The time limits placed on a personal injury lawsuit such as an auto accident claim or a product liability claim is dependent on the pertinent state statute of limitations.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitation is a state law that establishes deadlines for filing a lawsuit.  A statute of limitations establishes these deadlines by restricting the time between the date of an injury or an accident and the date by which a claim must be filed with the court.  The statute of limitations is important, because it should impact the speed at which decisions are made about whether or not to file a claim as well as controls the right to bring a lawsuit if the statute of limitations has run, making claims barred because too much time has passed since the injury occurred. 
Local Statutory Laws
Every state has a unique set of statutory rules that effect personal injury lawsuits by establishing deadlines for filing claims, restricting how fault can be split between different parties through comparative fault rules, designating the amount of insurance coverage required, or making available theories of liability used to determine fault or calculate damages. For instance, in the state of Missouri a personal injury lawsuit has a time limit of five years, after which parties are barred from filing a claim in civil court.  Missouri Revised Statute 516.120, in pertinent part, establishes the five year statute of limitations for civil actions upon contracts, obligations, or liabilities. In the state of Illinois, the statute of limitations period is significantly shorter. Illinois sets a two year limit for personal injury claims, but creates unique restrictions such as limiting claims against a city or county to be filed within one year or for a lawsuit against the state to mandate a formal claim within one year, even though you can sue up to two years after the injury or accident.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have suffered an injury and seek to protect your legal rights and interests, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced personal injury attorney well in advance of the statute of limitations running. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.