When a defendant is out-of-state, many states including Missouri and Kansas toll the statutes of limitations so there is additional time to bring a lawsuit. However, Missouri and Kansas laws differ signficantly regarding the conditions that must be met in order to toll the statute, which can make all the difference as to whether you can still bring your case or are forever barred from doing so. Since much of Kansas City is on the state line between Missouri and Kansas, the application of these tolling statutes is often more than simply an academic discussion, having a real impact upon personal injury victims. Read the law here:
MISSOURI LAW: Missouri's tolling statute is relatively black and white:
516.200 RSMO. If at any time when any cause of action herein specified accrues against any person who is a resident of this state, and he is absent therefrom, such action may be commenced within the times herein respectively limited, after the return of such person into the state.
KANSAS LAW: Kansas' tolling statute is relatively complicated:
KSA 60-517. If when a cause of action accrues against a person he or she be out of the state, or has absconded or concealed himself or herself, the period limited for the commencement of the action shall not begin to run until such person comes into the state, or while he or she is so absconded or concealed, and if after the cause of action accrues he or she depart from the state, or abscond or conceal himself or herself, the time of the absence or concealment shall not be computed as any part of the period within which the action must be brought. This section shall not apply to extend the period of limitation as to any defendant whose whereabouts are known and upon whom service of summons can be effected under the provisions of artcle 3 or this chapter.
In construing KSA 60-517, the Kansas Court has stated that it does not toll the statute of limitations for an out-of-state defendant if the defendant's whereabouts are known and the defendant can be lawfully served. The word "known" means the place where service of process upon the defendant can be effected that is known or should have been known to the plaintiff by the exercise of due diligence.
It is clear on the face of the above Missouri and Kansas statutes of limitation that whether, when, and for how long the statute tolls when a defendant is out-of-state differs greatly in Missouri and Kansas. In some instances, case law interpretation must be resorted to in order to assess whether the claim might still be viable. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys can provide a FREE consultation concerning the application of the statute of limitations to your claim as well as all other aspects of your case based upon the facts and circumstances of your particular situation.