If you have suffered an injury after a slip and fall accident, you may be wondering how long you have to file a lawsuit. Under Missouri law, victims of personal injuries must file their lawsuits within a specified period of time, called a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the timeframe in which you must file a lawsuit against a liable third-party. Once that time frame expires, you will not be able to bring a lawsuit for your slip and fall accident. Personal injury laws can be complex, and they often require a significant amount of preparation. It is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible, so you do not miss your chance to recover compensation for injuries.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries
According to the Missouri statute of limitations, you must file a personal injury claim within five years of the injury date. If your slip and fall accident happened on January 1st, 2020, you would have until January 1st, 2025, to file your personal injury lawsuit. Missouri does recognize an exception to this general rule, known as the discovery rule. When the injured party is not aware of the injury, the statute of limitations begins to run either when the victim should have become aware of the injury or became aware of the injury. This exception typically does not apply in slip and fall accidents because victims usually know that they are injured as soon as the accident happens.
Government Agencies as Defendants
If you slipped and fell on the property owned by a government agency, or a government employee caused her slip and fall accident, a different set of rules applies. Plaintiffs who file personal injury lawsuits against the state government need to file a claim with the Office of Administration Risk Management Division. The time frame for filing this type of claim is extremely small, as Missouri residents only have 90 days to file a claim. Understandably, suppose you suffered your injuries on government property owned by the state of Missouri, or by the city or municipality. In that case, you need to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible because your time limit may be even shorter.
Hiring an Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer
Personal injury lawsuits are well-known for often becoming quite complicated. As the plaintiff, you will need to prove that the property owner breached his or her legal duty to provide a reasonably safe environment. Many large companies have litigation teams that fight personal injury lawsuits, and businesses with liability insurance will use attorneys to fight against your claim.
One of the best things you can do after suffering a slip-and-fall injury is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. We recommend avoiding talking to the insurance company and providing statements until you have spoken with your own lawyer. Contact Griggs Injury Law today to schedule your initial consultation.