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Car Accident Statute of Limitations

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver’s negligence, be sure to keep in mind the statute of limitations applicable to your potential cause of action (case). A “statute of limitations” is a rule that establishes a time limit for a person to file a lawsuit for a particular wrong — in this case, a motor vehicle collision.

After the statute of limitations expires, an injured individual can no longer file a lawsuit to recover damages for their injuries. Statutes of limitations vary from state to state and the type of case to be filed. In Missouri, the car accident statute of limitations is 5 years.

Common Statute of Limitations Exceptions

Exclusions or exceptions in some states can toll the statute of limitations and permit a claimant (injured person) to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired. These exclusions and exceptions include:

  • Equitable tolling — Occurs when the injured person, despite reasonable efforts, fails to discover the basis for their cause of action until after the statute of limitations has expired. This legal principle often occurs in medical negligence situations, such as where a person suffers injuries from asbestos exposure many decades ago or when a surgeon leaves a sponge or other medical device inside an individual that is first discovered years later.
  • If the defendant is a minor, more often than not, the statute of limitations is suspended (and does not even begin to run) until the minor turns 18 years of age.
  • When the injured party is on active military service or at war, certain statutes establish a “grace period” until the individual returns from war or is no longer on active duty. This exception normally only applies to certain causes of action (claims) specifically stated in the statute.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

Our legal team at Call & Gentry Law Group is ready to help, willing, and able to help any and all accident victims with their motor vehicle-related claims. For more information on the car accident statute of limitations, call (573) 691-4552 to talk to one of our experienced Jefferson City, Missouri, Personal Injury Attorneys today.

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