Truck accidents comprise just a small percentage of the total traffic crashes, but they cause a disproportionate amount of destruction because of the massive size of the vehicle. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PA DOT) reports that around 5 percent of all accidents in the state involve semis, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles. On average, 160 people lose their lives and another 3,500 suffer injuries in these truck crashes.
Pennsylvania personal injury laws cover truck collisions, so you may qualify for compensation for your losses. You must have proof that the crash occurred because the truck operator or other at-fault party breached the duty to drive safely. In addition, the truck accident statute of limitations is an important factor that affects your rights. A Philadelphia truck accident lawyer can explain how the law works, but an overview is also informative.
Deadlines for Pennsylvania Truck Crash Claims
The statute of limitations functions as a deadline for personal injury cases, including truck collisions. In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit in court. If you do not sue before the deadline expires, you are barred from recovering monetary damages.
There are three important points to note about the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania truck accident cases:
- If the victim of a crash is a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until he or she turns 18 years old.
- In the event of a fatal truck collision, the clock starts to tick upon the date of death. This means surviving family members have additional time if their loved one did not die until some time after the accident.
- The statute of limitations is paused if the at-fault party leaves the state or hides.
Timing and the Legal Process
It is important to take action quickly after a truck collision, despite the fact that you have two years to sue. This is because the first step in the legal process is filing a claim with the trucker’s insurance company. After you submit your documents, the insurer will investigate and make a counteroffer to settle. Negotiations on an agreement may continue for several weeks or months. The statute of limitations runs during this process, making time a critical factor.
Plus, getting started right away means faster time to resolution of your truck accident claim, so you can receive compensation promptly. You may be eligible to recover damages for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other amounts. Delays put off payment at a time when you are struggling with losses.
Set Up a Free Consultation with a Pennsylvania Truck Accident Attorney Today
Two years may seem like a long time, but you can see how it moves quickly when you are going through the legal process. For additional details about the truck accident statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, please contact the Quinn Law Group. You can call (215) 360-3666 or visit us online to schedule a no-cost case review with a Philadelphia truck crash lawyer.