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Former Kansas nurse dies 5 weeks after being struck by SUV

The date of a victim's death, injury or knowledge of injury is critical to a Pittsburg liability case. Kansas statute of limitations laws allow victims or survivors a set period to file claims. Any complaint that is filed beyond the expiration date is invalid, and no other new filings are accepted.

Some traffic crashes do not involve immediate deaths but become fatalities when an injured victim dies. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death. The death may occur days, weeks or months following the victim's accident.

It was dark and icy in Topeka the night a woman started to walk home from a drugstore. The trip wasn't far. The 54-year-old woman lived in an apartment building just across the street.

The woman was making her way across the road in a crosswalk, when she was struck by a sport utility vehicle. The injuries the victim suffered were life-threatening and horrific. She had fractures all over her body, from two broken ankles to a shattered eye socket, and suffered severe bladder and bowel injuries.

The former nurse was hospitalized and then flown to a Kansas City hospital. Doctors told the victim's three daughters that their mother would not survive. The critically-injured patient was moved to a hospice facility five weeks later and died.

The SUV driver was a 25-year-old man. Reports did not say whether the driver was cited or charged with the pedestrian accident.

The victim's family members have asked for the public's help to cover the costs of their mother's funeral. Wrongful death plaintiffs often file claims to be reimbursed for loved one's burial and funeral costs.

Lawsuits are filed to establish fault through a defendant's intentional behavior, recklessness or negligence. Only certain family members are permitted to take legal action - usually a spouse, children or parents. Other plaintiffs, including siblings of the deceased, are acceptable under certain circumstances.

Source: The Topeka Capital-Journal, "Topekan dies 5 weeks after car-pedestrian accident" Phil Anderson, Jan. 02, 2014

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