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Missouri Car Accident Laws: What You Need to Know

Hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries and billions of dollars in lost income, medical care, and property damage are caused by car accidents each year. If you or a family member were injured in a Missouri car accident, contact the car accident lawyers at Local Accident Reports right away. Our experienced attorneys will review the facts of your case and advise you on the best legal solution for your circumstances. The phone call and the consultation are free.

At Local Accident Reports, our nationwide car accident lawyers understand how deeply destructive car accident injuries can be. Our objective is to support our clients and defend their right to financial compensation. Contact us to find out more about how we can help after a serious car accident. 

The Basics of Missouri Car Accident Laws  

Missouri Car Accident Laws: What You Need to Know

Data published by the Missouri State Highway Patrol shows that, in 2019, a total of 157,038 car accidents took place in Missouri. These accidents resulted in 55,112 injuries and 881 deaths. Whether the injuries you sustained were minor or catastrophic, Missouri car accidents are often an overwhelming and frightening experience. Fortunately, Missouri personal injury laws have been enacted to ensure that the liable party is brought to account and that injured victims can recover compensation for their injuries and other damages.

If you or a family member have been injured in a Missouri car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation for your damages. At Local Accident Reports, we have the resources and experience needed to hold the negligent party responsible for the harm they caused. With several decades of combined experience, our skilled Missouri car accident attorneys are committed to providing compassionate and dependable legal advice to injured car accident victims and their families.

When you sign with us, our legal team will review the events leading up to your accident, perform a complete investigation, and collect all essential documentation. Our Missouri car accident lawyers will work diligently to establish fault, prove liability, and calculate the value of your case.  

Missouri Fault Laws

Missouri is an at-fault state. In other words, the driver who is determined to be at fault for the accident will be held liable for any damages they caused, such as physical injuries, property damage, lost wages, and more. In order to recover these damages, the plaintiff will have to do one of the following:  

  • File a first-party insurance claim, which is a claim filed with their auto insurance carrier.  
  • File a third-party insurance claim, which is a claim filed with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance carrier.  
  • File a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver in civil court.  

It is important that you do not take action until you have spoken with a Missouri car accident lawyer who has experience negotiating with insurance companies and litigating personal injury lawsuits. When you meet with an attorney from Local Accident Reports, they will explain all of your options and help you determine the best course of action.

Missouri Car Insurance Laws 

Missouri car accident laws are complex, particularly when a severe injury is involved. Some of the basic insurance laws that govern car accidents within the state are:  

All drivers must carry liability insurance with minimum coverage set forth by the state and be able to provide proof of this insurance when asked by law enforcement officers. These limits are set at:  

  • $25,000 in liability coverage for physical injury per person per accident
  • $50,000 in liability coverage for physical injury to two or more persons per accident
  • $10,000 in liability coverage for property damage per accident
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage of $50,000 for physical injury per accident and $25,000 for physical injury per person.  

Missouri Comparative Negligence Laws

Missouri follows the laws of pure comparative fault. According to this principle, the amount of financial compensation you may recover for an auto accident claim will be decreased by the percentage of fault assigned to you. 

Under pure comparative fault laws, the victim is still eligible to recover damages even if they were 99% at fault for the accident.

For example, if the jury or judge awards a verdict of $100,000 against the at-fault driver, and the court determines that you were 25% liable for the accident, your compensation will be decreased by a total of $25,000, leaving you with just 75% ($75,000) of your original award.   

Missouri Statute of Limitations

The prescriptive period, more commonly known as the statute of limitations, is a law that sets the maximum time following an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated.  

Missouri Revised Statutes section 516.120 (4)An action for taking, detaining or injuring any goods or chattels, including actions for the recovery of specific personal property, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another, not arising on contract…” must be filed no later than five years from the cause of action.

While Missouri’s statute of limitations is certainly much longer than that of almost any other state, it does not mean you should drag your feet on filing a personal injury claim. Major delays will cause crucial evidence to become lost, destroyed, or less effective. Without the assistance of an experienced Missouri car accident attorney, you could easily lose or overlook vital evidence that would have contributed greatly to a strong case against the negligent party. 

When to Report a Car Accident in Missouri

Missouri driving law states that you must notify law enforcement anytime a car accident:

  • Causes death or injury
  • Results in property damage of more than $500 
  • Involves damage to a parked vehicle whose owner could not be contacted
  • Prompts your insurance provider to request a police accident report

With this in mind, obeying the law is not the only reason to contact law enforcement after a car accident. When the responding officer arrives, they will draft a police accident report that details critical information about the crash. These details will then act as a fundamental piece of evidence for your case and can help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.

Missouri Car Accident Victim Rights and Responsibilities  

According to Missouri driving laws, accident victims also have rights and responsibilities, such as reporting the accident in a timely manner and seeking prompt medical treatment.  

In addition to reporting an accident that results in death, injury, or property damage of more than $500, victims are also required to provide factual details about the crash and cooperate with responding officers as they prepare a crash report.

Additionally, victims are responsible for seeking immediate medical attention after an accident. There are multiple car accident injuries, such as whiplash, that are not immediately apparent either because of shock or delayed onset. Either way, foregoing a medical evaluation because you “feel fine” after a car crash is not a smart move.  

After you receive medical attention, you need to inform your insurance carrier. Always exercise caution when talking to anyone from an insurance company, as they often try to trick and mislead victims. You do need to give them true and accurate information but keep in mind that they are looking for a way to reduce your payout. 

We strongly recommend having a skilled car accident lawyer deal with the insurance company on your behalf. This is the best way to ensure that you receive full and just compensation for your injuries and other accident-related damages.  

In fact, numerous studies have shown that car accident victims who have strong legal representation typically receive two to three times more financial compensation than those who try to represent themselves, even after attorney fees. Insurance carriers are notoriously difficult to work with. By handling the claims process on your own, the adjuster will know that you have no intention of going to trial. 

A few of the underhanded intimidation tactics you might experience are:

  • The insurance adjuster tries to get you to confess to something you did not do while they are recording you
  • The adjuster tells you that you were liable and denies your claim, even though it is perfectly valid
  • The adjuster claims that your medical records are inadequate and tells you that your injuries can only be verified by one of their approved physicians. This will allow the insurance company to downplay the nature of your injuries and minimize or reject your claim.  
  • The adjuster delays payment on your claim for an unreasonable length of time. This tactic is intended to make you so desperate for money that you agree to settle for much less than your case is worth.   

How a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Being injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence can be a scary experience. This is especially true when the accident leads to serious injuries, medical procedures, and time away from work. Even a minor car accident can have emotional, physical, and financial impacts on your life, but you don’t have to face any of them alone. Hiring a reputable Missouri auto accident lawyer is essential to defending your rights and ensuring you obtain the financial compensation you are entitled to. 

Our attorneys have spent their careers handling car accident cases. At Local Accident Reports, we can:

  • Work to protect your best interests
  • Thoroughly study the facts of your case
  • Conduct an independent investigation of the accident
  • Collect and preserve all relevant evidence, information, and other necessary documentation
  • Determine fault, prove liability, and calculate the value of your case
  • Handle all negotiations and communications with the insurance provider while you focus on your recovery
  • Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance carrier
  • If necessary, file a lawsuit or take further legal action  

Talk to a Missouri Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a Missouri car accident that was caused by another driver, you may be eligible to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and more. The nationwide auto accident lawyers at Local Accident Reports can help you collect fair and just compensation that covers both your physical injuries and emotional distress. 

Our team of respected personal injury attorneys will review all the facts and evidence surrounding your case, work with accident reconstruction experts and other investigators to prove the other driver’s liability and speak with medical professionals to understand the full extent of your injuries and correctly calculate your current and anticipated medical expenses.

Call us at (888) 657-1460 to schedule your free consultation and find out what course of action our Missouri car accident attorneys recommend for you. 

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this accident.

If you or a loved one were injured in this incident, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Having your case evaluated by a lawyer immediately will ensure your rights are protected. The first step is to request a police report, and we can do that for you. 

 
Contact us today at

888-657-1460

to get the help you deserve. 

Local Accident Reports is here to provide you with valuable resources after you have been injured in an accident. In addition to your free police report, you can also schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys right now to find out more about pursuing compensation. If you any have questions at all about your legal rights following an accident, please don't hesitate to call. 

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Note: These posts are created solely for the use of Local Accident Reports. We have not verified the information in these posts as the information is gathered from secondary sources. If you have personal knowledge that the information contained in these posts is inaccurate, please contact Local Accident Reports immediately so we can make the necessary corrections or remove the story.

Disclaimer: We are providing this information to the general public as a resource to use in the event you or a family member are injured in a similar incident. Every effort is put forth to honor the victims of accidents, and hope the information presented helps others avoid the same type of accidents in the future. The photos depicted in these posts are not representative of the actual accident scene. Please contact Local Accident Reports at (888) 657-1460 to be connected with an attorney in your area who will answer any legal questions you may have.

Harvey Barbee is our chief content writer who also has nearly 15 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Combining his skillset as a strong writer along with his in-depth knowledge of the legal system, Harvey uses his talents to write informative pieces for law firms about a variety of topics that affect individuals. He enjoys helping people find creative solutions to their legal problems. When he is not writing or practicing law, Harvey enjoys golf, gardening, and spending time with his family in North Carolina.

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