Missouri, home sweet home to ice cream cones and Little House on the Prairie books, may bring more adventure than you bargained for if you visit during tornado season. Located in Tornado Alley, Missouri's extreme weather could leave you quite thankful that the Show Me State's laws allow even parties mostly at fault for accidents to recover damages for their injuries. If a storm leaves you having to dust more than dirt off of your shoulders, you may want to get acquainted with Missouri car accident compensation laws.
Check out the table below along with the accompanying explanations to learn more about how car accident damages are treated in Missouri.
'Fault' and 'Pure Comparative Fault' Rules Apply
If a Twister was coming right for you and you caused a car accident seeking cover, you will be thankful to learn that the Missouri courts use the 'pure comparative negligence' rule. If you were, say, 80% at fault for an accident and suffered $20,000 in damages, this rule allows the court to award you $4,000 in damages. However, you will need to be able to prove the other driver's fault before the court will award your damages. This is because Missouri uses the 'fault' rule for accident claims.
Types of Damages
Car accident damages can add up quickly, but you should be aware that you may be entitled to compensation beyond the bills piling up. While your bills typically encompass your economic damages, you may also be entitled to non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include the injuries you suffered that are not quite so easy to calculate, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.
Your car accident damage award may account for:
- Loss of income
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Repairs to your vehicle or vehicle replacement costs
- Rental vehicle
Limits on Damages
If you wind up buried in bills, you will be relieved to learn that the state of Missouri does not impose a limit on the amount of damages injured parties may recover.
While there are no car accident damages caps in Missouri, the state does require you to file any claim you may have before a set deadline (known as the statute of limitations). Fortunately, Missouri gives you plenty of time to decide whether to bring a lawsuit: the limit is five years for both personal injuries and damage to personal property.
Finally, if the party responsible for your injuries is unable to pay the full amount the court awards you, Missouri maintains a tort victim's compensation fund, and you may be able to recover part of your award from that fund.
Car Accident Bills Piling Up? Get a Claim Evaluation
Missouri is committed to helping you get back on your feet, whatever the cause of your car accident. An especially long statute of limitations and a lack of damage caps provide injured parties with plenty of opportunity to recover for their injuries. To learn more about the strength and value of your claim, reach out to an experienced Missouri car accident compensation attorney for a claim evaluation.