When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

​How Long Do You Have to File a Claim For a Truck Accident?

​How Long Do You Have to File a Claim For a Truck Accident?

It is scary how fast a truck accident can become severe. A truck driver makes one wrong move, and you are in danger of enduring immeasurable pain and losses. When you are in a truck accident, it is perfectly understandable that your primary focus will be on healing. However, one crucial aspect of healing is having peace of mind and financial support. When stressed about how you will cover your medical services and other losses, it is hard to remain focused on your physical recovery.

Immediately contact an experienced truck accident attorney. The law limits your time to file claims, and other factors make acting quickly a wise decision. Reach out to a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your situation and a possible claim.

Statute of limitations

Seeking compensation for your truck accident can give you the financial security you need moving forward after serious injuries. However, there are some deadlines that you must follow when filing a claim for your injury after your truck accident. One of those deadlines is known as the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations is a deadline for injury victims to file claims against negligent parties. Every personal injury claim is subject to a statute of limitations, and you should know what this time limit is in your state.

One of the reasons for statutes of limitations is to help preserve relevant evidence in a potential case. Any evidence that can prove the negligence of another party can be lost as time progresses. The sooner a person files a truck accident claim, the greater their chances of gathering the best evidence for their case.

Another reason is to resolve the matter while the case facts are still fresh. If a person files a claim years after an accident, the ability to recall specific facts and information will be challenging. The law also does not want defendants to wait for years, wondering if they will face a legal claim.

For all of these reasons, courts take statutes of limitations very seriously and will dismiss lawsuits filed beyond the deadline.

State to state

Every state has a different statute of limitations for every type of personal injury case. In general, the statute of limitations will range from one to six years from the date of the accident, with most deadlines falling around two to three years. For example, New Jersey has a statute of limitations of two years, while next door in New York, injury victims have three years to file most claims.

That means you will have a few years to file a claim against various parties. While that may sound like enough time to file a claim, you may have to consider other factors that would incentivize you to get the process started sooner rather than later. This is especially true with complex truck accident claims.

Exceptions

For the most part, many truck accident victims must follow the statute of limitations when filing their claims. However, there are some exceptions where the statute of limitations will not apply as usual. First, if you do not discover your injuries immediately, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the discovery.

Another exception applies when the injured party is a minor. If the injured party is a minor, they cannot pursue legal action against another person. The minor’s parents can file a claim on their behalf, or depending on the state, the court can postpone the statute of limitations until the minor reaches 18.

Another exception is the injured party’s mental disability. If the victim is incapacitated, the court will extend the statute of limitations. The courts will also extend a statute of limitations if you cannot serve the other party with notice of the lawsuit. For a lawsuit to proceed, you must locate and serve the other party. If you cannot find the other party, if they fled the state, or if the other party lied about their identity, the courts will consider extending your statute of limitations.

Take action sooner than later

While you have the choice of waiting up until the statute of limitations to file your truck accident claim, it is always better to file your claim much sooner. Truck accident claims have complex circumstances that require swift action.

First, trucking companies send representatives to investigate how an accident happened and gather evidence immediately following a crash. Once the company has this evidence, there is a chance it will mishandle, lose, or even destroy proof of liability. Once you have a truck accident lawyer, they can provide notice to the trucking company to preserve any possible evidence or face a court decision. You want your lawyer to send this notice as soon as possible, which means seeking a legal consultation immediately following the accident.

Truck driver negligence

A critical part of filing a truck accident claim is knowing which parties to hold accountable for your accident. The truck driver is the most common liable party for truck accident claims. A majority of truck accidents occur due to a truck driver’s negligence. Whether a truck driver operates a truck under the influence or speeds, their negligence places you and other motorists in danger.

Trucking company liability

Another liable party that you can file your truck accident claim against is the trucking company. If the truck driver works for a trucking company, that company must pay for the driver's actions. Even when truck drivers engage in dangerous activities on the road, the trucking company can be liable if their agent causes a truck accident.

Trucking companies can bear negligence on their own for allowing unqualified drivers to operate trucks or failing to maintain trucks. These are all pieces of the liability puzzle your lawyer will explore.

Because multiple parties can contribute to your truck accident, start your claim as soon as possible. You are not the only party in the accident considering legal options. Immediately following your truck accident, insurance companies prepare their clients and themselves for an upcoming claim or lawsuit. They are considering all sorts of tactics and strategies to deny their client's liability or pay out as little of your claim as possible.

To avoid dealing with the insurance company’s deceptive tactics, you should consider seeking the help of a lawyer when filing your claim. Your truck accident lawyer will develop the best legal strategy in your favor that combats the insurance company’s tactics.

Building a case

You may think that you do not need the assistance of a lawyer to file your claim. Again, consider your injuries. The recovery process for your injuries may be so time-consuming that you do not have time to decipher the legal language or procedures associated with the claim.

Filing a claim requires many steps to build your case before you even file your claim, and this alone can be complicated and overwhelming. Your claim's success depends on your ability to build a case for yourself. If you present your case poorly, your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve are in jeopardy. Always seek the proper legal assistance instead of trying to handle any of the processes yourself.

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Resolving your claim

How long will it take to resolve your claim? Well, that depends. Many factors determine the length of time it takes to resolve your claim.

These factors include:

  • The number of liable parties involved. Truck accidents are one of those accidents commonly involving multiple parties. This means it can take longer to come to a resolution with all parties.
  • The severity of your injuries. This is one of the most critical factors of your claim. Several aspects of your claim, from its value to the method you take to resolve it, will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries.
  • Evidence. The greater the evidence you can present in your claim, the greater your chances of agreeing on your compensation. The ability to present evidence that can speak to the other party’s liability and your total damages is crucial for your claim.
  • The desire to settle. Another key factor determining how quickly your claim will resolve is the parties' desire to settle the claim. Both parties may have their reasons for settling the claim or not. Insurance companies may believe that offering a settlement agreement is in the company's best interest. In your case, you may want to resolve the matter and receive compensation as soon as possible.

Damages from truck accident claims

Another factor influencing your claim is the damages you pursue. Because a truck accident often results in serious injuries, your economic damages can become expensive quickly. Economic damages are the damages you can easily trace through a dollar amount or receipt.

Some economic damages include:

  • Medical bills. The recovery process for your injuries can include medical services like surgeries, physical therapy, ambulance rides, medical devices, and rehabilitation services. Unlike other personal injury victims, you may have to receive compensation that can cover these costs for years and years.
  • Lost income. Your injuries can be so severe that they can affect your ability to make a living. You must consider that you may never work again without some form of medical assistance. If your injuries are this severe, you may have to receive compensation that can replace the income that you were previously earning.
  • Additional expenses. You can receive compensation for any additional expenses you have covered regarding your accident. These expenses include the loss of personal property like your vehicle and any towing costs you may have had to pay.

Another set of damages that you can pursue through your claim is non-economic damages. You cannot as easily demonstrate these damages through a dollar amount or paid invoice. The compensation you can receive for non-economic damages stems from the severity of your injuries, not your financial losses.

Some non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering. This damage reflects your physical and mental anguish from your truck accident. One of the factors that the courts will consider is how long you will have to endure pain following your accident.
  • Mental health disorders. Another type of pain you can experience is a set of mental disorders developed from your accident. From a truck accident, some common mental disorders that you can experience include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. These mental disorders can be ongoing and require you to attend therapy for years.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. The physical and mental pain you experience from your truck accident can affect your professional and personal life. The ability to spend quality time with your family and create lasting memories will be affected by your injuries. This loss of enjoyment can also cause you to experience mental anguish.
  • Loss of companionship. If you lost a loved one to a truck accident or your relationships suffered severe impact from your truck accident, this type of irreparable damage can happen. Your injuries can affect how you interact with your family and friends.

Call a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible

Richard Reinartz - Attorney for Car Accident Claims in New Jersey area
Richard Reinartz, Truck Accident Attorney in New Jersey

After your truck crash, always get the medical treatment you need to stabilize your injuries. Then, your next step should be to contact a personal injury lawyer.

When you decide to file a claim for your truck accident, a lawyer can help in every step of the case. An experienced lawyer is familiar with the statute of limitations in your state and can assist you with collecting the necessary evidence for your claim.

After suffering injuries in a truck accident, it can seem like you are facing the recovery process alone. However, that is not the case. One way your lawyer can assist in your recovery is by taking the lead in your legal matters. When you have suffered a severe injury in a truck accident, allow a skilled lawyer to help. Contact us today to receive a consultation.