An estimated 2.09 vehicle occupants were injured in auto accidents in 2012, and 21,667 lost their lives. Truck accidents alone kill 4,000 people every year, and it hasn't changed the fact that only 10% of trucks on the road have active safety technology, according to The American Trucking Association.
Accidents happen all around us every day, and if you get off lightly, you may be inclined to put off calling a car accident attorney or truck accident lawyer and seeking compensation.
But is there a statute of limitations for car accidents?
A statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit in court after a dispute occurs or harm is inflicted, and in general, yes, there is a statute of limitations for car accidents. The time frame differs from state to state, however, so in this post, we'll be going over the statute of limitation laws in Missouri.
Missouri law outlines different statutes for accidents that cause injuries versus accidents that cause death.
Under Missouri Revised Statutes section 541.07, any party injured in an accident must file a civil lawsuit (ideally with the help of a car accident attorney or semi truck accident attorney) within five years of the accident date. This includes drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicycle or motorcycle riders who may have been injured.
However, if the accident causes a fatality, a representative or family member has three years after the date of death to file a wrongful death claim against the driver that was at fault in the accident. This statute is a part of wrongful death law rather than car accident law and can be found under the Missouri Revised Statutes section 537.100.
Most car accident cases will swing in your favor if you and your car accident attorney can prove that the other drivers involved were negligent. However, if you file after a deadline, it's likely the defendant will be able to get the case dismissed in court.
Try to contact a Missouri car accident lawyer as soon as you can after an accident to avoid missing the statute of limitations window.