Missouri Car Accident Law: What You Need to Know

March 8 2023

In Missouri, all drivers involved in an accident must stop and exchange insurance information with each other. If there is an injury or property damage exceeds $500 any driver involved is required to complete a Motor Vehicle Accident Report form.

Missouri Car Accident Laws

In Missouri, all motorists are bound by a set of laws and regulations known as the Missouri Car Accident Law. This law not only regulates how to safely drive on Missouri’s roads, but is also designed to protect victims who have been injured in car accidents and help assign liability for damages.

Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there may be different laws that apply, and both sides must take into account all applicable guidelines. The most common of these laws is the law of negligence. To win a case for either side, one must prove that the other is legally liable for the injuries or losses incurred in the accident. Negligence can come in many forms, from speeding to ignoring warnings signs or traffic signals.

Missouri requires that any driver should keep their car roadworthy and insured; this will provide some level of protection if an accident occurs. Other items such as possessing valid vehicle registration and a driver’s license are also important considerations under state law. Violations of these criteria can lead to serious legal repercussions including suspension or revocation of a driver’s license and even jail time depending on the severity of the violation.

Aside from laws governing negligence, all drivers involved in an accident are mandated to remain at the scene until authorities arrive to document and investigate the incident, failing to do so may result in criminal charges being laid against them. Additionally, all parties involved must exchange contact information with each other, unless they are medically unable to do so or feel threatened while doing so.

Finally, Missouri has specific rules regarding filing insurance claims after an accident has occurred. All claims must be done within 24 hours of occurring or else risk being voided by carriers or rejected by providers. Furthermore, an injured party must prove that they were not at fault in order for their claim to be accepted, otherwise they may face financial penalties as outlined in their policy agreement with the carrier.

Now that we have discussed Missouri Car Accident Law, we will turn our attention towards understanding Negligence Laws and how they relate back to our car accident situation.

Negligence Laws

Negligence laws encompass some of the most important considerations when it comes to Missouri car accident law and any claims that may follow. These laws reflect the legal obligation for drivers to operate their vehicles in an appropriate and responsible manner, which would ensure the safety of those on the roadways. Under negligence laws, if a driver has caused an accident due to carelessness or disregard of this standard of operation, they can be classified as a negligent driver and be held liable for any resulting damages. To prove negligence in Missouri, injured victims must establish four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and injury.

Duty is defined as the obligation to adhere to prudent behavior relative to driving habits and conditions. Breach of duty is considered when there is proof that accurate measures were not taken to provide for a safe environment for other drivers on the roadway. Causation requires evidence that links the negligent actions to the injuries sustained. And finally, injury is established when it can be shown that there were physical or emotional damages inflicted upon another driver involved in the accident.

The issue of negligence in the context of car accidents can become complicated under certain circumstances and often calls into question whether or not the injured party was partially accountable through contributory or comparative negligence – or even fully responsible if they solely caused the crash. Missouri’s contributory negligence statute means that if a plaintiff contributes to their own injuries, they cannot obtain compensation from another at-fault party regardless of how slight their contribution may have been. Comparative negligence will enter play when more than one driver shares part responsibility for an accident; for instance, if an at-fault driver had a red light and an injured victim was speeding at the time of impact, both could share liability in terms of damages awarded in a settlement.

To conclude this section about negligence laws in Missouri car accident cases, understanding what standards need to be proved as well as whether one party is partially accountable for damages sustained should remain at the forefront during lawsuits involving crashes over state lines. With that being said, our next section will evaluate laws surrounding statutes of limitation and how they come into play in car accident claims across Missouri.

  • According to Missouri’s Comparative Fault Rule, if you have been proven to be more than 50% at fault for an accident, you are not eligible to collect compensation for damages.
  • In Missouri, all drivers must have minimum liability insurance coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident for bodily injury as well as $10,000 per incident for property damage.
  • If you intend to sue the other driver for damages after an accident in Missouri, you must do so within five years from the date of the accident.

Statute of Limitation

Missouri has a statute of limitations on filing any claim related to a car accident. This means that after a certain amount of time has passed, an individual will no longer be able to file a lawsuit for damages related to their car accident injuries. This can be disheartening for victims of a car accident who may find themselves unable to bring their case to court once the statute of limitations runs out.

In Missouri, the general statute of limitations for personal injury claims is five years from the date the accident occurred. That means that if you were injured in an accident, you have up to five years before you can no longer pursue action against another motorist due to the circumstances of the accident. While this may seem like a long time, it can lead to problems down the line when it comes to gathering evidence and making sure all your paperwork is in order. It is best to file a claim as soon as possible following an accident in order for the process to proceed smoothly with minimal delays.

The state does make some exceptions when it comes to minors or persons under legal disability, such as individuals who are mentally or physically incapacitated due to age or injury. In these cases, the individual may have more than five years before they must initiate proceedings against another driver related to their car accident injuries. Additionally, many kinds of property damage claims have varying statutes of limitations which could be much shorter than five years.

It should also be noted that beginning legal proceedings doesn’t guarantee success, and depending on a few different factors it’s entirely possible that your case may still be denied even if lodged within the statute of limitations window.

No matter your situation, it’s important for individuals involved in car accidents in Missouri to keep track of time frames and deadlines so they don’t inadvertently miss opportunities for legal redress regarding their particular situation. Moving forward, this section will cover where one can look in order to find pertinent Missouri Car Accident Laws; both online and offline sources.

Where to Find Missouri Car Accident Laws

When it comes to discovering what Missouri car accident laws apply to your particular case, researching state and local regulations can seem daunting. Fortunately, there are several sources you can turn to in order to determine the legalities you need to know following an automobile collision.

The most comprehensive source of information about Missouri car accident law is the state legislature’s website. Here you can find both state statutes and regulations that govern car accidents and personal injury cases. Additionally, contact your local county or district courts for a more specific look into how your situation could be handled based on the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. Obtaining advice from an experienced attorney familiar with Missouri car accident laws is also strongly recommended as they will be able to best direct you on how to proceed following a collision.

Finally, understanding the insurance policy that applies in the case of a car accident is also essential, although not always straightforward. Depending on the types of coverage available, some damages may be covered by filing a complaint with an insurance company while other costs incurred may require seeking outside legal counsel or filing a civil lawsuit. As such, it is important to ensure that all paperwork associated with your insurance coverage is accurately filled out and filed before making any decisions.

Understanding whereby to acquire Missouri car accident laws is essential in protecting yourself from potential legal issues and ensuring that any claims made against or by you are justly handled. To further explore your rights and obligations when engaging in a motor vehicle collision, the next section will discuss the responsibilities of drivers involved in these types of accidents in greater detail.

Responsibilities of Drivers Involved in Accidents

Missouri drivers involved in an automobile accident have certain responsibilities to ensure the safety of all parties involved. According to Missouri Law, it is the duty of drivers to remain at the scene of the accident, cooperate with police and exchange information with any other drivers involved in the crash. Regardless of who is found at fault after the police investigate, all drivers are responsible for ensuring that everyone receives appropriate medical care following an accident.

Drivers also have a responsibility to maintain safe speed limits and obey traffic guidelines. When breaking these rules, or if one driver is negligent, an accident can occur and is no longer considered an unfortunate upset but instead a preventable tragedy. Drivers must use caution and think about their own safety and that of others when driving.

Lastly, both parties should work to establish liability for damages in a timely and cost-effective manner through insurance companies or courts. Accidents are expensive, so finding a resolution both parties can agree on will be beneficial in affording necessary repairs and medical treatment without further drama or complexity.

By understanding their duties as drivers, those involved in car accidents in Missouri can exercise their right to protect themselves and others while remaining compliant with state laws. In the following section we will discuss driver’s obligations when they are deemed negligent after an accident occurs.

Driver’s in Negligent Accidents

Driver negligence is one of the most common causes of car accidents in Missouri. In some cases, the driver may be liable for damages and other losses suffered by other parties as a result of the accident.

In order to prove negligence on the part of a driver, it must first be established that they had a duty of care towards those affected by their actions. This duty could include obeying traffic laws or following accepted safety measures while driving.

If there is evidence that the driver was not taking reasonable care to protect others, then a court may find them to be negligent. For example, if a driver was speeding excessively and crashed into another vehicle, this could be seen as negligent behavior. If the driver was drunk at the time of the crash or was texting while driving, these too could be considered negligent behaviors.

On the other hand, there may be instances where the driver is no more than an unfortunate victim of circumstances beyond their control. In this situation, the court may find that although the driver had taken steps to exercise reasonable care (i.e., obeying traffic laws), they could not have anticipated or avoided the accident due to circumstances outside their control (i.e., a broken traffic light).

Ultimately, whether a driver is considered negligent will depend on whether the court believes they had a duty of care to prevent harm and whether they failed to take reasonable measures to do so. The next section will discuss how drivers in non-negligent accident cases are handled in Missouri law.

Driver’s in Non-Negligent Accidents

After a car accident that is not the fault of either party, it can be difficult to understand what exactly will happen next. In Missouri, drivers in non-negligent accidents need to take certain steps in order to protect their rights and ensure any medical fees or damages are accounted for.

In most cases, it is illegal for drivers to leave the scene of the accident without exchanging insurance information with each other. Therefore, the first step for drivers in non-negligent accidents should be to exchange contact information and insurance details. After exchanging this information, drivers should seek medical treatment if necessary and photograph any damage to their vehicles that may have been caused by the accident. Even though no one admits fault after an accident, it may be necessary to later prove who was at fault if there is a dispute over who is financially responsible for any damages or injuries that occur as a result of the incident.

If both drivers involved agree that they are not liable, they can simply exchange insurance details, repair their vehicles and move on with their day. If local law enforcement is called on to assess the situation, however, it is important for both parties to understand that officers can assign fault after looking into all evidence, including witness statements and photographs taken at the scene of the accident. Furthermore, unless fault is clearly evident and admitted to–such as when one party confesses or runs a red light–insurance companies may need to conduct further investigations and decide which driver bears responsibility for paying associated costs.

It is important to remember that all Missouri drivers are legally required to carry at least $25,000 in liability insurance per injured person (up to a maximum of $50,000) and $10,000 in property damage coverage. Both parties in an accident should use this insurance coverage to resolve any lingering issues after an incident.

The next section explores how individuals can recover medical expenses or damages associated with a non-negligent car accident in Missouri: Recovering Medical Expenses and Damages.

Recovering Medical Expenses and Damages

Recovering Medical Expenses and Damages:

If you or a loved one were injured in a Missouri car accident, medical expenses associated with medical bills and related services are most likely one of your main concerns. Missouri law states that the at-fault driver is responsible for any economic losses incurred as a result of the accident, including medical costs. Additionally, if injured parties were not at fault, they may be eligible to recover further damages due to their pain, suffering and lost wages.

In general, the amount of compensation will depend on the severity of the impact and number of injuries sustained. For example, if someone sustained only minor bruising, they might receive less money than someone who was left disabled and unable to work. A civil court judge will typically make this determination based on the victim’s testimony in court or by reviewing documents submitted to support their claim.

When it comes to economic losses, medical expenses are generally easier to prove and award through insurance companies or court judgments than damages such as pain and suffering. Pain and suffering claims require more legal expertise as they involve an evaluation of the nature of the injury and degree of emotional distress caused by it. It is important to note that recovering emotional distress from a car accident is difficult in Missouri because jurors tend to place more value on physical injuries since psychological injuries are more difficult to quantify.

However, there are exceptions for cases where victims suffer severe emotional disturbances including depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In cases such as these, documentation from mental health professionals can serve as strong evidence that justifies a claim for emotional distress damages.

Although recovering financial compensation for medical expenses and associated damages from a car accident can be difficult due to Missouri’s comparative negligence law (which states that both parties may be partially responsible for an accident), those who have been injured may be able to recover some form of compensation in civil court.

Now that you know what to expect regarding medical expenses and damages after a car accident in Missouri, you should also learn common mistakes to avoid when filing an accident claim in order to increase your chances of being compensated fairly. The next section will discuss four common mistakes to avoid when filing an accident claim in Missouri.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing an Accident Claim in Missouri

Common mistakes to avoid when filing an accident claim in Missouri range widely, from not having the necessary coverage to failing to provide evidence of a fault. It is essential that drivers understand their legal obligations surrounding car accidents and make sure they properly document and file claims with their insurance when needed.

Not having the appropriate insurance is a common mistake that can have serious consequences for the other party if there has been any property damage or physical harm resulting from the crash. Drivers must make sure they carry enough liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to cover any potential losses incurred by the other party as a result of the accident.

Failing to prove negligence is another major mistake that can lead to denied claims or reduced compensation. Even if the other driver was clearly at fault, evidence such as photos, witness statements and official police reports need to back up that assertion. People should also be aware that degrees of negligence are recognized in Missouri, meaning those who were partially liable may still be able to recover damages, provided they do not exceed what qualifies as half-fault for the accident.

Another important point about filing automobile accident claims in Missouri is understanding time limits for filing such claims. There is a limitation period of five years from the date of the incident in which drivers must file both personal injury and property damage lawsuits related to car accidents. If this timeline lapses without legal action being taken, victims will be unable to receive any form of compensation from those responsible for their ordeal.

It is important that motorists remain informed about Missouri’s auto accident laws and take steps to ensure all requirements are met when filing a claim for damages. By doing so, drivers can protect themselves against potential liability and maximize their chances at receiving full and fair compensation after being involved in an automobile crash.

When filing an accident claim in Missouri, knowing how to stay compliant with state laws while avoiding common mistakes can help victims get closer to recovering rightful damages. In conclusion: staying informed on key aspects of Missouri law is essential for drivers looking to file successful accident claims after an automobile crash with complete confidence.


Missouri car accident law can be tricky for those who are unfamiliar with the statutes and requirements. It is important to understand the laws, regulations, and insurance coverage before an accident occurs. In addition, if an accident does occur, it is equally important to understand the options available for recovering damages or resolving disputes between parties.

Negligence is a factor in many car accidents, and it is essential that drivers have sufficient liability insurance to cover potential damage due to a motor vehicle accident. Additionally, there are special factors to consider when the driver of a rental car or other loaned vehicle is involved in a crash.

Victims of car accidents may also be able to recover damages under the Missouri Wrongful Death Act or other applicable statutes. If a death occurred as a result of an accident, the family of the deceased may have legal grounds to pursue financial compensation from any responsible parties. On the other hand, insurance providers may be required to pay personal injury claims depending on the facts of each case. Ultimately, car accident victims should seek experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel in order to determine their available options for financial recovery.

Responses to Frequently Asked Questions with Explanations

What kind of insurance do I need in order to legally drive in Missouri?

In order to legally drive in Missouri, drivers must carry both liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage. Liability insurance covers damages that you are legally responsible for, whereas uninsured motorist coverage helps to cover costs associated with an accident that is the fault of the other driver who does not have insurance. It is important to make sure these policies are up-to-date with enough coverage to protect you in case of an accident. Additionally, if you have a new or valuable vehicle, you should also consider adding collision and comprehensive coverage for additional protection.

Are there different laws for different types of car accidents in Missouri?

Yes, there are different laws for different types of car accidents in Missouri.

For instance, if you are involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you will likely be entitled to compensatory damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Additionally, the driver responsible for causing the accident may be liable for punitive damages if the court deems that their conduct was particularly reckless.

On the other hand, if you were partly at fault for an accident, Missouri operates under a modified comparative negligence system. This means that any damages you receive will take into account your proportional share of fault. The amount of compensation you can receive is reduced by your percentage of responsibility. As an example, if a jury determines you were 40% at fault in an accident, any monetary award would be reduced by 40%.

Finally, if a family member dies as a result of a car accident due to another’s negligence (including drivers or manufacturers) then their estate may be eligible for wrongful death damages. Such damages can cover medical bills for prior treatments related to the fatal accident, funeral costs, and other losses associated with the passing.

In short, it is important to understand that there are different types of car accident laws in Missouri depending on the circumstances of each crash.

What are the implications of a car accident in Missouri?

The implications of a car accident in Missouri depend largely on the specific details of the accident. Generally speaking, if someone is injured or property is damaged due to another driver’s negligence, then the at-fault driver may be held liable for damages. There are also criminal implications that can arise from a car accident where an individual was operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

For those involved in a car accident, regardless of fault, immediate legal action can help protect their rights and ensure they receive just compensation. Additionally, they may have to seek medical treatment and navigate through insurance claims and settlements.

It’s important to be aware of Missouri’s comparative fault law, which requires those seeking compensation to prove that their own actions are not more than 50% responsible for the incident. The state also has a “no pay, no play” law which does not allow uninsured drivers to make liability claims from at-fault drivers.

Overall, the implications of a car accident in Missouri are far reaching and complex which is why it’s important for anyone involved in such an incident to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who understands the nuances of the state’s laws.