Recovering from a car accident can be a difficult task. Aside from the physical and emotional stress, there are legal complexities to contend with, particularly when it comes to understanding the Missouri car accident statute of limitations. "Can I lose the right to recover money?" is a frequently asked question. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. However, with the right information and legal assistance, you can navigate these complexities and protect your rights.
Understanding Missouri's Statute of Limitations for Automobile Accidents
The statute of limitations sets a time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed. The general statute of limitations for car accident claims in Missouri is five years, according to Missouri Revised Statutes Section 516.120. To put it simply, you have five years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, it is not always that simple. This timeline can be influenced by a variety of factors.
When you may have more time on your side
There are some circumstances in which you may have more time to file a claim:
• Minors and people who are mentally incapacitated: in circumstances where the injured individual is a minor or mentally incapacitated The statute of limitations may be tolled or delayed.
• Discovery Rule: In other circumstances, such as medical malpractice, the injury is not always immediately obvious. For example, let's say a surgical sponge is left in your body and you do not discover it until later. In such instances, the clock may begin ticking from the date the injury is found rather than the date it happened. However, keep in mind that the time frame to file a claim for medical malpractice is shorter to begin with than the general statute of limitations.
Working with shorter timelines and multiple claims
Certain claims have specific statutes of limitations, which are often shorter. For example, wrongful death claims in Missouri must be filed within three years of the date of death, and medical malpractice claims also have specific time limits and requirements.
Furthermore, if there are multiple causes of action, different statutes of limitations may be running at the same time. A medical malpractice lawsuit arising from an automobile accident, for example, may have a different time limit than a claim for general injuries arising from the same accident.
Sovereign Immunity and Special Rules in Certain Cases
Sovereign immunity is a legal concept that protects the government and its entities from lawsuits. The breadth and limitations of sovereign immunity, however, differ from one state to the next. In Missouri, the idea of sovereign immunity may apply, but with limited exceptions designed to balance individual rights with the government's need for protection. One such limitation is that lawsuits against schools, as a government entity, are typically limited to the amount of insurance coverage purchased by the school in car or school bus accident cases.
Special requirements may also apply to claims against specific government entities. For example, Missouri Revised Statutes Section 81.060 requires a written notice to be submitted to the city's mayor within 90 days of the injury for claims against certain cities due to property defects such as a defective sidewalk. This has to be satisfied as a condition of bringing a claim. We only mention this unusual situation in order to demonstrate that one time limit does not fit all. There are numerous specific rules that may apply, depending on the facts of the case. The five-year statute of limitations does not apply to every injury claim. As a matter of public policy, lawmakers have added extra roadblocks in some cases to trip up a claimant and make it harder to bring a successful claim.
Why legal guidance is crucial.
The complexities of Missouri's statute of limitations necessitate the use of skilled legal counsel. An experienced attorney can help you understand the system, meet all deadlines, and handle any special rules, increasing your chances of a successful outcome.
The clock may run out sooner than you think, so don't let the statute of limitations prevent you from receiving money damages.
Don't put off securing your right to compensation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact Aaron Sachs & Associates' professional legal team. We are dedicated to assisting you in understanding your rights, handling the complexities of the legal process, and obtaining the compensation you deserve.
#CarAccidentClaims #StatuteofLimitations #AaronSachsAssociates #MissouriCarAccidents
This blog post aims to educate readers on legal issues pertaining to Missouri car accidents. It is provided for informative purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.