Understanding the statute of limitations

In many injury cases, people do not intend to hurt others. However, when a party receives injuries due to the negligence of another, it is fair for the injured individual to seek reparations.

For those who choose to pursue such personal injury claims, it is important to understand a few key facts about the process. One of those facts is the statute of limitations.

The law

In short, the statute of limitations is the length of time that parties have to bring claims against others. There are different statutes of limitations for various types of offenses, and each state has its own increments. In Missouri, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is five years, beginning on the date of the incident.


The statute of limitations has certain exceptions, to include instances that involve injury to minors. While parents can file claims for their children, they may not always do so for whatever reason. The child still has the option to file a suit, and the statute of limitations for a general personal injury claim begins on the child’s 21st birthday. It is important to note that this does not apply to medical malpractice claims for incidents that happen before a child turns eight years old. In such instances, the child must file the claim before his or her 20th birthday.

The discovery rule

Another exceptional instance occurs when an injury from an incident does not become apparent until after the regular statute of limitations timeframe. If the claimant can show this to be the case, the court may still entertain the claim. It is important to note that establishing the discovery timeline is essential to such cases.

While the statute of limitations is quite strict, the exceptions may be quite helpful in certain situations. For those who may qualify for the exceptions, providing supportive evidence is essential.