What You Need to Know About Personal Injury in Missouri

A personal injury claim requires the plaintiff to prove that an injury occurred and that the injury was due to the fault of the defendant. Evidence should be collected as soon as possible, and the plaintiff should consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss whether or not there are grounds for a lawsuit. If, in fact, there are, the attorney will file a lawsuit. It is extremely important to proceed with the lawsuit in a timely manner, since in Missouri the statute of limitations for most personal injuries are five years (with a discovery rule that states the time begins when the plaintiff first became aware – or should have been aware – of the problem); and the statute of limitations for wrongful death is three years.

“Act of God” Defense in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Many personal injury cases result from what is called an “act of God,” and this is a common defense in personal injury lawsuits. For example, this may result from a car accident which is caused by the defendant experiencing a heart attack or seizure while driving. The defendant can claim that the car accident was not his or her fault due to the “act of God” being the health problem he or she experienced. To get past this defense, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent in some manner – perhaps he or she had not taken medicine to prevent the health problem from occurring, for example.

Other Defenses in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Other defenses for personal injury lawsuits include arguing that the plaintiff’s injuries were due to the plaintiff’s “assumption of risk;” that the plaintiff’s injuries were due in part to the failure of the plaintiff to receive medical treatment in a timely manner; or that the plaintiff actually had some part in the accident itself. In the state of Missouri, fault is determined by a pure comparative negligence system. This means that the defendant can be found at fault by an amount or percentage – but the plaintiff may also be found at fault in part (by the remaining percentage). For example, if the defendant is found to be at fault for the accident by 75%, the plaintiff may be rewarded 75% of the damages. To be rewarded 100% of damages, the plaintiff must prove the defendant was fully and completely at fault 100%. For more information on defenses in personal injury lawsuits and how to get past these defenses, consult a personal injury attorney in Missouri.