What Are Statutes of Limitations?

In a civil case, such as a personal injury claim, the statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit. The time limit set by a statute of limitations starts to run when a cause of action accrues, the date when a legal injury occurs and it becomes possible to file a valid cause of action in court. Once the time limit set by a statute of limitations expires, you are considered to be time-barred from filing the lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations for Civil Suits

Personal injury statutes vary from case to case. If you are going to file a civil lawsuit, you have to abide by your state’s statute of limitations. Each state places a cap on the length of time its residents have to file a lawsuit. This is called a Statute of Limitations.

Statutes of limitation vary by the type of legal case you have. While these statutes vary in length, it is important to keep in mind that all personal injury claims are governed by a statute of limitations. Additionally, the statutes of limitation can vary from state to state even though the cause of action, say an automobile accident, remains similar in two different states. These statutes are so varied, among the fifty states, that it is nearly impossible to keep up with statute restrictions from state to state.

 Statue of Limitations in Missouri

While Missouri’s statute of limitations does not require that the case be resolved in the prescribed time period, the plaintiff must have their case filed as well as service of process being achieved before the statute runs.  Most likely, if a statute of limitation runs (or expires) the plaintiff may be forever barred from bringing that claim.

Statutes of limitation may be extended beyond the prescribed statutes in Missouri, but only under very special circumstances.  For instance, the statute of limitations for a minors’ claims typically do not run until the minor first reaches the age of majority.  However, even these exceptions have their own subtle nuances.  When there is any question of the time you may have with which to bring a lawsuit, you should seek legal counsel right away.

In many states, depending on the jurisdiction, and the theory of negligence, the statutes of limitation can be as short as one or two years.  This amount of time can go by very quickly, and of course, once a statute expires (or runs) the litigant may very well be barred from pursuing that claim.

Contact Sticklen & Dreyer Law Firm

If you have any questions concerning the timeliness of filing a lawsuit or how our Missouri statutes of limitation apply in your claim, please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Sticklen & Dreyer. We are here to help, and we pride ourselves on providing expeditious answers to your questions and the utmost diligence in pursuit of your case.