Every state handles personal injury claims under its own state laws and statutes. In Missouri, filing a claim requires you have the assistance of a personal injury attorney familiar with operating under the local laws. A lawyer accustomed to working in the state legal system will be best suited to advise you on what damages to seek in your claim and to establish liability for the injuries you suffered.
Missouri is a “Comparative-Fault” State
Just as every state has its own laws that govern personal injury claims, every state also determines how fault or liability for personal injuries is determined. In some states, if you played even a tiny part in the circumstances that led to your injuries, you can’t sue for damages. In Missouri however, you can share responsibility for the injuries you suffered and still hold another party or parties responsible for the role they played as well.
The damages you may receive are reduced according to your percentage of fault for your own injuries. In other words, if you are 10 percent responsible, you can only receive 90 percent of the damages that might be available in your case. A Missouri personal injury attorney can help you establish comparable-fault in your claim and will work to get you the highest and fairest settlement or award of damages possible.
Potential Damages for Personal Injury in Missouri
Damages which can be sought in a personal injury claim in Missouri include compensation for economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, cost of household help or skilled home care, and loss of future earnings ability. You may also seek compensation non-economic losses like pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney familiar with Missouri cases will be able to advise you on the damages you should include in your claim for compensation.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Missouri
Just as every state sets other limits on personal injury claims, each also sets the timeframe during which a personal injury claim may be filed. In Missouri, the statute of limitations for filing a claim is five years, though under certain circumstances, that timeframe may be altered.
To extend the statute of limitations, there must be extenuating circumstance that caused you to miss filing the claim within the prescribed timeframe. If, for example, you were not aware that you suffered injuries until much later, then you might miss the window for filing a lawsuit.
Any claim that exceeds the statute of limitations will require the services of a Missouri personal injury attorney. He or she will be able to help you establish the reason for the exception and may be able to get your claim heard despite the expiration of the statute of limitations.