What is The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Missouri?

What is The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Missouri?

Suppose you’ve experienced a car accident, slip-and-fall, or another injury in Missouri with another party at fault. You may be entitled to compensation as long as you are compliant with Missouri’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. The statute of limitations for a lawsuit is the deadline you should file the case.

Missouri’s injury statute of limitations is spelled out in Missouri Code section 516.120. In this section, the statute of limitations is five years for a lawsuit seeking legal remedy for an “injury to a person.” This includes cases driven by the liability principle of “negligence” (which primarily applies to claims involving incidents like a car accident or slip-and-fall) or intentional tort (which applies to civil cases of deliberate conduct such as assault). 

Therefore, if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence or intentional harm, you have five years to get the initial documentation (consisting of the “complaint” and other paperwork) filed in court. This time window begins on the date of the accident, so you must act promptly. 

Missouri Personal Injury Case Statute of Limitations Exceptions

Suppose you are an injured Missouri resident who missed the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit five years after your accident. Chances are, the courts will not consider your case due to being outside of the statute of limitations, and if you do file your injury lawsuit anyway, the defendant will almost certainly file a motion to dismiss the case. By this point, you’ll have lost all negotiating leverage for any compensation. However, in rare cases, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Missouri has some exceptions. 

There are a few scenarios in Missouri that might delay the statute of limitations “clock” or pause it after it has begun to run, effectively extending your statute of limitations to file your case. For instance, if the injured person is under the age of 21 or mentally incapacitated at the occurrence of the accident, the statute of limitations for their injury case may be extended under the guise of “legal disability.” Once this period of legal disability ends (so, when the plaintiff turns 21 or is declared competent), the five-year statute resumes.

Additionally, if the defendant (the party at fault for the plaintiff’s injury) leaves the state of Missouri sometime after the accident before the lawsuit is filed, their period of absence would not count in the five-year filing period. In other words, the filing “clock” will pause for the plaintiff at that time.

Personal Injury Attorneys With Compassion

If you or a loved one were hurt or harmed through no fault of your own, you might be legally entitled to compensation for your experience. The Goss Law Firm has the skills and knowledge it takes to help get you the compensation you need for a full recovery. Fill out and submit a contact form on our website or call our office toll-free at 816-888-5000 for a free legal consultation today.