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Process for a Personal Injury case in Missouri

Injury is defined as damage or harm done to or suffered by a person, often due to the negligence of another. If you’ve been injured due to the neglect of another, you don’t have to suffer alone. Tad Morlan has the experience to get you the compensation you deserve. Being injured is bad enough. You shouldn’t have to fight for your rights alone -– Tad Morlan can help.

Missouri has its own unique set of laws and rules regarding how a personal injury claim is handled.  Be sure to hire an attorney with local experience handling your type of case.  The best advise you can get usually comes from speaking to an attorney about your situation.  Although, reaching out to an attorney can help answer many of your questions, doing a bit of research ahead of your meeting can provide you with a better understanding of what to expect when filing a personal injury claim in the state of Missouri.

Missouri has a statute of limitations that dictates how long you have to file a personal injury claim with the court after an injury.  If you do not state your negligence-based personal injury claim within five years, you likely will forfeit any chance to collect compensation for your claim.  Also, all injury claims from deliberate misconduct must be brought to court within two years.

In most cases, the statue of limitations starts when the plaintiff or claimant suffers the injury, there are some cases though that an injury might not be obvious until months or years later. In this situation, the statue begins when the injury was diagnosed or could have been reasonably discovered.  Here are some common claims and their statue of limitations:

  • Car accident – 5 years
  • Slip and fall – 5 years
  • Products liability – 5 years
  • Wrongful death – 3 years

There could be extended circumstances where these time frames may change, or things are unclear.   If you find yourself unsure, contact Tad to get a consultation.

If you are injured due to the negligence of another, then you have rights to recover money damages. You are entitled to the recovery of past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and property damage. In many instances, these money damages are processed through and paid through insurance companies.

Every personal injury case is different, but you can assume that this basic timeline for most of these lawsuits…

First few months:
On the day of your accident, you need to seek medical attention for your injuries.  Even if it doesn’t feel like you need to see a doctor, you do.  If you wait, it can hurt your chances of the jury granting you compensation since a defendant can argue that you must not have been in too much pain if you did not go straight to the doctor.

In the first few months, the police will investigate your accident.  The law firm you choose to represent you will also do their own investigation, interviewing eyewitnesses, taking photographs, and finding key witness to speak during the trial.   During this time, you will also have to speak with insurance companies that want you to make a settlement without going to court.  Your attorney can handle these negotiations for you. 

Months 6-12

The timeline of your case can vary between months to reach this point or years depending on the nature of your injury.  A good lawyer will wait to make negotiations and demands until you have reached your Maximum Medical Improvement to know how much the case is worth.  At this time, your lawyer will attempt to settle out of court but if a desirable settlement is not met, your lawyer files a lawsuit with the court.

Months 12-24

After you file your case, Missouri courts can take about one to two years to go to trial depending on the pretrial procedures.  Once it goes to trial, you go through a discovery process – this is a procedure for both parties to investigate each other’s legal claims.  You may go through a deposition.  The discovery phase can take six months to one year depending on your cases complexity.

Months 24-30

Personal Injury trials can last days or weeks – there are many factors in each case.  Your attorney will walk you through the trial process and help you to understand what is going on throughout the trial.  Once the trial ends, the jury will come to a decision.  This takes a few hours (sometimes days).  If you win your case and obtain financial compensation, you will typically receive your recovery money within 30 days of your jury verdict.

If someone causes injury to you (or your loved one), either by accident or due to negligence, know who to call.  Call Tad Morlan today!

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