In Missouri, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is 5 years.
Like many other states in the US, Missouri is an at-fault state which means that the person guilty (or “at-fault”) for causing the car accident is responsible for covering the cost of damages to your car, your medical bills, lost wages, and the injuries to your body.
Once the other party is deemed responsible for the car accident, you have the option to file a claim with your insurance provider, file a claim with the other party’s insurance provider, or file a lawsuit against the individual or company that caused the accident.
There is one exception to this rule, however.
Under Missouri House Bill 339, Missouri became a “No Pay, No Play” state which essentially means if you are driving without having the minimum levels of automobile insurance, you may collect for your medical bills but you may waive your right to recover compensation for damages in a car accident.
We want to continually stress the importance of the circumstances surrounding your car accident when it comes to estimating the amount of compensation you will receive. As personal injury attorneys, we find it important that our clients understand that every case is different.
The most important factors that will determine the amount of car accident compensation you will receive include:
There are also negligence factors for things like whether or not the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol that may play a role as well.
For obvious reasons, there is no fixed amount given you will receive in a car accident settlement.
Car accidents without any personal/physical injuries or “fender benders” in St. Louis, Missouri typically result in settlements between $3,000 – $22,000.
Having said that, the settlement amount will ultimately depend on the damage caused in the automobile accident and also the type of car, truck, or SUV that was damaged.
According to a study done by Lawyers.com, the overall average car accident payout is $8,200 nationally. For accidents that involved injuries, the national average is $29,700.
This is a very difficult question to answer because there are so many issues and variables that can go into getting an injury claim settled.
Depending on the nature of the automobile accident, the severity of the injuries you have sustained, and the number of your medical bills and lost wages, your car accident settlement in Missouri can range anywhere from $15,000 to $1 million+.
Things like driving whether the defendant (“at-fault” party) was driving under the influence, driving without a license, and other negligent actions will certainly strengthen your case and cause additional punishments to be handed down to the defendant. These issues can also help increase the compensation you receive.
Missouri allows you to receive compensation for:
Compensation for car accidents that do not cause major property damage to your vehicle and no injuries are sustained is typically between $750 – $2,000.
Compensation for accidents where there is visible damage to your vehicle, but it is not totaled, and there were no injuries averages between $2,500 – $7,000.
Compensation for accidents that cause your vehicle to be totaled (the cost of the repairs are worth more than the vehicle itself) but no injuries are sustained typically ranges between $15,000 and $45,000.
Compensation for car accidents when your car has been severely damaged and you have sustained injuries can range from $35,000 to $100,000+.
It is important for us to once again stress how there are a great deal of factors that will determine how much compensation you receive after you are in a car accident in Missouri. These numbers are simply estimates based on our experience as car accident attorneys.
One thing to keep in mind is that car insurance agencies are looking out for themselves and themselves only. Their only goal is to make sure they are paying out the smallest amount of compensation possible. Because of this, the policies of both drivers play a significant role in the amount of compensation awarded after a car accident.
Keep in mind, the driver may have coverage that extends beyond just liability insurance. In some cases, a driver may have what is known as an “umbrella policy” which extends coverage beyond what the primary liability covers. When this is the case, your car accident attorney will be able to research the at-fault driver’s coverage to determine what type of coverage they have and the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive from them.
Missouri requires car insurance policies to include underinsured motorists’ coverage which requires your insurance provider to give compensation in the event of the at-fault driver not having car insurance at the time of the accident.
“The law also requires you to have uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident.”
Another way of wording that is car insurance providers in Missouri are required to provide $25,000 in underinsured coverage in their policies. This means, your insurance provider should have this in their policy and can provide some additional compensation if the at-fault driver did not have car insurance or their policy was not enough.
Like the answer to “How much money will I receive for my car accident settlement?”, this question’s answer is one that depends on many varying factors.
For car accidents without any injuries and can simply be handled through the involved party’s insurance agencies, you’ll usually see your compensation payment within 6 weeks of the accident.
If your accident involves injuries, you are almost certainly going to have to wait longer than 6 weeks, and if you are not happy with the insurance agency’s settlement or you want to file a lawsuit against the driver for negligence, your timeline will depend heavily on the legal process and the courts.
If you have been in a car accident in St. Louis, Missouri, or any of the surrounding areas, including Illinois, we advise contacting our skilled automobile accident attorneys for a free consultation.
We can help you determine a fair settlement and the steps you should take to maximize your settlement amount.
Fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation with Craig