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  • Everything to Know About Car Accident Claims and Settlements in Missouri

    Everything to Know About Car Accident Claims and Settlements in Missouri

    How Long Can I Wait to File a Car Accident Claim in Missouri?

    As a car accident attorney in St. Louis, this is a question we are frequently asked.

    Car accident lawsuits are some of the most frequent types of claims not only in Missouri but in the United States (and likely around the world).

    Traveling by car, truck, SUV, and any other type of automobile has become a standard way of life in most parts of the world, so it makes sense they are involved in such a high portion of lawsuits.

    In short, you have 5 years to file a car accident injury and property damage claim in Missouri.

    If one of the parties involved in the car accident is uninsured, you must fill out the Missouri Driver License Bureau’s Motor Vehicle Accident Report within 12 months.

    Statute of Limitations for filing a car accident claim in St. Louis, Missouri

    The statute of limitations for every type of claim/lawsuit varies depending on the state.

    In the United States, you have between two and six years to file a claim after you or a loved one has been in a car accident.

    Missouri Code section 516.120 states the statute of limitations and requirements for file a report include:

    • In Missouri, you must file your car accident/personal injury claim within 5 years of the accident
    • In Missouri, you must also file your property damage claim within 5 years of the automobile accident
    • In Missouri, you must report your car accident within 30 days of when the accident took place

    How to file a car accident claim in Missouri

    It is important to avoid common mistakes when filing a personal injury claim.

    With that said, if you follow these instructions and reach out to a local injury attorney with any questions, you will be fine!

    Step 1: Report and file a car accident claim to police

    In Missouri, there are several requirements for when you must file a car accident police report, however, if anyone has been injured in the accident, you must contact the police right away.

    Step 2: Document the car accident and scene

    Addressing any injuries with first responders is important not only for your health but also for any claims or lawsuits in the future. Having a reliable witness to document your injuries makes a significant difference in all personal injury claims.

    We also suggest taking pictures of the scene and any damages to vehicles or other property.

    Step 3: Contact your car insurance provider

    Once you have addressed any injuries and your police report has been filed, you should call your car insurance company.

    They will then walk you through your next steps and assign a claim specialist to your case.

    Step 4: Fill Out a Form For a Motor Vehicle Accident Report Request (if necessary)

    If either party involved in the car accident is uninsured, the Missouri Department of Revenue/Driver License Bureau requires you to fill out the Motor Vehicle Accident Report.

    It is made up of five sections that usually takes 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    Once you have completed the form, it can be submitted one of the following ways:

    Via mail sent to:
    Missouri Department of Revenue, Driver License Bureau
    P.O. Box 200
    Jefferson City, Missouri

    Via email to: 

    Or via fax to:
    (573) 526-7365

    Step 5: Hire a car accident attorney for additional claims

    In many cases, your car insurance provider will be able to negotiate with the other party’s provider to settle your claim.

    If you are unhappy with your settlement or you have sustained injuries not address in the claim filed by your insurance provider, we recommend you contact a local personal injury attorney with experience in car accident claims.

    What does a car accident settlement in Missouri cover?

    There are many things that may be covered in a car accident settlement, but the most common things include:

    • Repairs or replacement parts for your vehicle (or replacing the vehicle entirely)
    • Medical expenses for injuries caused by the accident
    • Physical pain and suffering
    • and Loss of income

    While most cases simply require the guilty party to cover the damages to the victim’s vehicle, more severe automobile collisions that cause injuries may result in a larger settlement to cover the cost of things like medical bills and a loss of income due to missing work.

    How much will I get for my car accident settlement?

    As you probably know, every car accident settlement amount is different due to the circumstances surrounding each case. The amount will vary depending on different factors like the injuries sustained in the car accident, the medical treatment and bills for the injuries, damage caused to your vehicle, the type of vehicle your drive, and so on.

    Car accident settlements that only involve repairing or replacing the victim’s vehicle typically range between $3,000 and $15,000.

    If there are injuries, that amount will certainly go up. There is no (easy) way to determine the average car accident injury settlement.  Every case is different and there no simple answer to this question.  Please contact Ortwerth Law to discuss your car accident and injuries with an experienced lawyer.

    Also, even if you are partially at fault for causing the accident, you may still be able to receive damages for injuries.  Please call the St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Ortwerth Law to discuss the facts regarding your car accident.

    Do car accident claims in St. Louis work differently than in other states?

    Yes, car accident claims may work differently in each state. Each state has its own laws and regulations regarding car accidents and insurance claims along with the statutes of limitations. This can affect things such as the statute of limitations for filing a claim, the types of damages that can be recovered, and the amount of compensation that can be awarded. It is important to work with an attorney who is familiar with the laws and regulations in your state to ensure that your claim is handled properly.

    Is there a difference between filing a truck accident claim and a car accident claim?

    Overall, getting a car accident and truck accident settlement is a relatively similar process, but there are also some key differences to keep in mind when filing a claim.

    One of the main differences is the potential differences in the severity of the accident. Truck accidents, obviously, tend to have more serious injuries and property damages due to the larger size and weight of a commercial truck. This means that the damages awarded in a truck accident claim may be higher than those in a car accident claim.

    When it comes to filing a claim for a truck accident, the process, for the most part, remains the same. You may, however, be filing against multiple parties if, for instance, it is deemed both the truck driver and their employer are at fault for the accident. We recommend finding an injury attorney who specializes as both a car and truck accident attorney.

    Closing out details on Missouri’s car accident claim timeframe

    Car accidents are always scary moments, but if you follow these steps, report your car accident, and file your claim within 5 years of your accident, you will receive the compensation you deserve.

    If you have any questions or think additional damages can be claimed, contact the St. Louis car accident attorneys at Ortwerth Law to discuss your case and get your questions answered.