Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in Missouri

/ / Car Accidents, Missouri Auto Insurance, Trucking Accidents
Car accident in downtown Kansas City where the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit is 5 years.

If you are involved in a missouri car collision, on top of dealing with injuries, medical bills, and car repairs, you will also have to worry about seeking fair compensation. Given the chaos that follows, you might be tempted to tackle the compensation claim later but you’ll need to consider the statute of limitations before delaying too long.

In Missouri, like every other state, there’s a time limit for filing a personal injury claim after a car wreck. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. Continue reading to learn more about this deadline.

Missouri gives victims a generous amount of time to seek compensation

Unlike in other states where the statute of limitations is just 2 years, in Missouri, you get five years from the date of the collision to file a lawsuit against the at-fault parties. It is important to not confuse filing a claim for compensation with filing a lawsuit.

Only after multiple rounds of negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance provider does the lawsuit become relevant. Nevertheless, waiting is never a smart idea.

Then, why the need for the statute of limitations?

The five-year deadline is as much for the benefit of the defendants as it is for the benefit of the victim or plaintiff. It gives the victims ample time to gather evidence, build their case, and even fully understand the extent and ramifications of the damages caused.

As far as the defendants are concerned, the statute of limitations protects them from the indefinite risks of potential lawsuits. Also, it safeguards them from stale lawsuits that are difficult to disprove.

So, what Happens if You Miss the Deadline?

If you wait beyond the five-year window to file a lawsuit, you will be barred from seeking compensation for your injuries. This means you will be responsible for covering all medical bills, lost wages, and other damages associated with the accident.

Are there any exceptions to the five-year rule?

The only exception to the statute of limitations involves situations where the injured party is incapable of filing a lawsuit within the allotted timeframe. This could happen in two scenarios:

  1. Minority: If you were under the age of 21 at the time of the accident, the five-year clock doesn’t start ticking until you turn 21.
  2. Mental Incapacity: If you become mentally incapacitated after the accident, the statute of limitations may be paused until you are declared mentally competent by a court.

If the defendant leaves the state, their time away may not be considered a part of the five-year window.

Yet, it is important to act quickly!

Although you have 5 years to file a lawsuit, it is imperative to act quickly after a collision. The longer you wait, the more likely the other side is to raise doubts about the veracity of your claim. Keep in mind that the evidence can get weaker or even disappear over time; it may get harder to trace witnesses, or they may not be able to offer their testimony with the same level of credibility.

Battling pain, rising medical costs, and an uncertain financial future can make it hard to deal with the paperwork that’s required in a claim and, on top of that, to deal with insurance companies that are known to use every pressure tactic in the book. In this unfortunate situation, we recommend that you contact DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers right away. Contact us for free to talk to one of our expert attorneys. Our lawyers have years of experience in handling personal injury claims. So, why not let the experts handle the negotiation and litigation? This way, you get the time and peace you need to recover, as well as the fair compensation you will no doubt require.