Can the statute of limitations for a car accident be waived if the case goes to court?

I was injured in a car accident 4 years ago. The other driver was at fault. I am told that the statue of limitations is 5 years.Their insurance company has offered me a very low settlement- not even the cost of the medical bills claiming that some were too high. I am thinking about filing suit against them but If I do, what happens to the statute of limitations. Is it possibly extended or waived?

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Personal Injury, Missouri


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the other driver before the statute of limitations expires.  If your lawsuit is NOT filed prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, you will lose your rights forever in the matter. 

The statute of limitations is not waived or extended.  If you file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, you have preserverd your rights in the case.  The filing date (date of filing the lawsuit with the court) is what determines whether or not you have missed the statute of limitations.  Once you file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you can proceed with the lawsuit even if the case continues beyond the expiration date of the statute of limitations.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.