What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Missouri?Personal Injury
A statute of limitations is a law that imposes a deadline for taking certain types of legal action. In personal injury law, the statute of limitations gives you a specific time frame to file a lawsuit against someone who caused you harm.
The Standard Time Limit for Personal Injury Cases in Missouri
For most personal injury cases, Missouri law gives you five years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. This means if you get injured, you have up to five years to start your lawsuit. This law ensures that parties file lawsuits while evidence is still fresh and memories of the incident are clear.
If the injury was hidden or not immediately obvious, your filing window will not start until the date when you knew or should have known you had grounds to sue. However, you may not file a lawsuit more than ten years after the date when you sustained the injury, no matter when you discover it.
What Happens If You Wait Too Long to Sue?
If you miss the filing deadline for a personal injury lawsuit in Missouri, the court typically won’t hear your case, no matter how strong it is. This means you can no longer bring your lawsuit to court and will lose the chance to seek compensation for your injuries at trial. The court strictly enforces these deadlines to ensure fairness and timely resolution of disputes. That’s why it’s important to act promptly and file your lawsuit within the allowed time frame to protect your rights.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Five-Year Filing Deadline?
Yes. While the general rule is that you have five years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit in Michigan, there are some exceptions to this deadline.
One key exception is for minors and incapacitated persons. If the injured person is a minor when the injury occurs, the clock on the five-year period doesn’t start ticking until they turn 21. This means a minor has until their 26th birthday to file a lawsuit. Similarly, if the injured person is mentally incapacitated at the time of the injury, the filing window doesn’t begin until their incapacity is gone.
Another exception involves cases where the person responsible for your injury leaves Michigan after the incident but before you file the lawsuit. In that case, the time when the other party is out of state doesn’t count toward the five-year limit.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer If I Have a Personal Injury Case in Missouri?
If you suffer a preventable injury in Michigan that is someone else’s fault, contact a lawyer immediately. Even if you have five years to sue, preparing and pursuing a personal injury claim can take longer than you might think. The sooner you get legal advice, the better. Immediate action on your part gives your lawyer more time to gather evidence, advise you on your next steps, and maximize your payout.
Don’t delay seeking legal help. Contact the law firm of Richard H. Sindel, Inc. today for a free consultation. We have the experience and skill to guide you through your personal injury claim, offering support and advice tailored to your situation every step of the way.