When the negligence of a person or business causes serious injuries, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. This type of legal claim can cover your lost wages, medical expenses and other costs resulting from the injury.
Before you move forward, make sure you understand the laws that govern Missouri personal injury.
Statute of limitations
This legal term describes the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim. Missouri gives you five years from the date of injury to bring this type of case to court. After that, the judge will dismiss your claim. When the injury occurs before a person turns 21 years old, the five-year clock starts on his or her 21st birthday.
Cases involving a government employee or agency are subject to special rules. In this situation, you must act quickly since you only have 90 days to file a claim against the government.
In motor vehicle accidents and other complicated incidents, more than one party may share fault for an injury. Even if you are partially or mostly responsible for the incident in question, you can claim a percentage of legal damages.
For example, if a motorist hit you while you were walking on the side of the road, but you were wearing dark-colored clothing, the judge may find you 20% at fault. In that case, if your damages totaled $50,000, you would receive 80% of that amount or $40,000.
To seek damages, you must prove that:
- Another person acted without reasonable care and/or unlawfully
- These actions contributed to a serious personal injury
- You suffered financial damages as a result of this injury
If your case is valid, you can ask the court to award the cost of your medical bills, medical transportation, time out of work and nonmonetary costs such as pain and suffering. Currently, Missouri does not place a monetary limit on available personal injury damages.