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Missouri Car Accident Laws

Posted by attorney Christopher Hoffmann

How certain issues involving car accidents like settlements and court cases are handled in Missouri is governed by laws that are specific to the state.

For instance, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in Missouri is 5 years. From the time of the accident you have 5 years to file a lawsuit relating to the accident or property damage resulting from the accident.

Insurance claim deadlines

However, deadlines for filing an insurance claim are laid out in your insurance policy and are not regulated by law. You should always notify your insurance company right away after an accident if you have suffered injury or property damage. Filing as soon as possible means that you and your insurance company have more time to investigate the circumstances of the accident and then negotiate a settlement. This way, if you do need to take your case to court, you will not be rushed by the 5 year deadline.

Exceptions to the 5 year rule

There are exceptions to the 5 year rule, however. If you have questions about a specific instance you should consult a Missouri auto accident attorney. Accidents that involve filing a claim against a government entity must be filed quickly. Accidents that occur on government property or involve a government vehicle like a city bus would need to be acted on quickly. In order to protect your legal rights. If you have been involved in such an accident you should find an attorney to help you file as soon as possible.

Comparative fault

Not every accident is caused entirely by one party. In accident cases where there is shared blame, Missouri has comparative fault laws. These laws impact the way that verdicts and settlements are determined. Missouri is a pure comparative fault state, which means that in a court case a jury will determine a damage award, and then determine what percentage of fault the other party is responsible for and to what degree, if any, your own actions contributed to the accident or your injuries. If say, the other driver is determined to be 80 percent at fault and you share 20 percent of the blame, then you would receive 80 percent of the award.

The award you receive is the total damage amount, multiplied by the percentage of fault of the other driver.

If there are additional parties at fault, you can seek compensation from them as well. The same formula would be used to determine the amount of compensation you would receive.

Missouri Auto Accident Attorney

To learn more about laws specific to Missouri accidents, consult an experienced Missouri auto accident attorney. Though you may have a period of five years to file a lawsuit, you should begin the process of investigating and building a case as soon as possible. Your attorney will do everything in his or her power to make sure that you get the full compensation to which you are entitled. Allowing an experienced attorney to handle your case increases your chances of getting the best settlement possible.

Additional resources provided by the author

The Hoffmann Law Firm's sole focus is on helping Missouri victims of motor vehicle accidents get the full and fair compensation they are entitled to. Contact us about your case by calling (314) 361-4242

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