If you’ve sustained an injury in a collision caused by a negligent truck driver, you have the right to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, vehicle repair bills, and other costs. You probably know that you can seek damages via a lawsuit, but you might not know how long you have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident.
In addition to representing the wrongfully injured, the Ponca City truck accident lawyers at BDIW Law also aim to educate accident victims on the time limits that apply to their cases. That’s why we’ve decided to provide you with the information you need to get your lawsuit filed on time.
Oklahoma’s Filing Deadline for Truck Accident Lawsuits
If an attorney has advised you to submit a truck accident lawsuit, you can refer to Oklahoma’s statute of limitations to find out how long you have to file your suit. According to Oklahoma Statute §12-95, you have two years from the date of the collision to file a civil suit.
If you wait too long to hire an attorney and miss the two-year deadline, there’s a good chance you could miss out on the compensation you need to regain your health, replenish your financial losses, and get your life back on track.
That said, there are several exceptions to the two-year deadline. Some exceptions give you more time to file, while others reduce the time frame you have to take legal action. Since it can go either way, depending on your circumstances, it’s best to act fast and hire an experienced attorney. They’ll be able to determine how long you truly have to file.
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Exceptions to the Truck Accident Lawsuit Filing Deadline
Since every case is slightly different, you can’t expect to have the same filing deadline as other truck crash victims. The amount of time you have to file your truck accident lawsuit depends on which of the following exceptions applies to your situation:
The Accident Was Caused by a Government Employee
According to the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act, you may take legal action against a government employee or contractor if they caused the incident you were injured in. However, you won’t have very long to file a truck accident lawsuit against them.
Under the statute of limitations, you’ll only have one year from the collision date to submit a civil suit. You never know how short your filing timeframe will be, so hiring an attorney ASAP after an accident is important.
Someone Under Age 12 Was Injured in the Crash
If you’re filing a lawsuit on behalf of your child, you’ll have much longer to submit a suit. According to the law, you have seven years from the accident date to file a lawsuit on behalf of a minor under the age of 12.
If an injured child’s parents don’t take legal action after a collision, the child may do so once they turn 18. They’ll have one year from the day they turn 18 to file a truck accident lawsuit against the at-fault party.
The Collision Left You Mentally Incapacitated
If a truck crash causes you to sustain a traumatic brain injury or go into a coma, you are considered mentally incapacitated. During your incapacitation, it’s impossible for you to file a lawsuit, so your time limit to submit a suit won’t start until you’ve recovered.
Once you’ve regained your mental capacities to the point that you’re considered competent, you’ll have two years to take action against the party that caused your injury.
You didn’t Discover Your Injury Until Much Later
Some truck accident injuries can go undiagnosed for months after the crash. If you’ve just been diagnosed or made aware of an injury from an accident that happened quite some time ago, you’re probably wondering how much time you have left to file a truck accident suit.
According to the statute of limitations, you’ll have two years from the day you receive a diagnosis to file a lawsuit. So if you’ve just discovered an injury, make sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible to make sure your suit is submitted before it’s too late.
The Offending Driver Fled
If the at-fault driver fled the state or is avoiding contact with your attorney and other relevant parties, you’ll have longer to file your truck accident lawsuit. Once the offending driver is located, you’ll have two years from the date of contact to submit a suit.
The Accident Victim Was Killed in the Crash
If your spouse or family member was taken from you in a fatal truck accident, you must comply with the statute of limitations for wrongful death suits. As per the statute, you’ll have two years from the date of your loved one’s passing to submit a lawsuit.
Compensation You Could Receive from a Winning Lawsuit
Knowing how long you have to file a lawsuit can help you get the one you need to recuperate from your truck accident. If your lawsuit is filed on time and it yields fair compensation, you could receive any of the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning ability
- Vehicle repair expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
These damages can help you rebuild your life and bank account after a severe and costly truck accident. That’s why it’s important to hire a truck accident attorney and find out how long you have to file a lawsuit ASAP.
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Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today
Recovering from a life-changing truck crash can be incredibly challenging but not impossible. With the help of an experienced attorney, you’ll likely get the money you need to pay for your medical bills and other losses.
In addition to hiring an attorney, knowing how long you have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident will dramatically improve your chances of getting a fair jury verdict. So contact the truck accident lawyers at BDIW today to learn more about your filing deadline and get your suit submitted on time.
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