You only have two years to file a lawsuit after a truck accident in California. California, like every other state, limits the amount of time you have to file lawsuits, whether for personal injury, breach of contract, property damage, and other kinds of lawsuits. A truck accident injury case is a personal injury case.
“Statute of limitations” is the formal term for these deadlines. The statute of limitations for a truck accident starts on the day of the collision. A California personal injury attorney can explain how the statute of limitations works in your case.
How the Statute of Limitations Can Affect Your Truck Accident Case
If you miss the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit, California law can bar you from going after the negligent party who harmed you. You can lose the right to compensation for your injuries forever. Two years might seem like a long time, but it is surprising how quickly 24 months can pass when you are going through medical treatments and recuperating from your injuries.
Negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company does not pause the clock on the statute of limitations. You must actually file a lawsuit with the court before the time limit expires. The claims adjuster knows the deadline for your case. Most likely, that date is in bold red letters on your claim file.
Some claims adjusters drag out the negotiations and claims process in hopes that you will not know about the statute of limitations. The adjuster might ask you to get more documents, like medical bills, as an excuse for the delay in settlement.
You might think that the insurance company is negotiating with you in good faith, but things will change drastically as soon as the deadline passes. The adjuster will “ghost” on you overnight and stop returning your emails or phone calls. The at-fault party and his insurer have no legal obligation toward you after the statute of limitation expires. They do not have to pay you a cent.
How to Avoid Getting Burned by the Statute of Limitations
Insurance companies do not have to inform you of your legal rights. Insurers make a profit by paying injured people as little money as possible. These corporations have teams of investigators, claims adjusters, and defense lawyers whose job is to find ways to pay you less money than you deserve or even deny your claim.
If you work with a personal injury attorney from the beginning, you can focus on getting better while your lawyer navigates through the claims process, negotiates directly with the insurance company on your behalf, and files a lawsuit if necessary. A lawyer can protect you from other pitfalls of personal injury claims like lowball settlement offers and settling before you complete your medical treatment.
You could try to battle a multi-billion-dollar insurance company by yourself, or you could work with a California personal injury attorney who can protect your right to compensation. Contact us today.