Is Missouri a No-Fault State?
By Chris Dixon
There are two types of ‘fault’ rules that are used to determine who is liable in a car accident: No-Fault and At-Fault. The State of Missouri follows the at-fault rule which is based on a varying percentage of ‘fault’ for each party involved in the accident. If you have been involved in an accident in Missouri, speaking with a car accident attorney can help you decide what this means for your case and the options that you have for filing a claim in Missouri against the other driver.
What Does it Mean for a State to be a No-Fault or At-Fault State?
There are 18 states in the U.S. that follow the no-fault rule. If you are involved in a car accident in one of these states, you’re typically unable to sue the at-fault driver for damages. All insurance claims in no-fault states are filed against your own personal insurance company, except for in some states where if the amount of your damages surpasses a certain monetary threshold, you can sue the at-fault driver for the excess amount.
The State of Missouri is not one of the 18 states that follows the no-fault rule, it is an at-fault state. If someone is involved in an auto accident in an at-fault, damages can be recovered from the other driver who is found responsible for the accident. Determining who is at-fault in an accident is not always easy because in some cases both parties can be liable for the accident to some degree.
Missouri At-Fault System
States in the U.S. follow either a no-fault or at-fault rule, but there are a few different types of negligence that determine whether or not the injured party or both parties involved in the accident can claim damages. Missouri follows Pure Contributory Negligence, which means that if you are involved in a car accident where only one party is at-fault, both parties are assigned a percentage of fault for the accident from 1-99% and may both be entitled to damages. The amount of damages that both parties can claim from the accident is correlated to this percentage of ‘fault’, so it can be tricky to know what types of damages you’re eligible to claim and how to calculate these damages. It is important to contact a Missouri car accident lawyer so that they can analyze your case, determine the potential outcome of your case and give you legal advice on how to proceed with your accident claim.
How Long Do I Have to File an Accident Claim in Missouri?
If you are involved in a car accident in Missouri, the best time to report an accident is immediately after it happens. Realistically speaking, this isn’t always an option that is available for everyone’s case. Some injuries can take a lot of time and treatment to heal and prevent an injured party from taking immediate action with their case. If a car accident in Missouri isn’t reported right after it happens, drivers involved have up to 5 years from that date to file a valid claim under the Missouri Statute of Limitations. This Missouri law states that if a car accident isn’t reported within five years of happening, it is no longer seen as a legally valid claim and all parties involved forfeit their rights to claim damages from the accident.
Do I Have to Call a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
A lawyer has the experience and knowledge of Missouri’s legal system needed to secure a higher settlement amount for your car accident case. Your lawyer has more than likely handled a case similar to yours which allows for them to help you write a more persuasive demand letter, file an effective car accident claim and powerfully negotiate for the highest amount in damages for your case. If you are ready to speak with a lawyer about your car accident case in Missouri, contact the Dixon Injury Firm to set up a free consultation and discuss how our personal injury attorneys can help you recover damages for your car accident case.
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