What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Car Accidents In Missouri?

If you’ve been in a car accident in St. Louis and you’re thinking about hiring a St. Louis car accident attorney to pursue a personal injury case, you may be wondering how long you have to make your claim.

statute of limitations missouri car accident

What Is a Statute Of Limitations?

First, you might be wondering what a “statute of limitations” is, and what purpose this type of law serves. Essentially, a statute of limitations outlines the amount of time a defendant can be held liable for a particular incident.

For example, fraud and debt collection charges have a 10-year statute of limitations in Missouri. After this time, generally, no legal action can be pursued against the person responsible for the incident, regardless of whether or not they were guilty.

This law exists to protect defendants, because it would be unreasonable for every person who commits some kind of minor or moderate civil or criminal violation to be expected to defend themselves 10, 15, or even 20 years in the future. However, some types of serious crimes, like murder, have no statute of limitations.

The Statute Of Limitations For Car Accidents In Missouri Is 5 Years 

So, how long do you have to seek compensation after a car accident? In Missouri, you have five years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit and seek to recover damages.

This is actually much more generous than some other states. The typical statute of limitations for a car accident in many states is 2 years. If you live in Missouri, you have more time to pursue your legal case, which is a good thing if you’ve been injured in a St. Louis car accident.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait To Pursue Compensation

Just because you’re able to wait up to 5 years to sue another party for a car accident does not mean you should wait to file your personal injury claim.

Filing your claim right away with the help of a St. Louis car accident lawyer ensures that you can resolve the issue sooner rather than later, and get the money you need to help cover the costs of missed work, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

In addition, waiting too long may harm your case with the court. If you were seriously injured in a car accident, the court may rightly wonder why you waited 2, 3, or even 4 years to take legal action.

So don’t wait. Speak with an experienced auto accident attorney in St. Louis to begin building your case as soon as you can, and maximize your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.

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Updated: August 26, 2020