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Is there a deadline for filing accident claims?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Personal Injury

After an accident, medical bills pile up, car repairs become a burden and lost wages can strain your savings. If the accident was someone else’s fault, you have the right to seek compensation – but there is a time limit. The statute of limitations dictates how much time you have to file a personal injury claim, and in Missouri, it is five years from the date of the accident.

This means you have five years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover damages for injuries, medical expenses, lost wages and property damage (if any). Take note that the clock starts ticking right after the accident, not necessarily when you experience all your injuries.

What happens if you miss the deadline?

If you do not file your lawsuit within five years of the accident date, the court may dismiss your case entirely. This means you will lose the legal right to seek compensation even if the accident was not your fault. The burden of proof falls on you, the injured party, and the longer you wait the harder it becomes.

Taking legal action

Even though five years seem like a long time, valuable evidence might disappear, and witness memories can fade. After recovering from your injuries, you can start gathering evidence such as police reports, accident scene photos, medical records documenting your injuries and any repair estimates for damaged property. You may also seek legal professionals to advise you on the legal merits of your case and ensure you file the claim within the deadline.

Do not wait until the last minute. The sooner you take action, the better your chances of a stronger case. You must complete the statute of limitations deadline to ensure your chances of recovering fair compensation.