Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit: How Long Do You Have?
By Team at Zimmet & Zimmet, In Personal injury
When it comes to traffic accidents and concerns, some of the biggest menaces on Florida roadways are commercial trucks. Semis, big rigs, tractor trailers, and other variants of large commercial vehicles make driving risky and stressful for the average driver.
With the highways and roads in Florida full of commercial trucks, it’s really only a matter of time before an accident occurs. In fact, according to information from the FHSMV – Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, collisions that occur with medium to heavy trucks account for over 30,000 accidents on Florida roads in 2017 alone.
Of these accidents, approximately 400 resulted in serious injuries, with 125 causing serious injuries and disability, and around 30 leading to at least one fatality. However, large commercial trucks are not the only risk on the roads. Lighter commercial trucks that weigh under 10,000 pounds are also a hazard on highways and roads across the state. It’s estimated that another 300 (or more) drivers and their passengers suffered an injury, disability, or even died due to a collision with this smaller class of commercial trucks.
The question is, have all these individuals had the ability to preserve their claim against a negligent driver, or the trucking company that resulted in or contributed to the accident that occurred?
Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents in Florida
A common reason that so many who suffer an injury during a truck accident in Florida never recover compensation for their injuries is because of the statute of limitations law in Florida. Beginning on the date that the truck accident occurred, the injured parties have just four years to file the personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. After the four years have passed, the claim will be barred, because the time window the person had to file a claim has expired.
However, if you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit after someone dies during a truck accident, the statute of limitations is just two years. This time limit is reduced because you aren’t actually filing a truck accident claim, instead you are filing a wrongful death claim. This type of claim must follow the rules of a different statute.
A Truck Accident Claim is Not a Lawsuit
You need to understand that truck accident claims aren’t the same thing as filing a lawsuit. If you choose to file an injury claim against the trucking company or the trucker who caused your accident, you have started the process you must follow to receive compensation – this is a good thing. However, if you haven’t filed the lawsuit, it will mean that the amount of time you have to file is going by.
Making the decision to file a lawsuit against the owner and driver of a truck that hit you is much different than filing the claim. The difference in these is often confusing and because many people don’t fully understand this, they may wait too long and no longer have the ability to receive compensation. Therefore, you must be prepared for the legal road that you have to go down, which may result in litigation if the liable party does not admit to the charges. The best thing you can do is to hire an attorney who as experience with these cases.
We have the experience and ability to help you with your truck accident case. To learn more, contact Zimmet & Zimmet Lawyers by calling (386) 255-6400.