How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After Being Injured in a Car Accident in MO?
Generally, if you were involved in a car accident in the state of Missouri, and the other driver was at fault, it is in your best interest to file a police report. However, you may need to take it a step further to protect your health and financial future – by filing a lawsuit.
The idea of filing a lawsuit might be overwhelming, but this is to ensure your wellbeing. If you were seriously injured, and are facing substantial medical costs, there is a lot at stake.
Therefore, it is strongly advised that you contact an experienced Missouri car accident lawyer.
Why Won’t the Insurance Company’s Offer Be Enough to Pay My Expenses?
Although you may think insurance companies are on your side, they will try to minimize your claim, and take advantage of your lack of understanding of what your claim is truly worth.
This could leave you with a low claim that won’t begin to cover your mounting medical expenses, pain and suffering, and missed time from work.
Yet, you only have a certain amount of time after your accident to work with a lawyer and file a claim, which is why it’s critical to look into your options as soon as possible.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Initial Filing in Missouri?
There are three conditions that should be met to file a lawsuit for your car accident in Missouri:
- It’s been less than five years since the date of the accident
- The other driver was at fault for the collision
- The injury resulted in somebody’s injury or death, or the costs of damages exceeds $500
It is very important to note that the five-year window to file a lawsuit for your car accident does not have any exceptions, and the court will refuse to hear your case after the five year cutoff, regardless of severity.
In the event of someone’s death, however, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit is limited to three years since the date of the accident, according to Missouri state law.
Why Is it Advised To Seek Medical Treatment After a Car Accident?
Regardless, one of the most important steps before filing a report is to document any injuries and seek medical treatment right away. This ensures that your injury, from minor to fatal, is documented and can be used as evidence in court. This is crucial for maximum compensation for damages. In addition, make sure to attend all followup appointments to keep records consistent and avoid any miscommunication in your case.
According to the Missouri Driver License Bureau, a Motor Vehicle Accident Report must be completed within 12 months if the other driver is found to be uninsured. This is important, as it is federal law for all drivers to have car insurance for the safety of other drivers and pedestrians on the road, and omitting this has its own set of legal penalties.
What Should You Expect in Court?
Once your lawsuit is filed and underway, the state of Missouri uses a pure comparative fault law when determining a settlement for a car accident. Therefore, you must be prepared to prove the other party’s negligence in the accident, and fall below the 50% fault percentage from the accident. If it is established that you are at more than 50% fault for the accident, the settlement reward will not be ruled in your favor, so proper legal representation is crucial for your best chance at a settlement for your injuries and/or property damage.
Why Choose The Goss Law Firm?
A car accident can leave anybody feeling confused and lost, and the path to just compensation for damages could just as much. Your attorneys at The Goss Law Firm have a proven track record of winning cases just like yours, and are here to help. Call us at 816-839-6452 for a free evaluation of your case and we will get you on the road to justice.