If you are injured by another person’s negligence in Missouri – in a traffic crash or in any other accident scenario – as soon as you have been examined and/or treated for your injuries, schedule a meeting to discuss your rights and options with a Jefferson County personal injury attorney.
If you file a personal injury claim to recover compensation, several Missouri state laws will apply to your case. For instance, a statute of limitations for personal injury cases is a law that sets a deadline for filing your injury claim.
In criminal cases, statutes of limitations ensure that criminal convictions are based on evidence that has not faded or deteriorated over time. A prosecutor must file most criminal charges within a particular time limit.
What Is the Purpose of a Statute of Limitations?
In the United States, most jurisdictions have a statute of limitations for crimes that are not homicides or other violent felonies. When the time runs out, and no charges have been filed in a criminal case, no further prosecution or filing of charges is allowed.
Although statutes of limitations for personal injury cases may frustrate personal injury victims, these statutes maintain fairness in the civil court system. In fact, a statute of limitations gives personal injury victims and their attorneys time to gather and analyze the evidence in a case.
Statutes of limitations ensure that the civil courts are not overwhelmed by cases that have not been thoroughly scrutinized by an attorney.
Additionally, a statute of limitations helps to prevent evidence from deteriorating or being lost over time. In the end, all parties that are involved in a personal injury case benefit from having a statute of limitations.
What Else Does a Statute of Limitations Accomplish?
Statutes of limitations have a long history. They were established in ancient Greece to discourage persons from making a living off of filing lawsuits. Today, a statute of limitations:
- ensures that justice is quick by compelling injury victims to act quickly
- helps to prevent a loss of evidence or any introduction of outdated evidence
- ensures that witnesses’ memories are current and fresh
What Are the Statutes Of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Missouri?
Generally speaking, the statute of limitations in a Missouri personal injury case is five years from the injury date in cases that arise from traffic accidents, in slip-and-fall accidents, and in accidents that are caused by hazardous or defective consumer products.
Other types of personal injuries are covered by other statutes of limitations in Missouri. The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case in Missouri is two years. Survivors of wrongful death victims in Missouri have three years to file a wrongful death claim.
The five-year limit is important particularly when a product liability claim arises from the use of a purportedly defective pharmaceutical drug. Some people may experience reactions and side effects that are not immediately obvious – but become more painful and serious over time – after using a prescription drug.
When Should You Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney?
Whether you were injured by someone’s negligence in a traffic crash, at a hotel, restaurant, or retail location, or even at your own place of work, you should not wait five years and then try to file a personal injury claim at the last possible moment.
Only a Missouri personal injury attorney has the qualifications to review your personal injury claim and to determine the statute of limitations for your own case. If you file a personal injury claim after the deadline has passed, your claim will be permanently dismissed by the court.
Should You Ignore a Statute of Limitations?
If you are injured by someone else’s negligence –a negligent motorist, property owner, or health care provider, for example – take action as soon as you have been examined and/or treated for your injuries by contacting a Jefferson County personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Although there are a variety of exceptions to Missouri’s statutes of limitations, and your case may qualify under one of the exceptions, it is always best when your attorney can examine evidence while it’s fresh and speak to witnesses before their memories fade.
A Jefferson County personal injury attorney will determine when the statute of limitations “clock” begins in your case and will file your personal injury claim as quickly as possible.
It is absolutely imperative to be advised and represented by a Jefferson County personal injury lawyer who knows the system, the statutes of limitations, and the exceptions to the statutes.
What If You Are Suing a Government Agency?
Let’s say you suffer a slip-and-fall injury at a public library or your minor child is injured on playground equipment in a city park. Recovering compensation by suing a government agency is far more complicated than filing a personal injury claim against a private citizen or business.
If a state, county, or municipal government agency or employee is named as a defendant in your injury claim, the rules are quite different. An injury claim against a Missouri government agency must be filed within 90 days of the injury date. That means you must contact a lawyer at once.
In addition to filing in a civil court, claims against government agencies also must be filed with the Missouri Office of Administration’s Risk Management Division. Your Missouri personal injury lawyer will explain the details of filing an injury claim against a government agency.
What Else Should You Know About Personal Injury Deadlines?
Putting your case in the hands of a personal injury attorney – as early as possible – is imperative when you are seeking monetary compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and your other injury-related damages and losses.
If you have been injured by another person’s negligence, or if someone you love is a wrongful death victim, it costs nothing to learn more about your rights or to launch the legal process.
Personal injury lawyers in the State of Missouri work on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay an attorney’s fee only if your attorney recovers compensation on your behalf. You will pay nothing upfront, and your first legal consultation is provided with no cost or obligation.
Take advantage of the opportunity to receive personalized legal advice and to learn how the law in Missouri applies to your own case. If you have been injured because someone else was negligent, contact a personal attorney at once, because recovering compensation is your right.