statute of limitationsIf you were injured in a car, truck, bicycle, or other type of motor vehicle accident, one of the most important laws you need to know is the deadline—referred to as the statute of limitations—to sue the negligent driver. It could become impossible to obtain the full value of your claim if you miss this time period. It can be tricky to understand what rule you must follow because different time limits apply, depending on whether your accident was in Kansas or Missouri.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in Missouri?

The deadline to file your lawsuit in Missouri will depend on whether you are pursuing a claim for compensation for your own injuries or for the death of a loved one. Here are the rules that you must follow:

  • You have five years from the date of your crash to file your complaint for personal injuries or property damages you suffered in the collision.
  • You have only three years from the date of your family member’s death—not the date of the motor vehicle accident—to file a wrongful death action if they died due to their injuries.

What Is the Deadline to Sue in Kansas?

You have a much shorter time period to sue the at-fault driver in Kansas. Here are the statutes of limitations that would apply to your case:

  • Personal injuries. You only have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for compensation for your injuries and any property damaged in the motor vehicle accident.
  • Wrongful death. If a loved one died because of the collision, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of your family member’s death—not the date of the collision.

What Happens If You Miss the Deadline to File Your Lawsuit?

If you do not file your lawsuit before the deadline to sue expires, the result would be the same in Kansas and Missouri. The insurance company would file a motion to dismiss your claim, which the judge would most likely grant.

You would not be able to pursue your right to compensation in court if your case is dismissed. In addition, the insurance adjuster would have no incentive to offer you a settlement.

How Can You Be Certain You Don’t Wait Too Long to Sue?

The best way to avoid missing the deadline to file your lawsuit is to retain a knowledgeable motor vehicle attorney. If you want to build the strongest case possible, you should hire them as soon as possible after your collision occurred. They will be better able to collect the evidence you need to win your case and guide you through the process of settling your claim so that you do not make mistakes that hurt your claim. They will also fight hard so that you receive all the damages you deserve in your settlement.

Have You Been Injured in a Kansas City Area Motor Vehicle Accident?

If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need to speak with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible. It will cost you nothing to hire us because we handle these cases on a contingency fee basis where you only pay us if we win your case. We will also front the costs and fees you could incur.  Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.