When to File a Personal Injury Claim


If someone else’s negligent actions have caused your personal injury or the destruction of your property, you are probably thinking that you should seek some sort of fair monetary compensation from them. From medical bills to repair costs, your full recovery probably won’t be inexpensive, so it makes sense to hold the accountable party liable for what they have done. The question that will ultimate arise, however, is not if you should file your claim against them, but when.

Taking Action While You Can

In Missouri, there are statutes of limitations on all personal injury claims in civil court. Nearly all cases will be bound by a five year statute of limitation after the incident or accident has occurred. This means that if you were hurt in 2010, the court could throw out whatever claims you create in 2016 and beyond without any investigation.

There are a couple of noteworthy exceptions, though:

  1. Malpractice: Generally, a medical malpractice case will only permit a statute of limitations of two years. Some circumstances can extend to upwards of 10 years, however, if the patient was under 18 when the malpractice happened.
  2. Date of discovery: Not every injury is going to be readily noticeable, such as a slowly debilitating illness caused by dangerous prescription drugs. When this is the case, a two year statute of limitations begins the date the affliction is actually discovered – in Missouri, this typically means diagnosed – and not necessarily when it first originated. In line with the prescription drug example, you could begin taking medication in 2005 and suffer a liver failure due to it in 2015; although it is 10 years later, you would still have until 2017 to make your claim because the harm being caused was not prevalent right away.

As a general rule of thumb, there is no reason for you to hesitate creating your claim, and the sooner you do, the better your chances of winning a positive settlement or verdict. This does not mean marching right up to the door of the responsible party and demanding payment, though. Rather, you need to team up with a St. Louis personal injury lawyer from Ochs & Klein Attorneys, P.C. right away. With our legal guidance, we may be able to secure you the maximum compensation available.

Call 800.491.1486 today for a free consultation.