How Long After a Car Accident Can You Wait to File a Claim?

Is there a Time Limit for Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim?

Make sure you file your injury claim or lawsuit in time – but don’t settle before you’ve received enough medical treatment or healed well enough to understand the impact of your injuries.

In Missouri, the Statute of Limitation for injuries sustained in a car accident is five (5) years.1 The Statute of Limitation is when an individual’s right to file or otherwise bring a lawsuit expires. So, if your injury was sustained on March 9, 2021, you would have until March 8, 2026 to act or your right to act will be forever lost.

However, the question asks how long a person “can wait” to file. I believe that the question is really asking whether a person should wait some certain period of time following a car accident before acting. I have had clients call me from the scene of a collision. I have also had clients call me from the Emergent Care Department at the hospital. Clients have called me years after a collision after treatment for their injuries has resolved. There is no rule concerning how quickly you can act. However, the sooner you can involve an attorney the better. This is because I can help you coordinate benefits with health care providers and keep insurance companies in their lane. Usually, within the first twenty-four hours of a collision, an insurance company calls and wants to take a “recorded statement.” In that statement, they’re going to be a nice as pie and get you to minimize your injuries or contradict yourself in some important way. However, once an insurance company receives a letter of representation from me, they are prohibited from contacting you directly ever again. This is just the first step to maximize the value of your claim and take back control over your claim from the insurance companies who, all too often, are able to define the course and scope of your care and value.

Insurance companies assign adjusters to manage injury claims arising from motor vehicle collisions. Those adjusters have no legal training, but they have a huge advantage over injured parties. Who has a better idea of the value of your claim?: a person who has never been through it before and who is still reeling from the injury, or an insurance adjuster who has spoken with hundreds of injured parties every day and has access to the national insurance database?

Contact Plaza Injury Law After Any Car Accident

Once you’ve made a police report and sought medical attention after a car accident, please contact Donovan Dodrill. He is a top-rated Kansas City personal injury attorney who has helped hundreds of people across the country over the years. Contact him directly, or schedule a meeting to discuss your case.


1RSMo Section 516.120; Within five years: (1) All actions upon contracts, obligations or liabilities, express or implied, except those mentioned in section 516.110 , and except upon judgments or decrees of a court of record, and except where a different time is herein limited; (2) An action upon a liability created by a statute other than a penalty or forfeiture; (3) An action for trespass on real estate; (4) An action for taking, detaining or injuring any goods or chattels, including actions for the recovery of specific personal property, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another, not arising on contract and not herein otherwise enumerated; (5) An action for relief on the ground of fraud, the cause of action in such case to be deemed not to have accrued until the discovery by the aggrieved party, at any time within ten years, of the facts constituting the fraud.


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Posted March 9, 2021 by Plaza Injury Law
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