St Louis Car Accident Specialists
Understanding Missouri car accident laws is essential if you have been injured in a car crash. Get the facts here.
Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien have been a trusted law firm serving Missourians for over 40 years.
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Missouri Car Accident Fault Laws
Missouri is an “at-fault” car accident state. This means that the driver responsible for the accident (at-fault party) will be held financially liable for losses resulting from the auto accident, including injuries, car damage, lost income, and more. However, in order to recover damages, the injured party can proceed by:
- Filing an injury claim with their own auto insurance company. This is referred to as a “first-party” car insurance claim.
- Filing an injury claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. This is referred to as a “third-party” auto accident claim.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the at-fault party to pursue compensation for medical costs, vehicle damage, lost wages/income, pain, discomfort, and suffering.
It’s important to avoid taking action until you have consulted a Missouri auto accident attorney who has extensive experience litigating personal injury lawsuits and negotiating with insurance companies. When you meet with a car accident lawyer at our law firm, he or she will guide you through your options and help you determine your best course of action.
Confused about car accidents in St Louis? We are here to answer your questions.
Missouri Auto Accident Laws – Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time that parties involved in a car accident can initiate legal proceedings against the at-fault party.
According to Missouri Revised Statutes section 516.120 (4), an action to recover damages for injury to the person or rights of another must be filed within five years from the date of the accident.
Although Missouri’s personal injury statute of limitations is longer than that of most other states, that doesn’t mean you should wait that long to file a claim after being involved in an accident. Any delays can cause evidence to become less compelling over time, and without an attorney’s immediate case review, you could miss vital opportunities to build a strong case against the at-fault driver.
Car Accident Laws – When to Report a Crash
According to Missouri state laws, you must call the police officer or law enforcement when an accident results in:
- An injury or death to the accident victim.
- More than $500 in property damage.
- A parked vehicle was damaged, and the vehicle’s owner can’t be contacted immediately.
- Your insurance company requests an accident report or police report.
The law is not the only reason to reach out to a law enforcement officer after an auto accident. When a police officer arrives on the scene, he or she will create an accident report detailing important information surrounding the event. This information will then serve as a key piece of evidence for building your injury case and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Missouri
If you or a family member has been injured in a negligent auto accident, contact Buchanan, Williams, & O’Brien P.C, today to schedule a free case assessment. Our experienced car accident attorney will fight compassionately to protect your rights, represent your best interests, and make sure that the responsible people are held accountable.
As your attorneys, we will offer you the comprehensive legal counsel, support, and strong representation you need in your car accident case. BWO lawyers proudly serve clients throughout Carthage, Joplin, and St. Louis, Missouri. Call our firm today to get the help you need.