In the state of Missouri, accident victims have the right to pursue financial compensation for their injuries through insurance claims or civil lawsuits. Victims of car crashes or other types of accidents may be eligible for financial settlements or awards for their damages.
Understanding personal injury laws in Missouri is important for victims of any kind of accident in the state. Otherwise, they may unintentionally forfeit the right to file or miss out on important recovery opportunities.
- At-fault car insurance laws
Like most states, Missouri abides by tort-based insurance laws, meaning the at-fault driver after a car accident is responsible for paying victims’ damages. The victim must identify the at-fault party and file a claim with that person’s insurance provider. All drivers in the state of Missouri must carry adequate car insurance at all times.
- No pay, no play
If a driver negligently or intentionally drives without vehicle insurance, that driver automatically loses the right to file a claim for any recovery in Missouri. Although trial courts have held that the no pay, no play law is unconstitutional, it is still technically part of the law in Missouri.
- Pure comparative negligence
Missouri is a pure comparative negligence state. During any negligence-based personal injury claim, the courts may assign percentages of fault to both the plaintiff and the defendant. If the courts decide the plaintiff shared fault for the accident, it will reduce his or her compensation award by an amount equivalent to the fault. In Missouri, a plaintiff could be 99% at fault and still eligible for compensation.
- Statute of limitations on civil claims
A person in Missouri has five years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury claim. If the victim does not discover his or her injuries until after the accident, the clock will not start ticking until the date of discovery. Certain exceptions to the statute of limitations exist, but the five-year deadline applies in most cases.