If you’re involved in a tractor-trailer accident, there are a few things you need to do. First, you need to call 911. They’ll send an officer out to the scene so they can do a thorough investigation. They’re also going to arrange for an ambulance to take you and any other injured parties to the hospital. Don’t refuse to go. You need to get checked out even if you don’t think you’re hurt. The last thing you should do is call and talk to an experienced truck accident lawyer in Richmond, Virginia.
Some people don’t think they need a lawyer right away. They want to wait and see if the insurance company decides to pay their claim. There’s nothing wrong with this. It makes sense. If they pay your claim, there’s no need to take legal action. Why would you want to give a lawyer a third of your insurance proceeds if you don’t need to? But you also don’t want to wait too long. If you don’t call your attorney soon after your crash, you could end up in hot water.
In Virginia, you only have a certain amount of time to file suit. It doesn’t matter who you are or what kind of accident you’re involved in. The court has very strict rules, and they follow them. There’s nothing your Richmond truck accident lawyer can do if this happens. That’s why it’s a good idea to call an attorney sooner rather than later.
What is a Statute of Limitations for a Truck Accident in Richmond?
Every state has something called a statute of limitations. This is a law that dictates how long someone has to file a lawsuit against another party. Every type of lawsuit has a different deadline. When it comes to any sort of personal injury case, including a truck accident, you only have two (2) years to take legal action. The two years starts on the day of your truck accident.
There are very few times when the court will put the statute period on hold. This is why it’s so important that you get your lawsuit filed with plenty of time to spare. Your Richmond truck accident lawyer needs to serve the other party properly. They also need to get their papers filed with the court. If this doesn’t happen, your case will be dismissed. So, it’s not a good idea to wait 23 months to talk to a lawyer.
Why Would it Take That Long to File Suit?
Some accident victims laugh when they hear that someone missed the statute of limitations deadline. They can’t imagine why it would take someone more than two years to file their lawsuit. However, there are sorts of things that could happen to stall your case. Some of these include:
- The insurance company goes back and forth over whether they’re going to pay your claim
- You need extensive medical care and aren’t in a position to deal with the legal side of things right away
- You can’t find the defendant and aren’t able to properly serve them
- You didn’t think your injuries were that serious until a year after the accident
If any of these things happen to you, then you may want to appoint someone else to handle your affairs. Or you need to talk to an attorney at the very beginning and let them handle these things for you. The insurance company won’t be able to push them around like they did you. They’ll know you’re serious when they learn that you’re retained a truck accident lawyer in Richmond.
What Happens if You Miss the Filing Deadline?
If you miss your filing deadline, your case is dead in the water. There are very few cases in which the judge will extend the statute of limitations period. Typically, you need to meet one of the following conditions to even request an extension:
- You were a minor when the accident happened
- You were mentally incapacitated for months or years
- The defendant committed fraud to evade a lawsuit
Your Richmond truck accident lawyer will have to prove that this is the case in order to get an extension. They are few and far between.
Sit Down With an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Richmond, Virginia
Rather than risk missing the deadline, call and talk to a skilled truck accident lawyer in Richmond right away. Schedule your free, initial consultation so your lawyer can get started today.