Missouri has specific rules regarding your personal injury case. It is important to understand these rules in order to ensure you receive the damages you deserve. These are some of the key laws that may affect your personal injury case.
Deadlines- Missouri has a statute of limitations in personal injury cases. This deadline is among the more generous deadlines compared to other states. You have five years from the date of an accident to file a civil complaint in this state. Failure to meet this deadline may forfeit your right to have the matter heard in court.
Shared Fault- Missouri uses the “pure comparative fault” rule in personal injury suits. This means that the court will decrease the amount you can claim in damages by a percentage equal to your fault in the accident, as determined by a jury. For example, if you are awarded $10,000, and are found to be 5% at fault for the accident, your award will be reduced by $500. However, unlike in some other states, there is no fault threshold that disqualifies you from collecting. Even if you are found to be 90% at fault, you could still collect 10% of a settlement.
Damage Caps in Personal Injury Cases- Missouri has no limits on the amount one can claim in non-economic or punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit. This has been the case in Missouri since 2012, when the state supreme court struck down a 2005 damage cap in medical malpractice cases.
Strict Liability in Dog Attack Cases- The owner of an animal is liable for any attacks by that animal in the state of Missouri, regardless of whether it was known that the animal was dangerous. This rule applies in all animal attack cases, except when the animal has been clearly provoked by the alleged victim.
Claims Against the Government- If you are filing a personal injury claim against any state government entity or employee, the deadline is considerably shorter than in other cases. You are required to file your claim within 90 days, or forfeit your right to have the matter heard in court. It is important to retain counsel immediately in such cases.
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