How Long Do You Have to Sue a Doctor After Medical Malpractice Occurs: Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations Missouri

In both Missouri and Illinois, there is a statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice claims. The law sets a deadline for filing any legal action that arises from medical negligence. When considering how long you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must also think of the time that will be needed to develop a claim before it is filed.

Both Illinois and Missouri generally require plaintiffs to file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years of the alleged negligent act (or failure to act). Each state’s law has a “discovery rule.” This is a provision that allows the two years to be counted from the date when the patient knew of or reasonably should have known of the injury.
In Illinois, a strict deadline of four years from the date of injury is applied regardless of discovery. In Missouri, a final deadline of 10 years from the date of injury is enforced.

The laws make allowances for minors. Illinois allows eight years from the date of the injurious act to file an action as long as it is brought before the person’s 22nd birthday. In Missouri, a minor has until his or her 20th birthday to file a lawsuit.

Keep in mind: Medical malpractice claims are complex and require time. Medical records and other pertinent documentation must be collected and reviewed. Depositions, or sworn statements of fact, must also be obtained. Medical professionals must also review the investigation and provide an expert opinion as to whether medical errors occurred.

This is why a medical malpractice attorney should be consulted as soon as possible if you suspect that you or a loved one is a victim of a medical error or negligence.