Missouri Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents


Protect the integrity of your case by discussing the Missouri statute of limitations with a car accident lawyer today. Sometimes when people are in an auto accident, there may be delays in filing their claims.

This can happen for a number of reasons…

  • It may take time to realize the full extent of their injuries.
  • They may be incapacitated (coma, brain injury, etc.).
  • They may be reluctant to take action because they know the other party involved and do not want to cause conflict or strife.
  • They may simply be unaware of the claims or lawsuit process, or of what their rights and responsibilities entail.

Krause and Kinsman insurance attorneysWhatever the cause, if it has been some time since your car accident but you have only recently begun thinking about taking legal action, it will come as welcome news that Missouri provides a very generous statute of limitations.

That being said, it is still important to take action as soon as possible so you do not miss the time limit.

What is the statute of limitations for car accidents in Missouri? 

Statutes of limitation for car accident cases in Missouri are provided in Missouri Revised Statutes § 516.120. Specifically, you have five years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit and seek recovery. Most states have two-year time limit on accidents. Missouri residents have extra time to consider their options, collect evidence, and file actions after an auto collision.

CAUTION: If you attempt filing after the five-year anniversary of your car accident, you may be barred from recovering compensation.

What is the purpose of statutes of limitations?

Missouri statutes of limitations were put into place primarily as a means to protect defendants. It would be unreasonable for every person ever involved in a car accident to have to look over their shoulder waiting to be slapped with a potential lawsuit for the rest of their lives. It is not practical.

Another reason car accident statutes of limitations are necessary is to preserve the integrity of the case. If too much time has elapsed since the car accident, witnesses may move or die, memories of the details will fade, and evidence can be lost. This can make a car accident case impossible to prove.

When is the ideal time to file my claim? 

Missouri may have a liberal five-year time limit on bringing a claim, but that does not mean you should procrastinate and wait until the last moment to file. There is actually a rather delicate balance when it comes to the timing of filing a car accident claim or lawsuit.

  • On one hand, you want to file your claim quickly after the crash, when the evidence is fresh so that you can obtain your settlement check quickly to cover your needs.
  • On the other hand, you do not want to settle your claim before you have a clear understanding of what your future medical needs will be and what the full extent of your damages are.

Krause and Kinsman car accident attorneysDeciding exactly when to file and settle a claim is tricky and varies from case to case. A car accident attorney at Krause & Kinsman will know how to navigate the statute of limitations and when to handle a claim after reviewing the facts of the case.


Does Krause & Kinsman take car accident cases in Kansas City? 

Our firm handles all types of injury cases in Kansas City, Missouri. We are experienced and very familiar with the Missouri statute of limitations. Contact us as soon as possible so we can start working on your case; do not risk running out of time. Call us today at 816-200-2900 to get started.