A statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit on how long after an event someone can file a lawsuit based on what occurred. Once the statute of limitations expires, a person can no longer seek legal relief from the liable parties. This time limit varies depending on the type of claim involved. The purpose of a statute of limitations is to ensure that cases are heard while the evidence is still fresh and to protect defendants from being sued long after an incident has occurred.

In Missouri, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is five years. This is longer than many other states, but there are some business and insurance interests that are pushing to reduce this filing period. Some injuries are so severe that a long statute of limitations period can be helpful, because a plaintiff will understand the full extent of their injuries prior to filing their complaint. However, it is usually in the victim’s best interests to start the legal process promptly for the following reasons:

  • Witnesses — If you wait too long, some of the witnesses might be difficult to find. Moreover, memories fade over time and a witness may not remember specific details or be able to recall exactly how the accident happened years after the incident.
  • Evidence — As time passes after an accident, there is the possibility that physical evidence will be lost or damaged. A lengthy delay increases the likelihood that items that bolster your legal argument will be unavailable.
  • Financial need — Medical bills can pile up quickly after an injury and if you are unable to work, you might be feeling serious financial pressure. The sooner you start your legal case, the sooner you can obtain the compensation you need and deserve.

At RJC Law in Springfield, you will have an experienced Missouri personal injury lawyer by your side advising you of the relevant deadlines and preparing the evidence you need to build a compelling legal argument. This way, you can concentrate on your physical recovery and returning to the activities you enjoyed before getting hurt.

If you have been in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact RJC Law in Springfield, MO by calling 417-233-0073 or using our online contact form to schedule your free consultation today.