Missouri Truck Accident Statute of Limitations: Don’t Miss Your Deadline to File a Claim

Many people injured in truck accidents sustain severe injuries, extensive property damage, and emotional trauma. If you are dealing with painful injuries and towering medical expenses following a truck accident in Missouri, it is crucial to understand your legal rights and the timeframe within which you must act to seek compensation. Our Willow Springs and Springfield truck accident lawyers at Privette Law Office can provide insight regarding our state’s statute of limitations for pursuing personal injury claims and why it matters.

Understanding Statute of Limitations

The Missouri statute of limitations allows five years from the date of the accident for injured people to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the crash that injured them. Claims involving property damage are also subject to the same limitations. It is essential to file your claim within the specified time to protect your rights. If you file your lawsuit late, the court can dismiss your case without a hearing.

Purpose of the Missouri Personal Injury Claim Statute of Limitations

There are several reasons why the statute of limitations is in place. These include:

  • Ensuring Timely Justice – Having a limited time to file a lawsuit encourages the prompt resolution of claims, ensuring that evidence remains fresh and witnesses’ memories are reliable. It also helps keep the courts’ case counts in check. Timely resolution is crucial for both the plaintiffs seeking justice and the defendants needing closure.
  • Providing Certainty – The statute of limitations deadline offers responsible parties security, knowing they will not face the threat of legal action indefinitely. This certainty allows individuals and businesses to plan for the future without the constant worry of potential lawsuits.
  • Preventing Fraud – The statute helps prevent fraudulent claims by setting a clear deadline for filing lawsuits. By providing a defined timeframe, the legal system minimizes the risk of frivolous or deceitful suits. This helps protect the integrity of the judicial process.

Exceptions and Extensions

While the statute of limitations is generally strict, certain exceptions and extensions may apply in specific circumstances. Understanding these exceptions can ensure you don’t miss your deadline.

Common Exceptions

  • Minors – If the victim is under 18 at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations may toll, or pause, until the victim reaches the age of majority.
  • Mental Incapacity – The statute of limitations may pause in cases where victims lack mental capacity at the time of the accident. This pause can continue until they regain their capacity.
  • Discovery Rule – In some cases, the clock may not start ticking until the discovery of the injury.

Consequences of Not Filing Your Case on Time

Missing the statutory deadline can severely affect your ability to seek compensation. If you do not file your claim within the timeframe, you may lose your right to pursue legal action altogether. This means:

  • No Compensation – You may be unable to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
  • Closure for Defendants – Once the deadline passes, you lose your opportunity to take the responsible parties to court to pursue compensation, regardless of their fault, so they know they no longer face paying for your losses. 

Steps to Take If the Deadline Is Approaching

If the statute of limitations to file your claim is approaching, there are some steps you need to take.

Immediate Actions

  • Contact a Missouri Truck Accident Attorney – Seek legal advice immediately. An attorney can assess your case, determine if any exceptions apply, and explore potential options for pursuing your claim.
  • Gather Documentation – Collect all relevant documents for your case, including the police reports and your medical records.

Exploring Legal Options

Even if you believe you have missed the deadline, don’t give up hope. An experienced attorney may identify alternative legal strategies or exceptions that could allow you to proceed with your claim.

Contact Our Willow Springs and Springfield Truck Accident Lawyers

Navigating the legal processes surrounding a truck accident claim can be challenging, especially when dealing with injuries and ongoing medical care. Our truck accident lawyers at Privette Law Office can help. We understand the complex nature of these accident claims and are available to help you pursue maximum compensation. Contact our law firm for a free consultation to get started.