If you’ve been in a car accident in Kansas City, then you may want to know how long you have before you can no longer file a claim. This question and many other frequently asked questions are why it’s a good idea to hire a car accident attorney in Kansas City as soon as possible after your accident.
Ask a Car Accident Attorney: How Soon Do I Need to File a Claim?
In Missouri, you have up to five years after the accident to file a lawsuit for a car accident. While in other states the statute of limitations is only two years, Missouri understands that victims of car accidents may have extensive medical conditions they need to recover from before they can file a lawsuit.
That said, it’s still important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible so the lawyer can start on your injury lawsuit. Although you have up to five years to file your lawsuit, it’s generally a good idea to file sooner rather than later so that you have access to all relevant evidence in your case. Additionally, filing your injury lawsuit can help you obtain the settlement that will help you recover after your accident.
What About Wrongful Death?
In the case of wrongful death, a lawyer can help you collect compensation for the tragic loss of life of your loved one. For wrongful death cases associated with car accidents, the statute of limitation starts from the death date of the deceased person. You will have three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
When Should You Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Kansas City?
Whether you want to contact a car accident attorney in Kansas City while you are receiving medical care at a hospital, or you wait until you go home before you contact a lawyer, it’s a good idea to find a lawyer quickly. There are some specific circumstances in which hiring a lawyer as soon as possible can benefit your car accident case. For example, some reasons to contact a lawyer more quickly include:
Severe Injuries and Damages
If you have severe injuries and damages after the accident, then you will need to contact a lawyer quickly. In Missouri, severe financial damages are anything over $500, such as the cost of vehicle repairs. Severe injuries can include anything from broken bones and burns to loss of limb or life.
If there are unique circumstances related to your car accident case, you will need a lawyer to help you navigate the special laws that may apply to your situation. For example, in Missouri, you can file a lawsuit against another driver who injured you in a car accident due to road rage.
A lawyer with expertise in car accidents will be able to assess the special circumstances of your case and help you build a successful lawsuit so you can receive compensation. Some unique circumstances can include intoxicated driving, drunk driving, aggressive driving, distracted driving, speeding, and more.
You may need to contact a lawyer if your insurance has denied your car accident claim for any reason. Usually, insurance companies will only deny your claim if they do not have enough information about your damages.
However, when you’re recovering from a car accident, it can be very stressful to deal with an insurance company that repeatedly denies your claim. Having a lawyer to negotiate for a fair settlement after your accident can help speed up your recovery.
Like many other states, Missouri supports comparative negligence, a doctrine that suggests both individuals involved in a car accident may be partially responsible for the accident. When there are liability issues in a car accident case, insurance companies are reluctant to offer settlements, which can prevent you from paying for medical bills and other expenses during your recovery.
In the case of comparative negligence, you will need the help of a lawyer to prove the percentage of liability you share in your case. The goal in a comparative negligence case is to be found less than 51% responsible for the accident, which allows you to receive a portion of the settlement.
Finally, Missouri has special laws about uninsured motorists. While all drivers must have liability and uninsured motorist coverage, if you were in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, you will not be able to receive compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. Instead, you will have to file a lawsuit directly against the uninsured driver to receive a settlement for your injuries and damages.
In Missouri, you have up to five years from the date of a car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit or three years from the death date of the person who died in the accident. In addition to the statute of limitations, a car accident attorney can answer many more questions related to your case, including what you can do about insurance denial and liability issues.