How Long Is the Statute of Limitations for a Truck Accident?
Individuals who are injured in truck accidents need to be aware of the time limit for bringing a lawsuit against the driver who injured them. Since calculating the deadline for bringing a truck accident lawsuit depends on several factors, injury victims should obtain advice from a truck accident lawyer as soon as they can.
While deadlines are important, it is just as important to understand that preparation for a successful compensation claim should begin promptly. The first step for every injury victim is to obtain immediate medical treatment. Injuries heal more slowly when treatment is delayed or abandoned. Delaying treatment or failing to follow through on treatment recommendations encourages insurance adjusters to argue that the injury victim did not need treatment because they didn’t get hurt in the accident. No matter how busy the injury victim’s life may be, the opportunity to obtain full compensation may be lost if the victim does not complete every course of treatment that physicians advise.
Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents
A statute of limitations is a law that sets a deadline for bringing a lawsuit. Different states set different “limitations periods” in which accident injury lawsuits must be filed. In Georgia, for example, the limitations period to bring a truck accident lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. There are, however, several exceptions to that two-year deadline.
Injury victims lose their right to obtain compensation for truck accident injuries if they do not settle their claim or file a lawsuit before the limitations period expires. Keep in mind, however, that truck accident attorneys need time to investigate the accident and review medical records. That process should begin as soon as possible after the accident date. Waiting until the limitations period is about to end before taking action will only harm the opportunity to obtain full compensation.
Statute of Limitations for Minors Involved in Truck Accidents
One exception to the two-year limitations period applies to victims who are minors when the accident occurs. Children who are passengers in cars, minors who are walking or riding a bicycle when they are hit by a truck, and drivers who are under the age of 18 all have more time to file a truck accident lawsuit. Georgia law provides that the limitations period does not start until an accident victim reaches the age of 18. Therefore, a minor has until the day he or she turns 20 to bring a lawsuit for truck accident injuries.
Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accident Victims Involved in Collisions with Government Employees
When the truck driver was driving on behalf of the government, the limitations period may be shorter. Lawsuits that are based on negligent driving by county employees must usually be filed within one year. While the two-year limitations period applies to claims against other government employees, the law requires a notice of claim to be filed against the state within one year and against a municipality within six months after the accident. Failure to file a notice of claim on time may result in the dismissal of the victim’s lawsuit.
Extending the Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accidents
Most truck accidents result from a failure to obey the law. Speeding and running a red light are examples of traffic law violations that cause accidents. When a driver is charged with a traffic crime that caused the accident, the limitations period does not begin to run until the charge is resolved or six years after the accident, whichever is earlier. If a crime was committed but no charge was filed, the limitations period starts to run six years after the accident date. Truck accident victims should protect their rights by consulting with a truck accident lawyer soon after the accident to determine their deadline for filing a lawsuit.