Under Missouri law, any person who suffers an injury or is harmed in any other way as a result of another person’s negligence can file a tort claim – commonly known as a personal injury claim – and seek damages. The claim – as any St. Louis personal injury attorney can tell you – needs to be filed within the time limit set by the state – commonly referred to as the statute of limitations.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Missouri Let us take a look.
Missouri Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Section 516.120 of the Missouri Code states that any person who intends to file a tort claim against another person to seek damages for their injuries and other losses must do so within a period of five years – starting from the date on which the accident occurred.
The time limit for filing personal injury claims in Missouri is considerably longer than the time limit set by most other states, where you are required to file a claim within two or three years. Still, it is advisable to consult a St. Louis personal injury attorney as soon as you can after an accident, so that they can take the steps needed to recover damages from the at-fault party.
What Happens if You Miss the Deadline For Filing Personal Injury Claims in Missouri
If you fail to bring a claim against the at-fault party within five years, you will lose your right to recover damages from them. If you try to file a claim anyway, the at-fault party can file a request with the court to dismiss your case.
This is why you should get in touch with a St. Louis personal injury attorney right after an accident, as it will give them ample time to investigate your accident, gather the required evidence, and file a claim against the at-fault party.
Are There Any Exceptions to Missouri’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Yes, there are. Depending on certain factors, the deadline for filing a tort claim in Missouri can be considerably shorter or longer than the five-year time limit mentioned above. For instance, if you are injured as a result of a government agency’s negligence, you are required to file a claim within 90 days from the date on which the accident occurred.
Other exceptions to Missouri’s statute of limitations include:
- If you are under the age of 21, your five-year time limit for filing a claim will start only after you reach the age of 21.
- If you are mentally incapacitated, your five-year time limit for filing a claim will start only after you are declared sane or competent by a qualified medical professional.
- If the at-fault party (the person who injured you) leaves Missouri before you can file a case against them, their period of absence will not be counted as part of the five-year time limit.
Looking to File a St. Louis Personal Injury Claim We Can Help You!
At Miller & Hine, we know the importance of filing a personal injury claim in a timely manner. Our lawyers have an in-depth understanding of Missouri’s personal injury laws and have a track record of winning cases through negotiated settlement and litigation. Call us today at (314) 597-9763 or complete this online contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our Missouri personal injury attorneys.