What Are The Limitations Of a Personal Injury Case?

What Are The Limitations Of a Personal Injury Case?

Getting injured in an accident is a traumatizing and painful experience.

You will suffer physical pain and have to deal with the frustration of dealing with insurance companies. If you are considering suing an insurance company, you should know that there are certain limitations on personal injury cases.

Statute of Limitation

The statute of limitations is the amount of time a person has to sue another person or a company for negligent actions. The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is five years in the state of Missouri. This is longer than in most other states.

If you lose a loved one to an accident, you only have three years to file for wrongful death. The clock starts ticking on the date of the accident and not the date of death.

The statute of limitations may not always be cut and dried. Personal injuries are not always immediately apparent. Hence, there are some exceptions to the rules. Working with a trained personal injury lawyer in Jefferson City is essential in an injury lawsuit. They can argue on your behalf if you need an extension. 

It is helpful to be aware of the exceptions to the statute of limitations.

The Victim Was a Minor 

The Show Me State forbids people under 18 from filing lawsuits. However, the parents of a minor can file on the child’s behalf. The victim will have two years after they turn 21 to file a lawsuit against the person or entity who caused their injuries. 

The Victim Was Mentally Incapacitated

The state of Missouri does not allow people who are mentally incapacitated to file lawsuits. Their guardian may file a suit on their behalf. Sometimes, mental incapacity is temporary. If a person recovers and the court finds them competent, they will have three years from the time of the declaration of competence to file suit.

The Negligent Person Leaves the State

If the person responsible for your injuries leaves the state, the statute of limitations on a lawsuit will be paused until they return to the state. This exception can be confusing. Let’s say an uninsured driver injures you and leaves the state after a year. The clock would start ticking the date of the accident, but pause when they leave the state. If they returned to the state, you would have four years from the date of their return to sue them.

Caps on Non-Economic Damages

People who have been severely injured in an accident will often ask for non-economic damages in a lawsuit. This is also known as compensation for pain and suffering. Many states have a cap on the amount of money a person can claim for pain and suffering in a medical malpractice case. 

In Missouri, the maximum amount of money a person can receive for non-economic damages is $400,000 if the injuries were non-catastrophic and $700,000 if the injuries were catastrophic or resulted in death. The caps increase over the years. Civil rights groups are trying to get the limits overturned, but the medical profession has a powerful lobby.

Wrongful Death Limitations

The loss of any loved one can be very traumatic especially if it is untimely and caused by the negligence of another person. 

There are limitations on who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The decedent’s parents, children, and spouse can file such a lawsuit. If the decedent’s children are dead, the grandchildren may file a suit.  A wrongful death claim can be filed against an individual or company. You are entitled to damages for lost income and household services. You can also receive funds for loss of companionship and emotional pain and suffering. 

Selecting an Attorney

There are quite a few personal injury attorneys in Missouri. Select one with many years of experience who can provide you with references.


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