Senator Dan Hegeman wants to change the statute of limitations on personal injury in Missouri. This essentially means that an injured worker or layperson will have less time to file a claim on personal injury. If you wait too long, you'd be out of luck.
The Senator - who is a Republican - represents the 12 Missouri District. Elected in 2014, Hegeman represents the northern Missouri counties of Andrew, Atchison, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Mercer, Nodaway, Putnam, Sullivan, and Worth.
A statute of limitations is a law forbidding prosecution of a crime committed over a certain number of years in the past. The reasoning of these laws is to ensure that all convictions are based solely upon evidence - either physical or eyewitness - that hasn't deteriorated over time. After a certain period set down by these laws, the crime can no longer be prosecuted - essentially, the person accused is free. It is important to note that every state in the USA establishes its own statutes of limitations, and often each has different time limits depending on the types of crime.
Statutes of limitations actually govern not all crimes. For example, murder does not have a statute of limitations in any state - meaning that even decades later, a murderer may be brought to justice. Some states also extend no time limits for other types of crime, like sexual offenses, terrorism, or treason.
This bill, known as SS/SB 3, reforms conditions specifically relating to civil actions. This includes the statutes of limitations for personal injury. Currently, actions for personal injury must be brought forth within five years from the time the injury occurred. The new change would now restrict the statute of limitations to two years.
The Bill also includes changes to certain contract claims, arbitration awards, covenants not to execute, contracts to limit recovery, and intervention in court proceedings for insurance companies. Additionally, actions against an insurer relating to uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage would need to be brought forth within two years.
Hegeman sponsored the bill in the Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. The proposed changes would take place starting August 28, 2021. The Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee report on bills related to the judicial department of the state of Missouri. This includes the practice of the courts, civil procedures and criminal laws, criminal costs, among other things.