How long you have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident in Florida depends on several factors, but the bottom line is that you need to act quickly to get started on your case. Connecting with a truck accident attorney familiar with the commercial vehicle accident laws in Florida as soon as possible after your accident is an option to protect your rights and secure compensation.
The cut off for when you can file paperwork for a lawsuit is determined by the Florida statute of limitations on personal injury cases. A statute of limitations determines the last date after an accident you can file your lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, your claim is forever barred. But there are also considerations other than the statute of limitations you will need to make to ensure you get started on time.
Statutes of Limitations Set a Final Deadline on Filing Truck Accident Suits
Truck accident cases, like all motor vehicle accident cases, are based on personal injury tort law. Therefore, the statute of limitations deadline for a truck accident is the same as any other personal injury case. In Florida, the deadline is governed by Florida Statute § 95.11. Under the statute, the technical answer to how long you have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident depends on whether a person is injured or whether they died. If the person was injured, the statute of limitations is likely four years from the date of the accident. If the person died, the statute of limitations is likely 2 years from the date of the accident.
However, there are exceptions to the statute which could extend or reduce the time you have to take action. For example, when a child suffers injuries, you may be able to toll the statute of limitations for some time, until the tolling period expires, or the statute of repose date arrives.
In other cases, such as when the truck that hit you was a city-owned waste truck, you may need to act quickly to meet regulations that allow you to pursue a case against a government agency.
Truck Accident Claims Can Take a Long Time to Develop
When it comes to commercial vehicle accident cases, it takes a lot more than preparing some paperwork and filing it at the courthouse to ready a lawsuit. Some of the steps rely on quick action following an accident, so it is important that you contact an attorney about your truck accident case as soon as your injuries allow.
Truck accident cases generally have a wealth of evidence not available in a typical car accident case. This additional evidence is because of the strict reporting and data standards required of truck drivers and trucking companies. This evidence could be critical in proving your case. Unfortunately, though, the trucking company—likely the defendant in any lawsuit you file—has it.
As the first step in a truck accident investigation, your attorney will need to send a spoliation letter to prevent the destruction of this evidence under possible legal penalties. The evidence held by the trucking company could include:
- The driver’s rest logs
- Data from the truck’s computer
- Maintenance logs
- Other records related to the driver, truck, or load
- Post-accident drug and alcohol testing results
- Dashcam video
- Personnel and disciplinary records
- Other evidence in the accident case
Using this and other evidence to support a claim of liability, your attorney will then prepare a demand letter for the insurance carrier representing the trucking company. This letter will outline your damages as well as the evidence against their policyholder’s employee. This tactic may pave the way for a fair settlement agreement without filing suit. If not, a lawsuit may be necessary.
We May Be Able to Recover Damages without Going to Court
At Distasio Law Firm, we offer empathetic, client-focused services and representation. We understand that our clients have a lot to worry about and are likely stressed out and frustrated. Like you, we want to hold the trucking company liable for their employee’s negligence and recover the damages you need to cover your losses.
Depending on the specific losses in your case, we may be able to recover compensation for damages that include:
- Your current and future medical treatment and any related expenses
- Current and future lost income and benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Other related expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Our team also takes on survival action and wrongful death cases for qualifying family members as outlined in Florida Statute § 768.21.
Discuss Your Truck Accident Case with a Member of Our Team
Our Florida truck accident team offers free accident reviews and can help you understand the strength of your case against the trucking company. If we work together on your case, we will work based on contingency. We will handle all of the necessary financial support for your legal case and only recover our fees if we secure compensation for you.
Speak with a member of the team from Distasio Law Firm about your case for free by calling (813) 259-0022 now.