Missouri Statute of Limitations
In Missouri, there is a five-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those resulting from a truck accident. If you have been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck, or a loved one has been incapacitated, you have five years from the date of the accident to either settle an insurance claim against all liable parties or to file a lawsuit in the appropriate Missouri court.
There is a two-year statute of limitations imposed on wrongful death claims. If your loved one was killed in a truck crash, you have two years from the date of death to settle a claim or file a lawsuit. The date of death may be later than the date of the accident if the death resulted from injuries after the crash.
Who Can I Hold Liable for Injuries or Death?
Liability or “fault” for an 18-wheeler accident can lie with more than one individual or entity. Under the law, you can file a claim or lawsuit against any party whose negligence contributed to the crash. This includes:
- The truck driver who failed to inspect the semi-truck properly, logged excessive hours on the road and was fatigued, operated the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or simply failed to pay attention.
- The trucking company that failed to adequately train or supervise the driver, placed profit over safety, or put a driver with a poor safety record back on the road.
- The manufacturer of the semi-truck or trailer, or of any parts used, if the truck or its parts are found to be faulty, such as defective brakes, or a compromised coupling mechanism.
- Maintenance personnel who failed to inspect, repair, and maintain the vehicle.
- A person who improperly loaded cargo that led to shifting or falling cargo, causing an accident.
There are a number of other factors to consider when determining liability for a crash, including potential negligence or pure comparative fault on the part of the drivers of passenger vehicles involved, as well as road and weather conditions at the time of the crash.
How to File a Personal Injury
Or Wrongful Death Claim
Because trucking companies are required to carry high limits of liability insurance, there is typically a lot of money at stake in a personal injury claim or civil suit. That’s why most trucking insurance companies retain aggressive attorneys to defend claims and minimize liability.
When it comes to the investigation of an 18-wheeler accident, documenting evidence of any level of negligence against any party who might have contributed to the crash is critical. You need an experienced truck accident attorney who knows how to preserve evidence, investigate the circumstances of the crash, interview witnesses, research the history of the truck driver, and retain crash engineers, medical, and other experts if necessary.
You should hire a personal injury attorney who can aggressively negotiate with the insurer, and if the claim cannot be settled, litigate the case in court. If a loved one has been incapacitated or killed in a truck-related crash, you should speak with an attorney right away to ensure the preservation of critical evidence.
You Deserve a Knowledgeable
Attorney On Your Side
A personal injury or wrongful death claim resulting from a semi-truck accident is not one you should pursue on your own. The crash investigation is critical, especially since all liable parties must be named in the initial Petition for Damages filed in a Missouri court — otherwise, you could forfeit your right to name additional parties later.
Having an intimate knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act and Missouri Department of Transportation regulations is equally crucial to the success of any case. You need an attorney who knows those regulations and how to determine if those standards have been breached.
You also need a truck accident attorney who will perform the due diligence necessary to make sure that each and every party who was liable for the crash is held accountable. Negotiating with trucking insurers and litigating a case in civil court is not for the timid. So if you’ve been injured in a truck accident, don’t face this challenge on your own. Call or reach out to our firm, Jett Legal, today for reliable legal guidance and strong representation.