From "pain and suffering" caps, to economic damages, to statute of limitations and more, there is a lot to know about Missouri's personal injury laws. Make sure you always talk to a professional before you make any decision about when, where, and how you should handle your personal injury case.
That being said, here are a few things we believe are critical to know if you think you have a personal injury case in Missouri.
PAIN AND SUFFERING CAPS
There are laws in other states that can limit pain and suffering damages (known as "damage caps"). There are no damage caps in Missouri. There were damage caps in wrongful death cases where a plaintiff is suing for medical malpractice, but that was struck down in 2012.
CIVIL LITIGATION VS. CRIMINAL JUSTICE
To start the process for civil litigation and criminal justice, you need to do two different things.
For the Missouri criminal justice system to file a lawsuit against a person they feel is responsible for criminal offense, a police report must first be filed. After it is filed, detectives conduct an official investigation of the circumstances, and a prosecutor analyzes the findings to determine if there is enough to prove a criminal offense.
But, if you are looking for compensation from the person responsible for your personal injury, you will also need to hire a lawyer. The police report alone will not start the civil litigation process. After a personal injury event, it is best to call the police and file a report right away so that the criminal justice process can begin. Then, you should reach out to a lawyer.
DEADLINES FOR MISSOURI PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUITS
Missouri has a statute of limitations affecting how long you have to file a court case after your personal injury. You have two - five years to bring a personal injury claim to civil court depending on the type of claim. If you do not file a civil complaint within the deadline, the court will likely refuse to hear your case. For most "negligence" cases, you have five years to file your complaint.
In some cases, the statute of limitations starts when the person becomes aware of the injury or should have become aware of the injury. It is critical that you start the process as soon as possible to avoid missing any key deadlines.
To learn more, reach out to James Eason today, so we can help you with your case. Call 314.932.1066 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.