Missouri Personal Injury Laws
Have you or a loved one been injured in an auto accident, workplace mishap, slip and fall or suffered any other type of accident in Missouri that resulted in a severe injury? Are you asking yourself what to do next? If your injury was caused by another person who was acting recklessly or negligently, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Call one of Kanner & Pintaluga’s Missouri personal injury law offices for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
What Should You Know About Missouri Personal Injury Laws?
Most states have very similar personal injury laws and statutes, but there are some significant differences that may affect your decision regarding how best to proceed with your case. Here are some things to keep in mind if you have a personal injury claim in Missouri.
- Missouri has a pretty generous statute of limitations for personal injury cases. If you’ve been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have up to five years to file a lawsuit, which is much more injured party-friendly than the one or two years many other states allow.
- The time limits are significantly shorter if a government agency or a government employee caused your injury and was on the clock at the time of the accident. If the government or a government worker injured you, then you only have 90 days to file a formal claim against the government agency with the Office of Administration’s Risk Management Division.
- Missouri is a pure comparative fault state. What this essentially means is that if you’re found to be partially at fault your verdict settlement will be reduced by your percentage of culpability. For example, you could have been in an auto accident and it’s determined that even though the at-fault driver ran a red light and hit you that you were speeding at the time of the accident. If the court decides you were 15 percent responsible for the accident and you were awarded a $100,000 settlement, then you would only receive $85,000.
- Missouri is again very injured-party friendly when it comes to compensation caps – there are none. Some states cap maximum compensation, especially for medical malpractice cases, but Missouri has no such caps on any types of personal injury. There used to be a Missouri cap on medical malpractice compensation, but the Missouri Supreme Court struck that down in 2012.
- Missouri requires all drivers to carry $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury insurance to cover injury victims, however it is possible to purchase policies which carry higher limits. Additionally, all insurance policies must also include at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance coverage. Drivers who do not carry this coverage may be subject to Missouri’s No Pay No Play law.
- Missouri has not adopted the one bite dog bite rule. In states that have the one bite rule, dog owners and their pets are essentially given a free pass for their first dog bite injury. The idea is if the dog never gave the owner any indication that they were aggressive or posed a threat to other people then they shouldn’t be held accountable for suddenly attacking someone – the first time at least. Missouri is a strict liability dog bite state, meaning there is no one bite grace period. Dog owners can be held liable for any attack on another person, even if it’s allegedly the first time a dog has shown aggression.
If you’re a Missouri resident who has been injured by another person’s negligent actions, the personal injury attorneys at Kanner & Pintaluga want to help. Our lawyers have represented hundreds of people who have been injured due to the reckless actions of other people, and we’d be happy to discuss your case at no cost to you.