Whenever you are hurt in an accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation. However, your right to a legal recovery has time limits. If you do not file a personal injury lawsuit within the Missouri motorcycle accident statute of limitations, your claim could be automatically dismissed by the court—even if you have an open-and-shut case.
Understanding the Missouri Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a law restricting how much time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. These statutes exist for several reasons:
- They help keep the courts running efficiently by limiting old claims
- They protect the alleged responsible party and their right to an adequate defense
- They prevent abuse by stopping people from filing lawsuits long after an accident
Missouri’s statute of limitations allows someone hurt in a motorcycle crash to file a personal injury lawsuit:
- Up to five years after an accident resulting in injury. The statute of limitations begins the same date as the crash, even if you do not report it until later.
- Up to three years after an accident resulting in death. The statute of limitations begins the on the date of death, even if the death occurred days, weeks, or months after the accident.
In general, once the deadline for the statute of limitations has passed, you cannot file a legal claim, no matter how compelling your case may be. However, the law does provide some exceptions. You might be able to file after the statute of limitations if:
- You were physically incapacitated and unable to make a claim
- You were mentally incapacitated and unable to make a claim
- The defendant leaves the state for more than 2 years
- You discovered injuries related to the accident you could not have reasonably been aware of earlier
Don’t Wait Until the Statute of Limitations Is About to Expire
If you were recently injured in a Missouri motorcycle accident, you might think time is on your side. However, waiting too long to file a claim puts you at a severe disadvantage. Even though you have five years to file a personal injury lawsuit, you should never put off calling an experienced motorcycle crash attorney. This is because:
- Critical evidence can get lost or misplaced
- Surveillance video of your accident could be overwritten
- Eyewitnesses might move out of town or forget what they saw
When evidence goes missing or eyewitnesses cannot be contacted, even the best lawyer might not be able to help win your case.
If you wait too long, any case you file is very likely to be dismissed. You will not be able to recover any compensation, even if you would have been otherwise entitled to it.
Have You Been Injured in a Missouri Motorcycle Accident?
If you've been injured in a Missouri motorcycle accident, you should speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 314.200.1229 to schedule a free consultation. We help car accident victims throughout the state of Missouri including Columbia, Springfield, Kansas City, St. Louis, Kirksville, and Cape Girardeau.