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How long do you have to file a Missouri personal injury claim? 

If you or someone you know sustains an injury due to another person’s negligent actions, it may be prudent to pursue the liable party for the resulting economic and non-economic damages. For this to happen, you need to file a personal injury lawsuit as provided for by Missouri negligence laws. 

However, Missouri law does not accord you the luxury to file a personal injury lawsuit when you feel like it. Like all the other states, Missouri has a timeframe within which the plaintiff must sue the defendant. 

Missouri statute of limitations for personal injury

Every state is responsible for setting time limits on how and when injury victims can pursue justice. These time limits are referred to as statutes of limitations, and they are taken seriously. In Missouri, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is five years. This means that you have five years from the date of the accident that resulted in your injury to file a claim. 

If the plaintiff fails to file their claim within the five-year window, they may forfeit their right to compensation. 

While five years may seem long enough to get your act together and file your claim, it is in your best interest that you take action as soon as you possibly can. This way, you will be able to preserve the necessary evidence, keep in touch with the witnesses and pursue your case whilst your memory is still fresh. 

Exceptions to Missouri statute of limitations

There are instances when the statute of limitations rule may be delayed. Here are two of these instances: 

  • If the injury victim is a minor (under 21 years of age) or mentally incapacitated. 
  • If the defendant leaves the state after the accident that resulted in the injury

Knowing your rights and responsibilities following an accident is key to pursuing to the compensation you deserve if you are involved in an accident that is not your fault.