Written by attorney J. Kirk Rahm

Missouri Personal Injury Law Time Limits

General Time Limit Rules For Filing Missouri Personal Injury Claims

The following time limits applicable to Missouri personal injury claims are not absolute because they may be shorter or longer i n a particular situation, depending on the age of the person bringing the claim and other factors:

· Assault and Battery—2 years

· General Negligence (automobile accidents, slip and fall injuries,

defective products, etc.)—5 years

· Lawyer Malpractice—5 years

· Medical Malpractice—2 years

· Wrongful Death (regardless of cause)—3 years

Missouri Exceptions to the General Time Limit Rules

The time limits for filing a personal injury claim in Missouri are sometimes longer if the claim is brought by a person who was under age 18 when the injury occurred. For example there is a five year time limit for bringing a negligence claim arising out of operation of a motor vehicle if the injured person was 18 years old or older when the accident occurred, but if the injured person was less than 18 years old, then the time limit does not begin to expire until the injured person reaches age 18.

In wrongful death claims, the age of the person bringing the claim does not expand the time limit for filing a claim. Also, even when the death was caused by an automobile collision and although the time limit for filing a wrongful death claim is shortened when the injury occurs in a motor vehicle collision (from 5 years to 3 years), the time limit for filing a wrongful death claim caused by medical malpractice is lengthened (from 2 years to 3 years).

Thus, there are also circumstances when the time limit for filing a personal injury claim may appear to have expired, but actually not have expired. For example, in a medical malpractice claim there is ordinarily a 2 year time limit, but Missouri courts will sometimes permit a claim to be prosecuted even though it was filed more than 2 years after the malpractice, if the person bringing the claim can show that the medical care provider continued to provide medical care for the same condition caused by the malpractice, and that the claim was filed within 2 years after the continuing medical care ended.

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