In Missouri, a “statute of limitations” is a law that prohibits legal action from being brought after the passage of a certain amount of time. So, causes of action for Missouri wrongful death, Missouri truck accidents, Missouri motorcycle crashes and Missouri car wrecks will be lost due to the passage of time set out in the applicable “statute of limitation” unless diligently brought by the plaintiff within the legally specified period within the “statute of limitation.”
The general “statute of limitations” applicable to most Missouri car accidents is 5 years. Generally, the statute of limitations period begins to run against the victim when the damages resulting from the car, truck or motorcycle accident are sustained and ascertainable.The cause of action does not accrue when the wrong is done or the technical breach of a duty occurs. Instead, the period begins when the damage resulting from the wrongful act is sustained and capable of ascertainment.
Unlike personal injury claims, a Missouri wrongful death claim must be brought within 2 years of when the death occurs. For this reason, Missouri wrongful death cases are treated differently and must be filed much sooner than an ordinary negligence cause of action.
Damage is sustained and capable of ascertainment for purposes of the “statute of limitations” when it can be discovered or made known, even though the amount of the damages may not be fully known.The language “capable of ascertainment” is applicable to both the wrong committed and the loss or damages sustained.When either is incapable of ascertainment, the “statute of limitations” can be “tolled” or stopped from running. If damages follow upon the commission of some wrong or breach of a duty owed to another, they are capable of ascertainment only when the consequences of the loss or damages have been realized. Again, the word “ascertainment” has always been read or interpreted as referring to the fact of damages, rather than the precise amount of any damages. In order to bring a lawsuit, however, the requirement is that some damages must have been sustained and that the claimant knows he or she has a claim for some amount.The amount is to be determined at a later date in the litigation.Ultimately, the test is when the plaintiff could have first successfully maintained the cause of action. This issue of “statute of limitations” may be raised as an affirmative defense by the other party. If a claimant violates the “statute of limitations” it will likely result from a complete bar to any recovery for a Missouri motor vehicle accident victim and dismissal of their case.
If you are involved in a car crash, motorcycle crash, truck crash and or have loved one die as the result of a tragic event, you should immediately consult with a good St. Louis personal injury attorney to protect your rights and avoid adverse consequences are in violation of a Missouri wrongful death statute. Too often, our injury lawyers see people who have waited too long to bring their legal cause of action. In these kinds of cases, most of the time, there is simply nothing any Missouri lawyer can do to salvage the claim.