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How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After a Big-Rig Accident

| Feb 9, 2015 | Firm News

The answer depends on what kind of injury you have suffered and the status of the driver of the big rig. The following three scenarios may be applicable to your big rig accident and each is discussed below; (1) the statute of limitations for property damage; (2) the statute of limitations for personal injury; and (3) the statute of limitations for an accident with a governmental entity.

Property Damage

In the event you get into an accident with a big rig, two different injuries may have occurred. The first injury is an injury to your property. The California Code of Civil Procedure § 28 states “An injury to property consists in depriving its owner of the benefit of it, which is done by taking, withholding, deteriorating, or destroying it.” An example of an injury to your personal property after a big rig accident would be a wrecked car. If your car was damaged or any other personal property was damaged, then under the law, you have suffered an injury to property. In the case of an injury to your personal property, you have three years to file a claim from the date the property was damaged. Thus, a lawsuit seeking compensation for property damage must be filed within three years of the date of the big rig accident.

Personal Injury

The second type of injury is an injury to your person. The California Code of Civil Procedure § 29 states that “every other injury is an injury to the person.” A number of claims are considered personal injuries, such as, actual physical injuries sustained and mental or emotional suffering from the accident. In a basic sense, personal injuries are those that directly affect you as a person, meaning your health and well-being. The general rule regarding the statute of limitations for personal injury actions is defined in California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1. Under this section, a person has two years to initiate a claim after an injury which was “caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” Thus, a lawsuit for personal injuries must be filed within two years of the date of the big rig accident.

Governmental Entity

A final note is in the event that the big rig truck was being operated by a “public entity.” A public entity is an individual acting on behalf of the State or local government. An example of a local public entity would be a City of San Diego wastewater truck. Under the law, an action against a public entity has a different statute of limitations and a different filing procedure. According to California Government Code § 911.2 a claim for “injury to person or to personal property” shall be filed “not later than six months after the accrual of the cause of action.” The key in this claim is the legal definition of the “public entity.” Thus, a claim for either property damage or personal injury involving a “public entity” must be filed within 6 months of the date of the big rig accident.

The Truck Accident Attorneys at Martinez & Schill LLP in San Diego and Southern California know the serious nature of trucking accidents, and we know how they should be handled for a successful result. If you or your loved ones have been injured in a truck accident in Southern California, you may be eligible for significant compensation from the trucking companies. Our truck accident lawyers will guide you through the entire process and help you receive justice as well as financial compensation against the truck company that caused your injuries.  Contact our San Diego truck accident attorneys today for a free consultation and case evaluation.  San Diego 619-512-5995 or Riverside 951-200-4630.