the jury. The jury decides if negligence occurred and if it did the amount you are owed in damages.
The Process of Filing a Discrimination Complaint in Kansas
To fight against discrimination or a denial of your child’s rights based on disability requires a different process than a medical malpractice lawsuit. In most instances, you will file a complaint with the Kansas Human Rights Commission (KHRC). 
In some situations, it would be more appropriate to complain to a federal agency, like the Department of Justice. Your lawyer can guide this decision.
The KHRC allows your lawyer to file a complaint on your behalf, but regardless of who files, the next step is usually mediation. If this fails or if either side rejects it, the KHRC will begin an investigation of the alleged incident. If the KHRC finds probable cause for discrimination, it will help you get a settlement. The last resort is to hold a public hearing to resolve the issue.
The process of filing a lawsuit for cerebral palsy in Kansas can seem overwhelming. It’s essential, though, to take legal action for your child in certain situations. Let your lawyer guide you through the process of seeking justice, a resolution, or damages for your disabled child.
- Medical liability/Malpractice statutes of limitation. (2014, March 20). Legislative News, Studies and Analysis | National Conference of State Legislatures.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/medical-liability-malpractice-statutes-of-limitation.aspx
- Medical liability/Medical malpractice laws. Damage award Limits or cap. (2011, 15). Legislative News, Studies and Analysis | National Conference of State Legislatures.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/medical-liability-medical-malpractice-laws.aspx
- Kansas Human Rights Commission. Filing a complaint. (n.d.). Kansas Human Rights Commission.
Retrieved from: http://www.khrc.net/complaint.html