Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

An Overview of Missouri Tort Victims' Compensation Fund

In 1965, the Missouri Legislature created the “Tort Victims' Compensation Fund”. According to the Missouri Supreme Court, the purpose of the Fund is to “create a fund to compensate certain tort victims who might otherwise be forced to rely on public assistance, while other tort victims, particularly those receiving large punitive damages awards, receive more than is necessary to pay for their injury.” Fust v. Attorney General for the State of Missouri, 947 S.W.2d 424, 430 (Mo. banc 1997).

The fund gets its money from half of all punitive damages awards collected in Missouri. Traditionally, the fund has not had much money because of an absence of punitive damages awards. However, within the last several years there have been multiple large punitive damages awards that have infused the fund with significant cash. Because of this, claims made to the Fund have become worthwhile. Here is a brief overview of Tort Victims' Compensation Fund claims.

Time Limit

Claims must be filed within the relevant statute of limitations for the type of tort causing the injury. The statute of limitations for most torts in Missouri is 5 years. If, however, you’ve gotten a judgment against the tortfeasor, then the time limit is two years from the date of the judgment.

Who is Eligible

The TCVF is for uncompensated tort victims. R.S.Mo. Sec. 537.675.1(5) lists the elements required to be considered an “uncompensated tort victim”. Basically, you must be a victim of a personal injury incident and unable to collect money from the person or company that caused the injury. This can include car and truck crashes, slip or trip and falls, medical malpractice, assaults, and wrongful death.

What You Get

The maximum amount of money you can recover from the TFCV is $300,000.00. If your claim is not worth that much, then you get what the Commission determines you should get. Furthermore, if the Fund is low on money, then your compensation may also be reduced.

If you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s wrongdoing, and can’t recover monetary compensation from the person or entity, then you should consider making a claim to the Tort Victims' Compensation Fund. Now that the Fund is flush with cash, such claims are a viable option when the person or entity doesn’t have insurance or money to compensate you.