Every state has the authority to create its own laws and governs how the laws are handled.
In other words, laws and the details surrounding that law may vary from state to state.
One thing that most frequently varies between states is the Statute of Limitations for a specific law in that state.
The official definition of statutes of limitations is: “A statute prescribing a period of limitation for the bringing of certain kinds of legal action.”
In short, it is the length of time in which a lawsuit or claim can be filed against an individual or a company.
This term is frequently referred to in movies or TV shows about lawyers or police officers wanting to sue or arrest an individual(s) but can’t due to the statute of limitations.
On top of varying state by state, the statute of limitations may also vary by the case or legal matter.
In the United States, there are typically two types of Statutes of Limitations:
Civil Statute of Limitations
Civil Statute of Limitations is, in short, how long you have after an incident to file a complaint or lawsuit (I.e. suing someone after a car accident)
Criminal Statute of Limitations
Criminal Statute of Limitations, on the other hand, deals with how long after an incident or crime a state’s prosecutor can file charges against an individual(s).
The statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits is 5 years.
Missouri statute §516.120(4) states that a lawsuit or claim resulting from “An action for taking, detaining or injuring any goods or chattels, including actions for the recovery of specific personal property, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another, not arising on contract and not herein otherwise enumerated” must be filed within 5 years of the date the incident occurred.
With that in mind, you know that the statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits in Missouri is 5 years.
That means that if you are wanting to file a lawsuit for any injury-related incident like assault, car accidents, truck accidents, etc., you must do so within 5 years of the date in which the incident occurred.
Missouri’s Revised Statute 516.120 states that “An action for taking, detaining or injuring any goods or chattels, including actions for the recovery of specific personal property, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another, not arising on contract and not herein otherwise enumerated”
In other words, Missouri law requires you to file a lawsuit against an individual or individuals for property damage within 5 years.
Missouri’s Statute § 516.105 states that “…damages for malpractice, negligence, error or mistake related to health care shall be brought within two years from the date of occurrence of the act of neglect complained of…”
Put simply, in Missouri, you have 2 years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
However, there are certain circumstances or cases when that timeframe extends beyond two years known as a “Statute of Repose“.
In cases such as a minor being under the age of 18, he or she has until either they are 20 years old or a maximum of 10 years have passed (whichever comes first) to file a medical malpratice.
The final personal injury statutes of limitations we will discuss are those involving work injuries; also known as workers’ compensation.
Workers’ comp is when an individual receives compensation from their employer after a work-related injury or illness.
According to the Missouri Department of Labor, in order to file a workers’ compensation lawsuit in Missouri, you must do so within:
In other words, the Statutes of Limitations for workers’ compensation lawsuits in Missouri is 2 years unless the employer of the person injured or killed fails to file a report within a timely manner in which case that statutory period is 3 years.
Statutes also apply to cases other than just personal injury lawsuits.
Here is an overview of all of the most common Civil Statutes of Limitations in Missouri:
If you have questions about whether or not your case meets the statute of limitations or wish to file a claim, contact St. Louis personal injury attorney Craig Ortwerth to start your free consultation.