Truck accidents, like car accidents and most other personal injury accidents are generally governed by the statute of limitations for actions called torts. Each state has different and varying laws which limit the time period that a person can bring lawsuits.
The theory behind enacting a statute of limitations is to prevent stale or old claims from being brought too long after the event occurred. Most states attempt to balance a victim's right to bring a claim against a defendant's right to know that a claim will not be brought after a certain period. Generally, the longer the statute of limitations, the more difficult to preserve evidence and witness memories about the events.
States like Texas have a two year statute of limitations for tort actions, which would include bringing of claims involving truck accidents. Other states, like only allow a claim to be brought within one year from the date of the truck accident.Florida has a four year statute of limitations for injury actions. California also has a one year limitation for injury actions.
If you are not sure of the statute of limitation period in your state, the safest route is to seek the advice of an attorney within one year from the date of the accident. There may be laws that require a person initiating a claim to first file for an administrative remedy (as in the case of a tort under the Federal Tort Claims Act).
By seeking the advice of an attorney within the first year of the truck accident, the plaintiff will also give the attorney an advantage in collecting evidence while it is still fresh in the minds of the witnesses. Police officers investigate so many accidents each year that it is hard for them to recall the specifics of any particular truck accident years later.
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