A car accident in St. Joseph has sent several people to the hospital after someone ran a red light. Some of the passengers in one of the vehicles involved were children. While it is unclear how badly they were hurt, or even if the children were injured in the crash, the statute of limitations in Missouri can help them recover the compensation they need.
St. Joseph Car Accident Sends Several to the Hospital
The incident occurred in the evening of Monday, July 1, 2019, at the intersection of the Belt Highway and Northridge Drive. According to the initial reports, a car was turning from Northridge Drive onto the Belt Highway when a car on the Highway ran the red light.
The resulting crash sent several people to the hospital at Mosaic Life Care, just down the road from the scene of the crash.
One of the vehicles involved in the crash had children in it. Police, however, did not say whether they were hurt in the accident.
Missouri’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents
One of the most important aspects of Missouri’s personal injury law is the statute of limitations. This law requires accident victims to file their personal injury claim within a certain time period after they got hurt.
The purpose of the statute of limitations is two-fold:
- It forces victims to file their lawsuit soon after the crash so evidence is still easy to find and eyewitnesses remember what happened
- It allows potential defendants to repose after the statute of limitations has expired, knowing that they can no longer be sued for what they did
In Missouri, the statute of limitations for car accidents is found at Missouri Statute 516.120. It gives victims five years to file their lawsuit. Most other states in the U.S. have far shorter statutes of limitations for similar lawsuits.
The Statute of Limitations is Tolled for Underage Victims
Under Missouri Statute 516.170, though, the statute of limitations tolls, or does not begin, until an underage victim turns 21. Children who get hurt in a car accident that was caused by another driver, then, have until their 26th birthday to file their lawsuit. This is true regardless of their age at the time of the crash: They could be a toddler or a 20-year-old in the accident.
The point behind this rule is to give the victim an opportunity to decide for themselves whether they want to invoke their rights to compensation for the crash. Some parents balk at the idea of going to court. If the statute of limitations did not toll until the underage victim could pursue their own rights in court, they might be out of luck.
St. Joseph Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office
Children who get hurt in car accidents are especially prone to suffering long-term injuries because they are still growing and have their whole lives ahead of them.
The personal injury lawyers at the Smith Law Office strive to represent car accident victims of all ages. Contact them online or call their St. Joseph law office at (816) 875-9373 for the legal help you need.