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?

The state you are in determines how long you have to file a claim for a truck accident. Each state imposes a statute of limitations upon those who file truck accident claims. The filing deadline may also depend on whether you seek compensation for a fatal or non-fatal truck accident.

In Florida, you generally have two years to file a truck accident case, including for personal injury and wrongful death. Other states may set longer, shorter, or similar deadlines. Explore your options after a truck accident. Our specialized truck accident lawyer can guide you through the claims process and fight for your rights.


What Happens if You Don’t File Your Truck Accident Claim Before the Deadline?

If you do not file your claim before your state’s statute of limitations expires, you likely can no longer take action against an insurance company or liable party.

Missing the filing deadline can mean:

  • Letting liable parties off the hook: Filing a claim or lawsuit is about getting the money you deserve. However, these actions also aim to hold liable parties accountable for their negligence. You allow negligent parties to avoid consequences if you do not file your claim by the legal deadline.
  • Paying out of your own pocket for accident-related damages: Perhaps most importantly, you file a claim or lawsuit to avoid paying out of your pocket. Liable parties should cover medical bills, vehicle repairs, pain and suffering, and any other costs resulting from the truck accident. If you don’t file your case in time, the financial cost of your accident may fall solely upon you.
  • Suffering the ramifications of an expensive truck accident: If you have to pay the cost of your accident, you may need to take drastic financial measures. From going into debt to exhausting emergency funds, you do not want to face the prospects of paying for a truck accident.
  • Potentially suffering psychological problems because of your financial burdens: Experts have found close links between financial health and mental health. If you fall into financial hardship because you fail to file your case on time, your mental health can suffer as a consequence.

You need to file your truck accident claim on time.

Do Not Assume Exceptions Apply to Your Filing Deadline

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In rare circumstances, the statute of limitations will give you more time to file your truck accident case. However, never assume that your case fits one of these rare exceptions.

Most truck accident cases fall under the statute of limitations in the state where the accident happens. Therefore, quickly contact a lawyer who will file your accident claim as soon as possible.

How Can I Avoid Missing the Filing Deadline for My Truck Accident Claim?

Many truck accident victims wisely hire a personal injury attorney to file their cases on time.

Worki with a lawyer because:

  • Attorneys know legal and insurance-related deadlines well.
  • Attorneys know when the clock starts on a filing deadline.
  • A lawyer can efficiently prepare and file a truck accident case, thanks to their knowledge of filing practices, familiarity with claims, and help from paralegals.
  • A lawyer has time and resources to prepare and file your claim—it is their job, after all.

A lawyer will ensure the timely filing of your case, but they will do so much more than that.

Additional Reasons to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer 

If a lawyer accepts your case, expect them to file it before the statute of limitations expires. You may also hire a truck accident lawyer because:

There Is No Substitute for Experience

Just as you want a trained, experienced doctor handling a surgery, you may want a trained, experienced lawyer leading your insurance claim or lawsuit.

A truck accident lawyer’s experience may:

  • Allow them to draft and file your case without any hesitation
  • Prepare them for any challenges they will encounter during your case
  • Allow them to advise you based on real-world experience rather than hypothetical scenarios
  • Reassure you that your attorney has successfully handled cases similar to yours

Like anything, there is no substitute for legal experience. The more experience your lawyer has, and the longer their record of settlements and verdicts, the more qualified they may be to represent you.

Truck Accident Cases Are Often High-Stakes (So You Have Much to Lose)

The heavy weight of large trucks makes them a devastating hazard. When accidents happen, victims often suffer life-changing injuries that entitle them to large financial recoveries.

Whenever a large sum of money is at stake, you can expect:

  • Your lawyer to carefully document and calculate your damages, ensuring that their settlement target is accurate
  • Liable parties to fight against paying you the entire sum you deserve
  • Bad-faith negotiating tactics, such as lowball offers and delays

You also stand to lose a large amount of money if you don’t succeed in your case. For these reasons, many truck accident victims entrust their case to an attorney with a history of winning for truck accident victims.

Trucking Is a Complicated Industry (and Trucks Are Complicated Vehicles)

Commercial trucks are not like the typical car or SUV. Trucks are not only larger and heavier than other vehicles, but they also have complex controls and components that smaller vehicles lack. The attached trailers and cargo further complicate matters.

When diagnosing the cause of a truck accident and the negligence that led to the collision, you need a lawyer who understands trucks (and the trucking industry). Your lawyer may also hire experts (at no upfront cost to you) to build your case.

The Trucking Company May Have Evidence You Need

A trucking company may need to pay for some or all of your damages.

That same trucking company may have:

  • A driver’s history of discipline and getting into accidents
  • Work logs showing how long the trucker had been driving at the time of your accident
  • Footage from cameras facing inside and outside of the truck
  • Black-box data detailing the truck’s movements 
  • Other valuable evidence

Your attorney can file a letter of spoliation. This legal document requires that someone (in this case, a trucking company) not dispose of evidence. Your lawyer will secure this evidence from the trucking company on your behalf.

Trucking Accidents Can Be Fatal

Fatal truck accidents continue to follow an alarming trend. Your case is immensely important if you have lost a loved one to injuries suffered in a truck accident. You may have a lifetime of damages to seek compensation for. You are also seeking to hold liable parties responsible for taking a life.

Whatever the details of your case are, a lawyer will put you in the best position to succeed.

A Truck Accident Lawyer Will Fight for Your Complete Financial Recovery

Your attorney can assist with several aspects of your case, but they have a singular goal. Everything they do aims to obtain the compensation you need to cover both economic and non-economic damages.

In working towards this goal, truck accident attorneys generally:

Secure All Useful Evidence as Soon as Possible

Your lawyer will seek:

  • Eyewitness accounts of the truck accident
  • The police report(s) documenting the collision
  • Video of the accident, which can be among the most useful evidence in any auto accident case
  • Video from inside the truck, as many truck drivers have cameras inside their cab
  • Photographs of the accident scene, which can support your lawyer’s account of how the accident happened
  • Expert testimony about who is liable for the accident
  • A reconstruction of the accident, which may involve digital software, physical exhibits, or both
  • Cell phone records, which can indicate that the truck driver was distracted at the moment of impact
  • Blood, breath, or urine tests indicating that the truck driver was impaired

These are only a few examples of useful evidence. Each truck accident investigation unfolds differently, and your lawyer will fully use the evidence available to them.

Document the Truck Accident Victim’s Damages

Your lawyer will paint a detailed picture of how the truck accident affected your life and may rely on:

  • Photographs of visible injuries
  • X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and other medical images of your injuries
  • Medical bills
  • Your pre-accident income records, which will show how much income you have lost because of the collision
  • Testimony from doctors, mental health professionals, economists, and other experts with relevant opinions
  • Invoices for vehicle repairs, temporary transportation, medical equipment, and any other purchases related to the accident

Your lawyer may have a network of experts ready to contribute to your case. These experts’ services will come at no additional cost to you and can substantially improve your lawsuit or claim. Access to experts is one of the many benefits of hiring a truck accident attorney.

Calculate the Cost of Damages

Each truck accident case has a cost, and your lawyer will calculate the cost of yours. The nature and severity of your injuries, the types of medical care you require, the extent of property damage, and the length of time missed from work will all determine the cost of your crash.

Secure a Settlement or Take the Case to Court

Truck accident lawyers first try to negotiate settlements for their clients. However, settling requires all parties to agree on a settlement value, which is easier said than done.

During settlement negotiations, your lawyer will:

  • Prove the defendant’s liability
  • Document your damages
  • Present and explain their calculation of your damages
  • Make an oral argument demanding the settlement you deserve

While your lawyer may compromise, they will stand behind their calculation of your damages. If liable parties refuse to pay the sum you deserve, your lawyer may take your case to court.

What Damages Will a Truck Accident Lawyer Seek Compensation For?

Your damages will determine the amount of compensation your lawyer pursues.

Your attorney will evaluate your damages by:

  • Speaking with you, as you can best describe physical pain, psychological distress, emotional anguish, and certain other damages
  • Keeping track of financial expenses, including medical bills, property repair costs, and lost income
  • Calculating non-economic damages (namely pain and suffering)
  • Projecting any damages you will continue to suffer going forward (such as the cost of rehabilitation for a disabling injury)

Some of the common recoverable damages in truck accident cases include:

  • Property expenses: This can include replacing damaged property, repairing or replacing your vehicle, and securing temporary transportation. 
  • Healthcare costs: Any medical expenses related to your truck accident will be part of your case. If your injuries have yet to heal, your lawyer may project the cost of future medical care. Your attorney will consult doctors, economists, and other qualified experts in making such projections.
  • Professional damages: Lost income, lost bonuses and promotions, and diminished earning power are among the professional damages truck accident victims suffer.
  • Pain and suffering: Auto accidents can cause traumatic memories, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), physical pain, lost quality of life, and other pain and suffering. 

Leave it to a trained legal professional to identify and calculate your damages. Your lawyer will ensure an accurate settlement target.

Preserve your health and get a fair financial recovery. Hiring a lawyer addresses both of these priorities.

Speak with Truck Accident Lawyers as Soon as Possible

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James Holliday, Truck Accident Attorney

When a trucker or trucking company causes your accident, you should never have to cover your own expenses and losses. However, you must take proactive steps to begin the process of seeking the compensation you deserve. One critical step is hiring the right truck accident attorney.

Do not forget that your personal injury attorney will face a deadline to file your case. The cost of missing that deadline is undoubtedly steep, even if you believe your injuries and property damage are relatively minor.

You deserve justice for your truck accident, and a lawyer will work to ensure you get what you deserve. Find a lawyer to lead your case today.

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James Wayne Holliday

James Wayne Holliday has been practicing law since 1995. He has been named as a “Best Attorney” Lifetime Charter Member in Florida, an honor awarded to less than one percent of the nation’s lawyers.

Mr. Holliday has earned a reputation as a relentless trial lawyer because of his outstanding work ethic and thorough preparation of his cases for trial.

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