Truck accident survivors may on occasion settle their claims without the need for litigation. Unfortunately, truck drivers, trucking companies, and insurance adjusters aren’t always so cooperative. To seek compensation in such cases, you must file a civil lawsuit.
If you are considering litigation, you should know the deadlines, also known as the statute of limitations, for filing a truck accident claim. The courts are strict about these timeframes. If you don’t file on time, you risk losing your right to seek damages.
If you need assistance filing a truck accident claim, our team at Geoff McDonald & Associates can help. Call 804-409-0821 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our Richmond, Virginia, truck accident lawyers.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is the legal timeframe for filing a civil lawsuit. The deadline is typically strict, with few exceptions. If you don’t file on time, the other party may file a motion to dismiss your case. If the court dismisses your case, you may lose the right to seek compensation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Lawsuits in Virginia?
Every state has its own statute of limitations for truck accident claims and other civil lawsuits. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for filing a truck accident claim is as follows:
- Personal injury: Two years from the date of the accident
- Property damage: Five years from the date of the accident
- Wrongful death: Two years from the date of the victim’s death
However, just because you have two or five years to initiate a lawsuit doesn’t mean you should wait that long.
The Statute of Limitations Isn’t the Only Reason to Act Quickly
If you were recently injured in a truck accident, your primary focus is most likely on recovering and securing the medical care you need. You may also think there is no rush to file your claim: Two or five years is ample time.
It’s understandable if you don’t feel like dealing with court bureaucracy right now. However, postponing the start of your lawsuit is a mistake. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that crucial evidence may get lost, misplaced, or destroyed.
For instance, the law requires trucking companies to preserve black box data and some other types of evidence for six months from the date of the accident. After that, the trucking company is no longer under a duty to preserve evidence and may try to destroy incriminating material.
Trucking and insurance companies also have investigators and legal teams that waste no time and will be working to weaken your case from day one. Waiting to file can give them a substantial head start. It’s usually in your interest to be proactive and file your claim as soon as possible.
Speak With a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Today
A truck accident can turn your life upside down. It can leave you with physical and emotional pain, property damage, and a reduced earning capacity — to say nothing of the medical bills.
While you can’t turn back time and undo the accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. However, you must act quickly. Trucking and insurance companies can use every delay against you.
At Geoff McDonald & Associates in Richmond, VA, we can help you file your truck accident claim and support you throughout the court process. Call us or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our Virginia truck accident attorneys.