Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice in Missouri
Posted in Medical Malpractice on January 11, 2021
Civil lawsuits in the state of Missouri are subject to a rule known as the statute of limitations, which sets a deadline for filing a claim. Different types of lawsuits are subject to different statutes of limitations, but if you do not file by your designated deadline, the court will almost certainly dismiss your claim. Understanding when you need to file protects your right to compensation and ultimately strengthens your claim.
Missouri’s Two-Year Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice
In Missouri, victims of medical malpractice have two years from the date of the malpractice to file their claim in civil court. While there are exceptions to this rule, the court will likely dismiss your lawsuit if you attempt to file after the two-year statute of limitations passes. You will lose your right to compensation if you miss this deadline.
This law may seem restrictive, but it plays several important roles in the litigation process. First, statutes of limitations protect defendants from the ever-present threat of a lawsuit. On the victims’ side, these deadlines ensure you file your claim when the evidence is freshest, and your witness memories are the most reliable. If you file more than two years after the act of malpractice, it is likely that witnesses may either pass away or move out of the area, and your evidence may suffer damage that could affect the outcome of your case.
Exceptions to the Missouri Statute of Limitations
There are multiple exceptions to Missouri’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice. If your case involves a negligent failure to explain or provide test results or a foreign object that a surgeon leaves inside of your body during surgery, the discovery rule will apply to your case. This rule states that you have two years from the date you discovered or should have reasonably discovered the malpractice.
Another exception involves minors who are victims of medical malpractice. If the victim is a child under the age of eighteen, he or she will need to file the lawsuit either ten years from the date of the malpractice or two years from his or her eighteenth birthday. The court will set the statute of limitations as the later of those two dates.
What to Do If You Are a Medical Malpractice Victim
Adhering to the statute of limitations is crucial to protect your right to recover from an act of medical malpractice. Once you suspect you may be the victim of malpractice, take the following steps to protect your claim.
- Save all records related to the malpractice. These may include initial medical records, documents from follow-up appointments with the negligent doctor, bills, prescriptions, test results, and correspondence.
- Seek medical treatment from another medical professional. Save all records from your visits.
- Start a daily journal. In your journal, record the symptoms you are experiencing, the treatment you need to receive for your condition, and how the malpractice is affecting your daily life.
- Contact a Missouri medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will explain the steps you will need to take to file your claim as well as the specific statute of limitations for your lawsuit.
Speak With Us
To avoid missing the statute of limitations, it is very important to speak with a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you realize that you may be the victim of malpractice. Contact your attorney to discuss your legal options and initiate your claim as soon as possible.